Most well known for scooping and pouring activities is the Montessori method. Scooping and pouring is used as a means to develop fine motor skills associated with practical life skills, not to mention the value of sensory experiences in young childhood education. Fortunately, scooping and pouring activities are easy to incorporate into at-home or preschool education.
The supplies include a tray, two identical bowls or containers, something to scoop and pour, such as rice or dried beans, and a scoop.
Set out the materials in front of your child and model how to play with them. I mention this because when given new materials with which to explore, children benefit from knowing their boundaries, and their learning space benefits from less mess. (With Corinne still in the stage of putting everything in her mouth, I must be especially careful of activities like these to avoid accidental choking hazards).
Now, you can see in the picture that there was a scoop for William to use…and he did use the melon baller to scoop the beans from one container into the other, for a little while. But, my creative little guy is about getting the job done efficiently, so he tossed aside the scoop and began pouring, with no instruction from me. This was fine.
While scooping and pouring are two separate skills worth practicing (the muscle use is different in each), I let William choose how he wanted to use the materials, staying within the boundaries I’d set forth. Perhaps next time he’ll be more interested in scooping rather than pouring.