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Setting Up Pouring Activities

When setting up pouring activities for your child or for a classroom, keep in mind the real purpose of the work:  Coordination, Concentration, Independence, and Control.  What is important is not the act of moving beans, rice, or water from one vessel to the next, but gaining these skills necessary to complete the task.

Some simple guidelines to follow:

  • Use larger objects (large beans or acorns) to pour first, then move to smaller objects (rice or beads), and finally water.
  • Begin with vessels without handles, with a spout.  Move to vessels with handles and a spout.
  • As the child gets more practice, add more small vessels on the right.
  • Children who are  experienced with pouring work can handle no spout, and pouring with a purpose  such as food preparation or drinking water.
  • Use a tray as a control of error.  Objects spilled will fall there, and be noticed by the child.  It will be easier for the child to clean up after himself if there is a tray.  Some large plates work for this, as long as the child can carry it to and from a shelf successfully.
  • For water pouring, provide a small sponge or absorbent cloth (old cloth diapers work wonders!) on the tray for the child to clean up the spout and tray.
  • Adding a touch of color to the water can add interest and make it easier to see for spills.  Food coloring or liquid water color works well.
  • Aim all handles toward the child’s belly.  This allows for the child to develop his own hand dominance.
  • Pour from left to right first.
  • Larger vessel on the left.
  • Add interest by changing the objects inside the vessels or changing the trays.
  • Place the easiest pouring work on the top left, gradually increasing difficulty level as the eye travels to the right and to the bottom.  Always display work from left to right, top to bottom-  just like reading.

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Be prepared to help fix the work at first, be patient, and show the lesson like you are choosing the pouring work yourself.  Have fun!!!

Jessie is a mother of three beautiful daughters (twin tots & a preschooler), an AMS trained Montessori teacher of 40 students, and a wife to one. Jessie has a background in dance, a yoga certification, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Jessie has a childhood education blog at http://educationofours.blogspot.com/. Jessie is also on Twitter @educationofours.

Comments

  1. This is what I’m starting to work on right now with my daughter. She did some pouring work in her Montessori preschool but I’m trying to continue it at home with her now. Thanks for sharing this post with the pictures. It really helps get a grasp on how to present the materials to her.

  2. Your welcome! That is so great that you are continuing work at home. I had fun writing it, I’m a practical life geek ;)

  3. J-jo never chose pouring work until I set up a “pour yourself a drink of water” tray using a tiny pitcher and 1 oz glass. After a day of lots of spills, he mastered it with hardly any other pouring practice. For him, it had to have a real purpose I guess.

  4. We do a lot of water and sand, but I really like the idea of beads or beans and the control tray. Great post!

  5. Thank you for posting this! I am trying to find new ways to improve my child’s motor skills. This sounds like something she would enjoy.

  6. Thank you for this article! Very simple but full of great info!
    One thing I like to do is to keep a little bowl of sponges by the sink instead of on the works. This reflects more real life in the sense that when we make a spill we have to go and find a sponge and also shows that we trust they will not spill. It also helps further their independence in cleaning up after themselves. I heard a parent tell me just recently how her daughter now goes and cleans up messes at home very independently due to this.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Water can provide endless hours of entertainment for preschoolers—and it’s easy to clean up if they make a mess!  Jody provides suggestions for pouring activities for your preschoolers.  Read more here. […]

  2. […] Water can provide endless hours of entertainment for preschoolers—and it’s easy to clean up if they make a mess!  Jody provides suggestions for pouring activities for your preschoolers.  Read more here. […]

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