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.)
John Bowman’s Montessori at Home eBook (available exclusively as part of the Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle in the Living Montessori Now shop) is filled with amazing ideas for families.
The Montessori at Home! eBook and Materials Bundle Available Exclusively on Living Montessori Now!
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 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 $14.95)!
Here’s the list of 21 printable Montessori materials included in the bundle:
- 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
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)
Activities Using Some of the Montessori Print Shop Materials from the Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle
Here are activities I published using just 4 of the 21 Montessori Print Shop materials from the Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle:
Again, John Bowman’s Montessori at Home eBook is available exclusively as part of the Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle in the Living Montessori Now shop!
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards) and Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information). You can find me on Google+ (post updates), bloglovin’, Instagram, and YouTube, too.
And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll get two awesome freebies (and a monthly subscriber freebie) in the process!