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Outdoor Montessori Activity and Work Shelf

We don’t get a very long summer season here in Minnesota. So when it’s nice we take full advantage of being outside while we can. This includes making sure we have some Montessori work outside to feed our children’s need for work at any time.

My kids are always welcome to bring their materials out to our deck to work from inside. During the summer we treat the deck as a whole new room in our house. But, it is nice to have a few things dedicated for outdoor use. 


Our outdoor Montessori activities shelf includes (from top to bottom):

1. Flower arranging materials. This is just a variety of cases, a pair of scissors, and a funnel. I organize on a cheap wooden tray I found at a thrift store.

2. Small watering can. This is perfect for watering our plants and filling up our bird baths.

3. A tray of art materials. Right now I have some dollar store cups (to use with paint) and a small container of color pencils. We’ve struggled to find a way to keep the paint dry and safe outside, so we do keep that inside. The pencils are small, cheap wooden ones from IKEA so that we don’t feel sad if they get lost, broken, or wet.

4. Nature tray of special finds and a magnifying glass. This gives them a place to put all the collections, special things and trinkets they find all summer long.


5. Shoe scrubbing work. A small tray and scrub brush, perfect for washing boots, crocs, or sandals that find their way into mud or dirt. While this tray is meant for shoes, it’s also perfect for all types of scrubbing including our bird baths, or their bikes.

6. Empty planting pots for replanting or planting. Want to plant an orange seed from your snack? Go for it. Or maybe they want to replant a weed from the garden. Either way, the pots are available for them. Potting spoil is accessible in our shed.

7. Assorted pots/pitchers/scoops. These are for water play, mud kitchen play, collecting stuff, basically whatever they want. I found just having a couple dedicated random bowls gives them the freed to be creative and figure out new ways they want to play.


For any material we add to our outside shelf, we are looking for stuff that we don’t mind getting dirty or wet. While the shelf sits under the eaves, it is still prone to rain and humidity. We stick to metal or plastic where possible. I’m also looking for things that are a bit more open ended so that all of the kids can use the materials they are ready for.

Montessori activity ideas for outdoor work shelves for preschoolers and toddlers. Easy, fun Montessori work for summer.

Do you bring work outside? Do you have a dedicated outdoor shelf?
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