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February 09, 2021

Simple Transfer Work for Young Toddlers

The dark cold winter days are upon us right now. But, Teddy's love of water play is still going as strong as ever. So, I've recently put together a very simple transfer work for him to engage in some sensory-water play and have the opportunity to work on some practical scooping work. At 16-months old it was a huge hit, so I thought I would share. 

I don't do a ton of artificial transfer work at this age (or any age really.) I tend to want to create opportunities for Teddy to engage in more practical, practical life - that is actually scooping something from one bowl to the other in a meaningful way. Like scooping yogurt for snack, or peas onto his plate. But, from time to time, creating a work for the shelf is a fun extension of the real-life learning we are doing everyday. 

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This 2-minute set up was so simple! You need: 
  • Two bins/bowls/water safe containers - I just grabbed an extra I had in my storage room and an old deli container we use for kid work. 
  • Practice golf balls - I actually ordered these to replace some of the balls from this ball drop work, but turns out they didn't fit in my container! Oops, so this has been a fun way to still get some use out of them. Ping pong balls would work similarly, but the holes in these did add for some more drippy fun. 
  • A scoop - I grabbed a small wooden spoon from our kitchen, but I think it would work better with something a little deeper (I'm going to try this little strainer.) But honestly, it would work with so many 
  • Warm water 

I really didn't set any expectations for Teddy around this work. He was a little interested in moving the balls back and forth, but mostly in scooping and drinking the water. Which, that was fine too. It was a good reminder that children will get what they need from their work that they seek out. Our expectations can get in the way of allowing that exploration so I sat back and just watched him have fun. The towel kept the floor from getting too soaked, but he did need a whole new outfit. 

I've put the whole set up on his shelves so that he can choose to pull it out whenever he feels like it. I can set some boundaries around when I want to actually add water. So far, he has had a lot of fun just dumping the balls into the bin and collecting them again during those times when I cannot make water available. 

Just a reminder that he is not left alone with this work if water has been added. With this amount of water, this work needs supervision. 

Does your young toddler enjoy transfer work? What about water play?

This Montessori friendly toddler activity is an easy to put together DIY that works on fine motor skills. Plus water play is an easy sensory bin idea.


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Anonymous said…
I'm pretty sure my 15 month old would just want to lift up the whole container and dump out the water...does Teddy not try this? Any way to work around this or just wait until my son has passed the dumping-water-out-of-everything phase? Thanks!
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
I would just gently stop and say, "the water stays in the bin." Teddy hasnt tried dumping it all yet, but it is pretty heavy so it's not something he could do quickly so I would just intervene.