Fun Montessori Craft Projects for Toddlers

Before I had a child, if you would have asked me to create a fun craft project suitable for little ones, I would have drawn a complete blank. Okay, I probably could have busted out a smiley face stick person, but that’s about it.  But June’s first year of Montessori has inspired me to try to be a little more creative when it comes to thinking about kids and crafts.

Every week since September, June’s been coming home with one impressive, adorable and do-able art project after another dreamed up by her ultra creative, hands-on teachers. These ladies must spend a good portion of their days cutting construction paper, washing paint off little feet and hands, glueing on googley eyes and beaks. But the upside is that they’re training little kids to use their imaginations, a trait I can only hope will last June a lifetime.

Following is a slideshow of some of my favorite Montessori crafts from June’s first year at preschool. (I’m so sad her first year is coming to a close already! It’s been such a great year!) Some of them might inspire you — like they did me — to come up with a few fun craft projects to do with your child on your own. Enjoy!

nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’17′

  • image 1 of 15
    image
    June began preschool in the fall doing a lot of free form painting -- lots of squiggles and splotches on paper. We raise a lot of chickens so she titled most of her creations either "A Chicken" or "No." Maybe she's trying to tell us something?
  • Halloween 2 of 15
    Halloween
    Around Halloween, the toddlers were doing a lot of fun leaf cut outs and other spooky creations.
  • Thanksgiving 3 of 15
    Thanksgiving
    Hands and feet were a popular motif throughout the year. Here, her foot and hands were dipped in washable ink and planted on paper to be turned into a Thanksgiving turkey complete with googley eyes, a paper beak and some drawn feathers.
  • Christmas and Hanukkah 4 of 15
    Christmas and Hanukkah
    Hand prints are used again to make both a cute Santa and a Menorah (happy Hand-ukkah, get it?). And I love the colorful "burning candles."
  • A Foot Penguin! 5 of 15
    A Foot Penguin!
    This was one of my favorite craft projects of the year. Her footprint serves as the penguin's body while her toes are turned into penguin feet. A white belly, wings, eyes and a beak are added (by her teachers, no doubt) and damn if it doesn't look exactly like a penguin.
  • Holiday Wreath 6 of 15
    Holiday Wreath
    This one is super easy to do with a very young child. Cut a circle out of a paper plate and have the child wad up pieces of green tissue paper to be glued around the perimeter. Add fuzzy red balls and a bow for decoration.
  • Groundhog Day Plate 7 of 15
    Groundhog Day Plate
    Take two paper plates, one green, one cut in half and colored brown (to look like the "earth"). Staple them together but leave a hole at the very bottom big enough to slide a popsicle stick affixed with a "groundhog" who can slide up and down to check if the spring is here yet. Too cute.
  • Chinese New Year 8 of 15
    Chinese New Year
    A dramatic dragon mask made from a paper plate, popsicle stick and lots of tissue and construction paper and streamers.
  • President’s Day 9 of 15
    President's Day
    This one cracks me up and still hangs on our refrigerator: silhouette busts of Washington and Lincoln glued to a tie-dye psychedelic backdrop. Why not?
  • St. Patrick’s Day and Easter 10 of 15
    St. Patrick's Day and Easter
    There's a lot going on here: a paper plate cut in half and decorated to look like a rainbow, a hand leprechaun with orange finger prints serving as the beard, an Easter egg covered in doo-dads, a shamrock and a pussy willow. June's teachers keep the kids very busy!
  • A Baby Chick 11 of 15
    A Baby Chick
    Who knew it was so easy to create a chick? Glue yellow fuzz and feathers onto a white circle, add a couple sticks for legs and the requisite eyes and beak -- done!
  • A Bird Decoration. 12 of 15
    A Bird Decoration.
    Fold and staple a circle in half. Have the toddler help glue on the feathers. Add the beak and eyes -- done!
  • A Pretty Hand Tree 13 of 15
    A Pretty Hand Tree
    I have this one hanging in my office -- June's teachers drew the trunk and June covered the limbs in green hand prints. I love it!
  • A Foot Birdie 14 of 15
    A Foot Birdie
    Another fantastic foot creation! June's teachers must spend a lot of time washing a lot of little feet.
  • Abstract Art 15 of 15
    Abstract Art
    Another of my favorites for the year -- a visual language of form, color, and line to create a composition which exists with a degree of independence from visual references from the world blah, blah, blah. Okay, it's just a bunch of brightly colored brush strokes from a 2 year old but I can totally see it hanging in a fancy art gallery somewhere. Thank you, Montessori, for unleashing my little painter.

Tagged as:

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.