Montessori on the Cheap

There has always been something about the Montessori method of teaching that has appealed to me.  Especially when working with children with special needs.

One thing that held me back was the cost of many Montessori activities.

Finally it dawned on me that I could create my own transferring activities….for next to nothing.

A cost I happen to really love.


For this activity Parker will be transferring cotton balls from one container to another using a strawberry huller. Yeah, I had no idea what a strawberry huller was before this either.

Blue Tray: .99 Dollar Store
Cotton Balls: .50 for 4 bags at a yardsale
Strawberry Huller: $1.25 Ross
Clear Containers: Clearance (.25) at Walgreens


It’s hard to tell in these pictures, but Parker really is doing all the work. We have to hand over hand it with him because of his love of hucking any and everything across the room. sigh.


Parker’s hands are weak. And his pencil grip is terrible. This activity address both issues.


Changing it up a bit, I’ve replaced the cotton balls with left over jelly beans from Bailey’s bridal shower and switched the strawberry huller for a measuring spoon in a cool shape.

Jelly Beans: free
Measuring Spoon (set of) Thrift Store .50.


In this activity Parker uses the measuring spoon to transfer the jelly beans from one container to the next. I love the look of concentration on his face!


Success, baby!


It takes a lot of concentration to be able to scoop up a single jelly bean.


For the final activity Parker had to pick up the jelly beans one by one using his pincher grasp and then drop each one into the spaces of the egg container.

Egg Container: .10 Yard Sale


This one drives Parker nuts because he wants to grab an entire handful of jelly beans, but can only grasp one.


Practice makes perfect, right?


This activity also provide Parker the opportunity to review colors. Two-fers. Another favorite of mine.

Want to find some more Montessori activities? Here’s a list of our favorite places!

Montessori Mom

My Montessori Journey

What are some of YOUR favorite learning websites?

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.


  1. What a great idea! Love it! And it is teaching some great skills. I love all you homeschooling ideas. Keep them coming!
    Regina recently posted..Grandma James 90th BirthdayMy Profile

  2. Love this!
    Shannon recently posted..what parents are saying about the church on the webMy Profile

  3. Great post! I love your price itemization! Thanks for sharing so many sweet photos, too! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at
    Deb recently posted..Living Montessori Now- Year 1My Profile

  4. Janeen B. says:

    Living Montessori Now posted a link to this on Facebook. I love how you’re able to do montessori activities so inexpensively. I too have been a bit intimidated by the cost of many of those materials. I’d love to have a beautiful montessori classroom for my girls! I think your son is wonderfully lucky to have you, mommy!

  5. Brilliant idea!!! I am so impressed at how you found all these items for so cheap! Way to go!!!
    McKinley recently posted..3 WsMy Profile

  6. GREAT JOB !

    You are doing a fantastic job for your child.



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