10 engaging kids activities to bring Montessori outside

You read that correctly…

You can bring the educational elements of The Montessori Method outdoors!


With these fun and hands on learning activity ideas, your child will have a ball exploring their outside habitat!


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The task of setting up an outdoor Montessori environment may seem daunting, but it is simple and easy, by just thinking outside the box a little!


The Montessori prepared environment

If you’ve been following me for awhile, I’m sure you’ve heard me explain how the Montessori environment differs from other early childhood environments. It is so unique and different, that is has its own name; The Prepared Environment. The Montessori environment is filled with hands on, child directed activities that plays off of the interests of the children in it.

The Montessori environment is broken down into distinct learning areas, all of which promote the development of the whole child; the result is a well rounded child that is conscious of not only their environment, but also others around them and people around the world.



The Montessori outdoor environment is like this too! Activities in the outdoor environment not only are child led, and allow a child to use observation and exploration to not only learn and develop new skills, but to learn more about their world.



Outdoor Montessori activities and ideas

There are two categories of Montessori activities and ideas. The first are the Direct Montessori activities. These are activities that produce an ending result when completed. The second are the Open ended Montessori ideas. These activities provide children the opportunity to use them freely to explore the outside environment.



Direct Montessori activities

These activities are direct in that they serve a certain purpose. The activities can be constructed in many different ways, depending on the needs and interests of your child.

1. Gardening

Gardening is a great way for children to utilize their outside environment. They can easily plant flowers, vegetables or herbs. With child sized tools, they can do almost any gardening job, big or small!


My Green Toddler has some really great ideas and tips on how to get your child into gardening!


Galvanized Watering Can


Wet Soil Gloves




Recycled Plant Pot Kit


Garden Tools


Related post: 5 easy preschool science experiments your child will love


2. Wood working

With the proper lessons, children are capable of using woodworking tools. The child sized tools help children grasp and utilize the tools properly, reducing the chances of injuring themselves.


Stanley Jr. Tool Set

Wooden Folding Ruler

Compact Level


Fiskars Drill with Bits


Sanding Block


3. Weather chart

Your child can easily learn and track about the daily weather where you live! With the use of a DIY chart/calendar, your child can observe the weather and record it onto their chart. At the end of the month, discuss, count and compare the types of weather your child experienced.




Weather Wise Book Set



4. Life cycle kits

Learning about the different life cycles of various insects is a fun learning experience, especially when your child can witness the magic happen right in from of their eyes! These amazing life cycle kits from Insect Lore are a great way for your child to get an up close look at some of their favorite insects!


Butterfly Garden with Live Cup of Caterpillars


Ladybug Land with Live Ladybug Larvae


Ant Mountain with Tube of Live Ants


Butterfly Life Cycle Stages Figurines


Ladybug Life Cycle Stages Figurines


Any Life Cycle Stages Figurines


Related post: Top 20 STEM activities for your homeschool or classroom


Open ended Montessori ideas

These open ended ideas are great for allowing your child to explore their outside world on their own! Add these items to their outside environment in a basket or bin so that they are easily accessible to your child.

1. Rock collecting

Children love the look and feel of rocks! Simply allow them the freedom to search for and collect their own rocks, and make their own rock collection!



2. Magnifying glass

A magnifying glass gives a child a different look at regular, everyday things in their environment. They can use it to get up close and personal with insects, check out the cool markings on a tree trunk, or even look closely at the detailed veins on a leaf…the possibilities are endless!


3. Microscope

Microscopes are another great way for children to independently explore and observe things in nature! They don’t have to be scientists in order to instinctively want to see how things really look. Set a microscope out and let your child naturally explore their surroundings!

4. Bug catcher

Catching (and releasing) bugs is an all time favorite of children! The thrill of scoping out and devising a plan to catch the bugs is not only fun, but exciting! Since bugs are creatures that belong in nature, they must be returned and released back into nature after your child has had a chance to check out their creatures.

5. Binoculars

Binoculars are a fun way for children to do some bird watching, see what those far away mountains and hills they can’t get to look like, and so much more! This is a great item that can provide hours of open ended fun and exploration!

6. Leaf collecting

Just like rock collecting, leaf collecting is a great way for children to use their observation skills and compare different leaves. You can use the leaves to make leaf rubbings, press them and make them into a book, or look at them through the magnifying glass!


Related post: 10 homeschool activities for your young learner


What to take from this

The most important thing to take from this is to choose activities that interest your child. Follow their lead on which activities are and are not received well, and make the necessary adjustments. Just because your child may not find an activity interesting today, you can always remove it from their environment and try again in a few months. Remember, children’s interests change often; it is a part of their natural development process.


Taking Montessori outside can happen anytime of the year, there is no perfect time to do it. I would love to hear your thoughts on taking Montessori outside! Is this something you’ve already done with your child or thinking about doing soon? Let me know in the comments!


Till next time,

Anitra J.





  1. Great ideas! We love gardening and rock collecting!

  2. These are all amazing ideas! Those life cycle figurines would be a great addition to my science program. Love the binoculars too!

  3. I love gardening and growing herbs and vegetables in our garden. I didn’t realize it was a Montessori-style activity! I can’t wait to share this activity with my son. Thanks for the post!

  4. My kids love gardening! Glad this was on the list!

  5. “There is no perfect time to do it” is exactly what I needed to hear in the middle of this humid Tennessee summer! My one year old loves to inspect leaves and grass and dirt. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

  6. I love how diverse and explorative Montessori is to engage in outdoors as well

  7. Great list!! My daughter loves rock collecting and then painting them.. She also loves to collect different patterns of leaves too.

  8. Without having the Montessori knowledge I think I’ve done good so far with the things on this list. We ha e a beautiful blooming vegetable garden, we collect rocks all the time. And we paint out there in nature. And I e taught them to leave lavas and pupa alone when we we see them. I think I’m going to add the temperature recoding activity, my kids would love it.

  9. I love the gardening ideas! My 2 year old loves to help me water our plants out in the front yard. She has gotten to the point that the only thing she needs help with is turning on the hose.

  10. Melissa says:

    Such wonderful and doable ideas!

  11. Sijanuja says:

    Great ideas.

  12. You have so many great ideas. I love this. This is very helpful for the summer.

  13. You have great outdoor Montessori ideas! This year we did gardening with our daughter and she loved to get her hands into the dirt and she loves to water the plants and watch them grow.

  14. Love the outdoor activities. It is so important to bring people to the outside and to bring a little outside in. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Love all these tips to enrich the experiences of our littles!

  16. We love gardening in the spring and summer. It’s so engaging and educational for her.

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