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20 Montessori Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Now that Spring is here, you may be looking for some fun Montessori outdoor activities. If you’re participating in the 1000 hours outside maybe you’re finding it hard to engage your children outside.

As Sue discussed in her last post, outdoor play is crucial in a child’s development. (Read more here). So, it’s important to get your kids outside.

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"The land is where our root are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." - Maria montessori quotes.

As always, we’re here to help!

Here are 20 Outdoor Montessori Activities:

toddler drawing on butcher paper taped on tree trunk for montessori outdoor activities.
  1. Bark Rubbings – Tape a large piece of butcher paper around a tree and rub crayons on it, or just color on it for a different texture process art experience.
  2. Pinecone Creatures – Collect leaves, sticks, acorns, twigs, etc., and create creatures by gluing them to a pinecone.
  3. Flower Pounding – Collect colorful wildflowers and using a hammer or wooden pounding tool, smash the flowers on paper or rocks and see the colorful imprints it makes.
  4. Flower Suncatchers – Place flowers, grass, and/or leaves onto contact paper to make a beautiful suncatcher. Make the frame out of cardboard or sticks.
  5. Sun Art – Place items (preferably nature materials) and tape them onto darker construction paper, then leave them out in the sun. Once the color has faded, peel off items and talk about how the sun has changed the paper.
  6. Paint With Mud – Mix with food coloring or powder tempera paint for some color, or leave it the natural mud color.
  7. Clay Impressions – Place different natural materials and press them into clay to make imprints. We did this one at a local pond and found a variety of things to use.
Child putting leaves into DIY Nesting Material Box.
  1. Scavenger Hunt – Make your own or find one from this extensive list.
  2. Leaf Crowns – Glue leaves and wildflowers on a cardboard or cardstock crown.
  3. Nesting Material Box – Make a nesting materials box for birds.
  4. Rock Stacking – Collect some rocks and make a tower, pattern, or structure. Paint some rocks for added fun!
  5. Living vs. Non-living – Talk about different things you see and discuss whether they’re living or non-living. This is a great cosmic education lesson.
  6. Shadow Tracing – Place a large sheet of paper outside in the shadow of some trees, plants, or even yourself, and trace the outline. Then, get creative with filling in the outlines with paint, crayons, or collage materials.
  7. Litter Cleanup – Take a walk down your street with a garbage bag and pick up trash. This is the perfect Montessori outdoor activity for Earth Day.
toddler planting seeds in eggshells for a Montessori outdoor activity.
  1. Plant Seeds/Start A Garden – If you don’t have the space for a vegetable garden, you can do a small herb garden in a planter’s box or large pot. We like to start our seeds in eggshells.
  2. ISpy – Example: “I spy something with my little eye something that has feathers”.
  3. Cloud Spotting – Lay down on the ground and watch the clouds, use your imagination to talk about what shapes or things the clouds may look like. This can be fun to pair with the book “Little Cloud” by Eric Carle.  
  4. Leaf/Tree Identification – You can print out these Montessori leaf identification cards from Montessori Print Shop and then go on a nature walk to identify trees.
  5. Stick Maze – Collect some large sticks/branches and create a maze, as an outdoor version of the Red Rod Maze.
  6. Stick Raft – Using twine, tie together sticks to make a raft and then float it in a local river or pond. You can also make this a fun STEM activity by placing different things on the raft to see what it holds before sinking.

These Montessori outdoor activities will help your child’s development, well-being, and create an appreciation of nature, all while having fun. Enjoy!

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Lois

Sunday 30th of May 2021

Thank you so much, Melissa. You share such wonderful suggestions!

Melissa Kennedy

Sunday 30th of May 2021

Thank you ??