Wednesday 9 March 2011


Montessori Activity: Transferring with Scoop/Øse Kugler/舀弹子 [yǎo dàn zǐ]


Age: Generally from 2 years old (but all children are different, and you can try out some of the activities for younger or older children).

Activity Duration: 5-15 minutes

Preparation Time: 3 minutes


1. To train the child’s fine motor skills
2. To teach focus and concentration skills.


1. 2 bowls (preferably of equal size and colour)
2. Approx. 10 marbles (keep it simple, not too many)
3. 1 scoop (I use the mini wooden salt scoop here, but you can use a deep spoon)
4. 1 Tray (optional, I didn't use it here)


1. Demonstrate it to your child by transferring the marble slowly one at a time.
2. Encourage and let your child try it.

Special Warning:

1. Supervise closely with marbles and don’t start with a toddler who is still mouthing. Remove and store away immediately after activity.


Total Cost: 12 DKK (2.90 SGD)
Marbles: 7 DKK (1.70 SGD)
Mini Wooden Salt Scoop: 5 DKK (1.20 SGD)
Bowls: Free as you can use any bowls at home

Additional Information:

J turned 2 years old last Saturday, and after I have settled his nutrition, got into a good routine after getting back to work, got settled in the day care, got him settled in the music class, I have now surplus energy to set another goal. This year 2011 and J’s year 3, my goal is to start Montessori activities, focusing on the Montessori’s Practical Life. I am glad that after two years, Florian is getting more and more supportive of the engrossment I am devoting to child development, and he is participating more and more and in the process enjoying it :-)

I tried this activity with J (2Y0M4D) for the first time during bed time by demonstrating to him this evening. At first, he took the easy way out by pouring the whole bowl of marbles into the other bowl. Then he used his fingers to transfer the marble to the other bowl one by one… arrrgggh. Finally, he used the scoop successfully repeatedly – hurray!!! Towards the end, he got tired, and used his fingers to transfer the marbles again. Then I ended the game. It was very fun, and I was glad that J enjoyed it, as if not, he would have moved on to something else.

I read about this activity from other blogs and am so excited to try it! I bought the marbles from BR Toys for 30 DKK for a pack of 30. You can also get a pack of 10 for 6.60 DKK from Søsterne Grene, but each ball is multi colour and not distinguishable. I intend to use the marbles to teach colours, thus, I prefer the ones from BR Toys. The scoop cost approx. 5 DKK from Søstrene Grene too. I bought the teak-wooden bowls from Søstrene Grene for 20 DKK each, because I was vain and like to have the neutral colours, but you don’t have to do that. Any bowls will do.


6 November 2019 (3Y5M20D): We tried this for the first time today. She enjoyed it very much. She could do it very well, but at the same time still find it enjoyable to do. At some point, she did try to pour the whole bowl into the other bowl, like what J did. With this, today started the formal Montessori activity with C that will continue through and become a more regular part of our regular evening routine. It is thus the start of a more regular school time. The only thing is that it is hard to put her to bed early. We usually start this activity at 7 pm, and try to finish by 7.30 pm. However, school time can continue on to 8 pm, if she wishes to continue to do more. It becomes a dilemma for me - should she sleep or should she continue school time. I really try to limit to 7.30 pm, but we do often continued until 8 pm. We normally do all the Montessori activities in Mandarin. Apart from reading English books, school time has been conducted in Mandarin.


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