Easy DIY Montessori Toys and Activities for 3-Year-Olds

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Today, we explore transitory Montessori toys and activities that are especially suitable for our three-year-olds. These DIY ideas incorporate practical life skills and build fine motor skills, while also harnessing the power of the sensitive periods for your 3-year-old.

Table of Contents

The first plane of development runs from birth until six years old, so the sensitive periods may begin before three and end as late as six years old.

Sensitive periods that do not last longer than a year from three years old, can be viewed as transitory. Some activities linked to such a sensitive period can use DIY materials or alternative methods as the materials will not be used for very long. This is a great way to save money, while still providing rich experiences for your child.

What Montessori toys for three-year-olds can be DIY’d? 

Some activities and toys that are beneficial for our 3-year-old’s are only necessary for a short period of time and then are no longer needed for our toddler’s development.

You can review such activities and see if there is a DIY temporary or alternative Montessori material that can save us as parents economically while not affecting the development of our toddlers.

Transitory Montessori toys for 3-year-olds include most writing activities because the sensitive period for writing only lasts for about a year in our toddler’s development, between 3 and 4 years old.

Luckily, most of the materials used for writing in Montessori can be made as DIY materials as well. Such Montessori toys for 3-year-olds include:

Sand tray for tracing shapes and letters

sand tray is easy to make using DIY materials, like an old wooden tray if you have one, otherwise you can find one in a thrift store. You can also purchase Montessori trays here. Then you’ll also need builders or beach sand.

Sandpaper letters and number for tracing

Sandpaper letters are easy to make yourself, by cutting out the stenciled shapes of alphabet letters and then gluing the letters onto a firm foam board backing.

Sandpaper numbers can be made simply yourself in the same way as sandpaper letters can be made, using sandpaper and a firm board backing.

Shape pricking/pin punching

Pin punching activities are easy to make by taking a piece of cardboard and drawing a simple shape with a marker. Place on a cork mat for backing and protection. Your child can use a jumbo push pin and prick out the holes, tracing the shape.

Patterning and matching for sequence in writing

There are many ways to create DIY patterning activities, like using old shoelaces and matching beads for bead thread sequencing, or by drawing a stencil pattern on paper and having your toddler match buttons on them.

Finger transference of small objects

A paint pallet and colorful beads or pom poms make an excellent finger transference activity. You can teach your toddler to transfer the objects in the center of the pallet to the outer holes by placing them one at a time in a clockwise order.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

The Bottom Line

As a parent, you should consider all of this and more by reviewing the sensitive periods in the first plane and making informative lists before planning out the creation and purchasing of Montessori toys for 3-year-olds.

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