Montessori schools have always included play as a key component of the curriculum. At home, parents can help promote the progress of their preschoolers by engaging their children in Montessori activities designed for their age group. Hands-on learning is an essential approach to learning for 3 year olds to develop fine motor skills and lay the foundation for progress in all facets of the Montessori academic program. Below are explanations of six hands-on Montessori activities for 3 year olds.
The Importance of Hands-On Learning
The essential difference between education in a Montessori school and most others is the use of playtime. The Montessori approach is to make play an opportunity to have fun developing fundamental skills for daily life and academic success.
This approach aims to appeal to children’s curiosity in ways that are both fun and developmentally beneficial. Hands-on learning is essential to this method. The anticipated outcome is significantly increased vocabulary and cognitive development, and reaching numerous other developmental milestones.
Consider all that your child learns during his or her earliest years. They begin to distinguish shapes, sounds, tastes, and smells, and learn to crawl, walk, speak, and interact. There’s so much for them to experience. You can make it fun for your child by choosing fun hands-on activities that empower exploration and meet developmental needs. Through fun hands-on learning activities, you can help your child learn the language and motor skills needed for practical life and self-expression.
Developing Fine Motor Skills through Montessori Activities
Play activities that contribute to developing fine motor skills in children are basics for learning to write, and eventually to perform any of the multitudinous skills necessary for self-care, arts, crafts, playing musical instruments, employment, and so on and on. Even more fundamentally, fine motor skills development is critical for brain development. So, Montessori playtime activities feature the use of small muscles in children’s hands and fingers.
The range of activities that benefit children’s development in these areas includes coloring, drawing, painting, and playing with small objects, among many others. For example, stringing beads, drawing shapes, tracing letters, and other precise manipulations of objects help refine and strengthen motor and cognitive skills and develop creativity. These activities further help build a sense of independence and self-confidence as children grow.
6 Hands-On Montessori Activities for 3 Year Olds
In the first developmental phase of early childhood, children learn and build on their gross and essential fine motor skills. As they become toddlers, their hand-eye coordination develops, they become more independent in playing and doing tasks, and they acclimate to the culture in which they’re growing. This is the period during which their individuality and personal behavioral and emotional traits begin to emerge. Quality learning-through-play activities are key for strengthening developmental progress in this age group. Here are six Montessori activities for 3 year olds:
1. Solving Puzzles
At around age 3, children can work puzzles with as many as 12 pieces or more. Try starting with easier puzzles with fewer pieces and increasing the number. Try handing your child the pieces one at a time, starting with the top several pieces, next offering a few pieces for the middle section, then the bottom few. As your child learns to solve the puzzle, he/she will be able to pick from all the pieces laying beside the puzzle, without the need for you to select and hand pieces that fit with each other. Keep in mind, while adults may search first for edge pieces, children tend to look at the whole picture as they begin.
2. Matching and Naming Colors
Children between 2 ½ to 3 or 4 years old may start becoming more interested in the colors of things. Make a game of matching the colors of objects and naming those colors. You don’t need to buy anything to play this game with your child. Simply use some objects in the home. Use colored items in your house or outdoors to identify two things that are the same color. Continue finding matches and naming the name of the color they share in common.
3. Walk and Name Things Outdoors
An exhilarating and easy activity for toddlers is taking a daily walk outdoors. As you walk with your child, stop to point out and let your child point out things the two of you see. Make a game of having your child try to name the objects, and you name items to help your child with vocabulary building. Explain what some things are and very basically what they do, for expanded introductory learning about language and the world outside.
4. Matching Nuts and Bolts
One of the many popular Montessori activities for 3 year olds is playing with nuts and bolts. There are lots of ways small children enjoy handling these interesting items. They love to find matches for bigger and smaller nuts to bolts and work on improving their skills in screwing nuts onto bolts. This is a helpful exercise in learning language for comparisons, for example in contrasting bigger vs. biggest, and smaller vs. smallest items.
5. Arranging Flowers
Take your child for a walk through a natural area to pick some flowers or buy some flowers for this fun task and display them in your home afterward. Use any vase or jar, some cut flowers, and water. You can provide child-safe scissors, if appropriate for your child’s development level, or cut the flowers to various lengths in advance. Provide all the items on a table and show your child a couple of examples of how to arrange them in the vase and how to cut stems that are too long for the desired fit. This fun activity helps children learn about order, attention to detail, and connecting with nature.
6. Tending a Farm
Preschool children can learn so much from playing with basic wooden farm animal toys. Engaging your child in games such as naming various animal species, describing their sounds and behaviors, and taking care of them helps in learning language. The open-ended opportunities for playing with the animals, feeding and watering them, organizing them for sleep, and doing other tasks of farm life are excellent exercises for cognitive development.
Montessori Educational Play Activities
Montessori learning methods encourage children to learn at their own pace as they explore their environment around them. Montessori activities for 3 year olds help in children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills development in fun ways. Then, as children approach kindergarten age, their interests become more varied and advanced and they begin to show increased interest in learning that builds on the earlier developed skills and abilities. Experience the difference of Mansio Montessori today and provide your child with a foundation for a lifetime of learning!