This activity is one that I discovered well over a year ago when beginning my Montessori journey with Tyler. It's from one of my first Montessori blog discoveries, The Wonder Years! If you check-out her "toddler" tagged posts, you'll find even more simple yet lovely ideas.
Though I've kept this activity in my head all this time, I haven't done it because we don't drink cow's milk in our home, so we haven't had a big milk jug (or anything like it) to use as she did. After needing a bit of milk to make Christmas cookies, we were left with this smaller container. It worked just fine!
To prepare the activity, I simply cut a large hole in the container and filled it with water (colored with a drop of food coloring for fun). I located a funnel and provided a wash cloth for Tyler to clean-up any spills on the tray (or elsewhere). I slowly demonstrated, and then it was his turn! I must say that he's becoming more patient while I demonstrate rather than grabbing and jumping in. It all comes with time!
Tyler's work was to scoop water from the container and pour it in through the funnel. Funnel work isn't new to him, but keeping the small measuring cup steady and level while raising it to the funnel took focus! Here he cleans up a small spill.
I quickly realized that the spilling wasn't from any kind of "error" on his part though. It was occurring when the water splashed down into the larger body of water. It came right out of the hole and onto the tray every time. I apologized to Tyler for not realizing this, told him that the spilled water wasn't from him and asked if we could put the washcloth underneath to catch the water for us. He agreed!
Taking a moment to admire the green water. He also noticed how once in the cup, it looked blue.
I don't remember Ty being too upset about the water splashing, but he doesn't look amused here! Going back to the post from The Wonder Years after all this time, I noticed that she had the jug placed in a basin. Smart.
Pouring with an air of confidence. He also removed the funnel several times and poured without it to experiment.
Ty also spent a lot of time moving his hands around in the water. It was warm, which he simply can't resist!