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October 12, 2021

Montessori Play at Almost 5-years-old

It's amazing to me that my soon-to-be middle child, Gus, is already going to be 5-years-old in just a few short weeks. How is the second plane of development almost upon us again? Time goes so quickly, so so quickly. But, right now, I'm just soaking up all the first plane of development bliss that I can before he officially becomes a little-big kid. 

As an older 4-year-old, I find Gus's interests pretty fascinating. He loves all things fine motor. His desire and need to refine his fine motor skills has hit peak after peak lately. Nearly all his play (or work) revolves around some sort of fine motor task. Lately he's been far less interested in things like model animals, trucks and cars, and far more interested in anything that requires small movements of his hand. He's into smaller and smaller puzzle pieces, sewing, art, and even writing tasks. Here are a few glimpses at Montessori play at almost 5-years-old: 

Montessori Friendly Toys

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Gus spends a good amount of time each day (while he's home from school) working with materials. He's always been one of my most independent playing kids and he still can find ways to keep himself occupied for long stretches of time. Some of his favorites lately include:
  • Building and balancing large towers with our wooden blocks (these are Grimm's blocks and Glueckskaefer slats) 
  • Lite Brite - both following the patterns and creatively building  
  • Lego - just creatively building at this point
  • 60 piece jigsaw puzzles 
  • Pixel puzzles - this is an absolute favorite, little 1cm cubes are used to build pictures by following patterns  

Arts and Writing

Gus also spends a good amount of time engaging in arts and craft type work. He loves creating and gifting creations to those in our house. But at this point his projects tend to be bigger, messier and more independent. He wants to paint something, then tie it, then wrap it, then make a box for it and wrap it again. Everything is many steps and it's always a little different each time. He's no longer interested in simple but wants to stretch his skills cutting tiny pieces out, or hanging his art. His newest project is wanting to build "a house" and he is collecting recycled cardboard to make that happen. Some favorite art and writing projects lately include:
  • Writing numbers - not so into letters yet, but he loves number worksheets
  • Painting - especially large scale projects 
  • Sewing - Gus loves all sewing, but right now he is very into little glass bead in patterns and shapes
  • Finger Knitting - all the finger knitting, this is probably his most frequent of any activity or toy listed

Practical Life

Gus still does a lot of practical life at home. But, where other places he is focused on fine motor work, in practical life he likes big work and big projects. He wants to scrub all the patio furniture, or rake the whole yard. He wants bigger work, larger projects, and more meaningful tasks. 


Gus goes to a Montessori school every morning during the week. I know he spends a lot of his time engaging in fine motor work there as well. Some of what he does at school includes:
  • Fetching with the golden beads 
  • Writing on chalkboards 
  • Some work with sandpaper letters 
  • Lots and lots of finger knitting
  • Trinomial Cube
  • Art collages 
And, that's a look at what my almost 5-year-old is up to a lot of the time. Of course there is still playing with friends, reading books, bike riding and such mixed into his day. Also remember, this list is based on Gus and his unique personality, interests, and abilities. Every child will vary, especially at this age, in what they are interested and capable of! 

Montessori friendly toy and activity ideas for older 4-year-olds and almost 5-year-olds including practical life and art.

What is your older 4-year-old into? 


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Water Baby
Water Baby said…
Love your posts. It makes me want to continue this way. My daughter doesn't go to Montessori school but I try hard to get the spirit at home. She just turned 5 and is mainly into cutting, pasting and all Big projects. Basically she could live only with just a Pen, papier, scissors and tape.
She enjoys magnatiles and playmobil as well.
Thank you for sharing
Goober Stardust
Goober Stardust said…
Can't believe he's going to be a middle child! I still haven't had time to process that he's not the baby anymore.