Animals skin matching Montessori cards are one of the early sensorial toddler activities to stimulate visual sense and promote hand-eye coordination.
Animals Skin Matching Cards Montessori Early Sensorial Activities
Children LOVE animals and they love learning with multi-senses. Thus animal coat (skin) matching cards are one of the favorite activities in a Montessori classroom. This lesson can be optimized to stimulate VISUAL sense or as a multi-sensorial work if you add a TACTILE dimension to it.
Although traditional Montessori sensorial work tends to isolate just ONE SENSE (for example when you use a blindfold to isolate the TACTILE SENSE), COMBINING the sense of touch with other senses such as visual, has been proven to help build cognitive skills. You can start introducing this MULTI-SENSORIAL work to a child around 18 months. This lesson can also be presented as part of Montessori Cultural and Science work.
Animals Skin Matching Cards PRESENTATION
- STAGE 1: [AGE 12 M +] The easiest matching is IDENTICAL PICTURE to PICTURE matching ~ you can do it with images of animals or images of coats (you would need to print two copies of an image ~ you are NOT matching skin to an animal).
- STAGE 2: [AGE 18 M+] Matching animal COAT-SKIN to ANIMAL PICTURE (this is a little more abstract since a child is matching part to whole)
- STAGE 3: [AGE 18 M+]*If you have animal figurines you can invite a child to match animal toys to their respective pictures or coats while clearly saying the name of the animal.
READ DETAILS ABOUT Montessori Nomenclature 3-Part Cards HERE.
INTRODUCE REAL BEFORE ABSTRACT
Dr. Montessori suggested introducing to young children REAL FIRST ABSTRACT LATER. Of course, nothing will compare to seeing a mighty real-life elephant! However, if such a venture is not foreseeable, a picture (or a video) of a REAL ANIMAL is your best choice. She also suggested NOT to introduce unrealistically looking animals or depicting animals that talk, or pink elephants that fly! When a young child’s brain is not wired to discriminate reality from fantasy, introducing fiction at a very young age can lead to confusion and fear.
I recommend printing Animals Skin Matching cards on 4 x 6 photo paper. When you “send to print” make sure to select “fit to paper.” However, you can also select a “2-per-page” to save on the ink. The printable also includes animal picture-name cards in case you do not have the animal figurines.
With this early Montessori sensorial activity, invite your child to match an animal picture to its skin (or vise versa). Optional: if you have animal figurines, invite a child to match animals to their skin or picture.
WHY HANDS-ON LEARNING?
It allows little people to engage in kinesthetic learning. By experimenting with trial and error, children learn from their mistakes, thus understanding the potential gap between theory and practice. Hands-on learning is the common name for ‘Experiential Learning’ – the philosophical term behind the method of immersing oneself in a process in order to learn it. Experiential Learning has been around since 350 BCE, when Aristotle wrote, “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. This method had ultimately become popular in the early 1950’s when famous psychologists such as Jean Piaget, John Dewey and Kurt Lewin shed some light on Experiential Learning, quickly making it a staple in American education.
HOW TO EMBRACE IT? Let your child DO THE DOING! Offer them to SORT and CLASSIFY, MANIPULATE and TRANSFER, MAKE and CREATE! A child can NOT ‘do the doing’ unless they have been given an opportunity to actually DO IT!
Have you tried Animals Skin Matching Cards activities? Leave a comment if you did!
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Montessori prepared environment shall be designed to facilitate and maximize child’s independent learning and exploration by offering tools and activities that meet each child’s developmental needs and interests.
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