Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sorting and Transferring with Ice Cube Trays

A lot of ECE experts encourage setting up "invitations" for children, laying out materials in a way that encourages a child to explore them, often with a specific activity in mind for play. I see a lot of pictures of lovely sample invitations, but I've got to say, they're just not our style. A lot of parents are able to put a good deal of thought into their play with their children. We're a bit more fly by the seat of your pants. I just can't help but get uptight when I set out the materials, organized and attractively, and envision the way the play will lead. And that's not fun for any of us. No, far better with my personality to let Margaret do the inviting.

I bought some heart-shaped ice cube trays from the dollar spot at Target yesterday. We're all familiar, I'm sure, with the Montessori-inspired sorting and transferring activities done with small objects in ice cube trays. I put the trays on Margaret's art shelves and waited for her to find them.

She immediately went to the shelves when she woke up from her nap and found the trays soon after. She looked at them for a while before setting them aside to do some gluing. James was sleeping at the time, so I took the trays and her box of pom pom balls and began transferring the balls into the hearts. Never one to miss out on the fun, Margaret took over.

She filled each hole of one tray with colored pom poms, then used white balls in the other tray.

She played like this a while before drifting back to the shelves. She came back with a box of pony beads. Clever girl, she began filling the trays with the beads instead. She also tried Popsicle sticks but quickly abandoned them when she realized they were too large for the holes.

When I began sorting beads by color in my tray, she immediately took over and continued sorting.


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