Montessori Christmas: In & Out and Transferring {day 1}

It’s here! The 12 Days of Montessori Christmas to get you inspired to do “school” this holiday season while having fun celebrating.

I’m excited to share with you Montessori-inspired Christmas activities for infants/toddlers and preschoolers. Over the next 12 days, I’ll post an activity for each group every day. I’ll be revisiting some from the archives, sprucing them up, and adding new activities as well.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a Melissa & Doug stacking train! The giveaway ends at midnight Thursday, December 1st.

Come back on Saturday for a Christmas project link-up. If you need ideas, Pinterest is a great place to browse!


Practicing In and Out

This is a simple activity you can make at home and gear toward different ages and abilities in the infant/toddler spectrum. I used an old icing can, covered it in construction paper, stuck a sticker to make it look pretty, and cut a whole in the top.

This is ideal for older infants who are interested in putting things in and taking them out. For Otto, we’re working with straws. He still puts everything in his mouth, so I wanted the object to be something safe.

Have the straws (or other objects) in front of the child and demonstrate how to put the straw in the jar. Then let the child have his/her turn. A younger child will need help removing the lid to take out the straws, unless you cut a whole big enough for their hand, which would depend on the size of the container.

For children who don’t put things in their mouth, you might try using chenille sticks or pencils supervised. It’ll give a different texture and/or sound.

Extension 1: Chenille Sticks

Extension 2: Pencils

Transferring Ornaments

A pretty simple activity and all you need is miniature (plastic) ornaments, an ice tray, and a basket to hold the ornaments. Have the child put an ornament in each space on the ice tray.

For an added challenge, add tongs to the mix.


 That’s it for Day 1 of 12 Days of Montessori Christmas. Come back tomorrow to see what’s next!


13 comments… add one

  • Pat November 27, 2011, 11:29 pm

    Great activities – you can also drop other shaped objects into the can including balls, bells (for older toddlers) or those plastic ice cube things filled with water, they often come in holiday shapes. Also I would suggest putting the bowl of objects on the left and the ice cube tray on the right so children start to get that left to right pre-reading pattern.

    • Jessica November 28, 2011, 8:41 am

      Pat – Thanks for sharing your different ideas. There’s definitely a lot of ways you could add to the activity to spice it up. 🙂

  • Deb @ Living Montessori Now November 28, 2011, 4:48 am

    Your 12 Days of Montessori Christmas is a fun idea! I featured your post and chenille stick photo in my Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities post at

    • Jessica November 28, 2011, 7:58 am

      Thanks, Deb! 🙂

  • Discovering Montessori November 28, 2011, 10:00 am

    Nice activities! Looking forward to your 12 Days of Christmas. Thank you for sharing

  • Martianne November 28, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Delighted to subscribe via email

  • Sandy November 28, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Great ideas! Thanks

  • Kinnari Pandya November 28, 2011, 6:42 pm

    Good ideas!Thanks for sharing.

  • Lori November 28, 2011, 7:06 pm

    Yay! So excited to see the 12 days of Montessori Christmas start! I featured your first day on the Montessori MOMents facebook page. Such a fun idea!

  • Beth November 29, 2011, 11:11 am

    Very fun ideas! I am your newest “liker”, I’d love it if you followed me back =-) I also wanted to invite you to link up at mY TGIF linky party –
    Beth =-)

  • Asia Hadley December 6, 2011, 2:45 am

    This is a great post. I’m new to Montessori and I love learning from my online mentors such as yourself:) I’ve started a new blog to document my journey and learning activities of my son and mentioned/linked to your blog. I created an In & Out activity that was a hit! You can check it out at


  • sue November 30, 2014, 10:46 am

    Love these simple but valuable ideas for toddlers! Spices up my day with my grandaughter!

  • marie December 7, 2014, 7:52 am

    hello, I would like you send me activities for infant, thank you , God bless you

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