Today I am sharing a quick and easy activity to prepare for 13-17 month olds. Threading is one of the first lessons I did with Muhammad last month. It is an excellent way to exercise fine motor skills, particularly the pincer grasp, hand-eye coordination, strengthening finger muscles, and increasing concentration. An excellent article that touches on the developmental benefits of threading and beading is linked here.
You can find many different versions all over Pinterest using various everyday items. I prefer to use items from around the environment because it’s usually far more appealing to kids than plastic toys. They want to play with what they think we are “playing” with. Give a kid a real phone and she will be more interested in it than a fake toy phone.
Here is a very simple activity that took only five minutes to put together!
All you need is matchsticks, a recycled container with a lid, and a sharp object. I used a small takeout container I saved and matches provided by the hotel. To be safe, I cut off the tips of the matchsticks. Next, I used a pen to poke big and small holes on the lid for easy and challenging options. It is best to try to use a container the child can open and close independently, this allows the child to start over again without disruptions.
This may be a little redundant for some, but here is how I introduced the activity for anyone new to presenting lessons. The first day, I sat Muhammad down and lined the matchsticks on one side of the container.
I kept my language very simple. I told him I will pick up a stick and put it through the hole. I did so with each stick slowly and clearly for him to observe my hand movements. After I finished, I opened the lid, took out the sticks, and told him it was his turn. With my assistance, we went through the sticks together. The next day, I modeled the activity for him once, and then allowed him to do it independently. On the following days, he did the activities on his own.
*Note: If I were in my own home, this would be done on a rug, placed on a tray, and kept on a low shelf.
It is one of the first Montessori style activities I have done with him. I was pleased to see that he was engaged for a solid ten to fifteen minutes the first couple of times. It only took about a week before he started chucking the matchsticks at me to tell me he mastered the activity and was ready for something else.
Comment below and let me know if you tried this activity or a modified version of it!