Monday, July 26, 2010

Pasta sensory work

Q's aunt watched her for me while I had a photo shoot last week. She introduced Q to working with some multi-colored dry pasta and said Q just loved it! I picked up a bag at the store and got it out for her today. I supplied her with three little nesting bowls, part of a cardboard egg carton, and a clear plastic measuring cup. This allowed opportunities for pouring, scooping, sorting, and one-to-one correspondance. Of course I won't expect all of that the first time she works with them, but over time she'll explore with the pasta in different ways and be open to suggestions from me. Today was simply open play where she could do whatever she wanted!
I also introduced her to a small pair of tongs (purchased at the Sal. Army for 25 cents). Tongs are the greatest fine-motor tool EVER! :) They help teach the skills necessary for both writing and scissoring. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. In the Montessori classroom I worked in the children served themselves all of their food by using tongs. Even barely 2-year olds were adept with them! And we saw evidence of their practice as they quickly mastered the pencil grasp and scissoring.

We use the words "Open, shut" as she works with the tongs. Sometimes I supply hand-over-hand help when she wants it.
Our noodle experience only lasted 8 minutes, if anyone's wondering. :)

I have chatted with some toddler moms lately who are frustrated that they take the time to set up art and sensory projects and then their child is only interested in participating for 2-3 minutes. I would encourage you to take heart! The first few times may not go smoothly, but the more you practice and the more familiar your child becomes with the materials, the longer they will want to work with it. I'd also recommend just allowing free exploration of any materials the first time you introduce them. Or even the first few times....let them get used to the objects and explore them the way they want, and then after they aren't such novel objects anymore, you can supply a little direction as to what you want the child to do with them.
Also try limiting the number of objects/choices you give. The first time you paint give 1 brush and 1 color of paint. After your child has mastered this, try offering more choices.
Also, I try hard to keep materials together and in an easy spot so that setting up/cleaning up for these types of projects isn't super involved on my part.
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