Chasing Cheerios

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Arranging Wooden Flowers

I found these wooden flowers at my mom's house and thought this would be a fun, fine motor activity for O to do. She really had to concentrate, and it was not easy for her to get the flowers into the holes. She stopped about halfway through. I should have only given her a few flowers at a time. I left the work for her to finish later, and she came back and did a few more after about 15 minutes. For the more experienced Montessori mamas out there... what do you do when your child doesn't finish her work? Did I do the right thing by leaving it for her to finish later? Should I have had her clean it up since she wanted to do something else? What is the Montessori way of handling this situation? Thanks for any input!


  1. I'm not sure what the 'official' answer is. i tend to watch BabyEbi and decide whether he just needs a break (usually means jumping off the sofa and running round the kitchen) or if he has had enough. If I think he has had enough I ask him if he wants to get something else out, if he says yes then I tell him he needs to clean up first, and usually he does. I have found when he has been concentrating hard he just needs to have a break and then he will come back 10 minutes or so later and finish up. Of course it's not always the case....

  2. I agree with Jojoebi, following O's lead is the Montessori way. In your post what I hear you saying is you learned from O that there were too many materials and the task may have been a bit too challenging for her at this time. (the openings are very small). Practical life activities begin simple and gradually become more complex, using large materials and introducing smaller ones and more items as the children progress is recommended. It is obvious O has wonderful fine motor skills and is drawn to flowers :) and I've just gotta tell you, the work is beautiful! I think O will enjoy it more when she is able to have more success at it. Like Jojoebi said in her comment, sometimes children just need a break from more complex work and will return to it later, in the classroom we have name tags for the 3-6 year olds to put on a work they need a break from but want to finish. Often (in a 3-6 class) a child will leave a math work, for example, and spend time in the Practical Life area for a while and then return and finish the math work. In a toddler class there are many stationary works for this very reason, cleaning up is as much a 'work' as the activity. Few things are presented and baskets rather than trays are most often used. I'm starting to ramble here, sorry...I love what you create for O and I admire your originality and commitment to Montessori parenting. Keep up the wonderful ideas!
    In PEACE

  3. Thanks, Jennifer. I think you are right, and I'm going to wait a while before we do that work again. Next time I think I'll just give her 3 or 4 flowers to put in instead of all of them.