What is the Walking on the Line Activity in Montessori?

Walking on the Line is a fun and educational activity for all kids, whether you’re following the Montessori style of parenting and teaching or not.

This is an activity I do with my own children so I can offer tried and tested advice from my own personal experience of trying this activity. I’ve mad sure to answer all the questions I had when I first found out about this activity, and give examples to illustrate.

In this article I will cover what the Walking on the Line Montessori Activity is, the Benefits of it for your child, my top tips for setting up the activity, and lots of fun variations and extensions for this activity that you can do both inside and outside.

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Pin text reads, what is the Montessori activity walking on the line? Plus some fun variations! Image of 2 kids walking along an orange line.

What is the Walking on the Line Activity?

Walking the Line is an example of a control of movement activity in Montessori.

It develops practical life skills that will help them in many ways, both now and as they grow.

This activity also fits under the Montessori category of a Grace and Courtesy lesson too.

The basic idea is that the teacher or parent marks out an ellipse on the floor with tape.

What is an Ellipse in Montessori?

When I first began using the Montessori walk the line activity with my own kids, I had never heard of an ellipse before. I had no idea what they were talking about!

I soon discovered that an ellipse is, put simply, a symmetrical oval. All ovals are ellipses, but the classic egg shape, for example, is also classed as an oval (I had no idea!), and this egg shape is not an ellipse.

If we wanted to be really scientific about it, an ellipse has an actual mathematical formula but, for the purposes of this exercise, I really don’t feel we need to be that precise!

You can check out my rough outline of an ellipse below for a visual. Tried and tested by my own two lovely kiddos!

An example of an ellipse for the Montessori activity walking the line, drawn with tape on the floor.

Walking the line requires our kids to walk carefully along this line. I encouraged my kids to keep their whole foot on the line for this activity, placing their foot down with their heel first.

A distance of an arm’s length must be kept from the person in front of them.

So, that’s the basic idea. Now, to make it more fun there are lots of extensions, or variations, that can be made to this activity.

I came up with a bunch of ideas which I have listed further down that will spice up this activity and add more challenge to it.

When should you use this Activity?

This activity can be used as a stand-alone activity or used in-between sitting activities to add in some movement to the day and use up some energy.

Adding in Music

Sometimes this activity is done with music.

Any calming music will work or you can use the special Montessori Walking the Line Song by Sanford Jones.

What age group is the Walk the Line Activity for?

The Walking the Line Activity is great for kids aged between 2.5 years to around 5 years of age.

However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that children develop at different rates, so if balance and coordination are something your older child is struggling with, then these activities can work well for them too.

Alternatively, if you have a child younger than 30 months who you feel would be able to try these activities, then there is nothing stopping you from doing it with them.

These ages are simply a rough guide.

Pin text reads, 8 incredible benefits from walking on the line. Fun Montessori activities for preschoolers. Image of feet walking on the line.

What are the Benefits for Children of Walking on the Line?

So, you’re perhaps wondering, what are the benefits of the Walk the Line Activity?

Why is it important to walk the line in Montessori?

There are several reasons why this activity, or lesson, is an important one to teach our little kids. It is a great basic skill to work on before moving on to more challenging skills as it sets a good foundation.

The Montessori Walking on the Line Activity helps with:

  • Control of movement
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Concentration
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Self-Control
  • Personal Boundaries
  • Being Respectful in a Shared Space

An image of two kids doing the Montessori Activity Walking on the Line in the living room.

Tips for Walking the Line

  • Be prepared and have the activity set up ready for the kids before they arrive.
  • Explain to them what the activity is and why its important.
  • Demonstrate it to them so they can visually see what is expected.
  • Begin with one child at a time doing the activity and gradually build up to doing it in groups.
  • Try some variations to keep it interesting and increase the challenge level. (Suggestions below!)
  • Afterwards, chat about it together. Ask how they felt, what went well, and what was tricky for them.

Pin text reads, 9 indoor activities to practice walking on the line. Fun Montessori Activities for Preschoolers. Image of a kid walking on along a line.

Fun Ideas for Walking on the Line Activities Indoors

Once your kids have mastered the basic Montessori Walk the Line Activity, you can start to add variations to keep it interesting for them and to push them further in their development.

These variations help kids learn to multitask, using multiple skills at once.

  • Walking the Line whilst Balancing an object on their head (Beanbag, Book, Pair of Socks!)
  • Walking in time with Music (Helps develop a Sense of Rhythm)
  • Playing a game at the same time as walking on the line (I-Spy, Simon Says)
  • Walking like Different Animals (Walk like a Mouse, T-Rex, Gorilla)
  • Walking at Different Speeds (Very Slow, Walking Speed, Fast)
  • Walking with Different Emotions (Walk as if you’re: Grumpy, Excited, Disappointed)
  • Walking whilst Waving a Flag
  • Ringing a Bell whilst you Walk
  • Carrying items whilst you walk (Handful of Beads, Cup of Water, A Tray)

Pin text reads, 6 outdoor activities to practice walking on the line. Instructions and examples included. Image of feet walking along a border edge.

Opportunities to Practice Walking the Line Outside

There are so many fun opportunities for your kids to practice the Walk the Line Activity outside.

You don’t even have to plan these as separate activities, as you can fit most of them into your day-to-day activities.

  • Walking along the lines on a Tennis, or Basketball Court at a Park
  • Walking along the edge of a Flower Border where there is a block edge
  • Drawing zig zig lines to walk along with chalk on the Sidewalk
  • Drawing a Line in the Sand to walk along
  • Walking along a Balance Beam at a Playpark
  • Walking along a narrow log on a Nature Walk in the Forest

The Montessori Walking on the Line Activity

We have really enjoyed practicing the Montessori Walk the Line Activity in our home and trying out different variations in our local community.

I hope that you have as much fun learning with your kids as I did!

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