Saturday 30 July 2011


Montessori Activity: Transferring Stones with Pliers/使用镊子/夹子[shǐ yòng niè zi/jiā zi]

Age: From 2.5 years old

Activity Duration: 5-15 minutes

Preparation Time: 3 minutes


1. To train the child’s fine motor skills.
2. To teach the concept of squeeze and release.
3. To teach the names of different colors.
4. To teach counting.


1. 2 containers (preferably of equal size and color)
2. Approx. 10 - 15 stones (keep it simple, depending on the age of your child)
3. 1 pair of pliers
4. 1 Tray


1. Put the bowls on the tray side by side with the pliers on your right and fill the bowl on the left with stones.

2. Show your child to transfer the stones with the pliers from the bowl on the left to the bowl on the right. Say "open" and "close" as you use the pliers. Count as you go along filling the bowl with stones.

3. Switch the bowls so that the bowl with the stones is back on the left and encourage your child to try.

Additional Information:

I bought the tool set for IKEA to keep until J is older. However, he saw it and wanted to play with it. So I took out only the plier (as naturally the rest of the tools can be too dangerous for his age right now) created this activity.

We went to granny's place this morning and did not do our usual Montessori activity. When we came home, J repeated that he wanted to "玩游戏", meaning he wanted to do Montessori activty. So I set up this activity. He could transfer the stones without problems, but he lost attention within 2 minutes. I knew that he was very tired, as it was 2.30pm, and he hadn't had this nap. So we stopped the game, and I told him that we are going to nap. He was very happy and cooperative. I pushed him out in the pram and he slept within 5 minutes. He was really tired.

This incident reminded me once again the importance of sleep to a child's mental and learning development.

I also made the mistake of putting too many stones into the container. That was too overwhelming for J.

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