Monday, July 12, 2010

Pom Pom Sorting and Cutting Activity

As promised, here is some more info on our pom-pom and cutting activities.

Pom-Pom Sorting Activity:
Purpose:  Works on some math skills such as sorting, counting, and number identification

What you will need:
1)  Bamboo mat
2)  Tray with four compartments to sort into labeled by color.  (You could use a paint tray, egg carton, muffin tin, pop cycle container, or whatever you have on hand.)  I used four separate Rubbermaid containers that are meant to organize a drawer.  They can connect together which makes them nice since I can connect however many I need.   To label them, I inserted a small piece of construction paper. 
3)  Pom-Poms in four colors in a basket or container
4)  Bug Catcher Bubble  I purchased mine at Michaels.  They came with a bug kit.  (You can also purchase those them online here.)  
5) Number cards (available as a free download from Montessori for Everyone)

We put this activity basket out on the kids shelves this week.  When one of the kids wanted to play with it, they would carry all of the materials over to their table.  
Then they would unroll the mat and set up the sorting trays.

Then, using the bug catcher they would pick up pom-poms and sort them by color.  The bubble shaped bug catcher made the game more interesting and added in an extra bit of fine motor challenge.

To add an extra challenge, I made sure and included pom-poms in various shades of the colors.  For example, I had both dark navy blue and light baby blue poms-poms that they had to identify as being blue. 

For older children, you could also have them count the pom-poms.  Then choose a number card that identifies the number of pom-poms in the containers.

Cutting Activity:
Purpose:  The purpose of this activity is to teach a beginner scissor user (like 2 year old Sophia) how to use scissors properly.  

The next idea I got from an activity in the Montessori Services catalog.  It is called the "using scissors activity") 

(Photo from Montessori Services)

I put my version together and it looked like this:

To put this activity together you will need:
1)  Strips of paper cut approximately 1" wide.  (This will allow the child to cut through the strip in one snip.  You can also optionally put some lines on this paper showing the child where to cut.  I decided to just concentrate on opening and closing the scissors.) 
2)  Good quality safety scissors
3)  Small basket to put the paper scraps

After I put this activity together, I saw that the blog My Montessori Journey has some great tips on teaching a child to use scissors.  If you haven't checked out this blog yet, please do so!  It is a great resource of ideas.

We also added a simple scissor fingerplay to our activity.  It goes like this:

Scissor Fingerplay:
Open Shut Them
Open, shut them, open shut them.

(use index and middle finger to make scissors motion)
Give a little snip, snip, snip.
(three quick snips with fingers)
Open, shut them, open shut them.
(repeat scissors motion)
Make another clip.
(make another scissor motion)

Thanks for reading!  And above all else, have fun and enjoy your precious time with your children.  

For more ideas on using Montesori methods at home, check out:  One Hook Wonder.
For more ideas on introducing math concepts to young children, check out The Joyful Learner.  


Anonymous said...

I love it!! This looks fun! :)

We have a ton of those little bug catcher things. I'm pretty sure I got them from Oriental Trading Company. :)

Joyful Learner said...

I love the presentation and organization! I wish we had thebug catcher thing for this activity! Even though JC can now use a scissor, I'm sure it'll be fun to try with a bug catcher! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, you can also throw pom poms on a number board and the child can count the number of pom poms needed to put in her basket. And then there is patterning with pom poms. I'm sure there's many more things you can do with pom poms!

The Sunshine Crew said...

The pom pom sorting work looks cool! my younger son, Little Bro, would enjoy doing this work.
Thanks for sharing:)

love2teach2day said...

Awesome post! We'll have to try this! :)

Discovering Montessori said...

I love your version of pom pom sorting. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole said...

Thanks for linking up to Montessori Monday! I really love how you explained each activity - so helpful. I'm going to have to look for some of those containers that clip together. :)

Oh, can I ask you a favor? I noticed that you left a comment over on the blog Barefoot in Suburbia. She's been linking up to MM every week and I've been reading her entries, but I can't post because I don't have a wordpress account - and I can't contact her b/c her e-mail isn't listed. Could you let her know that I *am* reading? I feel bad b/c I can't leave her comments! Thanks!!


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