Effective Tools for Montessori Educators and Parents – Supporting Early Childhood Development with Handmade Materials

Discover amazing handmade materials designed to promote key skills like language, math, and sensorial development in young learners. Our handpicked materials feature beautiful, high-quality, and age-appropriate resources that can help you implement your Montessori curriculum with confidence. Crafted with love and creativity, each material supports your child’s unique learning style and fosters lifelong independence.

Effective Tools for Montessori Educators and Parents Supporting Early Childhood Development Handmade Materials Montessori Nature

Montessori education is all about creativity, innovation, and hands-on learning. The Montessori classroom environment is designed to promote child-centered learning, independence, and self-motivation. One of the key components of the authentic approach toward education is the use of handmade materials that encourage exploration and discovery.

Montessori handmade materials are great for children because they are designed to engage a child’s senses and promote exploration and discovery. These materials are carefully crafted to provide challenging and stimulating experiences that help children develop essential skills, such as concentration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Because they are made by hand with natural materials, Montessori materials also provide children with a tactile and sensory experience.

Creating your own materials

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As a parent or teacher, you may be interested in implementing Montessori principles in your home or classroom. However, purchasing Montessori materials can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, don’t worry! You can make Montessori materials on a budget with a little creativity and resourcefulness. Here are some tips:

  1. Look for DIY tutorials online

There are many websites that offer tutorials on how to make your own Montessori materials. You can search for specific materials you want to make, such as the Montessori spindle box or the Montessori pink tower, and find step-by-step instructions. YouTube also has several channels that offer DIY tutorials on Montessori materials.

  1. Use everyday household items

Many Montessori materials can be made from everyday household items. For example, you can create a Montessori sandpaper alphabet by cutting out sandpaper letters and sticking them onto cardboard or foam board. You can also use wooden blocks to create a DIY Montessori knobbed cylinder.

  1. Shop at thrift stores or garage sales

Thrift stores and garage sales can be great places to find items to use for Montessori materials. For example, you can find wooden trays and bowls to use for sorting activities or small baskets for practical life activities.

  1. Buy materials in bulk

If you need to purchase certain materials, try buying them in bulk. This can often be cheaper than buying individual items.

  1. Print out materials

Many Montessori materials can be printed out. At Montessori Nature, we offer free and paid printables of Montessori materials, such as the Montessori moveable alphabet or the Montessori 3-part cards. You can print them out and laminate them for durability.

Montessori materials can be expensive, but with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can make them on a budget. Look for DIY tutorials online, use everyday household items, shop at thrift stores or garage sales, buy materials in bulk, and print out materials. These tips can help you create a Montessori-inspired environment without breaking the bank.

supporting creators of handmade materials

As a society, we should prioritize supporting family businesses that make handmade materials for children and educators. These small businesses often struggle to compete with larger corporations, but they offer unique and high-quality products that cannot be replicated. By purchasing from these businesses, we not only support their livelihoods but also invest in our children’s education and development. Let us recognize the value and craftsmanship of these handmade products and make a conscious effort to support and uplift these family-owned businesses.

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Gorgeous handmade gifts for children

There are several reasons why it is important to support small family businesses that make handmade materials for children during the holiday season:

Help the economy: Small family businesses are the backbone of many local economies. When you support them, you help create jobs and keep money flowing within the community.

Unique products: Family businesses often create unique, one-of-a-kind products that you won’t find in larger stores. This makes your gift-giving experience more personal and memorable.

Ethical production: Family businesses that make handmade materials often prioritize ethical production practices, such as using sustainable or organic materials and paying fair wages to employees.

Personal touch: Many small family businesses take great pride and care in their products. You can often find hand-crafted items that are made with love, giving your holiday gifts a personal touch.

Show your support: By supporting small family businesses, you send a message that you value their contributions to the community and that you want to see them thrive.

Supporting small family businesses during the holiday season helps to sustain the local economy, create jobs, and foster personal connections with customers, and it is a way of giving back to the community.

Effective Tools for Montessori Educators and Parents Supporting Early Childhood Development with Handmade Materials Montessori Nature

Here are some handmade materials that you can create or purchase from Etsy creators to enhance your classroom environment and facilitate your children’s learning

As a Montessori teacher of 3-6 year-olds, it is important to have effective tools that support early childhood development.

Sensorial Materials: One of the fundamental ideas of Montessori education is to engage a child’s senses, and that is where sensorial materials come in handy. These materials help children refine their senses in a variety of ways, such as with color, sound, weight, texture, and smell. For example, you can use handmade puzzles, such as “tactile puzzles,” that require students to match textures or patterns.

First, it’s important to understand the principles behind Montessori education and the role of sensory materials in facilitating learning. According to Montessori philosophy, children learn best through hands-on experiences that engage their senses and promote exploration and discovery. Sensory materials are specifically designed to provide stimulating and meaningful experiences that help children develop cognitive, social, and emotional skills.

Some popular DIY sensory materials include:

  • Sensory bottles: These are clear plastic or glass bottles that are filled with different materials such as rice, sand, glitter, or beads. Children can shake and manipulate the bottles to explore motion, sound, and color. You can make DIY sensory bottles by following tutorials online or experimenting with different materials and combinations.
  • Texture boards: These are boards or panels that have different textures or surfaces such as sandpaper, carpet, or fabric. Children can explore the tactile sensations and learn vocabulary to describe different textures. You can make DIY texture boards by attaching different materials to a board or finding pre-made panels to adapt.
  • Smelling jars: These are jars with scents such as lavender, vanilla, or spices. Children can learn about different smells and how to identify them through sensory exploration. You can make DIY smelling jars by filling jars with different scents or finding pre-made aroma kits to adapt.
  • Sound boxes: These are boxes that contain different items that make sounds such as bells, marbles, or beans. Children can identify and match sounds, discriminate between sources, and develop auditory discrimination. You can make DIY sound boxes by finding various objects that make different sounds and putting them in containers or attaching them to a board.

When creating DIY sensory materials, it’s important to consider safety and age-appropriateness. Be sure to use non-toxic materials and supervise children during play. A

DIY sensory materials can provide valuable learning experiences and promote a love for exploration and discovery in young children. By following Montessori principles and adapting materials to suit individual needs and interests, you can create effective, engaging, and affordable learning tools that support children’s development.


Practical Life Materials: In this area, students learn tasks related to daily living, such as washing dishes, folding clothes and preparing food. One excellent practical life activity is a “pouring exercise,” which helps children develop hand-eye coordination and concentration skills.

Practical life DIY Montessori materials are an essential part of early childhood education. They help children to develop their motor skills, as well as important life skills such as cooking and cleaning. With a little bit of creativity, they can be made at home using simple and inexpensive materials.

One of the easiest materials to make is a pouring station. To make this, you will need three identical containers and a tray. Fill the first two containers with water and leave the third empty. Place them on the tray and show your child how to pour water from one container to the other.

Another great material is the dressing frame. This is a frame with snaps, buttons, and zippers that can be used to teach children how to dress themselves. To make this, you will need a wooden frame or cardboard, fabric, and sewing materials. Cut the fabric to fit the frame and sew on snaps, buttons, and zippers.

A simple but effective material is a spooning station. Take two identical containers and fill one with beans or rice. Show your child how to use a spoon to transfer the beans from one container to the other. This will help to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

An egg cracking station is another useful practical life material. You will need a small pitcher, an egg, and a bowl. Show your child how to crack the egg into the pitcher and then pour it into the bowl. This will help to develop their cooking skills and independence in the kitchen.

A cleaning station can be made using a spray bottle, cloth, and a tray. Fill the spray bottle with water and show your child how to spray the cloth and wipe down the tray. This will teach them the importance of cleanliness and help to develop their sense of responsibility.

DIY Montessori materials can be made at home using simple and inexpensive materials. These materials are essential for developing children’s motor skills and practical life skills. With a little bit of creativity, you can create a variety of practical life materials that your child will love to use.


Montessori education is based on the belief that children have a natural desire to learn and that they learn best when they are self-directed and engaged in hands-on activities. One of the key components of Montessori education is the use of specially crafted materials that enable children to learn through exploration and discovery. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make DIY Montessori materials that can help your child learn language.

Language Materials: These materials offer unique and interactive ways to enhance children’s vocabulary development. You could make “word matching puzzles’ which shows pictures of various items and their names. This activity facilitates children’s understanding of language, helps them learn new words and improves reading and writing abilities.

DIY Movable Alphabet

A movable alphabet is an essential Montessori material that allows children to practice spelling and composing words. To make your own movable alphabet, you will need:

  • A set of small wooden or plastic letters (or print letters on paper and cut them out)
  • A paper or plastic tray with sections to hold the letters
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Moveable Alphabet

To create different levels of difficulty, you can include different sets of letters, such as uppercase and lowercase letters, vowels, and consonants.

DIY Sandpaper Letters

Another essential Montessori material is sandpaper letters. These letters are used to help children learn letter sounds and phonetics. To make your own sandpaper letters, you will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • Cardboard or foam board
  • Scissors

Cut out letters from the cardboard or foam board and glue sandpaper onto each letter. You can use different grades of sandpaper to help your child differentiate between soft and hard sounds.

DIY Rhyming Cards

Rhyming cards are a great way to help children learn to recognize and create rhyming words. To make your own rhyming cards, you will need:

  • Index cards or small sheets of paper
  • A marker or pen

Write a simple word on each card and create matching cards with words that rhyme with the original word. Children can match the cards that rhyme and create their own rhyming pairs.

DIY Labeling Objects

Another way to help develop language skills is to label objects around your home. This will help children learn the names of objects and increase their vocabulary. To make your own labels, you will need:

  • Sticky notes or small pieces of paper
  • A marker or pen

Write the name of the object on the label and place it on the object. Children can see and read the labels to help them learn the names of the objects.

DIY Montessori language materials are a great way to help your child learn language skills through hands-on activities. By making your own materials, you can customize them to your child’s interests and learning level, while also saving money. Have fun creating and using these DIY materials with your child!


Math Materials: The use of handmade materials in math works well in conjunction with hands-on discovery. Children need to manipulate concrete items while performing mathematical operations. You can create handmade materials like counting items, pattern blocks, geometric shapes, and wooden measurement aids.

Here are some ideas for making your own math materials using inexpensive materials:

Number rods: Number rods are wooden bars of varying lengths that represent the numbers 1 through 10. To make your own, simply cut dowels into the correct lengths and paint or stain them blue and red colors. You can also add numbers or dots to each rod to help children associate the visual representation with the numerical value.

Sandpaper numbers: Sandpaper numbers are a tactile way for children to practice tracing and recognizing numbers. You can make your own by cutting cardboard or foam sheets into number shapes and gluing sandpaper onto the surface.

Bead stairs: Bead stairs are sets of colored beads that correspond to the numbers 1 through 10. To make your own, thread beads onto wire or string in the correct sequences and attach them to a board or piece of felt.

Number cards: Number cards are simple cards with numerals printed on them. You can make your own by printing numbers onto index cards or cutting them out of foam sheets and then decorating them with stickers or drawings.

Geometric solids: Geometric solids are three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes and spheres, that children can manipulate to learn about spatial relationships. To make your own, cut shapes out of cardboard or foam sheets and use masking tape or glue to assemble them.

Fraction circles: Fraction circles are sets of circles of different sizes that represent fractions from one whole to eighths. To make your own, cut out circles from construction paper or foam sheets in the correct sizes and colors and write the fraction on each one.

These simple DIY Montessori materials are a great way to introduce children to math concepts in a hands-on and engaging way. With a little creativity and some basic materials, you can create a variety of tools that will help children learn and grow.


Culture Materials: Montessori cultural activities aimed at preschool children usually cover a range of subjects, such as geography, history, general science, botany, and zoology. Through these activities, children are exposed to different concepts and ideas, enabling them to expand their understanding of the world around them. For example, geography lessons may involve exploring maps, continents, and countries, while botany lessons might focus on plant life cycles, parts of flowers, or identifying different types of leaves. Similarly, zoology activities could involve learning about animals and their habitats, while history might cover key events and figures from the past.

Creativity is the foundation of Montessori education, and art activities provide students with opportunities to experiment with colors, textures, and shapes. Providing activities like drawing, painting, and sculpting with recycled or natural materials in different parts of the classroom can give children endless inspiration, imagination and helps them appreciate the beauty of different art forms.

Here, we’ll share how to make some DIY Montessori materials for Cultural Area:

Leaf rubbing
Leaf rubbing is a great activity for children to learn about the different shapes and features of leaves. To make leaf rubbing materials, you’ll need some blank paper, crayons, and some leaves. First, gather some leaves of different sizes and shapes. Then, place the leaves under the blank paper and use a crayon to rub the paper over the leaves. The imprint of the leaves will appear on the paper.

Magnetic or density sorting
Magnetic or density sorting activities are great for teaching children about the different properties of objects. To make your own sorting materials, you’ll need some small objects such as paper clips, coins or buttons, and some magnets or a container of water. First, gather the objects and use a magnet to sort the magnetic and non-magnetic objects. Or, fill a container with water and add some objects to create a density sorting activity.

Continents and Oceans Puzzle

The first DIY Montessori material that you can make is a continents and oceans puzzle. The aim of this puzzle is to teach the child about the seven continents and five oceans. To make this puzzle, you will need a map of the world, scissors, and cardboard. Cut out the shapes of the continents and oceans from the map and paste it on the cardboard. Color the continents with different colors for easier recognition. Cut out the outlines of the continents and oceans. Allow the child to match the outlines with the map to learn about the continents and oceans.

Flags of the World

The second DIY Montessori material is the flags of the world. This material helps children learn about the different countries around the world and their flags. To make this material, you will need a map of the world, scissors, cardboard, and pictures of the flags of different countries. Cut out the shapes of the countries from the map and paste it on the cardboard. Print out the pictures of the flags of different countries and paste it on the countries on the cardboard. Allow the child to match the flags with the countries to learn more about the world.

Land and Water Forms

The third DIY Montessori material is the land and water forms. This material helps children learn about the different forms of land and water. To make this material, you will need a map of the world, scissors, cardboard, and 3D objects such as rocks, seashells, and sand. Cut out the shapes of the land and water forms from the map and paste it on the cardboard. Place the 3D objects on the cardboard to represent the different forms of land and water. Allow the child to touch and feel the objects to learn more about the different forms.

Land and Water Form Cards

The fourth DIY Montessori material is the land and water form cards. This material helps children learn about the different forms of land and water. To make this material, you will need a map of the world, scissors, cardboard, and pictures of the different forms of land and water. Cut out the shapes of the land and water forms from the map and paste it on the cardboard. Print out the pictures of the different forms of land and water such as mountains, island, and peninsula. Paste the pictures on the shapes of the land and water forms on the cardboard. Allow the child to match the pictures with the shapes to learn more about the different forms.

Montessori educators and parents may decide to use handmade materials to support children’s early development. The materials listed above offer innovative and interactive ways to facilitate children’s learning and promote all-around growth and independent thinking. By applying the Montessori method in your classroom environment, you’re sure to offer children a well-rounded and hands-on educational experience.

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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