One of the things that sets Montessori apart from other early childhood approaches is precision. At Forest School the toddlers love pouring and scooping in the mud kitchen but the water slops around everywhere (which is a fantastic sensory experience). But in Montessori, we focus on refining the senses, fine motor skills, accuracy and precision.
My toddler is fantastic with pouring a drink from a dispenser, tap or pitcher but I've noticed at our Montessori toddler class that he either doesn't understand how to use a funnel OR he is enjoying seeing the water overflow everywhere when using a funnel. So at home, I'm trying two things. First to provide lots of open-ended water play, so if he does enjoy watching the water go everywhere he has an opportunity to explore that. Secondly, I'm providing more precision based work with a funnel.
We start with this awesome Liquid Lab (c/o Lovevery). I colour the water so the child can see it easily and so he doesn't drink it.
Otto loves this set. He pours continuously. All of the repetition is good for his fine and gross motor skills and for building concentration. He asked for this later in the day so I will leave it out on his work shelves.
Later I provide a real-life application. Flower arranging with small vases, a small pitcher, and a funnel.
He gets close but he doesn't overfill it. It's wonderful to see the precision and care I knew he was capable of.
Who doesn't love flower arranging? Due to a few strands of lavender from our garden, this tray smells wonderful too. The child can listen and literally hear the water dripping through to the vase.
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