I always feel like it’s Christmas when I get a new delivery of items for our homeschool preschool. Most recently, I placed an order from Montessori Services. I would so love to order just about every item in their catalog, but alas, that is not possible. These are the items I did let myself purchase this time.
Obviously, in front are two brooms, both child-sized. Young children love feeling helpful and doing the things they see Mom and Dad do – including sweeping. Giving them real tools, sized to fit their own bodies, is so important in helping them actually carry out the tasks they desire to do. I will give my children a lesson on using the angle broom for sweeping inside, and using the push broom to sweep the porch, sidewalk, and garage outside.
Along the back are four trays. I have several trays already, but keep needing ones of the smaller size (which I bought three of this time), and needed an extra large one that will fit a full sheet of construction paper.
On the dark green tray is a glass pitcher with a lid. Drama Queen has been pouring her own drinks for a long time, and now Mr. BANG is doing the same. However, the little pitchers we’ve been using don’t hold enough for both children to get refills – they’ve each had their own little pitcher cluttering up the table. I’m excited about having this new pitcher that is still small enough that both children can pour from it, but it will hold enough water or milk for both of them. This could also be great to keep on a low shelf in the frig for children to be able to pour drinks for themselves throughout the day.
On the pink tray is a set of tongs (or do you just call it “a tong”?) for transferring work. I will place two bowls on a tray with small items in one of the bowls. (That could be pom-pom balls, candy corn, popcorn kernels, etc.) Then the child will use the tongs to transfer the items from one bowl to the other. You would think this would be monotonous work, but it actually is very enjoyable to young children. To them, the process is what is stimulating, not reaching some final product, so this is a very engaging activity for young children.
The purple tray contains two different crumb brushes for cleaning up a table. The metal/wooden set is the only of these new materials I’ve put into use so far. (I’ve had them less than 24 hours – give me time! 😉 ) I’ve been wanting it since Drama Queen was around 2, and am so happy to finally have it! The purpose is to help the children develop the independence and responsibility of cleaning their area of the table after eating. It’s like a teeny-tiny dust pan and broom, but it’s made specifically for table crumbs. One of my favorite features is that the brush has a little magnet on the back, so it stays attached to the metal tray!
When Mr. BANG cleaned up after breakfast yesterday, he brushed the crumbs into the tray.
Next, he carried the tray over to the trash can.
Then he used the brush to slide the crumbs into the trash can.
Drama Queen eagerly went through the process as well.
The other brush is plastic with a brush on the bottom, similar to a sweeper that you would use to clean carpet. It is best for tablecloths or cloth placemats. I actually don’t have any experience with this one. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase because it came in a set with the metal/wood one. (You don’t have to buy them as a set.)
The rest of the materials I received the other day are for a table washing activity. We have done some table washing before, but never the full Montessori lesson with all the steps. Part of my problem before is that I didn’t have quite the right materials; I used materials that I had around the house, and they were too heavy. Now that we have appropriately sized and lightweight materials, I think Mr. BANG especially is at the point where he would really enjoy the concentration and movement it will take to carry out the full process.
* Drama Queen got to use the new pitcher tonight and it worked great!