Friday, March 21, 2008

Tongs and Droppers

In October, I toured a Montessori 3-6 classroom in Little Rock; that's where I got my first inspiration for this work. Since then, I saw this idea at Montessori Mama using tweezers and this idea using droppers.

When I returned from Little Rock, I went on a mad hunt to find soap dish with suction cups on the bottom. All I could find was a cute $7 pack of frogs at Target. I bought it then felt guilty for paying so much for something I knew I could find cheaper so I took it back the next day.

Today I stopped at The Dollar Tree because Montessori Mama said she found her green dinosaurs there. A pack of 6 orange butterflies cost $1. I felt better about that.

When I introduced this work (or "game" as we call it), I asked him to count the suction cups (14). Then we counted out 14 M&Ms. I had him separate them by colors. We talked about which color had the most, least, fewer, greater, etc. Then I had him line them up starting with the least and going to the most. All the while, he was asking to eat them. :) Finally, for the last stage of the game we used the tongs.

If I remember correctly, the work is to help build hand/eye coordination as well as muscle strength for writing not to mention concentration.

I wanted to find a set of bamboo toast tongs but didn't so I settled for this stainless steel ice cube tongs. The ice cube tongs were a bit cumbersome in his hands. He really had to work at keeping the M&Ms in its grasp. I think the bamboo would be easier to manipulate.

Another difficulty: the M&Ms were a bit big or awkward for the suction cups; they wouldn't behave and kept rolling off. Marbles would work better.
Or...maybe Skittles! When JI went to his room for "room time" I found this uneaten bag of chocolate Skittles. They taste gross and that's why they're still in my cabinet. I also decided to try an easier set of tongs that I know he can manipulate. He actually calls them his "shockers." Don't ask me why he nick-named them that. He has several pairs/styles of shockers that he likes to play with.

Last, but certainly not least, is the dropper work. Below I have two types of droppers and a small glass of green water. As I type this, I'm thinking that before he tries it I will change the glass to a shallow bowl - which would be less likely to spill. The object is to drop small droplets of water into each of the suction cups. When I tried both droppers the small green one is easier to control.
A month or so ago, I tried to show him how to use a dropper and he wasn't quite interested so I'm looking forward to see how he responds to this.


Montessori Mama said...

M&Ms!! I'm lovin' this.
Thank you ofr your kind words and for reading my blog.
I love yours and have added you to my Mama's who I Enjoy List.
Thank you for sharing your stories with us all.
aka Montessori Mama

Shannon said...

I did the dropper with Joshua a month or so ago and he loved the work but the clean up was a nightmare. If you find a good solution, please let me know. We tried sucking it up with the eyedropper and wiping spills but it "gets into" everywhere!


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