It is always so interesting to follow a child’s lead and to find ways to spark their interest in the Montessori preschool classroom. Over the past few weeks, I have observed my three-year-old Montessori student Jordan gravitate to the blocks and building material day after day.
I certainly understand the benefit of working with sensorial materials such as these. However, I have been hoping to observe Jordan take more of an interest in the Montessori Practical Life activities as they are especially beneficial to a young student in this sensitive period of development.
Montessori Preschool Practical Life Activities: Following the Child...Gone Fishing!The direct aim of Montessori Practical Life Activities is to assist the child in developing social skills and personal independence. The indirect aim is to develop the child’s gross and fine motor movement, which involves the body, intellect and will. At this age, students are particularly sensitive to order and counting, and the Practical Life activities in the Montessori environment are also designed to address these skills.
Jordan always has fishing stories to share, has taken a particular interest in our classroom fish (Monty), and he loves books about ocean creatures. Keeping this in mind, I decided to create some “fishing activities” to try to generate his interest in the Montessori Practical Life curriculum. It worked like a charm and the activities I created include the following:
1) Tong Transferring with Fabric Fish. I found the cutest little fabric fish (in all different colors) and placed them in a wooden bowl along with a pair of tongs and a miniature fish bowl. The look on Jordan’s face as he places the fish into their home (mini fish bowl) is priceless.
2) Spooning with Fish Containers. During a trip to the local thrift store, I came across the most adorable little fish containers and created a spooning work using two fish containers and some dry lentils that look like fish bubbles. Jordan loves transferring the bubbles from one fish container to the other.
3) Suction Fish and Marbles. On a tray, I placed a suction cup fish along with a container of marbles, and a pair of tweezers. Jordan showed such concentration transferring each marble onto the individual suction cup.
As a Montessori teacher, a great deal of time and effort goes into following each individual child but when the outcome is so positive, the feeling is indescribable! I am pleased to report that Jordan is now gravitating to the Montessori Practical Life shelves daily and enjoys all the “works” not just the fish related activities.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, November 4, 2010.