If you’re a follower of my work, you’ll know that one of my favorite Maria Montessori quotes, which I regularly like to share with clients of my coaching practice, is that she famously described the hands as “the tools of intelligence.”
It should come as no surprise then, that activities as simple as opening and closing bottles would be encouraged among our children. Any size bottles with varying screw caps and lids will work, perhaps even an empty spice jar will do the trick.
This simple task requires your child’s eye-hand coordination, a refinement of fine motor skills and a strengthening of dexterity. It asks all ten fingers to work together to achieve the end result. Best of all, it develops your child’s pincer grip, which is an essential and preliminary component of knowing how to hold a writing utensil, such as a pen or pencil. Imagine the head start it can give them once they start putting pen to paper!
The key here is to make these open-and-closeable objects available to your child and allow them to explore at their own pace. Ideally, you can provide them with bottles that don’t have any labels, as this adds an unnecessary distraction to the task. If there are multiple bottles with varying tops, however, they’ll have the added challenge of using visual discrimination to correctly match the items, which is also beneficial to their development.
I like this activity for a child as young as 20 months, but this is a good one all the way up to a 2.5-year-old and is a wonderful way to stimulate their independence. As a friendly reminder, never show a child how to open a medicine bottle!
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.
P.S. Would you like more support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉