Tuesday, August 18

Traditional Montessori: Folding and Rolling

I recently purchased some pinking scissors, which I have been meaning to do for some time. These two activities: rolling and folding, have been on my list of lessons to make. Rolling napkins is a simple activity to make. Although Montessori education introduces the act of rolling early on (because rugs and mats are used for working on) this activity is a challenge because it requires a tighter roll to fit into the napkin rings. This activity is appropriate for a child very familiar with rolling a rug and mat without rings.



Folding cloth is introduced early on in Montessori. First, folding in half, then quarters, then a diagonal half and last triangular quarters. I was in need of some and made these just by cutting with the pinking scissors and using leftover fabrics. (A word on fabrics, after looking at my pictures I realized my fabric choice is a little "busy" a solid color would have been better because it is not distracting. Since these are not the first introduction with folding for my daughter, she is working on the last set, I will still use these. But when I first introduce folding with my youngest I should use a solid color.)



Each square has a line on both sides indicating where the fold will be. The child first traces the line with what we call the "working fingers" (index and middle).



Before each fold the child traces the line with the fingers.



If the cloth has been folded correctly the line acts as the control of error (the way in which the child can independently tell if the activity was done correctly) and the child will see if the line is along the fold.

Extensions of this work include folding paper, folding or rolling napkins for meals, and folding clothes.

7 comments:

Gypsy said...

Your posts are so fantastic, thank you so much for putting such a rich resource online like this. I will dig out my mum's pinking shears and have a go!

Jennifer said...

yesterday I was trying to think of a way to teach my Little one how to fold napkins. Thank you! Thank You!!

Ange said...

Hi, I'm wondering when to introduce this and rolling up the rug/mat's to play on with my girls. I have one that just turned 1 and one that just turned 2. My 2 year old is SO busy and doesn't seem to want to take the time to roll it. Any ideas?
angellsworth@gmail.com

You're great!

Amy said...

Hi Ange- Your so kind! If you have a specific area for the table mat and/or floor rug to keep it rolled up they will benefit from watching you. Whenever you work with them, get out the rug -carry it level and carefully with two hands. Set it gently on the floor and slowly unroll it left to right- yes, we Montessorians are particular! It will be as if you are giving a lesson on it every time you use it just by demonstrating. When you are done, model careful rolling and returning to the spot. Even if you don't think they are watching be persistent and they will start doing it too, soon enough. These are typical 3-6 lessons. Once the rug and mat can be rolled by your 2yr old introduce folding in half. I neglected to mention there are typically four cloths in a set, so have 4 cloths for folding in half and start there. You can also stitch the line instead of drawing one like I did for a better look.

Ange said...

Thanks Amy!!!! That helps a lot.

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Jessica said...

Here is a nice tray to go with your beautiful folding cloths:
http://gardenoffrancis.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_14&products_id=163

It is square, sized to the folding napkins, unfinished wood - and is so beautiful in its simplicity :)