So much of Montessori is about observation, but this is not something that only needs to happen in the classroom. As parents, you are observing your child all the time! Who knows your child better than you do? Many of the works I have put out for L are based on my observations of what she is interested at a particular phase of development. Some of these are traditional Montessori works, while others have been adapted to fit L’s individual needs. This grasping/transfer work is one that is tried and true in the Montessori classroom.
When L was younger and first beginning with finger food, I would put her food on sectioned plates. This seemed to make it easier for her to choose pieces to pick up. As she grew older (around 12 months old), I noticed that when she was finished eating, she would begin moving pieces of food from one section to the other, piece by piece. So I made some transfer works for her, and she loved them!
A transfer work needs a tray with two containers and a set of objects to move from one container to the other. For toddlers just starting out, begin with large objects that are easy to grasp with a whole hand, such as pom-poms. As your child’s fine motor skills continue to develop, you can use smaller objects that require the pincer grip or even utensils to transfer from one container to the other.
This picture is of a transfer work that I currently have on the shelf because L enjoys putting each object in its place. I used wooden eggs in a bowl, which are then transferred to the separate cups of a muffin tin. The best part is, it’s made entirely from materials I already had in my house! Much cheaper than buying toys, and it helps L to develop her fine motor skills as well as focus and concentration through the repetitive motion of transferring each object.