Fall is in the air here in Western Hemisphere: days are shorter and colder, with more rain; but this change of season also brings its beauty: the gorgeous sight of deciduous trees change color, brisk air and sparkly morning frost, and of course, bountiful harvest: fruits and pumpings and corn!
So, with corn in abundance, and more days spent indoors, my children love to exercise those little fingers, developing fine motor control. Coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers leads to strong fine motor skills, which are essential to completing tasks such as writing, drawing, putting puzzle pieces together, cutting, using a fork or spoon, threading beads, zipping, buttoning, tying shoelaces and so forth. To succeed in performing many of such critical tasks, a child needs to have well-developed fine motor skills, which are achieved by practice! So, I try to make such practice diverse, interesting, and capable of sustaining my child's attention.
This Practical Life 🌽corn tonging activity is one of 👦🏼Adrian's ❤️favorites since he was two years old, providing countless ⏱hours of concentration while challenging fine-motor control. And, no specialized materials are required: all you need is a tray, dried corn, little fingers and tongs. (Adrian is using these spork tongs.)
While a child can use just fingers for picking, for variety, offer tongs or a tweezer and also a sorting tray or a jar where a child can transfer the picked kernels to.
A child who concentrates is immensely happy, said Dr. Maria Monotessori, and I try to offer a thoughtful prepared environment where a child is free to work peacefully and complete the cycle of activity while being uninterrupted. And a true testament to that is Adrian's perseverance and ability to sustain his attention for a good half an hour; and when I see the sparkle in his eyes, I know it was an activity well chosen.
For more on Autumn-themed activities, read here a roundup of all our activities we have done during the month of 🍂September and 🎃October: over 20 of them! arranged by the area of study in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."
Also, see here "🍁Fall 🎃 Inspired Activities for Children (2016)."