I was cleaning out my fabric scraps when 3yo picked up a cloth strip - he carried it around like it was his most cherished treasure. Then he started to roll and unroll, roll and unroll. That pattern of repetition is what tells us that the child is creating his own work. He is meeting a basic innate need to teach himself.
I love what Baan Dek says about repetition:
Why repetition? Well, it helps us focus. It helps us concentrate. It gives us confidence. It also helps us to "perfect" and refine our senses, as we learn to navigate and appreciate the world. Repetition takes perseverance and determination. What beautiful characteristics to develop.Ifra N. Khoso, of Montessori, a Candid Approach states the following on repetition:
Coming to one's own conclusions, making and self correcting one's own mistakes and learning through one's own repetition is far more fruitful and long lasting. It is this experience that makes learning fun and lively. This important freedom to repeat and explore instills lifelong love and thrust for learning and exploration in a child which is utmost necessary to progress in practical life.This post Repeat... and Repeat Again is worth taking your time to read it all.
Here Cathy says, "Allow it to happen!":
It is so easy to overlook these precious moments, to storm in and interrupt. Though I'm sure I have unknowingly interrupted Finlay's moments of repetition from time to time, I try to make it a rule that before approaching him I always stand back for a moment to watch and see if he is busy with something. This can be really hard! We are so used to living our lives on our own timetables that it is difficult to slow down and allow these moments to reach their own conclusions.So whether your learning environment is unplanned or prepared it is important to observe your child - to see, if in fact, he is creating his own work. The ideal is the prepared environment and Montessori Print Shop explains it well in her article Allow Time for Repetition.
When the prepared environment and materials provide feedback so that the children learn from their errors (and not from the adult), they become internally driven to repeat the exercises until they master them.If you need more information To the Lesson just posted on What is the Prepared Environment.
The Fabric Strip this child was working with is simply a piece of lightweight cotton fabric cut 21 inches by 4 inches. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew a 5/8 inch seam on the long side of the fabric. Trim seam with a pinking shears. Turn the fabric so right sides are out. Press the fold. Turn under the short ends about 1/4 inch, press and sew ends shut.
I guess this is my upcycling project for the week. These were originally fabric covers for elastic pony tail holders that I used to sell at craft fairs. They were cut and sewn several years ago before my days of a rotary cutter, so they are a bit askew and not quite straight on but at least you get the idea....I suppose if you made them just a bit wider you could slip the finished roll into a napkin ring -- but 3yo seemed to be perfectly happy with the material as is.
Practical Life - ROLLING:
These small Fabric Strips exercise pincer grasp which aids preparation for handwriting.
In addition, the child can learn to roll napkins, table top work mats and later a rug.
Rolling a Bamboo Mat and a Napkin
Rolling & Unrolling a Mat
Practical Life - TYING KNOTS:
We also discovered that these Fabric Strips also work great with little hands for learning to tie knots. Another child, 2yo calls this activity "Making an X." It is much easier for 2yo and 3yo to make a knot with this material vs. a shoe string or yarn.
- Place the Fabric Strip under the broom stick handle
- Make an X
- Put strip in right hand behind and under left to make a simple knot.
Making an "X"
(on a broomstick handle)