Activity: Pouring

I’m sure you’ve seen at least one funny video on social media of a child trying to pour juice from a jug and spilling the juice everywhere. It’s so cute because they are so small and obviously they’re just inept at pouring, right?

Not exactly. If I had to pour juice from a heavy jug the size of my torso into a very small cup made for the size of my hands, I would struggle too. And maybe it would be cute, but I think I’d just feel frustrated.

Children are incredibly capable when we set them up for success. Teaching a child how to pour (and most importantly, how to *stop* pouring) is an important independent skill they can learn at a young age. Using child-sized materials is very integral to their success. If you’re giving them a cup that is a size for their hands, they should also use a pitcher that is sized for their hands as well.

Do I recommend buying the most beautiful new pitcher you can find? Absolutely not. Many Montessori classrooms use thrifted materials because things break in the learning process. If you want to teach your child how to pour using your grandmothers teapot, prepare yourself that it might break.

A great way to practice pouring is without water at first. You could set up a pitcher with beans or rice and show your child how to pour them into the cup carefully with both hands. As your child gets better at this, you could add just the right amount of water for the cup into the pitcher (to prevent overflow.) After your child masters that, you can add more water and guide your child on when to stop pouring the water.

This philosophy can be applied to other areas of the home where you want to foster independence in your young child.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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