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 (you can also use a muffin pan or an ice-cube tray)
- waterproof tray
- food coloring
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
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.
coordination is 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) lead 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 the 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.
Join The Winter Course, where we explore everything cold, frigid, and icy, including the Penguin study, Polar Bear study, and Polar Regions.
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/board options; WATER is our absolute favorite!)
- Decide on a GOAL! Tactile stimulation? Counting! Language development? Language enrichment? Or learning about animal habitats?
- Keep it 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 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 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 would love these penguins in OOBLECK!
Check out the Penguins Montessori Sensory Leaning Kit HERE. Also, learn how to make OOBLECK, which is a pretty awesome Non-Newtonian liquid!
Always Supervise Your Child!
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