This DIY Montessori peg box Practical Life Activity is great for developing little hand muscles and for fine motor control development. You don’t need much to give your toddler a Montessori experience at home.
As you can see Patchwork Cactus has a new look, but don't worry I am not moving away from my Montessori content and I would love to know what sort of stuff you want me to post on.
When it comes to doing Montessori at home with toddlers, Practical Life activities are the best place to start. Most of these activities can be put together using household items. So if you're like me and it's not possible for your little person to go to a Montessori school, don't stress, you can do a lot of the stuff they would be getting up to in a 3-6 classroom easily at home.
This Montessori inspired peg box is really easy to make but before I explain the how, I should probably tell you why.
Why? Have any of you guys tried to write with a pen lately, like write more than a paragraph? It's hard. The muscles in our hands have to be exercised like any other muscle and when they are out of practise they let us know. And we already have developed them through school.
So for little people, who have never held a pen before it is actually a really difficult thing to do, that's why pre-writing exercises are just as important as pre-reading ones. The pincer grip that is needed to open and close a peg is the perfect exercise to develop these hand muscles. Putting pegs on a box is also great for fine motor practise and concentration development.
I have taken this exercise to the next step and added patterns on each sides of the pegs and box so it is also a matching exercise but you don't need to do this.
What? All you need is a box or an ice cream container, some patterned or coloured tape and a bunch of pegs.
How? Just put four different strips of washi tape (or coloured electrical tape) on each side of your box. Then stick the matching tape to a bunch of pegs. I just did four pegs of each pattern because when they are easy to do your little ones are more likely to do them over and over again. You know how much they love repetition!
Who? This is a typical activity you would find in a 3-6 classroom and like most Montessori Practical Life exercises you can pull it back or extend it to fit lots of different age groups. For 18-month-olds to 2-year-olds you can just let them start trying to put pegs on things. Then, as they get older you can add the matching tape. The next extension is to add an item to be pegged on the box – a little bit of paper or fabric. And when they have well and truly mastered all of that stuff, you can buy a packet of those tiny little wooden pegs that people use for craft and see if they can get the hang of them. It's all about getting little hands and little heads to work together to do tricky things.
If you want more activities to do with your little ones you should check out my other Montessori posts. I also did some Montessori A Day challenges last year which are basically lists of 30 easy Practical life activities you can do at home with your toddlers. And if you want to follow my new Instagram feed Montessori At Home you will get to see lots of things we do around the place that are inspired by Montessori.
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I can’t wait to try this out with piglet. She loves putting pegs on the clothes drying rack but we just have the plastic pegs that don’t need to be squeezed, i’ll pick some up at the shops today. Do you have any suggestions on how to set up a small area for montessori activities for an 18 month old? We don’t have much space but i’d like a dedicated area for her as my husband doesn’t want her things taking over the whole house. Thanks!
So glad you liked the activity. I don’t have a designated space really, I wish I did but space is also an issue for us. Also we always have lots of little kids around all the time and they don’t really get the difference between toys and work. What I do have is a wash stand (made out of a bench with a big bowl and a jug on it, there is also a little mirror on the wall in front of it). This is great because if she wants to wash up her paint brushes, hands, face etc it is there at her height. The rest of stuff like the beads, sandpaper letters, peg box etc is all over the place. It’s not an ideal setup as she can’t completely manage it herself but the activities are all available when she wants them, with my help. I also just do simple things like put all her bowls and cups in a low cupboard in the kitchen and her undies where she can get them herself. But most of all just get her involved in what you do. Folding, cleaning, cooking etc. xoxoxo