What you'll need:
Small water pitcher, water dropper, or bottle
Empty ice cube tray
Ice cube making is the perfect Montessori activity for these late summer days. An excellent practical life activity, the act of filling the tray with water challenges children's coordination and muscle control, cultivates spatial reasoning, and allows them to explore the concept of volume.
All you need is an empty ice cube tray and small water vessel to get started. We suggest a small measuring pitcher or water dropper depending on your child's abilities. Be ready with paper towels. Spills are likely to happen as your child masters their pouring/transferring skills.
The wonderful thing about this practical life activity is that they can see the result of their hard work in a few short hours. Take the opportunity to discuss the science behind ice, and how water freezes and melts at different temperatures. For added fun include fresh fruit that can be added to a drink—or a small object they can watch appear over time as the ice melts away.
Why It's Important:
As children practice pouring activities they are also developing other types of skills, such as:
As children pour they begin to gain a better understanding of the amount of space they have to work with and how much water is needed to fill —or overflow— a container.
With practice children strengthen their ability to control and be more precise with the flow of what they are pouring—and can soon master pouring into smaller openings.
As children pour they must think about how close or far away they need to be, how fast or slow and long to pour, and when to stop—all of which support relational skills, as well as mathematical and scientific thinking.
As children practice pouring they are becoming aware that they can make decisions such as whether to stop or continue pouring, and that their decisions will result in natural consequences.
As children learn to pour they are developing skills that will further their independence and ability to take care of themselves—such as pouring a glass of water or serving a snack.
What it teaches:Hand Eye Coordination
Focus & Concentration