The thought of setting up a new activity can be daunting, especially if it is quicker and easier to find the tablet or switch on the TV for a few minutes respite with small children at home. However, once you get into the swing of preparing and setting up simple activities from what you already own, you’ll see the benefit and enjoy watching your children develop skills from hands-on Montessori activities.

Setting the table

This can be simply set up using a cloth place mat in a light colour. Place your plate, knife, fork, tablespoon, teaspoon, glass and serviette into place and draw around them in a dark permanent marker. This can be used for mealtimes to help your child lay the table for one, two or more guests, and is a great way of encouraging vocabulary too.

Folding Napkins

Using an unused baby muslin, cut into equal parts, tidy any rough edges. Once washed, these can be used for folding practice. Start by slowly demonstrating a simple ‘once over’ fold and place the napkin in the basket near the meal table ready to be used.

Screwing bottletops

A great way to reuse single use plastic bottles is to wash and dry them, and hold onto the lids. Keep them together in a box or bag using a small box to hold the lids. These can be placed out on the table or floor and lids can be matched to bottles for fine motor skill practice.

Peeling fruit and vegetables

One way to engage your child in food preparation is for them to help with peeling fruit and vegetables; onions and garlic to go into a meal, popping peas or beans out of their shells, or peeling fruits, such as bananas, or satsumas. Boiled eggs have a slightly trickier shell to peel; potatoes and carrots can be scrubbed and peeled.