COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges amidst social distancing, and with kids beginning to return to schools and daycares, things may feel a bit hectic! We at North American Montessori are committed to providing parents and caregivers with the right tools to continue nurturing their children’s Montessori learning outside of our early childhood education centers.
We have provided fun activities inspired by the Montessori Method to help preschoolers continue learning and staying engaged while at home. This list includes developmentally appropriate activities that focus on practical life, sensorial, language, and math.
Practical Life Activities
The Montessori focus here is caring for oneself and their environment. Practical life activities contribute to the control and coordination of movement, development of concentration, and the self-esteem that comes with making a real contribution to the group.
- Sweep – Inviting your children to help you with a household chore will give them a sense of purpose when they feel bored. Toddlers and young children can start to learn how to help take care of the house by using a small broom and dustpan to sweep.
- Care for houseplants – Simple plant maintenance such as leaf polishing and watering is something even young children can do. All your child needs is a small dish of water, a sponge, and a watering can. Have them wipe the dust off of the leaves using the water dish and sponge, then show your child how to check if an indoor plant needs water and how to use the watering can.
- Match socks – Laundry is often a dreaded adult household chore, but children will love the opportunity to help out! Make your child responsible for sock matching to teach a great lesson in visual discrimination.
- Scrub clean – Scrubbing provides children with tangible results, that’s why young kids actually enjoy this cleaning activity! Have them scrub clean anything from walls and toys to tables and chairs. Water spills are bound to happen, and cleaning up the spills is part of the purpose too.
The Montessori focus here is having children study, understand, and classify the things around them. Sensorial activities provide the first steps in allowing children to organize and adapt to their environment.
- Guess mystery items – Fill a drawstring bag with a few household items, such as their small dino toys or even kitchen objects. Have your child close their eyes and use only their hands to reach in and feel the items, then let them guess what the objects in the bag are.
- Smell bottles – Fill spice jars with a few familiar smells, such as herbs or even cotton balls with kid-safe essential oils. Have your preschooler smell and guess what they are. An older child can also have fun with this smelling activity; simply make a set of the bottles and have them match the smells!
- Match sounds – Make pairs of small bottles or jars filled with objects like rice, beans, beads, tiny bells, etc. Make sure to hide its contents (if using clear containers) and have your child listen carefully to each and try to match the sounds.
The Montessori focus here is giving children context for their environment with names, labels, etc. Language activities help children to develop a well-rounded vocabulary, express thoughts, and understand and interpret the thoughts of others.
- Play “I Spy” – Children at the pre-reading age can still learn to isolate sounds. Choose a phonetic sound and say, “I spy something that starts with ‘a’” for example, then have them guess!
- Rhyme together – Have each of you take turns coming up with a word and having the other think of a word that rhymes.
- Match items or people – Cards with pictures of fruits and vegetables printed on them and the real-life item can work well for early-stage children to match. For older children who are able to start learning letters, make a small card for each family member and/or pet with their picture and name at the bottom. Then make another small card that has just the name on it. Show your child how to match the shape of the letters in the name to the picture with the same name on it. They won’t be reading the names, but they’ll be matching the words as patterns of letters.
The Montessori focus here is to allow children to absorb, manipulate, classify, order, sequence, etc. the things in their environment. Math activities prepare them to further explore and mature their mathematical mind.
- Play the “bring me” game – If your child is learning to count, say, “bring me four stuffed animals” or “bring me seven books” for example. Your preschooler will have to try to remember the number while they search around for the objects.
- Make sticker patterns – Use stickers and strips of cardstock to create patterns. Have your preschooler try to recreate the pattern with the same stickers and then create their own patterns.
Montessori Daycare Center
Find additional resources for learning at home during COVID-19 and contact North American Montessori to learn more about our Montessori childcare centers! To begin your child’s education, take a tour at our facility!Schedule a visit today!