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The case for clear and transparent materials in the Montessori infant/toddler environment

Clear and transparent Montessori tools at How we Montessori  infant and toddler environment

I recently ordered a clear watering can for Otto. It's super cute, would also make a good bath toy, but I love that he can see how much water is in it when filling it up and he can see all of the water pouring out as he is watering the garden. Infants and toddlers are trying to make sense of the world, transparent materials like this can help them see how containers works, help them see how full things are, help the child to see what is going on.

"The transparency also helps the child to make spontaneous scientific connections, such as linking the volume of the water to the weight of the can or observing the movement and flow of liquid as it is poured out onto the plants."- Montessori Child.

I've recently seen lots of children using little clear buckets at the beach, at ponds and, on piers crabbing. They look beautiful and they make it easy for the small child to see what is in it. I was thinking how much easier it would be for a child to use around the home too. 

Little clear containers are essential in our Montessori home, at 11 months Otto wants to help put liquid soap/bubble bath in his bath, soap on his hands, as he gets older and starts to do these things independently small, easy to use, clear containers help. I've seen clear tissue covers used in Montessori toddler classes and again it makes sense, the child can see, doesn't need to be told, when the tissues have run out. 

When pouring or drinking, glass or transparent cups and pitchers help. Clear storage containers help the child to identify what they need. Clear vases allow the child to see how much water is in it but also to observe the roots or stems of the flowers. Clear paint pots and glue pots also help the child to easily see how much is left and help when the child is refilling. I find all of these are particularly important in the infant/toddler stage. 

  • Watering Can (UK, Australia) - our DIY version.
  • Bucket (UK, USAustralia)
  • Water Pump (UK, Australia)
  • Glass Bowls - we use Duralex
  • Pitchers
  • Vases
  • Glue Jars
  • Tissue Box
  • Drinking Glasses - we use Duralex
  • Paint Pots
  • Pouches 
  • Cosmetics Bottles - soap/sunscreen/lotion/shampoo/bubble bath/washing liquid dispensers
  • Spray/Cleaning Bottles
  • Storage Containers

We also like to grow plants in water so that children can observe the roots. For slightly older children we also love clear root viewers, clear bird feeders and, clear composting stations which all allow the child to see and observe as much as possible!

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