Montessori Toddlers
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Sample Lessons

Cognitive Activities: Introduction

General Points to remember about Presenting Cognitive Activities
  • As much as possible, use simple, everyday materials.
  • Use cognitive activities as opportunities for the child to expand his/her ability to focus and think.
  • Include activities that encourage and feed the child’s natural curiosity.
  • Introduce problems that the child can learn to solve on his/her own.
  • Include motor activities that lay the physical groundwork for developing later
    mathematics, reading and writing skills.
Summary of Cognitive Activities for Infants
The following cognitive activities give the infant opportunities to
  • practice focusing on an object
  • identify and match simple objects with their parts
  • create a tool
  • track moving objects
  • develop a concept of size and shape
  • solve a problem


Cognitive Activity 3: Matching Lids to Pots

Primary Goal
Developing problem-solving skills.

Secondary Goals

Developing fine motor skills and practicing spatial recognition; laying the basis for practical life skills.

Material
Work mat.
Metal pot with a fitted lid. Choose a lid that has a small knob or handle so that the infant can grip it easily.

Presentation
  • This activity appeals particularly to the abilities and interests of infants
    6 –9 months old.
  • Place the work mat between you and the infant, then put the pot and its lid on the work mat.
  • Make sure you have the infant's attention.
  • Slowly and deliberately grasp the lid handle and take the lid off the pot. Place the lid on the work mat.
  • Slowly and deliberately pick the lid up by its handle and place the lid back on the pot. Tap the lid a few times to make sure it is secure.
  • Pause and smile at the infant.
  • Invite the infant to take the lid off the pot, saying, "Now you take the lid off." Assist only if needed.
  • As soon as the infant is focusing on putting the lid on the pot and taking it off, leave him/her to work undisturbed.
  • When the infant has finished the activity, take her/him with you while you put the
    work mat and materials in their proper places. This completes the activity.
Extension 1
  • When the infant has gained experience and skill, add another pot and lid. (You may want to carry two pots on a tray or in a basket.) When you present the first pot in the activity, present the lid that does not fit first. Turn the lid this way and that before retuning it to the mat. Repeat the motion with the correct lid, before tapping it into place.
Extension 2
  • When the infant has gained experience and skill, present a variety of lidded containers. Examples: jar; glass food container; shoe box; cylinder-shaped cardboard cereal box; metal tins; different sizes of pots with different kinds of lids.


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