Friday, 19 October 2012

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Montessori Activity: Geometric Solids


Age: From 2 to 3.5 years old

Activity Duration: 5 - 15 minutes

Objectives:
1. To sensitize the child to the geometric solid shapes he sees around him.
2 To prepare the child for geometry.

Materials:
1. 1 set of Montessori Geometric Solids (10 pieces) consisting of ellipsoid, ovoid, sphere, cube, cuboid (rectangular prism), cylinder, cone, triangular prism, triangular pyramid and square pyramid.

2. 1 basket to contain 3 solids

3. 1 set of flash cards showing the names of the shapes (you can make this yourself)

4. 1 blindfold

5. 1 cloth (optional)

6. 1 tray of salt, rice or sand (optional)

Directions:
1. Name the Geometric Solids and show the child where it is kept.
2. Ask your child to bring over the box and have him sit to your left.
3. Place 3 basic shapes on the basket: Sphere, cube and cylinder.
4. Feel each of them and do the 3 period lesson by saying: "This is a sphere," and flash the card.
5. Hand it to the child to do the same.
6. Then ask: "Can you show me which one is the sphere?" and do the same with the rest of the solids.
7. Then ask: "Can you tell me what this is?" and do the same with the rest.
8. Cover the child's eyes with blind folder and give him a solid to him feel.
9. Ask the child which solid is in his hand.
10. Continue doing the same to all of the solids.
11. If the child forgets the names of the solids, repeat the 3 Period Lessons.

Tips:
1. Let the child choose 3 solids and cover them with a cloth. Feel the solid under the cloth and say out loud its name. Verify it by taking out the solid. It's the child's turn.

2. Take out three cards and ask the child to match the card with the solid.

3. Gently roll one solid in a tray of rice, salt or sand to see what forms it can make.

Video Demonstration:

Here is a video demonstration from North star Montessori Preschool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zkYjj98z7c

Additional Information:
Some recommend to introduce this at 2 years old, some say from 3.5 years old. Based on my experience with Joshua, in my opinion, it is too late to start at 3.5 years old as it is too simple. I think it is best to start the simple solids already at 2 or 2.5 years old.

Joshua (3Y6M26D) tried this on 1.10.2012, which was very late. But better late than never! It went ok - Joshua was happy to go along and try this with mommy (which I am really thankful for his over-bearing towards me), but it is not a material he would request to repeat it by himself. Joshua is not a kinetic boy, thus tactile and sensory activities have not really been his favourite since he was a toddler. I am not sure if I would have fantastic results even if I have started this with Joshua at 2 years old.

But still, I think in his sub-conscious mind, he has learned a lot, and thus, I would not skip to Montessori sensorial activities just because Joshua is not a kinetic boy. Ok, here, I direct, not the child - a deviation from Montessori's philosophy. But the eastern philosphy is - Mommy knows best :-)

References:
http://www.infomontessori.com/sensorial/stereognostic-sense-geometric-solids.htm
http://faculty.fullerton.edu/syen/mts/sensor/20.htm
Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives

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