Do you get worn out by your kids constantly following you around? Standing at your feet whining for attention while your cooking because they seem bored with their toys? Feel like toys take over your house but your kids seem to be done after 5 minutes of playing with them? In this post I have 8 Montessori toddler activities for you to do at home with your kids.
Toddlers seem to be the busiest little bees around. I should know I have two 2-year olds and a 4-year old (that just turned 4!) none of them are even two years apart. I don’t say that for sympathy. We hoped and asked for our kids to be close together. I say that so that you know I have a little bit of experience under my belt and I’m not just shooting from the hip.
Before I tell you the activities I wanted to give you a glimpse into how I use them to my advantage and why. I was against a “toy rotation” for a long time. I just thought that meant we would have 7 times the toys in our house that we needed. However, I have learned with activities and games it works beautifully for us.
I schedule a time into our routine for structured activities. There are several reasons I did this, other than my sanity. It provides a structured environment for my kids and if you have read any of my other posts then you know how important I believe this is. It also gives me a chance to play with them without playing house or some other thing they do during free play in our house. I don’t know about you, but I struggle sometimes. Rolling a hot wheels car back and forth on the tracks 10 times is definitely not as fun for me as it is for my 2-year old son. BUT I do love sitting and helping them with crafts and cooking. Sometimes it seems like I am doing it more along side them rather than engaging with them, but nevertheless, it is quality time spent with them.
Side note: I am very careful to have my phone away from my reach and out of sight during structured activities. I want them to have my full attention. I have found that if I will give even 15 minutes a day to uninterrupted time with each of my kids, it makes for a much more pleasant day. ON ALL SIDES. I have learned how much I love actually spending time with my kids and not scrolling Pinterest. (Hello, my name is Lacy and I am addicted to Pinterest).
8 Montessori Toddler Activities for You to do at Home with Your Kids
- SENSORY ACTIVITIES: This can be so many things. I find that having a stash of things in the pantry that cost me next to nothing is helpful.
- Small toys is a bucket of beans, rice, flour, or water
- Play dough and cookie cutters or plastic cutlery (I literally rummage through their toys and just grab a few plastic ones for them to play with sometimes).
- Bath time any time! I will sometimes put them all in the bath tub with some toys they aren’t used to bathing with, fill it up with bubbles) So simple and clean!
- GARDENING. This one sounds harder, but it’s not. You can get seeds so cheap and if you have any containers (even a cardboard box) you aren’t using or you would normally throw out, you can plant things with your kids. You don’t even have to plant things. Have them help you pick weeds. My kids love picking weeds! Give them some old forks or spoons from the kitchen and let them dig. This can be so simple.
- PAINTING. You don’t have to go to the store and buy anything to let them paint. You can make paints at home!!! It’s simple and easy and they might even enjoy helping you. I have a recipe right here for you. No paint brushes? Use sticks and string or grass. Paint with q-tips or cotton balls and clothes pins. This can also be so simple! I do have a shower curtain I bought at Dollar Tree over 2 years ago that I put down on the table or on the floor before they paint and it has held up really well and kept my floors from paint blobs.
- CRAFTS. This is the hardest of all, just because it takes some thought. Since I keep things like tape and glue on hand, we can turn an ordinary coloring page into a craft in minutes. I have done simple things like have them tare an old magazine to shreds (their favorite part) and then glue the strips onto a coloring page. I have had them glue all sorts of random things onto paper and they love it. This is where you can get creative.
- TASK BOX ACTIVITIES. This one also takes a little bit of forethought. I like to put things like string and hole-punched cardboard pieces for them to lace up. I like these to be things that build fine motor skills. Stringing beads is another one. I try to make them simple activities that require focus.
- SIDEWALK CHALK. Plain and simple! We like to draw things like the ocean, princess castles, candy houses, etc. then close our eyes and pretend to jump inside them. Then we spend a good bit of our time just pretending we are wherever we jumped into. It is one of my oldest daughters favorite things and I love to make believe fun stories with her.
- BAKING. We love making cookies! It’s an easy activity to do with my kids AND we have fun snacks for a few days. It is a win-win in my book.
- COOKING. My toddlers don’t actually help me cook just yet, but they love to be in the kitchen with me. They love to stack and put back and forth, in and out of my cabinets, the canned goods and they love to play with my mismatched food storage containers (yes, I should throw them out, but it’s a wonderful toy while I cook in this season of life). My oldest likes to stir and add ingredients to pots and pans for me. They all love to “wash dishes” while I do the actually cooking.
I hope these are helpful for you! I strive to write posts that are useful for other moms. One final note I would like to add is just to keep it simple! Structured Activities should make the time you spend with your kids fun and engaging. It’s my favorite thing to do with my kids. At this point, with my kids, things like painting and sidewalk chalk can be done without me, so if I need to order groceries or fold a load of clothes I can.
Blessings to you momma!
P.S. I attempt to use this blog to make a little extra income for our family. If you enjoyed this post or it was helpful in any way to you at all, please consider pinning one of the images in this post. I work very hard to make this a useful (&beautiful) resource for other women and I truly appreciate all of your help and support in making that happen. Thank you so much for being here!!!