Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Observations - Scooping Beans

Today Link scooped beans.  In the mornings he likes to help me make Daddy's coffee.  So I decided it would be a good time to practice this skill.  I asked him if he wanted to and he said YES!

I've seen other people go step by step through what they did and I like it because it really highlights the skills he's learning.  So here's what we did:

  1. Link carried his little chair into the room and I carried the table
  2. He sat in the chair to my right
  3. I named everything (the bowl, spoon and beans) and had him tell me what they were
  4. He watched me scoop some beans from the left bowl into the right bowl.
  5. He tried to scoop some beans (I'm not sure if I handled this correctly or not, but he wasn't tilting the spoon and getting anything, so I showed him again, then did it once holding his hand)  He did it some with his right hand, then switched to his left because it wasn't working well.  He did better with his left hand.
  6. He scooped most of the beans over, then said he was all done.
  7. I said, "okay, now lets move them back" and showed him.
  8. He said "you" (which means he wants me to do it) so I did a few times, then he took over.  
  9. He put the spoon down and used his hand to move them, then he "explored" a little.  He just felt the beans in the bowl, grabbed big handfuls and dropped them in the other bowl.
  10. When he'd had enough, I got the bag for the beans and he helped me transfer them (from right to left) using the spoon in his right hand and his left hand. 
  11. He felt around with the beans in the bag some more
  12. He carried the chair and helped me carry the table back. 

Observations and Questions

  • At what point does exploring become playing and when should I step in?  I decided it was at the point that he started to make a mess.
  • He did well picking up individual beans that he dropped, but I had to encourage him to pick up the spoonfuls that fell while he was "exploring"
  • How much should I interfere with his switching of hands?
  • He said he was done, but then when I showed him something different to do, he kept going
  • All together I think it was good for both of us - we both got practice with presenting a lesson, he had to wait until I showed him for his turn, I practiced observing and not interfering


  1. Came over from Playschool6 yahoo group. My 3.25 yr old still switches hands. I don't think it matters personally. I would let him switch to his left. If it feels more natural for him, then it should be encouraged. Bear started out lefty - everything she did in sensorial and practical life was with her left hand but when she picked up a pencil to start writing (not coloring) she switched to her right. Now she also colors with her right and does many other things still with her left. Because her left hand is strong from a lot of practical life work, she can actually switch to her left hand now when her right gets tired! She did this while coloring today.


  2. Thank you for the comment, I feel better about letting it go now. Link will use his right hand for coloring, but doesn't hold the pencil correctly. He has a great grip on a pencil in his left hand though.