September 23, 2009

Pom Pom Trays


(Yes, he's schooling naked. Sometimes ya gotta do that!)

One of the focuses of the early Montessori educations is experiencing fine motor movements so repetitively that it become second nature and can be transferred easily to other skills down the line. With this in mind, I set up a small activity for the boys on a low shelf that they can get down any time they choose.

I placed a small bag of fuzzy pom poms from the craft store, a pair of tweezers from our science kit, and 2 trays in an activity box. They use the tweezers to move the pom poms from one tray to the other. Shockingly, even though this is a very sought after activity that they love to do, they also take turns with no fussing while they do it. Generally Hunter says, "You move them to this tray and then I'll move them back. Okay?" Haven almost always agrees. They sit and watch the other move the pom poms and cheer them on while they wait for their turn. It's like magic. Sometimes they will even call out the color of the pom pom as they move it.

This is an activity that I saw being done in a Montessori school in Boston, and I love it's simplicity. They practice manipulating small tools, order of operations, and sometimes even color identification. Best of all, you can actually afford it. Why are Montessori tools so darn expensive, anyway?

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