Ten more Elementary Movements


Putting down a rolled Working Mat

Picking up folded Cloths

Carrying small folded Cloths

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Sitting on a Mat

Carrying a tray

Pouring water from a Teapot

Using a Pedal Bin

Opening and Closing Boxes

Carrying a Bucket containing water

Using a Pipette

Putting down a rolled Working Mat

Material Description:

Working mats have two lines to indicate one-third from each edge, the lines must be visible on both sides of the mat, they can be made with paint or ribbon.  The perimeter of the mat is also marked to identify the edges clearly.  Before presenting make sure that the open edge is on top and faces you

Presentation:

  • Sit on your haunches in front of the mat, or bend to be level with it
  • Insert the fingers of the right hand under the mat one-third in from the edge
  • Place the right thumb on the top of the mat
  • Do the same with the left hand
  • Straighten your legs to bring the mat up to abdominal level
  • Walk carefully to the place where the mat is required, ensuring that there is sufficient space behind you to unroll the mat
  • Sit on your haunches
  • Gently bring the right end of the mat down till it touches the floor
  • Bring the left side down
  • Remove the thumb and then the fingers of one hand at a time

Points of Interest:

  • When walking it is important to be aware of and avoid obstacles
  • It may be necessary to turn the mat on its side when walking in a narrow space, such as through a door
  • Look at the ends of the mat carefully when bringing them down

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

  • Make the activity more difficult by putting obstacles in the way of the child and her destination
  • This activity can also be included under the ‘Grace and Courtesy’ activities.

Picking up folded cloths

Material Description:

For this activity you can use napkins, which have been folded medially, sitting mats folded into quarters or dusters, aprons, floor cleaning cloths or any other fabric in the Prepared Environment.  The fabric should be folded and kept on trays on the shelves, these trays should be taken from the shelves and the child needs a surface large enough for the material to set the material on.

Presentation:

  • Go with the child and show her now neat the folded stack of fabrics are
  • Bend down to the level of the cloths or sit on haunches
  • With your left thumb below and index finger above hold the right base corner
  • Gently raise the corner
  • Slide the right hand, flat and palm facing up under the mat
  • Place the left hand, palm down, onto the mat
  • Stand up and go to place where the demonstration is required
  • Place the cloth onto new surface
  • Slide the right hand out
  • Remove the left hand
  • Compare the fabrics condition with it’s appearance before being carried, smoothing any areas if necessary

Points of Interest:

  • Check to see where the fabric is folded to make sure whole cloth is picked up
  • Careful walking
  • Encourage the child to compare the pile of fabric before it was moved and after

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

  • Model choosing a duster or any folded cloth from a pile by lifting each one separately and putting it on a pile to one side.  After selecting a duster keep it separate while the others are returned to the pile.
  • Make the activity more difficult by putting obstacles in the way of the child and her destination

Carrying small folded Cloths

Material Description:

For this activity you can use napkins, which have been folded medially, seating mats folded into quarters or dusters, or any other small cloth in the Prepared Environment.  The fabric should be folded and kept on trays on the shelves.

Presentation:

  • Put the index, middle and ring finger of the right hand under the right side of the cloth, half way up the side, place the thumb on top
  • Do the same with the left hand
  • Carry the cloth, gently stretched, being aware of obstacles to the place it will be used, if on the floor sit on the haunches
  • Place the centre of the cloth down onto the surface
  • Remove the left thumb and then the fingers
  • Repeat with the right hand

Points of Interest:

  • Careful walking
  • Encourage the child to compare the pile of fabric before it was moved and after

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

This activity must precede the folding napkins activity.

Sitting on a Mat

Material Description:

Sitting mat folded into quarters

Presentation:

  • Bring a folded sitting mat to the place of presentation and unfold it
  • Stand to the left side of the mat
  • Sit on haunches
  • Place the palm of your right hand to the far side of the mat
  • Lower the right upper leg towards the right hand and slide across the mat
  • Bring the right foot forward towards the front of the mat
  • Lower the left leg so that you are sitting cross legged
  • To stand uncross the left leg and place the foot on the left side of the mat.
  • Place the foot by the left
  • Put the right and then the left palm flat on the mat
  • Move towards the edge of the mat
  • Move yourself sideways to sit on haunches
  • Stand

Points of Interest:

  • Be careful not to move the mat while sliding across it
  • Ensure that the feet do not touch the mat
  • Leave some space for your right foot to fit between the left one and the mat to give space to stand while getting up

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

This activity can also be included under the ‘Grace and Courtesy’ activities.

Carrying a Tray

Material Description:

A child sized rectangular tray of plastic, wood or metal with handles at both ends

Presentation:

  • Put the index, middle and ring finger of the right hand under the right handle of the tray, place the thumb on top
  • Do the same with the left hand
  • Gently lift the tray, bending the arms at the elbows keeping the tray raised in front of the torso,
  • Looking at the tray and the floor in front walk slowly being aware of obstacles to the place it will be used, if on the floor sit on the haunches
  • Place the tray down to just above the surface
  • Very slowly bring the tray to the surface silently
  • Remove the left thumb and then the fingers
  • Repeat with the right hand

Points of Interest:

  • Inset the fingers in the middle of the handle
  • Keep the tray horizontal
  • Notice the noise created lowing the tray

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

Once this activity has been mastered carry jugs with grains and water and sharp objects on it.  Check to see if any item falls or spills

Pouring water from a Teapot

Material Description:

In a tray have a small teapot three-quarters filled with water, with a tea cosy and cup and saucer, a drying cloth

Presentation:

  • Grasp the handle of the teapot with the right fingers and place the thumb comfortably at the top of the handle
  • Place the pad of the index finger on the knob of the teapot’s lid and press down
  • Lift the kettle and move it towards the cup, ensuring that the spout is over the centre of the cup
  • Tilt the wrist of the right hand so that the water pours gradually to the cup, keep the pressure from the left index finger’s pad firm.
  • When the cup is two-thirds full begin to tilt the wrist back towards it’s upright angle
  • Wipe the teapot from base to the tip of the spout with the drying cloth
  • Replace the teapot into it’s original position

Points of Interest:

  • The teapot must be lifted neither too high or too low
  • Constant, gentle pressure is required on the teapot’s lid

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

This activity can be used before offering a cup of tea in the Grace and Courtesy activities and before sensitising the finger tips before using the Rough and Smooth Boards in the Sensorial Activities; it is important to give this exercise early on.

Using a Pedal Bin

Material Description:

The dustbin should be small, at a height suitable for a child, but strong enough to be steady and not over balance or move when the pedal is depressed. It needs to have a foot pedal, at the front, that responds smoothly to pressure.  After an activity such as cutting geometric shapes or after eating a snack and having waste wrappers the child can be shown how to discard to the material

Presentation:

  • Carry the waste paper or wrapper carefully to the bin.
  • Stand in front of the bin a short step away from the pedal
  • Put the weight onto the left leg
  • Bring the right foot forward and place it onto the pedal
  • Bring the waste over to the top of the bin and to the centre of the bins opening
  • Drop the waste
  • Check to see that all of the waste is in the bin
  • Ask the child to wash her hands

Points of Interest:

  • Ensure that the lid opens fully
  • Do not touch the bin, except with the foot
  • Make sure left foot is fully balanced before taking the right foot off the ground

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination
  • Movement
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

If possible have two or three bins to sort different waste streams for recycling.

Opening and closing boxes

Material Description:

In a basket or tray have some boxes with different types of lid, they should be of types used later in the Children’s home (for example containers for napkins, large grains) include a trinomial cube.

Presentation:

  • To open the box hold the box, which is placed on a surface, with your left hand
  • With three the thumb, index and middle finger of the right hand hold the lid, placing each digit sequentially
  • Lift the lid off the box
  • Using small pushes of the index finger invert the lid, or turn it over using the wrist
  • Place the lid on the surface
  • Remove both hands one at a time
  • To close the box hold the box with your left hand
  • Pick up the lid with three digits of the right hand
  • Invert the lid with the index finger and rotating the wrist
  • Position the lid exactly over the box aligning the corners
  • Lower it completely
  • Remove hands one by one

Points of Interest:

  • Position the lid properly, emphasising the corner alignment
  • If the lid makes a noise when it snaps shut ask the children to listen for it
  • The lid is inverted when not on the box

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

  • The lid is inverted so its contents do not stain the surface
  • If the child brings the whole basket show only two boxes, let her choose the second
  • Link this activity to carrying boxes, show how they must be held by the body (not the lid)
  • Demonstrate how the side flaps for down with the trinomial cube.

Carrying a bucket containing water

Material Description:

Have a light child sized bucket made of plastic or metal on a plastic tray on the ground

Presentation:

  • Using a jug half fill a bucket
  • Using the index finger and thumb of right hand hold the handle and bring it above the bucket
  • Place three fingers, of each hand, under the handle of the bucket and the thumb s on top, one hand at a time
  • Lift the bucket

Points of Interest:

  • Do not overfill the bucket
  • The handle pivots, be careful not to swing it

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

  • If the child can use a pipette ask her to combine both elementary activities by dripping a few drops of cleaning fluid into the water.  This is good preparation for care of the environment activities
  • As an outdoor activity the child could carry it around an area of the garden

Using a pipette

Material Description:

A small bottle with a pipette top, the bottle contains enough water so that the pipette can easily pull water up.  The bottle is placed on the right hand side of the tray and the small bowl to the left with a cloth near to it.

Presentation:

  • To unscrew the bottle hold the bottle, which is placed on a surface, with your left hand
  • With the thumb, index and middle finger of the right hand hold the cap, placing each digit sequentially
  • Turn the cap
  • Lift and replace the fingers after every turn
  • Lift the cap off the bottle
  • Replace the cap, without turning it
  • With the thumb and then the index finger hold the rubber end of the pipette
  • Squeeze the thumb and index finger together and release (while still holding)
  • Gently raise the pipette a few centimetres above the bottle
  • Show the child the water in the pipette
  • Move the pipette to over the centre of the small bowl
  • Release the bottle with the left hand and with the left index mark an invisible line to show that the pipette is over the centre of the small bowl
  • Press the index finger and thumb together, until the last drop has fallen
  • Show the child the empty pipette and the water in the bowl
  • Move the right hand back to above the bottle
  • Show with an invisible line drawn by the left index finger that the pipette is above the bottle
  • Place the digits of the left hand, in sequence around the bottle
  • Lower the pipette into the bottle

Repeat several times, also show that water can be taken up by the pipette from the small bowl and brought to the bottle.

  • To close the bottle hold the bottle with your left hand
  • Position the dropper exactly over the bottle and lower it completely
  • With the same three digits screw on the cap, lifting them independently after each turn
  • Remove hands one by one

Points of Interest:

  • Lift the cap off to show that the cap is fully unscrewed and the pipette ready for use
  • Hold the bottle while the pipette is being raised and lowered into the bottle steady with the left hand.
  • Slowly exaggerate the movement of squeezing and releasing the rubber end of the pipette, looking at it.
  • Do not let the pipette touch the bottle or the bowl

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination
  • Movement
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

This activity can be used to follow from screwing and unscrewing bottles.  To do with a baster show with two or three bowls on a tray, one containing with water, move the water into each bowl and back to the original one.

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