Preliminaries

There is a group of activities and materials which Montessori describes as ‘Preliminaries’. They are things and skills that help you to do other things. For example, if your child enjoys a bit of cooking then it might be useful for her to be comfortable at using a spoon, opening and closing bottles and boxes, folding and using cloths (to wipe up that spill that is sure to come:), pouring liquids and solids etc.

Below is a photograph I have just taken of a tray with boxes for the child to open and close, a jug and 2 cups which would normally be filled with some kind of grain or water, and a little mat with picture cards of vehicles on it. Because nothing is more exciting to your little one than talking and moving, we often name the materials and make our movements especially precise and graceful when showing them how to use something. So, instead of just telling your child that it’s a jug, try giving her even more! Such as the ‘spout’ or the ‘handle’ or the ‘rim’ and ‘base’! And if you’re up for it today, show her how you pour water for yourself but do it so you only pay attention to the pouring while keeping very quiet. If you have a go and liked it, leave us a comment! And when it’s not possible to have the real thing every time, some pictures on cards are always useful. This is especially relevant to 2 – 4 year olds and all of this can be discovered at our playgroup!

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