17 Montessori Preschool Activities

The Montessori education model favors hands-on, self-directed learning because of the many ways it enhances each child’s natural learning. Through play, group activities, and everyday tasks, Montessori preschool students discover their capabilities, which nurtures a lifelong love of learning.

If you run a Montessori preschool or daycare, here are some Montessori preschool activity ideas to use in your classroom. 

Individualized Montessori Preschooler Activities

Self-guided learning requires solo activities where children can engage, play, and complete interesting tasks that don’t require a group effort. These activities are popular among Montessori classrooms today, helping children develop confidence and real-world skills.

1. Cleaning Toys

One of the main key learning areas of a Montessori classroom is practical life skills. To help kids learn the basics of caring for their belongings, a great activity to try is “cleaning the toys.” Set up a station with a bucket of mild soap and water, a pitcher, a sponge, and a washcloth. Allow children to clean their favorite set of toys, helping when you see a need for assistance. 

2. Pour and Scoop

Pouring and scooping is a natural, tactile activity young children practice. In a Montessori setting, you can apply this motion to nearly any subject: math, art, sensorial learning, and more. Set up a station with a tray, scooper, cup, and the materials to pour. These can include beads, sand, seeds, small toys, rice, liquids, or buttons. 

3. Snack Helper

Another practical life skills activity is to make snack helpers a regular part of the daily routine. Create a rotating schedule of students who will help prepare snacks. While the rest of the class is involved in their activities, the assigned student(s) can help the teacher prepare or hand out food. This teaches responsibility, etiquette, and service. 

4. Button Frames

This activity involves fabric attached to wooden frames. Holes are sewn into the fabric so students can practice buttoning and unbuttoning the cloth. This helps them learn dressing, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills.

5. Puzzle Maps

Puzzle maps of all shapes and sizes are essential for Montessori classrooms. They not only introduce children to geography but also give kids an activity that encourages fine motor skills and organization. 

6. Memory Cards

Memory cards, also called classification cards, are popular Montessori preschool activity options. Kids learn to find, name, and remember specific objects in their immediate environment. Many times, teachers pair these memory cards with physical objects, such as toys, kitchen items, and pictures. 

7. Sound and Letter Tracing 

Similar to letter tracing, sound tracing is a great activity for kids to learn the basics of spelling and language. Children trace letters outlined on paper displayed with objects they can recognize, such as “A for apple.” While they trace, they sound out the object.

8. Float and Sink

One learning objective of Montessori preschool is to help students distinguish between opposites. Float and sink activities present students with the opportunity to learn about weight and volume, then make predictions. Prepare a jar of water and multiple small objects. Students guess which objects will sink or float, then test them out for themselves. 

Montessori Preschool Activities for Groups

Group activities help children learn social-emotional skills, conflict resolution, spatial awareness, and community collaboration. Here are some excellent group activities for preschoolers.

1. Name Games

The Name Game encourages memory, social play, and respect for others. Sit every student in a circle, and present each student’s name to the class. Then, everyone sits with their eyes closed, and the teacher silently selects someone as “it.” That student goes and taps every student on the shoulder one by one until someone guesses the correct name of the child who’s “it.” 

2. Mystery Bag

The Mystery Bag game is great for sensory play and memory. The teacher places everyday objects into the bag, such as nail clippers, a brush, and small toys. Each student takes a turn reaching into the bag without looking and has to try to identify the objects in the bag using only touch. 

3. Nature Study

Another great sensory activity is Nature Study. Gather several items from nature, such as fallen leaves, twigs, flowers, pebbles, or feathers. Giving each child a magnifying glass, have them take turns looking at different objects and describing to their classmates what they see or think about it. 

4. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are always fun, educational group activities. Create themed scavenger hunts, such as finding specific colors, shapes, and object uses (cleaning, cooking, etc.). You can also set up an outdoor scavenger hunt identifying items of each season or vegetables in the garden.

5. Play Pretend (Role Playing)

Group role-playing or “playing pretend” is an essential part of early childhood education. These group activities can be guided, or you can give more creative freedom to children in what roles they want to imagine. Fun ideas include dinosaurs, popular animated characters, animals, and “playing house.”

6. Feather Race

Feather races allow children to observe speed, weight, and time. It also encourages them to be present as they interact with a group and a shared object. Demonstrate how feathers fall, float, and react to air by blowing. Give each student a feather and a partner, then have them race the other teams’ feathers across the class.

7. Put Our Work Away

Clean-up time is a necessary part of any preschool classroom. It also makes a helpful Montessori preschool group activity. Challenge kids to see who can pick up the most number of items for a prize. Instruct the class to pick up five items and put them where they belong, supervising them to offer guidance. 

8. Opposite Game

The Opposite Game is similar to Simon Says. Children simply do the opposite of what the teacher instructs them to do. For example, you can say, “Stomp your feet hard!” and children must lightly tap their feet. Or you can instruct the class, “Say ‘purple’ in a very loud voice,” which means the group will whisper ‘purple’ quietly. 

9. Culture Show and Tell

As a circle activity, gather the class and do some show and tell. Prepare some common items from different cultures, and welcome the children to raise their hands to explain what it is. This encourages learning of cultural diversity, and students feel excited to explain the items from their cultures to different students. 

More Activity Ideas With Montessori Lesson Plans

To help you better organize activities and lesson plans for your classroom, a Montessori childcare software is a great solution.

With the Daily Connect app, you get more than 270 lesson plans created specifically for Montessori preschool teachers. Each lesson plan includes:

  • Activity descriptions for teachers and staff
  • List of materials required for each activity
  • Learning objectives and targeted Montessori learning centers for each activity 
  • Learning outcomes for success
  • Video explanation for each activity

In addition to these helpful lesson plans, the Daily Connect Montessori app provides teachers with the digital tools they need to improve every aspect of their classroom. 

  • Teachers and staff can record every child’s learning assessment directly in the app.
  • Teachers can upload pictures, record special moments, and attach notes to securely share with parents. 
  • Set up invoices and online billing for parents.
  • Track learning assessments for students and the whole class.
  • Manage check-in and attendance digitally, with ease.

To learn more about Daily Connect for your Montessori preschool, contact us today for a free demo of how the app works. 

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