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March 22, 2024

Montessori Toddler Skills at 23 and 24-Months

I just love new 2-year-olds. They are so full of energy, and sweetness. They are becoming themselves, and their interests, preferences, and dislikes become easier to spot. And they are just so cute and funny. Our Montessori days at 2-years-old are slow and steady. We try our best for long periods of time where we are just hanging out in our prepared environment. But, I wanted to share some more specifics about what we are actually doing on these days at home. 

Quick reminder that every child is different and that the best way to prepare your environment is for the child that is actually with you. Use these ideas as inspiration, not an exact guide of what a 24-month-old should be doing. 

Montessori Favorite Toys and Activities to Support Skills at 24-months

Here are a few skills at this age and how we support them: 

Fine Motor

Penelope has been much more interested in using toys designed to work her hands. She's sitting for longer periods of time to work with her hands. Some thing I've observed include:

Smaller puzzle pieces: supported by peg puzzles with small knobs: realistic ones are vintage, but similar to these puzzles 
Stacking and nesting work: supported by  Spoolz (similar), Plan Toys ConeNesting boxes 
Bead Stringing: supported with smaller beads over time (similar set)
Drawing and art: supported by a variety of art supples including small paper punches (similar

Gross Motor

Penelope continues to be a little slower on the gross motor side and interestingly is my kid that has been least interested in maximum effort work. I just find it fascinating, and enjoy watching her go at her own pace. These couple of months she has gained some new interests including: 

Biking: supported by exploring with strider bike and small trike (and warm winter weather that let us be outside biking)  
Stairs: walking down stairs on feet, supported by lower hand rails 
Big painting: perfect for crossing the midlines both side to side and up and down, supported by easel 
Some maximum effort: supported by practical life work, mostly pushing laundry baskets, bringing in Ted's backpack

Practical Life

This is by far the bulk of our days at 23 and 24-months-old. Penelope is very attached to me and wants to be where I am and doing what I'm doing. Here are some of her favorite practical life works lately: 

Unloading dishwasher: supported by me and low dish storage great for gross motor skills and language
Feeding birds: works on skills for scooping, pouring
Chopping: all sorts of snacks and meals with wavy chooper
Slicing: more complicated cuts supported with nylon knife
Sweeping: supported by hand broom, great for crossing midline, lots of squatting, and supports sense of order
Plant care: supported by small watering can. Loves to water but also learning to pick dead leaves and will soon learn to clean leaves


While gross motor might not be Penelope's thing, language certainly is! She has way more words than I can keep track of at this point and new ones pop up all the time. She can ask questions, answer questions, name most things in our environment and even recall events. While mostly this has just come naturally, we have had a couple of more language focused work, including: 

Shape work: starting to name shapes supported by simple shape sorters 
Specific language focused work: supported by object to picture matching cards
Reading: supported by so many books favorites have included Bye-Bye, Clive and His Babies and Highlights Hello Magazines 


So much sensory learning happening all the time with toddlers! Some favorites these couples months have include: 

Nature Area: supported by warm winter weather, great for proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile senses 
Play dough: supports proprioceptive and tactile senses plus lots of good fine motor work
Water play: supported by the kitchen sink

I know that this isn't every single thing we did over these last couple of months. But, it covers a lot of what she was interested in as a 23 and 24-month-old Montessori toddler. I love being able to give her the freedom of being in our environment and allowing her developmental interests lead our activity. Such a fun phase! 

What are your 23-month and 24-month-olds interested in right now? 

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