Infant-Toddler Montessori Lessons

Tweezing Indian Corn

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Ages: 16 months-4 years

Steps:

  1. Arrange a tray with an ear of Indian corn, a pair of tweezers, and one small bowl.

  2. If the child is right handed, sit on their right side. Pick up the tweezers, pausing to show the child the correct way to hold them. Say “this is how we hold tweezers.”

  3. Pick up the ear of corn in your non-dominant hand, and use the other hand to slowly remove a kernel of corn on the top, left side of the ear of corn, using the tweezers. Place the corn into the small bowl on the tray.

  4. Continue on demonstrating for the child how to tweeze the corn, moving slowly and carefully left to right, so the child mimics your graceful movements and control.

  5. Invite the child to have a turn.

Purpose:

  1. Develops pincer grip and fine motor skills

  2. Focus and concentration

  3. Prepares for future writing and reading as presentation is done left to right

 

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Fall Nature Sorting

Ages 14 months-4 years

Steps:

  1. Assemble a Sorting Tray with pumpkin seeds, acorns, leaves, and twigs in the center. (If you can go for a Nature Walk outside with your class beforehand to collect these items, even better!)

  2. Invite the child to a table and bring the Sorting tray with Fall items in the center.

  3. Carefully select an item from the middle, taking time to explore it with your hands and eyes, before handing it to the child to marvel at.

  4. When the child is ready she should hand the item back and you will place it in one of the sections on the outer edge of the tray.

  5. Pick up a different item from the center and repeat the above step, this time placing this item in a seperate section of the tray.

  6. Continue on sorting the items that are the same into the same section.

  7. Once you have sorted all of the items, place them one at a time back in the center of the tray and invite the child to have a turn.

 

Purpose:

  1. Develops visual discrimination and ability to classify

  2. Appreciation of nature

  3. Focus and attention span

  4. Following sequenced directions

 

Leaf Imprints

Age: 16 months-4 years

Steps:

  1. Take children outside to collect different leaves, flowers, grass, etc. in a basket.

  2. Assemble a tray with a plastic mat, play dough or clay, and the basket of gathings from outside.

  3. Knead playdough onto plastic mat to make a flat surface.

  4. Choose one item from the basket and gently press it into the playdough or clay.

  5. Pick the leaf up from the clay and examine the imprint left.

  6. Place leaf back into the basket, and invite the child to have a turn.

Purpose:

  1. Develops fine motor skills

  2. Develops visual discrimination

  3. Attention to detail

  4. Appreciation of nature/environment

Bobbing for Apples

Ages: 16 months-3 years

Steps:

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1.    Prepare a tray with a large bowl full of water, a basket filled with apples, (real or artificial, depending on age of children), a set of tongs, and a towel.

2.    Pick up tongs and model for the child how to hold them, slowly opening and closing for them to see.

3.    Slowly demonstrate picking up an apple with tongs from the basket and gently place the apple in the water-filled bowl.

4.    Transfer all the apples from the basket to the bowl with water one at a time.

5.    After all the apples are in the water, transfer them back to the basket one at a time and invite the child to have a turn.

6.    Use the towel to dry the tongs and each of the apples one at a time, and return the lesson to the shelf.

Purpose:

1.    Strengthens fine motor skills

2.    Hand-eye coordination

3.    Develops attention span

Water Spooning

Ages: 2 ½-5

Steps:

1.     Prepare a tray with two bowls of the same size, another bowl with plastic stars (or other object that will float), a pitcher, a spoon, and a towel.

2.     Teacher and child don aprons

3.     Take the pitcher from the tray and fill with water.

4.     Pour some water into the bowl on the left side of the tray, then the right.

5.     Use the spoon to gently spoon the objects into the bowl on the left side of the tray.

6.     Once all the objects are in the left bowl, use the spoon to slowly and carefully transfer one object at a time to the bowl on the right.

7.     Once all the objects have been transferred to the bowl on the right, turn the tray so the child may start from the left hand side and allow them to have a turn.

8.     After the child has practiced, show them how to return the objects to their original bowl using the spoon one at a time.

9.     Pour water from the bowls into the pitcher and pour the water from the pitcher into the sink.

10.  Use the towel to dry the inside of all the bowls and the outside and dry the pitcher as well.

11.  Return the tray to the shelf.

 

Purpose:

1.     Develops fine motor control

2.     Hand-eye coordination

3.     Attention span and concentration

4.     Develops ability to follow sequenced directions

 

Sorting Shells

15 months - 4 years

Steps:

  1. Collect an assortment of shells. Some should have similar attributes (color, shape, size) that they can be identified and discriminated by
  2. Arrange shells in a basket and invite the child to a rug
  3. Retrieve one shell from the basket and carefully examine it before handing it to the child to do the same. Place on left side of rug.
  4. Select a shell with a different identifying attribute and examine as before, allowing child to do the same and place to the right of previous shell.
  5. Continue on in this manner, placing shells that have matching attributes together in a group
  6. Once all the shells are sorted by size, color, or shape, gently replace the, one at a time to the basket and invite the child to complete the lesson by himself.
  7. Another day, sort the shells by a different identifier.

 

Purpose:

  1. Develops visual discrimination and ability to classify
  2. Develops concentration
  3. Attention to detail
  4. Fine motor and pincer grip essential later for pencil grip
  5. Stimulating interest and appreciation for nature

Easter Egg Matching

Age: 16 months-3

Purpose:

  1. Practice matching colors

  2. Develops fine motor skills by pulling apart and fitting eggs back together.

  3. Develops attention and ability to sequence and follow directions.

 

 

Steps:

  1. Arrange a basket with 6-8 Plastic Easter eggs, each opened so the halves are placed face down in a circle.
  2. Demonstrate to the child (with as few words as possible), one color at a time, how to place back together each top half with its matching-colored bottom.

Tonging Easter Eggs

Age: 16 months-3

Purpose:

  1. Develops fine motor skills and strengthens the muscles in the hand for future tasks such as holding a pencil.
  2. Develops focus, concentration, and ability to follow directions.

 

Steps:

  1. Arrange a tray with an egg carton with six Easter eggs in the top row as well as a pair of tongs.
  2. Demonstrate to the child how to hold the tongs and slowly, carefully pick up the first egg in the top left corner and place it gently in the bottom left corner of the egg carton.
  3. Do the same with the next egg and so on.
  4. Return the eggs one at a time from left to right back to the top half of the carton.
  5. To add interest for the child and help slow his movements you may wish to indicate how the eggs are making no noise as you place them carefully in their spot and challenge the child to see how quietly they can do it!