If your you are looking for the best Montessori activities for 4 year olds, you’ve come to the right place.
You’re probably beginning to notice that your 4-year-old is starting to join in conversations. You’ve also observed that aside from not only being able to answer simple questions, your child’s vocabulary seems to be growing every day and is even using more complex sentences.
On top of it, your 4-year-old is becoming a bit more energetic, even demanding and uncooperative at times.
You then begin to ask yourself, what can you do to bring these changes together and turn them into a positive advantage for your child? What can you do to best hone your child’s skills and capability to not only help them get ready for school but also get them ready for success later in life?
Here’s what you can do.
Consider doing Montessori activities at home for your 4-year-old child.
What are Montessori activities for 4 year olds? These activities reflect the Montessori “help me to do it myself” philosophy that helps a child develop lasting life skills that they can carry on with them as they grow old. Montessori activities often teach children to be self-motivated, self-sufficient, independent, critical thinkers, and would also develop the child’s fine motor skills, and are designed to tailor-fit a child’s interests and developmental needs.
Montessori activities are typically broken down into four types of activities:
- Practical Life Activities
- Sensorial Activities
- Language and Literacy Activities
- Math and Science Activities
In this article, we will explore each of these activities and provide sample activities you can do together at home with your 4-year-old child.
What are Montessori Practical Life Activities?
Montessori practical life activities are purposefully designed tasks that help develop a child’s motor control and coordination, independence, concentration, and sense of responsibility. The main focus of these types of activities, however, is the care of self and care for the surrounding environment.
Practical life activities often include cleaning, washing, grooming, and even maintenance skills. Now, these seem straightforward and a bit of a tedious activity to give to a 4-year-old, but believe it or not, your child could benefit a lot from doing practical life activities!
Practical Life Activities for 4 Year-Olds
Who says practical life activities are dull? Here is a list of fun activities you can do with your 4-year-old child at home.
- Washing Toys
Who would have thought your child could learn much from something as simple as washing a toy? The act of washing off dirt requires concentration and even problem-solving skills.
From making physical movements of dipping the toy into the water, choosing and applying the suitable detergent, and rinsing you afterward, your 4-year-old is already exercising and developing their habituating fine motor skills, plus honing their cognitive skills when they’re memorizing and choosing their next action when washing.
Get your child to love nature by starting them off with some simple gardening. Show your child how to plant flowers or vegetables and how to water them properly. Make this a daily routine, and be sure to let your child check on what they’ve planted so that they can appreciate how nature is taking its course.
- Pet Feeding
Teach your child that if they love their pets, they need to know how to feed them properly. Show them where the pet’s food is kept and how to measure the pet’s food and water correctly. Also, remember to explain all the benefits they could gain from feeding their pets properly!
Do you want your 4-year-old to learn how to appreciate a clean space? Then teach them how to clean up after their mess and to sweep the floor properly. For safety purposes, find a suitable size broom for your child that they can easily manage.
Ensure that the broom is free from splinters or that the material of the broom is child-friendly. To make it fun for your child, you can customize the broom with your child’s favorite colors!
Get your child involved in the kitchen by having a baking session! Show your child how to measure and mix ingredients. Baking will teach your 4-year-old the cause and effect of what happens when using the right ingredients, boosting their critical thinking skills.
Plus, it will also develop in them a sense of pride and accomplishment after seeing the result of being able to bake a beautiful and delicious cake!
Remember to take safety precautions!
What are Montessori Sensorial Activities?
Four-year-old children are usually sense receptive at this stage. Hence, to maximize this development phase, Montessori education has developed sensorial activities to refine a child’s five senses – touch, seeing, hearing, taste, and smell.
Montessori Sensorial activities help children use these senses properly along with their thinking skills to help them sort out different impressions, identify, classify, organize, and interpret, and develop their personal and interpersonal development.
Sensorial Activities for 4 Year Olds
You can do many Montessori sensorial activities with your 4-year-old since you have all of the five senses to use with.
We’ve rounded up our top five favorite sensorial activities you can do with your child – and have fun together!
- Smelling Bottles Activity
The Montessori smelling bottles method may vary, but it usually refers to the child identifying and pairing the correct scented bottles. To do this, be ready with two sets of small plastic or glass bottles with pierced caps. Each set should consist of, for instance, five bottles containing the same scents. For example, one pair of bottles should have a rose essence; another pair should have peppermint essence, another with lavender, and so on.
The goal is for the child to smell each bottle through the pierced caps and match the two bottles with the same scents.
- Sound Boxes
A great way to develop your child’s auditory or hearing skills is through sound boxes. Similar to the smelling boxes activity, the sound boxes are also a matching-type activity.
To do a sound box activity, get two sets of 5 (can be different numbers) boxes filled with a different material.
When these boxes are shaken, they should be able to produce a sound. Your child needs to pair those boxes that are producing similar sounds.
- Touch Fabrics
For this activity, you can use any fabric around the house, as long as they are different in texture and are cut in the same size. You can use wool, cotton, denim, velvet, or silk fabric.
Before you start, introduce to your child the different fabrics. Make them feel what a wool fabric feels like, etc. Afterward, you can either blindfold your child or have them close their eyes while gently guiding their hands over the fabric and letting them guess what kind of fabric they are touching.
- The Pink Tower
One of the popular Montessori sensorial activities is called the Pink Tower. The Pink Tower comprises different size cubes and works on a child’s visual perception, particularly their sense of dimension.
Let your child explore each cube, and then start building a tower starting from the biggest cube on the bottom and ending with the smallest cube at the top.
- Tasting Party
Level up your sensorial activity by having a tasting party with your 4-year-old!
Prepare a set of trays or plates with different colorful bite-sized food samples for your child to try. As they go through each of the foods, explain to them what they are and the name of the food’s flavor, and ask your child, in the end, which food they like or dislike.
What are Montessori Language and Literacy Activities?
If your child is progressing fast in their communication skills, it’s time to supplement these with Montessori-styled language and literacy activities.
These activities support a child’s exploration of vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and parts of speech. Of course, you would want your child to be saying the correct words with the proper pronunciation!
Language and Literacy Activities for 4-Year-Olds
Your 4-year-old is a sponge and is absorbing everything at a fast rate! Hence, remember that whatever language you use should be correct and appropriate on all occasions.
Talk, sing, and read to your child as much as possible when you’re at home. Interact with your child physically rather than using apps or software. And speak as clearly as possible if you’re conversing with your child.
Here are some recommended Montessori language and literacy activities you can do at home with your 4-year-old.
- Reading Books
Reading books doesn’t have to be a tedious activity. Go for picture books that are colorfully illustrated, that rhyme, or have simple yet fascinating stories. Allot a time of your day each day to read to your child – it can also be your bonding time together! Read slowly and carefully, ensuring they follow how you correctly pronounce each word.
Point toward the pictures to explain each word’s meaning. At the end of the book, ask your child questions about the book, such as who the characters are, what happened, and what they learned.
Also, you could take your child to the library to expose them to the world of literature!
- Language Cards
An easy and fun way to help your child learn language is through language cards. If you’re on a budget, you could do a DIY version of language cards.
Create a set of cards with pictures and group them accordingly, such as by color, size, food group, animal group, etc. You can make them as colorful as you like. Show each card to your child and explain each object to them, ensuring they familiarize themselves with each object.
Once they’re ready, shuffle the cards, and “flash” a card in front of them and ask them what the object is.
- Letter Tracing
Writing is as important as reading. In Montessori education, children are taught writing before reading.
To better understand this, let’s do the letter tracing method. Show your child one lower letter one at a time, and then teach your child what the letter sounds like. Next, encourage your child to trace the letter with their fingers. Each letter must have a unique texture, further boosting your child’s sense of touch.
When the child sees the letter, hears what it sounds like, and feels its shape, these multi-sensorial approaches eventually lead them to become even more familiar with the letter, developing their reading skills.
What are Montessori Math and Science Activities?
In Montessori education, the preschool years (4-6 years) are the sensitive development period for learning mathematical concepts. The specially designed math and science activities not only help develop a child’s concept of numbers, order, measurement, calculation, counting, etc., but these activities would also prepare the child for real-life math problem-solving skills and hone their cognitive and analytic skills.
Math and Science Activities for 4-Year-Olds
Here are some fun ways you can enjoy math and science with your 4-year-old.
- Cards and Counters
You can do the cards and counters activity to help your child easily understand numbers and counting.
Give your child a set of numbers and a set of 55 counters (can be anything, from stones, beads, etc.) Assist your child in counting and matching, making sure that they connect the abstract concept of a number with a concrete quantity.
- What Dissolves in Water?
A fun way to hone your child’s scientific observational and critical thinking skills is to have a science activity involving water by teaching them which items dissolve in water.
Prepare the objects you need, such as salt, sugar, rice, flour, coffee, cornflakes, etc. Next, pour water into several transparent containers.
Let your child put each object into the water and stir the mixture. Let them guess if the object will dissolve in the water.
- Spindle Box
The spindle box activity is designed to help children understand numerals and quantities. A spindle box consists of a wooden box with compartments labeled with a specific number and a set of wooden spindles. The spindles are used to represent quantities.
To do the spindle box activity, introduce to your child the numerals with their names, starting from zero and going up to nine until the child becomes familiar with the sequence.
Next, tell your child to place the correct number of spindles in the corresponding number compartment. Do this until all of the compartments are filled with the correct amount of spindles.
- Fun with Magnets
Kids love playing with magnets! This activity aims to determine which objects are magnetic and further hone the child’s observational and analytic skills.
Start by collecting different kinds of objects. Make sure that these objects have different compositions. You can collect paper clips, coins, rocks, seashells, thumbtacks, rubber bands, keys, glitter, buttons, toothpicks, etc.
Next, let your child guess which objects are magnetic. Afterward, allow them to experiment using a magnet on the objects to see which ones are magnetic. Let your child separate magnetic objects from those that are not, and explain to your child what makes an object magnetic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Montessori education good for a 4-year-old? Yes, Montessori education is good for a 4-year-old. At four years of age, a child is rapidly developing their language and communication skills, social skills, cognitive abilities, and gross motor skills. A Montessori education will benefit a 4-year-old since it will help them develop practical life skills and promote their independence, exploration, and discovery through a self-paced learning environment.
How do I start Montessori with my 4-year-old? To help your child transition to a Montessori school, enroll them for five days a week to help create a spontaneous learning environment and help them feel safe and relaxed in the classroom setup. When school starts, avoid introducing other subjects at home not covered by the Montessori school. When at home, support your child in practicing independence at home, and avoid comparing your child to other children in the Montessori school.
How long do children stay in each level of Montessori? The Montessori education follows a 3-year cycle of learning. Children stay together for three years with the same teacher, letting them know one another well as they grow up together.
The Bottom Line
Start them young by incorporating Montessori activities at your home. These Montessori activities not only teach your child to be self-sufficient, independent, responsible, and develop critical thinking but also provide an excellent opportunity to bond with your 4-year-old child!
Call it an all-in-one, win-win solution. With these activities, you’re able to hone your child’s unique skills and abilities, empower their young minds, lay the groundwork for a solid educational journey, prepare them for success, and, the best part, strengthen your relationship as a family unit.