The last couple of Montessori Monday's I've shared posts about Kale's floor bed and dressing basket, and so I thought it was time to get back to an activity. I took my inspiration from the many beautiful sand tray's I've seen online -
However, I knew Kale wasn't going to be interested in tracing letters or numbers in the sand (despite his new obsession with counting EVERYTHING..."oooonee, threee, four - FOUR POOP!"), but did think he'd like the texture and pouring. Turned out I was right! Kale loved this activity and was really focused throughout.
Activity: working with sand
Age: 23 months
Materials: bowl/tray, coloured sand, straw, funnel, spoon, container
Recognition of Identify
Kale was so excited to see BLUE sand! He took a few seconds just to take it all in and go over the different tools in the bowl. We went over each one, naming it and looking at it. I was surprised at the patience he showed since I knew he was just dying to get his hands into the sand!
Recognition of Identify
It didn't take Kale long to figure out how all the different tools worked. He quickly unscrewed the container and tried spooning the sand in. I suggested he try the funnel (a new tool for him and a new word too) and he got it right away. When I suggested using a different tool, he'd pick it up and give it a try so he clearly understood what each one was and what it could be used for with the sand.
Although he's obviously played in sand before (and eaten his fair share too!), he seemed to enjoy the texture in a different way than when he's digging holes or building castles at the beach or playground. He liked pouring the sand over his finger tips and when he got some on the table, he rubbed his hands across the sand.
Discrimination Between Similar Objects
The tools were all pretty different so I wasn't sure how to incorporate this part of the presentation. Kale was clearly enjoying filling the container, taking the lid on and off, and pouring the sand - all skills we've worked on with other Montessori activities! After about twenty minutes (which is a loooooong time in Kale's world), he started to get more interested in pouring the sand outside the bowl, so we wrapped things up.
I'm really looking forward to Kale working with sand trays more as he gains more interest in writing letters and numbers. In the meantime, this was a great activity for developing his fine motor skills and we'll definitely be taking some of the tools to the playground with us this summer!