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February 10, 2021

Lock and Key Montessori Matching Activity

For a long time Gus has loved all things lock and key. You might remember that he was introduced to this work way back when he was just 18-months-old. It was a popular choice on his shelves for months at the time. Then, as he got a bit older we introduced a lock box and coins for him. This work also stayed on his shelf for a long time. But, he still had a love of all things locks. He would carry around any little lock or key he could find. He loved to play with our lock boxes. His interest just wasn't going away. 

Fun Matching Activity for Older Toddlers and Preschoolers

So, for Christmas this year, I decided to make him a little lock and key matching set. Just a little way for him to take his love of locks a little further. To do this I gathered a bunch of different locks and keys to make a little set. This time instead of presenting the locks separately, I placed them all on a tray for him to match. He can find the appropriate lock and key set and open/close them. 

"He can find interesting things at home too - the lid. of a box that. opens and shuts,  a cork to fit and pull out of a bottle, a key that turns in a lock, this is the way he teaches himself." Maria Montessori, Maria Montessori Speaks to Parents (p 40-41)

The work was a huge hit. None of the locks were particularly difficult for him but he still loves it. This is work I wish I had made for him a year ago, I think it would have been a much more appropriate challenge at 3. But, at 4, he has still used it daily since Christmas and I call that a win. 

Locks and Keys for Toddlers

In his set he has:

I bet that this work could potentially be pulled together with locks that you find around your home. Luggage locks work great, and extra locks you have sitting around. Put them all on a tray together and let the preschooler go! At this point, just to be clear, Teddy is not using this work. He would mouth the pieces and it wouldn't be safe. In a few months, I will introduce the lock work that Gus had as a younger toddler. 

Do you kids enjoy lock and key work? Have you ever made it a matching work? 

This simple Montessori activity is perfect for 3-year-olds and 4-year-old for a practical life shelf. A simple fine motor activity that kids love.

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