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Learning to Tie A Knot - at 3 to 4 yrs

How to Tie Knot  Knot Tying Tray Activity at How we Montessori  instruction card and rope (2)

Many activities in art or sewing rely on the child being able to tie a knot, or rely on an adult being available to tie the knots. At Forest School we often make nature mobiles or garlands which needs lots of knots. Sewing buttons, embroidery work, beading also requires knots and my three year old gets frustrated when he needs help to complete the work. Rope is also a fun loose parts material that can be used in construction, block building or building forts. 

I decided to present knot tying (as above) as an independent, isolated activity. This is to give my child lots of practice focusing on just tying knots. This is also interesting work that can assist in developing fine motor skills.

When I first presented this I demonstrated how to tie the knot many times, I also presented it with my three-year-old's older siblings and we all sat together tying knots with our ropes. My three-year-old was able to tie a knot with his rope but also couldn't do it consistently, lots of repetition is needed and we will keep this activity out for a while. 

How to tie a knot activity knot tying at How we Montessori

For our knot tying tray we are using 8mm cotton cord rope. We have other ropes at home that were either too thick or had a plastic-type coating that made it really stiff. This rope is soft and flexible.

How to Tie a Knot at How we Montessori (1)

While it would be easy to make a card for this activity yourself, I like and use this How to Tie A Knot Poster from Art Choice Studio (on TpT). While my child can't read, this card acts like a prompt and the pictures are enough to get him started with the knot.

How to tie a knot activity knot tying at How we Montessori

And success!

Let's see other ways parents and teachers have presented knot tying. 

This tray shows different stages of a simple knot using yarn. 

Knot tying (Trillium Montessori)

Seemi at Trillium Montessori has used a card showing the stages of a knot, presented with a ribbon.

Montessori Art Mentor also has a lovely red tray with a knot card and red rope here, under Knot Tying.

I like how Teach Preschool has taught knot tying as a group activity, I can see this working well with older children being able to help the younger children, and I like their long pieces of rope as it can incorporate big movements.

In Chapter Three, Prelimary Lessons, Sewing in the Montessori Classroom recommends knot tying from 2.5yrs, and has a brief lesson description, suggesting about 18 inch long rope presented in a basket, starting with a heavy rope and moving to thinner materials as the child progresses. 

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