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Fun Cognitive Development Games for Children 3 Years and Older

Fun Cognitive Development Games for Children 3 Years and Older

What is Montessori?

Montessori schools offer a student-led approach to learning, where students develop inquiry through self-paced individualized lessons with the support and guidance of caring teachers. This approach fosters a lifetime love of learning, strong independence, and accountability for their actions within a community. Montessori ages range from Infant to 2.5 years for infant programs, 3 years to 7 years old for Early childhood at a Montessori Daycare, and primary-age programs for 6+.

Get a sense of all that a Montessori school has to offer with these 5 cognitive development games that will spark your little one’s inquiry and curiosity.

Fun Montessori Toys and Cognitive Development Games

1. Colors Sorting Baskets

Build your toddlers’ recognition of colors by allowing them to explore a basket of materials and toys and sort them into the color-matching bowls. Gather toys and objects, such as cars, pom pom balls, socks, crayons, or anything in various colors. Place a bowl of each color (I like to paint paper bowls beforehand) on the ground and allow them to sort each object to the correct bowl. Encourage them with positive praise, and offer prompts if they seem stuck.

2. Wash Tubs

Give your child a try at a practical chore of washing. Gather dirty or stained toys that need a good scrub into a large plastic basket. Provide a sponge, a washcloth, a scrubbing brush (or an old toothbrush), and soap. Explain the steps to cleaning- like first fill the tub, then add soap, scrub your toy, and finally dry it off- to have your toddler practice following multistep directions. Or allow them to explore freely.

3. Coffee Tin Tinker

For this activity, recycle an old coffee can or large container with a lid and punch various holes into the top of the lid. Replace the lid on the canister and provide your toddler with straws, pom pom balls, popsicle sticks, and other small objects that will fit into the holes. Your child will sharpen their depth perception and spatial cognition skills. Once all of the objects are inside, they can shake them to discover different sounds the objects make for added fun.

4. Matching Socks

Laundry time is a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be with your little helper. Gather socks of various sizes, colors, and patterns and have your child practice sorting them to improve their visual discrimination patterns. Throw in some of their favorite stuffed animals to put the matching socks on, and they will be thrilled to help.

5. Secret Object Grab Bag

Use a brown paper bag to place some familiar household items in (Have Fun, Think: crayons, dice, cotton swab, dinosaur, ball, orange). Direct your child to close their eyes before reaching in to guess the items. Your toddler will become familiarized with their sense of touch to distinguish traits of the mystery objects. Build your child’s vocabulary to describe the object using questions like is it hard or soft? Is it big or small? Is it smooth or rough?

American Montessori Campus in North Dallas


Once you try these great cognitive development activities, and fall in love, trust us to continue your child’s education at the American Montessori Campus. At our Montessori school in North Dallas, your child will have access to high-quality learning experiences that foster their social and emotional growth. We promote inquiry and foster creative expression through our rigorous Montessori educational materials and artistic tools. At our school, your child will have access to independent exploration with Montessori toys, connect to culture with rhythm and music exploration, and enjoy classes in physical coordination.

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