Parents often ask us why children do things like Pouring and Spooning in the Children’s House. “What gives these mundane activities significance?” they ask. Plenty, actually.
Spooning is part of the collection of work called “Preliminary Movements.” Spooning is targeted at children 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years old. It refines eye-hand coordination, the movements of the wrist, and hand and serves as a motive for repetition and the development of concentration. Incidentally, it is a very good preparation for handwriting and proper grip of a writing instrument.
As with every activity in the classroom, Spooning requires a work cycle. The child first takes it to a table and does the necessary gathering. Perhaps of an apron or underlay is required for the work. Then the work is done and repeated, if desired. (It usually is). Then, it must be put away along with all the accoutrements.
For a young child to be able to accomplish these tasks independently is a lovely thing to behold. To us, it seems automatic and unimportant. But to a child, it may be their first reach at self-reliance and self-possessed knowledge. These little beginnings lead to the challenging and impressive academic work when they are 5 and 6.