Last week, I decided to get the pasta and string out for Freddie and Sasha so they could partake in some good old-fashioned pasta threading. Great for developing fine-motor skills, this is always a winner with my two, and really is great for improving concentration and patience.
I also must have lost my tiny mind, as I thought it would be a good idea to get a load of rice, two ‘bowls’ and a cup for scooping and pouring, and let both children pour and play with the rice. Believe me, this is one for the hardcore among you- I’ve been finding rice in all sorts of random places nearly a week on, it went EVERYWHERE!
From a Montessori perspective, pouring rice begins to open up a world of independence for your toddler. They start with trying to transfer and pour the rice from one vessel to another, and as they get better and better, less and less rice is spilled. Once they are confident with this, you can move on to practicing with a jug of water/juice, and pouring into bowls, and then progress to pouring from a jug into a drinking cup. Et voila- your little one can begin to pour their own drinks!
Both these activities bring out a sense of self-reliance, and if you lead by example, encourage neatness and cleaning up after themselves. Cleaning up with brooms and a dust pan and brush was just as much fun for my two!
I was surprised that the children sat down and played with the pasta and rice for a good 45 minutes. Sasha was entranced with the pouring of the rice back and forth, and took great pleasure in showing me what she was doing. I also find it fascinating how children can still use their imaginations with the most basic of materials. After a while Freddie stopped threading the pasta, and mixed some rice in with it and started creating a “rabbit mountain, where the rabbits live”, without any prompting at all!
A great activity rain or shine- even better if you can take it outdoors and save your house!
Let kids be kids!