Thursday, March 07, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Montessori Activities for Fine Motor Skills with Complimentary Printable

NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills clothespin basket matching

St. Patrick's Day is a wonderful time to bring a bright pop of green into the classroom to shake off the winter doldrums! To help celebrate the Irish spirit with your Montessori students, we have created some easy to make, fun to do activities that will help to challenge and develop fine motor skills. Read on for instructions and a complimentary PDF printable to help you prepare a Lucky Clover Garden and a St. Patrick's Day matching activity, using items you likely already have in the classroom!

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Montessori Fine Motor Skills Activities

Fine motor skills are the detailed movements that can be made with hands and fingers, and they are an important part of hand-eye coordination as children grow older. One of the reasons Montessori materials are so special and effective is that each work incorporates gross and fine motor skills directly into the activity. While children may be focusing on learning which upper and lower case letters correspond, they are also practicing their pincer grasp and wrist rotation, which are important when learning to write.

St. Patrick's Day Clothespin Matching

NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills clothespin basket matching

What You Need:
  • wooden clothespins - very inexpensive at your local dollar store or department store
  • a basket, tin, or paper plate - you likely will already have a container to use. If you would like to make it more festive, decorate it with construction paper or paint it green!
  • scissors, and glue or tape

NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills clothespin basket matching

What You Do:
  • Carefully cut out each separate letter and picture in a square, leaving white space all the way around. You will notice that "St. Patrick's Day" has no repeated letters, if you make sure to keep the T. from St. together, and the 'S from Patrick's together.
  • Attach the capital letters and large symbols around the outside edge of your basket or plate, at evenly spaced intervals, alternating symbols and letters.
  • Attach the lower case letters and small symbols to the flat side of each clothespin, making sure that the letter can be read when the pin is clipped to your container.
  • The pins may be kept in the container or on the plate when on the shelf. Invite the children to look at the letters and symbols around the outside of the container, then to remove the clothespins and arrange them in random order on a flat surface. The child may then clip the lower case letters and small symbols around the rim of the container, above the matching uppercase letters and large symbols; the control of error lies in that there are no extra pins.
NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills clothespin basket matching

Green Vegetable Inspiration

NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills green vegetables
There are many healthy green vegetables that are tasty and perfect for St. Patrick's day in the Montessori classroom! Have children use heart- or clover-shape cookie cutters on cucumbers or zucchini to create tasty shamrock snacks. You can also cut green peppers width-wise to create a four leaf clover shape - when students are not munching on them, they are great for dipping in paint and using to make print art!

St. Patrick's Day Lucky Clover Garden

NAMC st. patrick's day montessori activities fine motor skills pipe cleaner colander lucky clover garden

What You Need:
  • a colander
  • green pipe cleaners - you can also include other colors to incorporate the rainbow
What You Do:
  • No special preparation is required for this activity! When on the shelf, the pipe cleaners may be stored in the colander. 
  • Depending on the age of your students, you may twist the pipe cleaners into shamrock and clover shapes beforehand. Older children will enjoy creating their own clovers and flowers to use for the activity, either individually or as a circle time activity.
  • Children can insert and arrange the pipe cleaners in the holes of the colander to create a reusable arrangement for the classroom.
We hope you enjoy these fun activities with your students! If you would like recipes, history, and other activities to celebrate St. Patrick's day in your Montessori classroom, you can look through our previous St. Patrick's day blog posts here.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, March 7, 2013.


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