Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sponge Work

One great Montessori-inspired activity I love is sponging water from one container to another. I set out a little tray with 1 bowl full of water and 1 empty bowl, as well as a small sponge (I cut the regular ones in half). Q then submerges the sponge in water, holds it over the empty bowl and squeezes. We always work from left to right (print awareness--the way words and letters run). This promotes fine motor skills, hand and wrist strength , concentration, practical life skills, sensory and tactile exploration, and arm strength.

Sometimes I add a little bit of peppermint or lemon extract to make the water smell nice, and I always let Q choose if she wants warm or cold water in the bowl.

In Q's dish cabinet I put out a little container of sponges. She puts one on the table when she eats to clean her fingers, face, or any spills that may occur. Sponges are more managable for toddlers because even if they are sopping wet they aren't drippy, and they fit better in small hands. They also hold more liquid for cleaning spills.
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