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Montessori in a Minute: Wet and Dry Pouring

What is Wet and Dry Pouring?


Any parent of a toddler or preschooler can tell you the most foundational desire of their child: independence. Whether it’s pouring their cereal for breakfast or transferring toys from one bucket to another, “Let me do it myself” is a familiar refrain.


Montessori education fully embraces that desire from day one. As soon as children are introduced to a Montessori classroom, their natural curiosity and passion for discovery are nurtured with each new activity they experience.


Wet and dry pouring works are key components of the Practical Life area in Montessori Toddler and Primary classrooms. Students are introduced to the dry pouring process first, beginning with large pouring objects like pasta and beans.


They are initially shown how to transfer a spouted pitcher of dry goods into another identical spouted pitcher. As their skills grow, the size of the dry goods decreases to grains of rice. The smaller the item, the easier it is to spill. (This also teaches children how to clean up.)


After mastery, and often with the same spouted pitchers, students learn to transfer and pour water from one pitcher to another. Wet pouring can be difficult at first, so teachers will provide sponges with the tray, signaling that it’s OK if water splashes, teaching the student to soak up the water and squeeze it into the pitcher. As the child progresses, teachers may remove the sponge, encouraging them to apply their skill without splashes or spills.


The Value of Wet and Dry Pouring


These concrete skills foster independence, fine motor control, self-correction, eye-hand coordination, and concentration.


Every part of the pouring process requires careful manipulation. The child must learn to grasp the pitchers in a certain way. They must control how much they tilt the pitcher, affecting the amount and velocity of the pour. And if a child spills, they learn to clean up, experiencing firsthand cause and effect and the importance of controlling their movements.


Children love to be able to help parents with routine activities and independently complete care tasks. It’s also a huge confidence boost.


The Montessori in a Minute Series


Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School utilize specially designed tools and processes like wet and dry pouring to promote experiential and sensorial learning that students can repeatedly practice at each age level. Often, these tools are self-correcting, allowing the child to check their work and adjust accordingly.


This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of these fundamental materials.


To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children age 2 to sixth grade, sign up for an open house tour most Tuesdays at 9 a.m.




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