The Montessori Method is a wonderful educational program.
It sets itself apart for many reasons.
One of these reasons is that it includes one of the most helpful and most unique subjects.
That subject is called Practical Life.
This subject helps children learn skills that will be helping them move from dependence to independence.
It is known for focusing on learning activities that care for self, care for others and care of the environment.
In this post, you can read, watch and listen to my live training that focuses on 3 transferring activities.
These activities fall under the Practical Life Montessori subject.
It will help you understand how to set up dozens of Montessori Practical Life transferring activities and will set up the children for success.
“The environment should reveal the child not mold him.” ~Maria Montessori
As you prepare your environments and the way that you follow the sensitive periods for that your child or the children that you’re working with will bring the best out of them.
The Montessori Practical Life -3 subject is one of my favorite ones.
Whether you are doing Montessori at home or in a Montessori school setting, it’s in very unique to the Montessori philosophy.
It is one of the least expensive subjects because you most likely already own the items to use in your home environment.
I love it because it incorporates real life activities which bring confidence self-esteem and independence in the child.
I have said before in The Montessori Way Foundations Workshop that Practical Life activities are the ones that bring the fastest tangible transformation in a child from dependence to independence.
It is a staple subject in The Montessori Curriculum 3-6.
If you want a child to gain independence, to gain confidence, to gain self-esteem then you want to start with Practical Life activities.
Let’s get started with these Montessori activities that are great for child development!
You can start these activities with children as young as 2 years of age.
Montessori toddlers find this set of activities very intriguing.
The Montessori teacher or guide will set up a Practical Life area for young children that are safe and high quality.
You will have child-sized table and chairs for them to do these activities.
On a tray, you will place:
- 2 bowls
- transferring tool
- dry transferring items
In one of the bowls, you will place the transferring item.
It can be beans, mini erasers, breakfast cereal, marbles, jingle bells, coffee beans or anything you have handy that will work.
The other bowl is empty because that is where the items will be transferred to.
In this case, the transferring tool will be a spoon.
Sometimes, the dollar section in some stores have mini erasers and small items.
I want you to start using breakfast cereal if you are working on this activity with a very young child.
You can start this at around two or so depending on what the tool will be.
It’s easier for the child to use hand us a tool and then move onto external tools, which we’re focusing on.
The reason why I suggest you starting with the breakfast cereal or anything that is edible is because these have to be small enough objects for the child to transfer.
And sometimes, small items such as marbles can run the risk of being choking hazards.
So, number one, you have to set yourself up for success by always supervising this activity.
And number two, set your child up for success by giving them items that they can be successful in.
You always have to supervise and you always have to make sure that the child is safe and that they are able to do the activity in the right way.
There is some pushback in terms of some people saying that this will encourage children to “play” with their food.
But this is not play. This is work and they are learning how to live their lives independently.
One of the things that they have to learn is how to transfer food when they’re serving themselves independently.
You can use different kinds of spoons, depending on what the transferring material will be.
You can have small child-sized spoons or ladles.
The second transferring tool is tongs.
You can have different kinds, from child-sized kitchen tongs to large tweezers and regular tweezers.
This uses a different set of muscles as they have to keep pinching the item during the entire time that the items is getting transferred.
Also, with this tool, the child will most likely transfer one item at a time, as opposed to spoons, which can hold more than one item.
The pincer grip that this activity focuses on is also a great pre-writing activity.
I highly suggest you start with spoons and then graduate to tongs.
If you decide to use cooked or uncooked rice for the tongs/tweezer activity, I suggest you don’t put too many in the transferring bowl.
This is because it can take some time to transfer one at a time and become frustrating to the child.
Chopsticks are the hardest transferring activity out of the three and I believe you can see why.
It requires a lot of concentration just to hold them correctly, let alone successfully transferring items from one bowl to another!
As complicated as it may look, there are ways to help the child by adding small plastic clips to hold the chopsticks together.
The applied pressure will help the child focus on the pinching instead of the way of holding the chopsticks.
Please see some examples below.
It is a great way of practicing fine motor skills as well as pre-writing skills.
Find small items that you already have at home and you will help your child be successful in this activity.
Focus more on the tools than the transferring items because there are SO many that you can use.
Try the tools yourself before offering them to the child because some tools are better to use first for their ease of use.
And there are some transferring items that are better for some tools.
For example, a spoon is better for marbles, tongs are better for mini erasers and chopsticks are better for small pieces of foam or sponge.
HERE ARE THE RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Like I said at the beginning of the show, I have a FB group for all things Montessori that you are welcome to join.
It is called The Montessori Way Prep Room.
If you want to join a homeschool Facebook community, then join The Natural Homeschool Community!
You May Also Benefit from these Important Montessori Topics:
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