ICE-SKATING PENGUINS Small World Montessori SENSORY Play Tray promotes fine motor control and dexterity as well as teaches children about freezing and melting points.
Create a Small World ice-skating rink for penguins with real ice! Besides, this fun sensory play tray for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners is very easy to set up. With this DIY ice rink, your child will be advancing fine motor, dexterity, and bilateral coordination through a FUN sensory invitation to play. Most importantly, you will be using ONLY WATER as a sensory filler, so this play tray can be fun for babies too! And the little penguin figures are perfect for this activity as they are easy for little hands to grasp onto as they spin, push, and whizz them around the ice.
YOU’LL NEED for this ICE-SKATING PENGUINS Small World
- freezer safe mold (we are using a similar baby silicone mold but you can also use a muffin pan or an ice-cube tray)
- waterproof tray
TIP: fill the penguins HALF with water before freezing so that the head is popping out! This way the child can grab and spin!!
Montessori PENGUINS Sensory Play Tray
See a shorter REEL on Instagram HERE.
Montessori Sensory Play Tray SKILLS
“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”Dr. Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind.
- HAND-EYE coordination when the brain and hands work together to grab and spin a penguin. The ability to coordinate the information received through the eyes to control, guide, and direct the hands in the accomplishment of a given task is a very important skill for toddlers and preschoolers.
- FINE MOTOR CONTROL ~ when children practice small muscle hand control by spinning, pinching, transferring, etc, they develop the strength, dexterity, and control needed to manipulate many everyday items such as a pencil, spoon, button, scissors, zippers, and more. By grasping and spinning, a child is learning to perfect a pincer grip (around 1 YO) that is plucking something with a thumb and forefinger.
- This Montessori Sensory Play Tray builds DEXTERITY and MUSCLE TONE. A child is perfecting skills and ease in using hands by manipulating figurines, thus building strength in fingers and hand muscles.
- BILATERAL COORDINATION is the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time in a coordinated manner. Bilateral movement is the ability to use both arms and hands together. Small children have no preference for using either hand. So, learning to use BOTH hands together in a coordinated way is actually an important first step in developing a specialized/dominant hand. Reciprocal movements (using both hands together in an alternating way) leads to strong bilateral coordination skills.
This Montessori Sensory Play Tray is also a fun way to sneak in a science lesson on physics and the state of matter.
PROPERTIES OF WATER SCIENCE
If you have a kindergartener, use this fun sensory small world play tray to discuss properties of water. For example, explain that freezing is the change that occurs when water changes into a solid as the temperature decreases when you place it in a freezer. On the other hand, melting is when water changes from a solid to a liquid as the temperature increases. These are both examples of changes in the states of matter of substances.
Setting UP Small World
Did you know that a normal attention span is 2-3 minutes per year of a child’s age? So, here are some ways to increase (or sustain) the attention spam:
- Follow your child’s INTERESTS ~ that’s your THEME!
- Choose a sensory PLAY FILLER that is appropriate for your child (6M + offer only TASTE-SAFE or zip-lock/sensory bags/boards options; WATER is our absolute favorite!)
- Decide on a GOAL! Tactile stimulation? Counting! Language development? Language enrichment? Or learning about animal habitats?
- Keep is SIMPLE!
- At age 2 + offer TOOLS.
- DO NOT set it UP your SMALL WORLD PLAY where you will NOT be present! If you are making dinner, set it up in the kitchen. You HAVE to SUPERVISE (or observe/glance with older ones) at ALL TIMES! Small world play is NOT to replace YOU! It’s to engage your child is a creative play while you are THERE and can get to something else! ( Catching up a breath is totally getting to something! Lol.)
Benefits of Multi-Sensorial Stimulation
Recent research advocates that combining the sense of touch with other senses such as vision, hearing, smell, and/or taste helps build cognitive skills. In fact, pediatricians now advocate for simultaneous multi-sensorial stimulation! The nervous system is multisensorial right from its early development stage when a toddler, for example, uses a sense of touch to explore the texture of food, smell and taste to identify it, and the vestibular sense to sit upright at a weaning chair during food offerings. In fact, hands-on learning through the power of sensory play happens all the time! Besides advancing fine motor skills, children also develop language, social interaction, and reasoning skills, as they strengthen neurological pathways within the developing brain! Sensory play also helps develop new synapses between neurons, leading to a lasting memory and brain agility! Thus, I pay homage to the power of sensory play!
PENGUIN LEARNING SENSORY KIT
If you enjoyed this ICE-SKATING PENGUINS Small World, you will LOVE these penguins in OOBLECK!
Check out Penguins Montessori Sensory Leaning Kit HERE. Also, learn how to make OOBLECK, which is pretty awesome Non-Newtonian liquid!
ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR CHILD!
DIY laminating tracing hack Montessori sensory writing tray is a fun and effective way for toddlers and preschoolers to practice pre-writing strokes and lines.
Free Preschool Printable Feed The Frog kids activity promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor control while learning what amphibians eat
SALT PAINTING NAME RECOGNITION DIY promotes fine motor control, develops concentration and helps preschoolers and kindergartners spell own name.
Have you downloaded my NEW eBook THE BASICS? It has everything you need to know to get started on your Montessori journey, as well as a CURRICULUM outline reference guide, the order of lessons, and the age when they should be introduced, in my opinion. See details HERE.
Also, check out HERE Homeschooling Montessori MADE-EASY membership in case you are exhausted from swimming in the vast ocean of irrelevant information and saving activities you never get to! And if you sign UP, the eBook is included in the package amongst MANY other perks!
I am here to help! WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!