Ways to Incorporate Small Objects

Aug 14, '21
Miniature objects are some of the most cherished items in the Montessori classroom. Both teachers and parents have seen toddlers with full pockets of small found objects. Montessori explains this phenomenon as a sensitive period for small objects. Children in preschool are extremely focused on small objects and items in their environment because they are developing the skills of observation and fine motor manipulation. By adding small, intriguing objects to the environment, you can offer a variety of experiences for your children to work on. Some ways to consistently use these items in your classroom is through sorting, classification or object matching. In this newsletter we will give a few examples of ways you can incorporate small items into the work in the Montessori classroom.

“It is this sensibility [sensitive periods] which enables a child to come into contact with the external world in a particularly intense manner. Every effort marks an increase in power. “

-Maria Montessori

Sensitive Period for Small Objects

The sensitive period for small objects is from the ages of one through four. During this stage, children are deeply focused on observing all small objects. This could be anything from little rocks to weeds, to seemingly every speck of dirt on the floor. By observing small details of objects in their environment, a child grows cognitively and can understand more complex topics later on.

While it may be easy to worry about choking hazards or distractions, understand that observing small objects is an important part of a child’s work at this early age. As guides, we must allow children to safely observe small objects on their own time. Simple reminders and demonstrations of observing with our hands and eyes will help keep small objects out of mouths and noses.

Promote this focused learning by adding small objects and miniature objects to your school, classroom or home. For example, learning about the seasons can be a big concept for children to grasp. Make it simpler with a four season sorting activity that includes small items that relate to each of the four seasons. This work can be used throughout the year as teachers dive into the concept of changing seasons and time.

Sorting and Classification

When children are learning early reading skills, they need practice with sorting and classification. Adding small objects with this objective in mind is great work to have throughout the classroom. The fruits and vegetables sorting work is a great way to teach vocabulary of fruits and vegetables while also promoting the practice of sorting and classification. You can also add miniature animals in a wide range of work within the classroom from early vocabulary games to animal classification work.

This week’s free worksheet relates to sorting fruits and vegetables!


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