• Andrea

montessori inspired peg dolls

To: the simple heart

It’s hard to find toys sometimes that are Montessori inspired, but don’t break the bank! I’ve seen many different wooden toys online, and while I appreciate the craft, they aren’t exactly in my budget. My son has a wooden train set that was made by my father and passed down through 4 generations. This little train has holes for peg dolls. I originally was on a search for some peg dolls to decorate for him, but I stumbled upon these instead on Amazon, and decided to craft a color recognition/matching activity for him.

Here are the materials I used:

Steps are simple!

1. Paint each set a different color. I painted faces on this set, but you can just paint the whole peg if you’d like.

2. Allow to dry for 24 hrs.

3. Seal with Mod Podge. I did one coat. If you’ve never used Mod Podge, don’t be alarmed that it goes on white. It’ll dry clear. Allow to dry for another 24 hrs. And done!

Teaching your child:

Teach your toddler how to use it by modeling and describing each color. I put this set in a basket and mixed it up. I first showed my son how to stick the peg doll in its “home”, and then talked about the colors. Studies show that when you describe something with the noun and then the verb, it helps younger children learn color language easier. For example “this peg is red” instead of “the red peg”.

Benefits of peg doll toys:

  • Great for early learning and development such as color recognition, numeracy, cause and effect, and imaginative play.

  • Helps with hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

  • Children can use them to learn through role playing and make believe. This helps a child’s emotional and social development. It also helps with language development.


Please be sure to monitor your child when doing this activity. While my son typically doesn’t put stuff in his mouth anymore, and while the supplies I used are labeled “non toxic”, you can never be too sure. I don’t recommend this activity for children younger than 20 months. Or children who have a tendency to still put toys in their mouth.

Extension activities:

  • When your child outgrows the color matching you can mix it up and write compound words.

  • Create a set for number correspondence! Just put the number on the peg and dots on its “home”. 1 —— 1 dot, 2—2 dots, 3—3 dots, etc.

  • Just let them do imaginative play with them.

Happy crafting!

With love,


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