elfling has enjoyed most of the montessori activities we have tried. by far, his most favorite is the transferring activity. it is simple: using chopsticks or tongs, the toddler moves little objects from one container, to another. quietly! for a really long time!
i tried a few set-ups (tray, bin, basket) before stumbling on the one that worked best: the oblong bucket & felt baskets! all of them were found at target, in the little $1-$2 section near the front.
to keep elfling from growing bored, i have been rotating the items. currently we are going with a hallowe'en theme! the felt basket on the left holds everything for the transferring activity, leaving the one on the right free for whatever. as you can see whatever at the moment is stamping.
we have a bin filled with stamps & ink, but he is too easily overwhelmed, so we only offer a few stamps & one ink pad at a time. the silver ink shows up fabulously on black paper, by the way.
in the transferring basket are: two small bowls, child-sized chopsticks with a trainer clip, skull rings, & a spider top. he calls the latter a spider dreidel, which i find hilarious.
all of the items go into one of the little bowls, & his job is to move them to the empty bowl. you can make this more advanced by the amount of items, or by offering different ones or colors. the rings work well for beginners. these were left from a hallowe'en party we'd had many years back.
not content to be spun, the wee spider dreidel enjoys being transferred too.
i was thrilled to find this bucket the other day. it is just big enough for the two felt baskets, & the handles make it easy for elfling to carry. also, i love metal buckets, so may have possibly perhaps bought more than one.
if you are going to try this activity with your wee ones, now is the perfect time to begin your search for items. the hallowe'en stuff will be on clearance soon, & the christmas stuff is filling the shelves. party stores are good sources for multiples of tinies as well. anything that is small, & not too slippery would work. i just bought some felt buttons for future themes.
a lot of people use the large tweezers for this. i think i have mentioned elfling's love of poking things, which is why i opted for mini chopsticks. ours were purchased, when thehobbit was much younger, from the japanese store. ditto the trainer clips.
if money is tight right now, you can still do this activity. you need not have fancy a set-up, i only do so because my happy place is a house in which all clutter is stored in containers. as for items: cotton balls, a felted wool sweater cut into small shapes, leaves, spiral pasta (uncooked) - you get the idea.