Colours, Paints, Blocks - The Sensory Play Activities to Facilitate Montessori Learning

9th August 2018

Colours, paints and blocks – what else can we think for making the classroom appear interactive for a little 5-year prince or princesses. The world is full of surprises, dreams and of actions! Just in case you feel trapped in their illusion mode and need to gear up for a better understanding of the classroom scenario, you can try these three tricks. Most of the Montessori teacher training courses teach the caregivers such strategies. All of which would automatically harp the learning methods.

 

  1. Steps Involved To Teach Them Colours - 

Before understanding how learning is facilitated by using colours, we need to teach the toddlers about colours. The task is pretty simple and easily applied in the everyday lives of the little ones. All one need to do is allow the little ones to play with colours. Exploring colours! – Perhaps, that is how we can address the entire scenario. Let’s say the colour the giant wheel. Even if the toy-shaped wheels are small, we thought them ‘Giant’ when we were young like those young preschool girls. And must have juggled how to fill the right colours? Initially, we were clueless about the shades and the names of each colour. Gradually we learn the colours of Rainbow and likewise repeat the same with the little ones. No wonder it is the first instructional method of making them learn something so very new and yet pleasing.

       2. Decoding The Painting Stuff -

Brush – the basic tool or better to say ‘the magic wand’ of any 2 or 3-year old kids. Often we would recall our juniors use ice paints on the white sheets, while we passed through the dormitory for our respective classes, leaving behind the Montessori classroom settings. Art and craft teacher would have very less to do then. All they would ask the students are to practice how to draw a nice round shaped ball and colour it white. Now teachers are proactive.

What is this ice painting and know things needed to make ice paint - 

  • an ice tray
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • food colouring
  • popsicle sticks
  • paper

Just fill the ice tray with water and then empty the tray by separately pouring the water in a bowl. Keep in mind that you fill the right amount of water on a tray, add flour to the water, but make sure the water consistency is less on our ice pad. Gradually pour the mixture of 4 water blocks at a time into the ice tray and then into another bowl. Repeat the process thrice for three different colour shades. Now you can add the food colouring to each block. And before putting the ice tray in the deep freezer, add Popsicle sticks to the watercolour. Then set the freezing time, (with the entire process taking a maximum off 5-6 hours of time).

      3. How ice painting shapes the motor skills?

The play and learn modes for the kids start from the time they use these ice coloured sticks on a white sheet and make a  couple of rounds. Each time they would try different colour sticks on the sheet and test how the ice colour leaves a mark on the white sheet. By doing so, they love to draw flower, numbers, shapes, and letters – even though they are made of uniform strokes but they just love this whole painting idea. To them, these ice paintings are the best learning tool.  

Accordingly, the gross motor skills which indicate the movement and coordination process together are considered in the above-discussed activity. How exactly they shaped the fine motor skills of every 2-3-year old children are laid through the following points:  

  • Movements generally involve smaller actions and the motor skills used by children here, in this case, are - hands, wrists, and fingers.
  • Also, it includes feet and toes – this is because they can jump around the classroom to ask for water from their teachers standing at a small distance or bring trays, ice, colour kits.  
  • Automatically, coordination is ensured through the movements. Coordination includes these of the larger bodies’ parts, like the arms and legs – both are repeatedly being used here.

      4. Triggering blocks that changed learning!

Blocks are great ways to start a playful and activity-based learning. Block areas trigger the fine motor skills. It enhances the social languages and widens the cognitive skills. Generally, a skilled trainer who pursued any of the certificate courses for teachers in India has a fair understanding of the Montessori learning methods. And those who are at the beginner level can quickly develop a brief idea on the same by reading “Montessori Method Impacts the Development of Children”. Thus, it is through a formal training they can specify how each activity can actually facilitate the motor processes, even if the blocks look mere playful and baseless to an amateur person.

Anyway coming straight to the point, blocks are seriously loved by any age group!

  • With children, it is best, as they would experiment the blocks by stacking, or building or balancing.
  • Blocks are wonders as they can bring out the creative bests from the kids. Constructive ends are dealt with carefully as they build, balance and slack the blocks to make their desired shapes.
  • These refine their motor skills as they graduate to solve and resolve problem situations. In a way, shaping their problem-solving ability. Not just that the large and small motor skills are involved, but also the cognitive skills are shaped.
  • Facts revealed that spatial reasoning – an important part of cognitive skill development is shaped through block activities. Children are compelled to solve their mental ability for making a car or house out of the blocks. Block objects are manipulated by the teachers by using the missing and finding game plan. Children are to identify these missing links and fill in the gaps.
  • This is the best way to learn the mathematical calculation or language learning. (For eg, learn alphabets by using the ‘loose parts’ method. In this method, children are to find or fill in the correct sequential order as a part of learning numbers or letters).  

P.S. To make the Montessori Method more comforting, play along with your children and show your enthusiasm for building the blocks. And you can also learn some poster making tricks so that you can foster their cognitive ideas. Know why posters are a great catalyst for little children by reading How Posters Enhance Your Classroom”.

Written By: Admin

In academic collaboration with:

Pebble Hills University  London School Of Teaching and Training City College Birmingham Cambridge English AAHEA AAHEA TQ