Maria Montessori Activities to Develop in the Classroom

Maria Montessori's educational philosophy is one commonly used in early childhood classrooms, such as preschools and kindergartens, to provide children with a warm, organized, child-centered environment in which to develop the students' independence and foster their learning. Montessori activities are kept organized by the teacher and placed at the child's level to to allow students to select their own activities and learn at their own pace and about their own interests. Montessori activities focus on academic, practical, social and artistic skills.

  1. Academic Activities

    • Montessori's academic activities focus on a child's exploration and development of new ideas. Language activities include matching picture cards with their beginning letter, tracing letter shapes, practicing writing on dry erase or chalk boards and having a class library full of books for students to explore. Math lessons involve having students represent numbers with objects and pairing number words to numerals, ordering objects by size and matching objects. Science activities typically focus on exploration, using objects such as a sand and water table or magnets. They may also include caring for plants or classroom pets.

    Practical Life Activities

    • Practical life activities in a Montessori classroom focus on teaching students daily living skills. Common practical life activities to develop in the classroom include tasks teaching care for the environment, care for the person, grace and courtesy and preliminary activities (using fine motor skills). Care for the environment activities include preparing class snacks, sweeping the floor, dusting and keeping the classroom clean. Care for the person activities involve practicing getting dressed, washing hands and learning about proper nutrition. Grace and courtesy activities give students a chance to practice social skills such as setting a table, using their manners and communicating well with others. Preliminary activities allow students to prepare for future fine motor tasks and include activities such as stringing beads, pouring water and spooning beans.

    Sensorial Activities

    • Sensorial activities allow students the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects through the manipulation of objects and use of their senses. Sensorial activities have students pair objects of the same color, same musical sound, size, shape, feel or other categorization. Other sensorial activities include a mystery bag touch activity where children feel objects in a bag to determine what they have in their grasp and a tasting activity where students sample bitter, sweet, salty and sour flavored water.

    Artistic Activities

    • Montessori's artistic activities focus on music, movement and artistic expression. Music and movement activities to develop include giving children exposure to a variety of musical instruments and teaching the class a range of songs and movement games. Art activities involve letting children create their own artworks with materials and supplies such as paint, scissors, glue, markers and crayons that are left out for them to use. In addition, specific art lessons that focus on a technique or artist can be introduced as well.

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