Sunday, February 27, 2011

Second Woodworking Project: Starter Cylinders

The other morning our family was thrown off of our routine, and much like Tyler, I felt out-of-sorts and a touch cranky by the changes (apple doesn't fall far from the tree they say...). When I was finally able to take a bit of "Mommy Time", I headed straight for the basement and started to build a starter cylinder work for Tyler. It felt amazing to cut through wood with a power tool and to focus so intensely on what I was doing. I came away after about an hour with a finished project and felt refreshed and invigorated. It appears that the Montessori ideas of work and focus have a place in the adult word too!

The above photo is of one set of traditional Montessori Cylinders, a traditional sensorial visual activity. Ty will likely be receiving his first official set for his birthday in August, but for now, I wanted to start him out with a similar idea.

When I finished, I felt impatient and had to let Tyler give it a try before painting. I demonstrated the activity with a silent presentation, then let him try. You can see here that he has made an error, but because the material is self-correcting, he will see his mistake on his own and be able to fix it to complete the work. dowel to go...
You can see a look of satisfaction creeping onto his face from fixing his error already.

Fitting the final dowel. The joy of a work completed!

The final project, with dowels painted on a color spectrum, which Maria Montessori believed in for discrimination/sensorial purposes. I noticed that all of his Melissa and Doug wooden toys have rounded edges, so I sanded those down this morning (this photo is from yesterday).

As with the last, I learned from this endeavor. For the next project, I need better paint, hopefully a non-toxic gloss, as well as better quality wood. I have been using an inexpensive pine (i.e. rough and knotty), as I wasn't sure how woodworking would go for me, but I am now confident in my abilities and willing to spend more money. Next up, a single shape sorter and a balance beam! 

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