Montessori Activities to Encourage Independence in Toddlers | Babysteps

As a parent, it can be difficult to let go of the reins and allow your child to become more independent. Montessori education, however, emphasizes the importance of fostering independence in young children.

Encouraging independence can lead to improved confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem. Here are 10 Montessori activities to help your toddler develop their independence.

Dressing Skills

 Montessori education emphasizes the importance of practical life skills. Teaching your toddler how to dress themselves can be a great way for them to learn independence. Start with simple tasks like putting on hats or shoes, then work your way up to more complicated tasks like zipping up a jacket.


Encourage your toddler to feed themselves, even if it’s messy in the beginning. Provide a place mat, child-sized utensils, and a cup with a lid and a straw. Start with easy foods like cut-up fruit, soft veggies or avocado.

Cleaning Up

Teach your child early the importance of cleaning up after themselves. Encourage them to put things back where they belong, even when they are done playing.

Watering Plants

Giving your child their own plant to care for can be a great opportunity to teach them responsibility and independence. Explain to them how plants need water to grow, and show them how to use a small watering can or spray bottle on low mist.

Folding Clothes

To teach your children how to fold, start off by folding items like washcloths, then move on to larger items like t-shirts. This is a practical life skill that will help them learn how to take care of their own clothes.

Pouring Activities

Pouring is an essential Montessori activity that teaches children important motor skills, independence, and concentration. You can use pouring activities to teach your child how to transfer liquids from one container to another.

Sorting Colors and Shapes

Sorting colors and shapes is an excellent activity that helps your toddler develop their cognitive and problem-solving skills. Provide your child with colored circles and squares and encourage them to sort them into like colors and shapes.

Walking on a Line

This Montessori activity helps your child develop coordination, balance, and concentration. Use painter’s tape to create a line on the floor and teach your child to walk heel to toe on the line.

Brushing Teeth

Teach your toddler how to brush their teeth, and provide them with a child-sized toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. This will help them learn the importance of oral hygiene, and develop good dental care habits in the future.

Setting the Table

Encourage your toddler to set the table by putting out napkins, dishes, cups, and utensils. This is a practical way for them to learn how to prepare for meals and develop independence.

Fostering independence is essential in the Montessori approach to education. These 10 activities are excellent ways to help your child develop independence and confidence, while also helping them learn important life skills. Remember, independence takes time and patience. But with your help, your toddler can learn to become stronger and independent. Start incorporating these activities into your daily routine, and watch your child thrive.

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