Using a Mat
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|Using a Mat|
|Practical Life - Gross Motor Skills|
This activity teaches a child how to carry, unroll, and roll up a mat. This prepares the child for the many activities in a Montessori classroom that are done on a floor mat.
Carrying a Mat
Prepare all materials before. (Place rolled mat on the ground.)
- Invite 3-4 children to come participate in your lesson by telling them you have something to show them.
- Show each child where exactly to sit and once the children are seated, you sit so that you can see them all, they all can see you, and yet you are not in front of them.
- Call their attention to the mat on the floor and tell them that you are going to show them how to roll and unroll a mat.
- Position yourself so that you are sitting on your knees in front of the vertical rolled up mat with the flap of the mat is on the left side of the rolled up mat.
Tell the children " I am now going to pick up this mat."
Place your right thumb on the front of the rolled mat about 1/3 of the way down from the top (or lower if you are smaller).
Wrap you four right fingers around the mat so that they are under the mat.
Place your left thumb on the front of the rolled mat under your right thumb about 1/2 way from the top.
Wrap your four left fingers around the mat.
Lifting with the force of both hands, lift the mat from the floor so that it in now perpendicular to the floor and stand up.
Bring the mat in close to your body, keeping it perpendicular to the floor.
Walk carefully and to a specific spot (not too far so the children can no longer see you), checking regularly to make sure your walkway is clear.
Come back to your starting point and tell the children "I am now going to set down this mat on the floor"
Bend down and sit on your knees.
Place the mat down with one point of contact. This point should be the bottom part of the mat on the opposite side of your body.
Slowly rotate your hands away from your body so that the mat gets closer and closer to lying on the ground.
Remove your four left fingers from under the mat.
Remove your left thumb from the top of the mat.
Remove your right four fingers from under the mat.
Remove your right thumb from the top of the mat.
Offer each child the opportunity to pick up and carry the mat.
Once they have all had a turn excuse them one at a time, making sure each child has thought of what he would like to de next.
Unrolling a Mat
Rolling Up a Mat
Points of Interest
- Holding the flap of the mat so that it does not unroll as it is being carried.
- To assist the child in coping with the movements necessary for carrying a mat.
- Development of voluntary movements.