Preschoolers often enjoy building activities that help with eye-hand coordination along with the concepts right, left, and “right is tight, left is loose.” An activity can be as simple as having a few different sizes of nuts and bolts in a basket for children to put together.
(Note: This post was updated on 3/31/2013 to add information from the newly published 3rd edition of Montessori at Home. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.)
In John Bowman’s eBook Montessori at Home: The Complete Guide to Doing Montessori Early Learning Activities at Home, John has activities with nuts and bolts and a screwdriver board along with two practical life activities that are less commonly seen and are great ways to reinforce similar skills.
Building a Flashlight
Excerpt from Montessori at Home:
Turn something we do without thinking into a self-contained activity that provides muscle control and coordination practice, sequencing, and a safe experience with electricity. Neat!
(Excerpt and photos used with permission from John Bowman. The “right is tight” and “left is loose” cards are printables in the new edition of Montessori at Home.)
Excerpt from Montessori at Home:
Age Range 3-6
Goals of this Activity
- Exercise the small muscles of the hand and fingers in a new way
- Teach the concepts of right and left, and the “right is tight, left is loose‟ rule
- Allow the child to create free form pipe sculptures
- Reinforce the Activity Cycle
- A bowl or box
- 1” diameter male and female pipe fittings from the home improvement store. Get different lengths of pipe, curved and right angle elbows, caps, and T shaped pieces. Get at least 2-3 of each kind.
Presentation and Use
1. Have your child lay out a table mat to make a work space and bring the box with the pipe pieces to the mat.
2. Help your child as needed to get the hang of attaching the pieces together. Emphasize the “right is tight, left is loose‟ rule.
3. Let your child explore on her own.
4. When your child is done, she can take apart the pipe, put the bowl away, and put the mat away, completing the Activity Cycle.
Extending the Activity
- Run water through the pipe.
- Drop a small rock or a nut from the Nuts and Bolts activity into the finished pipe and work it down by turning and shifting the pipe. Stop at times before it comes out and see if your child can figure out where the object is in the pipe.
Visit Buttercup’s Babies for a parent’s account of doing the pipe building activity with her two boys, titled
“Plumbing: who knew it was fun and educational?”
This story nicely illustrates how activities can be extended to involve numerous interesting elements. This parent did a great job of helping her kids get the most from an activity they found highly interesting. Good job!
(Excerpt and photos used with permission from John Bowman and Gwen at Buttercup’s Babies.)
Montessori at Home! eBook Available Exclusively at Living Montessori Now!
The 3rd edition of Montessori at Home! eBook is only $6.95 (formerly $10.95) for 512 pages with over 300 early-learning activities!
In the eBook, you’ll also find a quick start guide, 225 educational digital tablet app recommendations, hundreds of links to sites, blogs, and videos, and 76 pages of printable materials!
You can get a free download of 51 sample pages from Montessori at Home eBook by clicking here! (This includes information on John’s simplified Montessori reading sequence.)
Here’s the direct link to the purchase page for Montessori at Home! eBook. Here’s the direct link to the purchase page for the Montessori at Home! Materials Bundle,which includes the Montessori at Home eBook AND over $60 worth of Montessori Print Shop materials to go with the book (now only $15.95)!
The Montessori at Home! eBook and Materials Bundle Available Exclusively at Living Montessori Now!
- Phases of the Moon (3-part cards & chart)
- Animals of the Continents
- Continents 3-Part Cards
- Land & Water Form Photo Book
- World – Control Maps, Masters and Labels
- Moveable Alphabet – Print – (includes full instructions)
- Sentence Cards – Step 1 – Set 1
- Word and Picture Cards – Step 1 – Read Pictures
- 1-100 Math Series
- Geometric Matching Cards
- Geometric Solids 3-Part Cards – Blue
- Skeleton Nomenclature Cards
- Tree Nomenclature Cards
- Phonics Sound and Picture Sorting
- Association of Objects
- What Does Not Belong
- The Five Senses
- Plant or Animal?
- Animals and Their Names
- Color Grading Cards
- Metal Insets – Shape Outlines
Excerpts and Activities from the Montessori at Home eBook
Montessori at Home! eBook is one of the books I recommend first for parents interested in Montessori education. You can read all the excerpts from the book that I’ve shared here at Living Montessori Now:
How to Prepare a Montessori Jar for Meaningful Preschool Activities at Home (an activity prepared using one of the book’s printables)
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