To explore Carter’s interest in rainbows a little more, I came up with this simple activity for him to be able to make his own (while working those fine muscles and following a process at the same time).
Included on this tray is: a bottle of water, 4 plastic bowls, a basket with coffee filters cut in half to make rainbow shapes (the really big ones would work better but I wasn’t able to find them), a dropper and an old dark-colored kitchen towel (for absorbing extra water through the filter). Food coloring drops were also used, but this was a mommy only materials because of their clothes staining properties.
As with all his activities, I first let him watch me go through the process. I took the materials off of the tray, spread out the towel, laid out a coffee filter, added a few drops of coloring to each bowl, poured each cup half full of water and used the dropper to drop colors onto the towel. Then, I modeled how to clean it all up before letting Carter give it a try.
The last activity we did with water was Pouring. I made the mistake of walking away for a few minutes to use the restroom. When I returned, he was attempting to pour all the colored water back into the bottle resulting in a pretty big mess. My go-to reaction would be “NOOOO! Don’t do that.” But, I’m reading and learning more about the Montessori method all the time. If a child doesn’t reach mastery, correction and drawing attention to their mistakes is not appropriate. Instead I helped him clean up and told him that we would try it again on another day, making a note of what steps to demonstrate again the next time he chooses to make a rainbow.
Enjoy and thank you for your comments!