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Creating Montessori Activities

Creating Montessori Activities


  1. Components of a Montessori Activity

  • All of the objects necessary for a specific activity are stored together in a designated container or tray. Objects should be scaled to the size of the child and color-coded or visually similar for easy grouping.

  • Utilize natural and aesthetically pleasing materials as often as possible.

  • Incorporate objects from nature and cultural artifacts into the activities when applicable.

  • Keep activities clean, organized, complete in parts, and in proper working order.


  1. Kinds of Activities to include in a Montessori Home Learning Environment

  • Grace and Courtesy

  • Practical Life

  • Sensorial

  • Language

  • Mathematics

  • Movement


  1. Early Childhood (Primary) versus Elementary-Age Activities

The activities in the Early Childhood environment are the foundation for activities and materials in the Elementary environment. The difference with Elementary-age learning is that the materials explore more complex concepts relevant to the child’s developing imagination, creativity and social relationships.

Elementary-age children are encouraged to investigate subjects that interest them through open-ended, creative work. Elementary-age projects include collaborative efforts through which children learn about cooperation and group dynamics.

The other main pillar of the Elementary-age Montessori program is what is known as the telling of the Great Stories.

The Great Stories are dramatic, remarkable lessons meant to ignite the child’s imagination and inspire her curiosity. These stories are the Montessori way of offering the entire universe for the child’s exploration.

  1. The Three-Period-Lesson

The three-period-lesson is the technique utilized by the adult when presenting a Montessori lesson to the child. This technique was developed by a French physician, Edouard Sequin, who worked with special needs children in France and the United States throughout the late 19th century. Maria Montessori adopted the three-period-lesson for her own work with children, as the method proved reliable in developing memory retention in children. The three-period-lesson is used for both the Early Childhood and Elementary level.


The 1st Period: Naming the Objects/Concepts

Identify the specific name of each object/material that is being introduced to the child.

“This is a cat.” Point to the cat. “This is a dog.” Point to the dog.


The 2nd Period: Recognizing and Associating the Objects/Concepts

Use simple, engaging commands so the child can interact with the objects/cards and hear the names of the objects being repeated.

“Pick up the cat. Put the cat on your lap. Touch the dog. Put the dog in my hand. Find the cat. Pick up the cat again! Put the cat on the table, etc.”

The 2nd Period is the longest period. Engage the child in this game for an extended amount of time, as the more she hears the words being verbalized, the more her retention for the words will develop.


The 3rd Period: Recalling the Names of the Objects/Concepts

At the conclusion of the game, ask the child to name the objects. Point to the cat. “What is this?” Observe how the child responds to being asked to verbalize the object’s name. The 3rd period is the final stage of the lesson, and when the child can name all of the objects, she demonstrates she has mastered this particular lesson.


Acquiring new words and concepts is a process that takes time and unfolds uniquely for each child. The adult needs to offer three-period-lessons on a regular basis to consistently expose the child to new vocabulary and ideas. Repetition is key, especially at the early childhood level.


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