Children can use tweezers with Indian corn as a fall activity in the Montessori practical life area. This exercise helps them to strengthen their finger muscles for later writing skills, and helps them learn how to control their movements. As they become successful in the activity, they build their sense of confidence. They can translate their skills to other life activities, to build their independence. There is also an order to the movements and placement of the activity on the shelf.
** Ear of Indian corn
** Small bowl
1. Invite the child to come to the lesson.
2. Name all of the items on the tray. “On the tray I have an ear of Indian corn, a pair of tweezers, and a small bowl.”
3. Pick up the tweezers in your sub-dominant hand, and place them into your dominant hand.
4. Pinch the tweezers to show the child how the tweezers should be used.
5. Pull a kernel out of the ear of corn. It works best to start at the bottom of the ear of corn, where the corn would be attached to the stalk.
6. Place the kernel into the bowl, using the tweezers.
7. Clean up any kernels that may have fallen by placing them into the bowl.
8. Place the tweezers on the tray, handle pointing down, so that it is ready for the next person.
9. Return the activity to its proper place on the practical life shelf.
**Some people may wish to leave the tray at a stationary table. .
**An alternative to using the tweezers would be to simply use fingers to pick the kernels.
**Save the kernels for other practical life activities, such as pouring and scooping.
Where to find Indian corn:
Indian corn is readily available at local supermarkets in the fall season. Support local farmers by also looking for it at local greenhouses and nurseries, farmers markets, and roadside stands.