Presenting Montessori activities can get tricky. I have found it to be such a fun, but challenging process to figure out how to arrange materials on my sons trays. Maybe it seems simple – just place toys in a basket or bin. However, I have become very specific about the way in which I arrange my son’s materials. This is because I like to make sure the materials I arrange are inviting and that he can put them away himself.
One of the things I love about Montessori is the emphasis on simplicity and beauty within the environment. Every material in a Montessori environment is well thought out. It is presented in a way to make it the most appealing and logical to a child. Today, I want to share a simple tip for presenting Montessori activities, specifically puzzles, to little ones!
Presenting Montessori Activities: puzzles
This post is specifically about toddler puzzles – you know, the wooden ones, the ones with knobs, the chunky ones.
Y is four a half years old (how did that happen so quickly?!) so we store and present his puzzles differently now that he is older. He’s quite good at puzzles and is working on the ones with hundreds of tiny pieces. Those pieces that just like tiny lego parts manage to make it into every single part of the house!
Back to toddler chunky puzzles. As an example, I am using one of Natasha’s lovely Christmas gifts. This is a lovely shapes puzzle from Eichorn. I really like their simple, wooden toys.
When you are presenting Montessori activities, such as a puzzle like this for your toddler, there are a few simple things to keep in mind.
1. I like to present the puzzle on a tray. There are two very important reasons for doing. The first is that it prevents pieces from being lost. Everything is neatly contained on a tray so that the child can easily take everything he or she needs to complete the puzzle.
The second is that a simple presentation like this makes the puzzle look appealing, inviting, and neat. This can encourage the child to work on this material.
2. Store the puzzle not completed – with the pieces removed. The reason to do this is because if the puzzle is placed completed (with the pieces in the slots) on a tray or on the shelves, then the child does not need to do anything with this work.
I think that presenting puzzles as I have pictured – with the pieces in a bowl or on a plate, shows clearly the work that still needs to be done. This is then more obvious to a young child and again makes the work more appealing.
And that’s it! Placing puzzles on your shelves with the pieces removed is a very easy ‘trick’ you can use to present materials neatly, and encourage children to use them.
So tell me … ?
Do you have a little one at home that is crazy about puzzles? Do you present puzzles to your children in this way?
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