Making a Rainbow

Pouring water

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!

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Pouring

Last night after having dinner at my parent’s house, Carter started playing with some glass marbles and paper cups.  He played for quite some time pouring and transferring the marbles between the cups.  I saw this as a great opportunity to use his interest as an introduction into these 2 Practical Life activities: pouring with rice and pouring with water.  I had originally planned to do these activities on separate days, but he was loving pouring rice so much that I moved on to water and then added the three cups.

Pouring Rice

Carter is 3 years, 2 months old.

You will need:

2 plastic pitchers or measuring cups with a handle and spout
Several cups
Rice, dried beans
Water, Colored with a few drops of food coloring
Rag, for cleaning spills
Tray

Procedure:

1.               Put the pitchers on the tray with the spouts facing each other and the handles facing out. Fill the pitcher on the right 1/3 full with beans (once mastered, then rice).

2.               Pick up the pitcher on the right, supporting it with your left hand (reverse if your child is left-handed).

3.               Center the spout above the other pitcher. Pour the beans into the pitcher on the left. Invite your child to try.

Pouring with Water

1.               Put the pitchers on the tray with the spouts facing each other and the handles facing out. Fill the pitcher on the right 1/3 full with colored water.

2.               Pick up the pitcher on the right, supporting it with your left hand (reverse if your child is left-handed).

3.               Center the spout above one cup at a time, filling ½ full and then moving to another cup. Pour the water back into the pitcher and invite your child to try.

Conclusion: I think Carter could have poured the water all day.  As it was, he worked for about 30 minutes on these two tasks. For the water, I started it going from pitcher to pitcher then moved to cups.  My child has yet to pick a dominate hand.  He poured using both hands depending on what side he was coming from.  This is going to lead well into transferring tomorrow.

See it in action:

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