Montessori Activities to Do With Your Toddler or Preschooler During Lent

These simple DIY Montessori activities can get your toddler interested in the season of Lent!

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I’m just a Montessori mom working on a budget 🙂

I would like to begin with a disclaimer – my Montessori homeschool area is nowhere near the beautiful Pinterest-worthy images you find online.

I – like many other moms – am working with a small budget, and am slowly trying to acquire Montessori materials that will give me the most bang for my buck!

While these are just ideas to get you started in creating engaging materials for your toddler, I encourage you to be creative with the materials you already have on hand!

For all their activities I have tried incorporating elements of the color purple, desert themed items, and also Lenten artwork.

It would be best to present each activity to your child before putting it out on a shelf for their individual use.

Tips for making your own DIY Montessori Materials – Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle!

I’ll list a couple tips that have helped me here below.

  1. Use bags, boxes, trays and bowls for containing the materials on their shelf. Things like shoebox lids, kitchen serving trays and wooden bowls work great for this!
  2. Use trinkets and small items for language activities – children love grasping small objects! OBVIOUSLY, supervision is needed…but that goes without saying.
  3. The Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Target and Amazon will be your BEST friends 😉
  4. SAVE any items that come in multiples (party items, beads, random themed objects for holidays like the crosses pictured above)! These can be used for counting, sorting, and color matching.
  5. Use your environment! Rocks, acorns, leaves, even grass can be used as counters and art activities!
  6. Shop your local thrift stores for trays, trinkets, utensils, puzzles and wooden activities!

Now on to the DIY Montessori activities I made for Lent!

Practical Life Activities

“Practical Life” just means anything that they would use in their daily life around the house like pouring, lacing, washing, you get the idea!

  1. Dry pouring beans. I used two stainless steel pouring cups I found on Amazon for their dry pouring activity. Here I used kidney beans but other Lent themed items could include pinto beans, lentils, sand, or small rocks.
  2. Lacing beads. Lacing is quite popular, Melissa and Doug makes these in multiple colors, I have singled out just the purple ones for Lent.
  3. Item in “mystery bag”. I had a decorative satin purple bag in which I placed a small cross I had purchased from those Holy Land wood artisans outside our church. Use any bag or Lent item you have on hand!

Sensorial Activities

  1. Multicolor cross sorting activity. I used crosses to help them sort by color, I believe I got these last year at Hobby Lobby. If you don’t have crosses you could sort different color beans, rocks or even different Lent themed objects you have around the house like crucifixes or palms!
  2. Smelling bottles. I found these plastic travel containers at the Dollar Tree, put a cotton ball inside with essential oil, closed the lid and put a sticker on each. I used frankincense, lavender and tea tree oil because these were the only ones I had on hand – use whichever you like or already have! They practice smelling and matching each bottle to its respective scent.
  3. Jesus in the desert 4-piece puzzle. I totally DIYed with cardboard a lot back I only had just my twins – now I have to be more intentional about DIYing if I want to get it done. This puzzle is literally a piece of cardboard I cut out from those Costco boxes they give you at checkout X-D I printed a picture of Our Lord in the desert with a puzzle pattern overlapped so I could cut the pieces easily. I used Mod Podge to glue the picture onto the cardboard, then I cut out the pattern very carefully. It worked out perfectly and the children find it pretty easy to put together.

Language Activities

  1. Stations of the cross sequencing. Another DIY – I printed out the stations of the cross and laminated/cut them. I have the stations numbered on the back for self-correcting, but the idea is that they put the stations in order chronologically. I got this tray from a thrift store, I believe it was originally from a jewelry box. If I had another tray I would totally replace it since it has two compartments that don’t seem to fit, but I’m working with what I have for the moment 🙂
  2. Object to letter matching. I used blank index cards to write cursive letters (more later on why I’m teaching them cursive and not print). They practice matching the objects – a donkey, a palm, and a crucifix – to the respective letter. I used a donkey from an animal object set I believe I got from Michael’s, Schleich animals are very popular but a little pricey. Here’s a Schleich donkey.

Art Activities

  1. Palm leaf cutting activity. I used some scissors I purchased from the Dollar Tree and cut out a leaf made out of felt. It turned out to be a little difficult for my 3-year olds to cut so I ended up switching out the felt with green construction paper.
  2. Desert animal stamps. These were given to me as a gift but you can find the full set of them here, I just singled out animals you might find in a desert. They peeled off the sticker for the iguana :/ there’s also a turtle and a rabbit.

There it is, I hope you have found all these activities helpful as we journey through Lent this year! What are some ideas you’ve DIYed for your children?

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