Fine Motor Skills Develop with this {Easy} Montessori Method Activity

Young children are still developing fine motor skills which are so important in learning to write.  This Montessori Method activity helps them build those skills while having fun at the same time.  Kids Activities Blog loves finding simple kids activities {like this Montessori Method based one} that can be done at home with things that you already have that have a learning component.  Practicing fine motor skills with your child can become a homemade game!

Montessori Method

One of the greatest parts about the Montessori Method Practical Life curriculum is that they usually involve an easy activity and materials can be created inexpensively. One such activity is “Transferring of Dry Goods”, which is simply using a spoon to scoop beans, for example, from one bowl to another bowl. This fine motor skills activity may seem to be “work” to us adults but a child finds great joy in doing this type of activity.

For my 1.5 year old, the challenge was not eating the beans. For my 3 year old, the challenge was sitting still (e.g. not diving in) so that I could introduce and demonstrate the activity. I am certain that my boys at their respective points of development got something from this Montessori Method activity. The outcomes (or aims) go beyond the fine motor skills development in learning how to transfer beans from one bowl to another. Other aims include concentration & focus through completion of a work cycle and pre-reading skills as the transfer moves from left to right.

Here is how we do our Transferring of Dry Goods:

Materials -

  • Two identical bowls {found at consignment shop for $.50 each}
  • A small spoon {kitchen}
  • Dry good {kitchen}
  • A tray {found at consignment shop for $1.50}

Fine Motor Skills

Approach -

  • Prepare tray ahead of time with full bowl on left and empty bowl on right & spoon
  • Invite the child to do the work: “I want to show you how to transfer today!”
  • Sit with child on your sub-dominant side
  • Identify each item on the tray: “Bowl. Bowl. Spoon. This bowl is full of beans. This bowl is empty.”
  • Pick up spoon slowly and steady, placing spoon between thumb and index finger and holding with 3-finger grip
  • Transfer beans by scooping toward your body and moving from left to right
  • Pause to hear the sound of the beans hitting the bowl (it really is a nice sound)
  • Continue until bowl on left is empty, then transfer beans from the right bowl back to the left, or pour the beans back into the empty bowl
  • Replace spoon in original spot
  • Invite the child to do the work: “Would you like to try?”

Aims of this Easy Activity

  • Skill of Spooning
  • Concentration, focus & self-regulation
  • Fine Motor skills, Coordination of Movement
  • Pre-reading & pre-writing skills
  • Auditory (e.g. sound of beans)
  • Language (e.g. empty, full, beans, spoon, handle, scoop)

Tips -

  • Exaggerate your movements
  • Slow, steady & gentle
  • Economy of words
  • Even tone

Children find a lot of joy from “work”. The activity doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A simple, easy activity is often best. I hope that we inspired you today!

More Fine Motor Skills Activities

For more Montessori Method based kids activities, take a look at some of these fun ideas:




Marnie Craycroft About Marnie Craycroft

Marnie writes Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori inspired homeschooling blog she started in 2010 after the birth of her first son. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living in Seattle with her husband and two young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Marnie can be found on Facebook, Twitter @OrangeCarrots, Pinterest and Google +.