What Are Montessori 3 Part Cards?

If you want your child to succeed in their education, it’s good to start early. You have probably seen Montessori 3 part cards but not known how to use them or what they are called. Their wide range of topics and ability to create a fun learning environment make them a top choice for teachers and parents. 

Montessori 3 part cards are three cards consisting of a picture, a label of said picture, and a labeled picture for children ages 3-6 and 6-9 to learn the information on the cards. They come in a variety of topics to engage a wide range of children. 

These cards can be used in a variety of ways to introduce new information to your children. We’ll explain how they can be used for all children, including those outside of the intended age range, to foster learning at an early age. Look below to find out how with such versatile applications, these cards are perfect for any child. 

51qfaWQPL2L. SL250
Three Part Cards from Amazon

What Are Montessori 3 Part Cards?

Montessori 3 part cards, sometimes referred to as Nomenclature cards, appear in a variety of different topics. From vocabulary to geography, and almost every subject in between, these cards are simple and easy. 

For example, vocabulary Montessori 3 part cards could consist of a picture of a dog on one card, the word “dog” on another, and a control card with the picture and word. 

Montessori 3 part cards
From LittleSparkCompany on Etsy

Geography Montessori 3 part cards could consist of a picture of a continent on one card, the name of the continent (i.e., North America) on another, and a control card with the picture labeled. 

montessori geography 3 part cards
From TheCountryFamily on Etsy

Where Do You Get Montessori 3 Part Cards?

You can purchase these cards in sets from a variety of different websites, including Amazon, Etsy, or Montessori Services.

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For just a few dollars you can buy ready-made printable PDFs from Etsy.

Printable Montessori 3 part cards
From BloomhousePress on Etsy

Or if you want to make them completely free, you can make your own by printing pictures and labels from the internet on computer paper or cardstock. For increased durability, you could laminate them.

How to Make Your Own Montessori 3 Part Cards

You can print on either computer paper or cardstock as listed above, but how do you go about designing them to print them? Here’s how it’s done. 

  • Use a Template
    • Place your own pictures and labels into the template
  • Use PowerPoint to create your own template
    • Insert a table with 1 column and 4 rows for one card (row and column numbers vary by the number of cards you wish to make)
    • Merge the first three rows together to get the picture and label appearance
    • Insert desired picture and type label
    • Change the size of the slide to ensure it fits on the size of your paper
  • Use Microsoft Word
    • Find images and resize to the desired size
    • Type out labels at the bottom (use a larger font and leave space for cutting out)
    • Print images and labels onto computer paper
    • Cut out images and labels and glue them with the correct pairs on cardstock

How To Use Montessori 3 Part Cards

Montessori 3 part cards can be used in many ways. Their versatility allows for kids of all age groups, not just the ones intended, to benefit from their fun learning style. Below is a chart of the different age groups and how they use Montessori cards to learn different things. 

1-3 Years3-6 Years6-9 Years
Matching ImagesMatching Images to WordsLearning Names of Things
Matching Objects with ImagesMatching ImagesMatching Images to Words
Learning Names of ThingsMatching WordsLearning Definitions 
Memory Memory

Montessori 3-cards should be laid out on a large smooth surface like a table or rug for all ages. 

montessori 3 part cards space
From TheCountryFamily on Etsy

Children Aged 1-3 Years Identify Objects

For toddlers, the goal of Montessori 3 part cards is to start learning how to match and identify objects. By using just the control card and image card, lay the cards out randomly in front of your child. Limit the number of cards to under about three to five matches to keep their interest and not overwhelm them.  Ask your child to find the matching images and have them place them together to the side.

Instead of just matching, you can ask your child to find the picture of a spoken word. Lay out only the control cards face up. Ask them for a specific one (i.e., which one is the banana?).

You can also acquire handheld objects and have your child match them to the corresponding image. For example, a banana with a picture of a banana. Lay the objects out in a line and have the child place the corresponding control card in front of the correct object.

montessori 3 part cards fruit
From TheCountryFamily on Etsy

Children Aged 3-6 Years Learn Words

For ages 3-6, the goal is to start learning how to match images and words and eventually to spell. Start by introducing the children to the control cards. Lay all the control cards out in a line, having the child repeat back to you what’s on the card. Then have them match the pictures to the control cards, and finally, the labels. 

Once they have this down, lay out the image cards in a straight line. Have the children match the word card to the image cards. As they match them, have them say the word out loud while reading it. Then have them use the control cards to see how they did. 

To increase difficulty, lay out the label cards first in a line. Then have the children place the corresponding picture card with the labels. Have them use the control cards afterward to check their work. 

For a memory game, put the label cards to the side and just use the picture card and control card. Place cards randomly face down and have children try to remember where each card is to match them. For increased difficulty, use the label card instead of the control card. 

Children in 3-6 can also practice matching images and objects like the 1-3 year olds. 

montessori 3 part cards spelling
From MontessoriFactory on Etsy

Teaching Definitions to Children Aged 6-9 Years

The goal of 6-9 year old’s is to be able to not only identify and read the cards, but also understand their definitions. 

Lay out the image cards in a line and have the children lay out the label cards. Then have them lay out the definition card with each label and picture, reading it aloud as they do. Finally, they should have access to a control card to check their work.

For increased difficulty, have them lay the definitions out first and then match the image and labels. 

This age group can also practice memory and matching images with words like the 3-6 year olds. 

Montessori 3 part cards with definitions
From MontessoriOpenPrint on Etsy

Fun Games to Play With Montessori 3 Part Cards

To go along with the traditional way of using the cards, you can incorporate a few fun games as well to keep your children interested. The goal of the cards is to have your children master the information on the cards, not simply match them. Games can help with this.

Some games include

  • Go-Fish 
    • Have children match control cards with pictures instead of numbers
  • What’s Missing Game
    • Put a few picture cards in front of your child and have them tell you what they are. Have them close their eyes and then remove one. When they open their eyes, ask them which one is missing. 
  • Scavenger Hunt
    • Lay control cards out on the table in a line, then hide picture cards throughout the room. Have children find the picture cards and bring them back to match with the correct control card. 
  • I-Spy
    • Lay control cards out on the table and have children identify each card as you lay it down. Then say, “I spy…” and have the children find whatever it is you spy. Whoever finds the card gets to keep it.

Do Montessori 3 Part Cards Work?

Now that you know what they are and how they work, are they worth using? Montessori 3 part cards do help children easily learn and understand new concepts. My 3-year-old nephew loves his cards and the different games we play with them. They are great because you can reuse the same cards as the children age in different ways to keep them learning and growing. 

montessori 3 part cards human organs
From TheCountryFamily on Etsy

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