This Valentine’s season I really lucked out in finding some very inexpensive materials that could be used in multiple ways. Because of this, I am able to incorporate several Montessori inspired activities into preschool. Included are tonging activities, sorting, one to one correspondence, and patterning. Since most of these trays include beads, please be sure to supervise your child, as these small parts can be a choking hazard.
Invite your child to use heart shaped pony beads and pink pipecleaner to practice patterning. An examples can be provided for your child to follow, or for more advanced pattern makers, children can be challenged to make a pattern of their own.
Mini Eraser Tonging
I found these mini Valentine’s erasers at a dollar store, and they are just the right size for tonging with small party tongs. Place all the erasers in one bowl and invite your child to use the tongs to transfer each eraser from one bowl to another, using the tongs. This activity is designed to strengthen the fine motor muscles in the hand, fingers, and wrist.
I found these heart shaped containers at a dollar store, and with some heart shaped pony beads they make the perfect addition to a Montessori inspired Valentine’s color sorting activity. In this activity, students can practice the pincher grasp by transferring the beads by hand from the main container into the color matching heart shaped containers.
One to One Correspondence
Using the same heart shaped containers as the activity above, label the lids with a numeral and invite your child to count beads into the containers. While only numerals 1 through 5 are pictured, this activity could extend all the way to twenty for students who need more of a challenge.