A Child's Work Tools...
Ever wake up in the morning to find your child pouring cereal into different containers? All your pots are spread out and he's trying to stack or nest them? Or a friend found her daughter scooping sugar into a baby bottle...
Instead of buying a new toy from the store, the home is a natural toy shop with all sorts of fascinating games! Follow her lead and plan a new "tool" (or home toy) to help expand her natural interest in transferring materials from one container to another. In our case, Zozie constantly wanted to pour his own drinks, so I planned the "Pouring Jugs" exercise to help facilitate his curiosity. All other tools came about in the same way.
1) Watching your child & his actions.
2) Design a work tool to compliment his natural actions.
If you do it in reverse, chances are, they won't be into it.
And if you are not watching & observing, you won't really know what tools to create.
The Montessori recommendation is to present a new tool for learning only as a child is ready for it. They are "ready" when they are doing a coarse version of a particular skill on their own. These various tools are designed to allow a child to practice and master something that he finds natural interest in, given his developmental level.
Remember, it's all child-driven, with the teacher observing and guiding.
Tools are stored individually on a wooden tray with handles and rotated out depending on the interest of the child.
Below are some "Practical Life" tools I've come up with at home.
These mimic some classic presentations in a Montessori preschool.
|Threading Beads: Hand Eye Coordination & Sorting|
|Thongs Transfer: Pre-Chopsticks Skills, Pencil Grip|
|Matching Caps: Twist & Cap Functions|
|Fabric Matching: Textures & Colors|
|Nesting Cups: Size Differentiation|
|Cutting: Grip & Slice Motion|