Montessori Activities for Toddlers: Underwater Sensory Bin and Learning to Buckle


Are you looking for some cheap, fun, and easy activities that support learning for your toddler?

You’ve come to the right place.  Every week I’m sharing 1-2 Montessori based activities that you can create and share with your toddlers.

Check out my first post here for an explanation of why Montessori works, as well as two other activities for your toddler.

1. Sensory Bin: Underwater

(This may be one of the best sensory bins of all time.)


Materials: Clear plastic bin, Water Beads (Jewels), and plastic sea creatures.


These water beads were purchased at Michael’s with my 40% off coupon.  With the coupon I believe they came to $2.50 each.  There are a variety of colors to choose from, but I choose blue to give the appearance of ocean water.  If you haven’t seen these before, check out the cool things you can do with them on Pinterest here.

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These I purchased from Jo-Ann Fabric with yet another 40% off coupon.  This set was $16 originally, so I paid less than $10 for it.  There are also frogs and turtles in this set which I plan on using for another sensory bin.


All you need to do is place the water beads and the plastic creatures in a plastic bin.  You may have to add some water to the bin in order to create the underwater experience.  That’s all there is to it.  Every time E would take an animal out of the bin, she would say, “Ooooooooooo!”  We talked about each creature as she found them.


My favorite toddler pronunciation of these creatures was “Nawa!”


2. Learning To Buckle


 Materials: Small plastic buckle, ribbon, and a hot glue gun.


To make a buckle bracelet, cut the ribbon to the size of your choice.  Then put the ribbon through both parts of the buckle.  When the hot glue is ready, put some glue on the ends of the ribbon (on both sides) and hold down until the glue cools.

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I let mine cool an hour before letting her play with it.  It’s very exciting when she finally gets it to buckle!  E claps for herself and beams with pride.  She hasn’t gotten the hang of unbuckling yet, but it’s only a matter of time with all this practice.


 I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I invite you to join me next week for another Montessori activity for your toddler.





*These activities are my own, and are not sponsored by any Montessori organization.


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Terri's Thoughts says:

    Great post, even though my toddler days are over, I have two nieces that will benefit from this so if its ok, I will share it with them

  2. Kim Bolden says:

    These are some simple yet effective tips for parents with toddlers. I admire the Montessori way of teaching and learning.

    1. Janell says:

      Thank you!
      Montessori really meets the needs of little learners.

  3. confessions1rst says:

    My toddler days are over too, but this is brilliant!

  4. Grace says:

    I have two toddlers that would love these ideas! They are both obsessed with water and buckles. Lol.

    1. Janell says:

      The buckle is awesome because I’m over 7 months pregnant and it’s so helpful that my daughter can now climb into the high chair and buckle herself in 🙂

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