Montessori Teaching Toddlers With Board Game Pieces (Learn & Link With Linky)



My baby just turned two years old a few days ago.  I can hardly believe it.  I have seen her grow so much. She is such a sponge with a heart to want to learn.  I love the Montessori method of teaching but I do not agree that you need all the fancy expensive activities and tools to teach children.  I like to use what we already have or make it myself.  We have three floor to ceiling shelves of board games in our home – can you tell we love to play games?


game pieces toddler  a


 I stood in front of these shelves and realized that I am not utilizing them games to the fullest of capacity. I know my littlest is just a baby and cannot play these games but why couldn’t I use these games to teach her dexterity, thinking skills and hand and eye coordination? 


I pulled some games down and sat down and taught her how to place small pieces in the assigned areas, stacking, knocking over,  matching  colors and shapes. 


montessori games

The games I pulled:


Hi Ho Cherry O the pieces are small but once I showed my daughter where to put the game pieces on her own started to match the colors of the pieces to the same locations on the game board. Plus she was very specific how she put each piece on the board wanting all the stems going face down. 


Perfection has little handles on each game piece which is good for little hands to match the shape pieces. She definitely needed help with this because some of the shapes were a bit harder for her to maneuver the pieces into. Definitely something we will continue to practice. 


Connect Four  is perfect for little hands to slip the checker pieces in the slots. I let her slip in the checkers with no pattern, she really enjoyed this the most.


Ker Plunk she needed a bit of help putting in the game sticks in each slot but the more we did it she got better at it.  She loved pulling them out best.


Dominoes  gave her a great opportunity for stacking, standing up and knocking over.


I have many more games I will be pulling down in the weeks to come for more Montessori learning. What games do you have that you can teach outside of the box to your toddler / preschooler?


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  1. I like the Connect Four and Perfection games. Those are faves from my childhood. My kids like Dominoes too and they’re great at creating with them too.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I have always thought that board games were educational. Who knew that simply using the pieces from one could work just as well!

  3. Board games are so much fun. These are great ideas for fun learning. My toddler likes to lose all the pieces.

  4. I love board games just getting my girls to sit down is hard

  5. Fun ideas for kids–make learning a good time and they will never stop learning.

  6. I had kerplunk when I was little! That was a LONG time ago so it just shows that some games never go out of style if they are good. I still remember that thrill when you pull out the stick and it all went kerplunk!

  7. My kids loved Perfection when they were little. It was great for learning shapes.

  8. My family’s favorite are dominoes! We still can’t get enough of them.

  9. I agree … Children Learning Activities does not have to be expensive. Its all about being creative to use simple (inexpensive) things you already have and presenting it to the child in a meaningful way .

  10. we play board games with our grandson it is such a great way to educate them while having fun

  11. My daughter would love playing with these games too. I’d not thought of using board games in this way before, thanks for sharing

  12. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I strongly believe in the Montessori method. My kids all went through it and really learned while having fun.

  13. I love these fun ideas! Playing was such an important part of learning when my children were young.

  14. Wow this is a fabulous idea! I wouldn’t ever think to do this! Very neat, and it would keep my kids attention!

  15. I enjoy playing Dominoes with the kids. Great way to teach them how to count. Playing and learning is much more fun that just learning.

  16. I’ve got a collection of assorted game pieces. I wasn’t sure why I had kept them when the full games weren’t available, but it looks like they will have new life as manipulatives.

  17. What a great idea to use game pieces to teach your little one. Such a fun and easy way to learn!

  18. My kids love playing games. The 3 year old just likes to play as a family, but soon he will know the rules.

  19. I am behind any fun activity that teaches children at the same time that they are enjoying themselves. This is a great idea.

  20. These are great games for children. I really like Perfection and Connect Four. I forgot that they still make Perfection!

  21. We love board games but that’s a really smart way to get even more use out of them!

  22. I haven’t played a game board game,in a while.

  23. Love these ideas! I’ve been contemplating adding montessori activities in my home and these are a great place to start. thanks!

  24. These are all good ideas of how to teach your child while using the game board pieces. I ddin’t know they still made perfection either.

  25. Danielle K says:

    This is such a fun idea! I know my son would absolutely love this – and it’s educational and fun 🙂

  26. What a great idea to use Connect 4 for fine motor skills. I’m sure that can be a lot of fun for the little ones. Great idea!

  27. My preschooler is obsessed with board games but I had never thought about using them to teach him learning. I do know that in his speech therapy sessions they use a lot of games so I’ll have to incorporate the ideas into my own home!

  28. Great ideas! When my kids were younger and we did more hands-on homeschooling they loved board games and we often used the pieces for other activities!

  29. What wonderful ideas! I love that you are using games that we all probably have on our shelves. My son loved playing playing with Connect Four when he was younger. Great activity for fine motor skills 🙂

  30. My kids loved connect four. I had to put it away because my youngest kept putting the chips in her mouth. Though you just reminded me that I should get that out now since she is now also 2 years old and able to play appropriately with them. Thanks for the ideas. Stopping over from Tot school gathering place.

  31. Connect Four and Perfection were my kids’ favorite games when they were little. So glad to see that these are still around! Such fun ways to play and learn!

  32. I should break out the Connect 4 with my toddler! I had never thought that he would love to play even though he wouldn’t really know how to “win.:” 🙂

  33. What a great list of games. My kids really like playing Connect Four. I think I will get Ker Plunk and try that one next. It is such a fun games.

  34. That is such a smart idea! We have a few matching games and some board games we could use.

  35. Debbie Denny says:

    That is a great idea. Using them to teach colors and such is fantastic.

  36. These are all wonderful way to use board games with little ones! We also enjoyed playing with Jengo and Trouble pieces with my young son! Thanks for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! We hope you join us again this week!

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