My quick "In the Kids' Kitchen" tip for this week, is a practical life pouring skill tip. I was amazed at how young a child can begin to learn this important life skill. Please don't hesitate to let your child try a pouring activity. A pouring activity helps a young child to develop their hand-eye coordination, which in turn helps the child with brain development. This practical life pouring activity is a wonderful way to prepare a toddler and preschooler for helping successfully in the kitchen!
In the picture above, Little Bee is pouring water from a small glass pitcher into a child sized glass cup. It's not necessary to use glass, especially for the first pouring activity. Although, it is helpful to use a container that is clear so that the child can easily see the contents that are inside the container from a side view. The first pouring activities that I did with Little Bee were with plastic, metal, or wood containers. The containers were small for Little Bee to handle easily with his chubby toddler fingers.
Pouring activities can be done with water or numerous other materials such as dried beans and rice. It is recommended to start with dry pouring before advancing to wet pouring. We started with pouring beans from a metal "pouring" container into a wooden bowl. Please visit, Montessori Practical Life Lesson: Pouring Rice for detailed instructions on how to set up a dry pouring tray.
My tips for wet pouring are to place a tray with a cloth under the pouring activity because as the child learns, they will most likely spill the water. Show your child how to pour for the first time. Grasp the container for pouring in the same manner that your child will developmentally need to grasp it. At this young age, your child will mimic your movements and behaviors. My final tip is to try not to interfere with their mastery of this task. Let them explore this activity and you will be surprised at how long they will want to pour back and forth. The child learns by using their hands, and remember that the work of a child is play.