In a previous article, we had already presented the main principles that govern Montessori pedagogy. We had identified its educational benefits and the type of material generally used in Montessori activities, in particular the wooden educational games.
In this new article, we try to be more concrete by presenting you the top 5 Montessori activities that are popular with both teachers and children!
Montessori activity tables
A Montessori activity table, or sensory activity table, is generally presented in the form of a wooden board on which several everyday objects are anchored. The child will explore these different elements in complete safety and at the same time develop fine motor skills, reasoning, concentration and patience.
From what age?
The Montessori activity table can be used by the baby from 6 months of age because it is at this time that the baby becomes more and more interested in experimenting with its environment, by reaching out for new noises, by scrutinizing lights and colors and by taming different textures and materials through touch. At this age, the baby is also beginning to move around, so it's the perfect time to use this Montessori wooden game.
An activity table can feature a variety of objects, such as musical instruments (such as percussion instruments), abacuses, shoelaces, simplified mazes and even padlocks. The idea is that the child discovers new objects and tries to tame them according to the texture, sounds and colors. This will awaken their senses and at the same time activate their fine motor skills.
Montessori Transferring Activities
A Montessori transferring activity is a Montessori toy whose purpose is to move a certain amount of material from one container to another. Available in a variety of different shapes, this Montessori game is ideal for developing a child's concentration and fine motor skills.
From what age?
Transferring activities can be suggested to children from 12 months of age. As this is a rather instinctive activity, it will be enough to show the child how to do it so that he understands the manipulations and tries to reproduce them.
With what material?
Very easy to make, you will only need :
- 2 containers
- something to transfer
- an object for transferring
We will favor large and solid containers to avoid little accidents as much as possible! And for the youngest children, you can choose large white beans that will produce a very nice sound when they are poured into the containers. Because Montessori pedagogy is about awakening and discovering all the senses!
Wooden building sets
Wooden building sets are a classic of Montessori pedagogy, and unsurprisingly, take a place of choice in our top 5 Montessori activities. This type of game is ideal for the development of a multitude of motor and reasoning skills in children, such as fine motor skills (grasping, manipulation, hand-eye coordination) as well as the skills of concentration, patience and creativity. The Petit Menhir wooden educational game fits perfectly in this category.
From what age?
As some pieces can be quite small and therefore present risks for younger children, wooden construction games are generally recommended for children from 3 years old.
Principle of free play
Montessori wooden building sets are mostly based on the principle of free play. This means that there are no pre-established rules, but that children are free to play as they wish and even to invent their own rules of play.
The Petit Menhir construction game is also based on the principle of Montessori open-ended play, and children discover new ways to play each time. And Petit Menhir offers 3 challenges that children can try: the creativity game, the height game and the speed game. On your marks, get set...go!
Montessori Opening and Closing Boxes
Montessori opening and closing boxes are somewhat similar to Montessori activity tables in that they are usually presented in the form of a wooden box or board to which various elements are attached. The goal here will be to open and close the different elements that make up the Montessori board or box.
By manipulating and discovering the opening and closing mechanisms, the child will develop a number of reasoning skills, such as logic, and at the same time improve fine motor skills and concentration. An ideal combination for this Montessori activity!
From what age?
The closing boxes are designed to develop the child's motor skills, and can therefore be manipulated from the age of 2. The child will also be attracted by the sounds of the different mechanisms, and by the colors of the elements.
There are a large number of closing mechanisms on this type of Montessori educational game. The child will be able to practice opening and closing levers, hooks, simplified padlocks, buttons, locks, or zippers. As some of these are everyday objects, the skills learned will serve the child throughout his life!
Outdoor sensory course
Here is a lesser known Montessori activity but one that we love at Petit Menhir, for its playfulness and also because it is usually done outdoors. It is simply a matter of placing cardboard boxes filled with various materials and inviting the children to walk barefoot on them to discover new sensations.
From what age?
Sensory trails can be done as soon as a child starts to stand well, but they are also great for older children.
With what materials?
Like most Montessori activities, the sensory path can be made with materials that can be found in the home or that can be easily recovered. You will only need:
- several boxes, large enough for a child to walk in
- different materials to fill the boxes, such as bubble wrap, plant foam, white beans, cotton, etc.
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Here are the top 5 Montessori activities chosen by the Petit Menhir team. We leave it to you to make your own choice and we are waiting for your feedback on our social networks!