Unfortunately, Tyler became confused by the fact that I was using his spoon in the demonstration and seemed to think that the puff balls were for eating! I don't often have to tell him "no eat please" more than once, but he kept trying to stuff them in his mouth, so I removed the spoon. As with most Montessori activities, not all was lost. After a while, he enjoyed transferring all of the puff balls by hand from one bowl to the other. He then delighted in the softness of the puff balls and the fact that they were a little squishy. I then removed myself and watched as he spun the containers, bit them, and threw them, listening to the sounds they made of the floor. The most interesting part for me, and what I believe he got the most out of with this activity, was when he put one puff ball into the container and slowly tipped it to see how much tipping it would take for the puff ball to fall out.
He spent a good amount of time focused on this task, doing it over and over again. By the end, he was adding two puff balls. As always, I was amazed by his focus, one of the major goals we hope to develop with Montessori!
After Tyler was finished, he didn't go far. I often find this a good time to expand upon the activity in some way. I decided to sit and sort the puff balls into piles by color as he watched. When I was finished, he walked over to look, and I named the colors for him several times as he listened intently. He sat on my lap to observe as I then sorted them by size, and after that, lined them up by color to count and see which lines were shortest and longest, talking about what I did aloud. I find that though he's not yet old enough to do much other than perhaps sort by color, he's very interested in the process, soaking it into his brain for later use.
This morning, he spotted this activity on top of one of his shelves and wished to play with it. I think this will stay out for a while, and perhaps I'll find a spoon that isn't so confusing for him soon. :)
Thanks to Darla for this idea!