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Spooning Hearts

Sweet Pea is 32 months old.

From: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought we’d do something with hearts.¬† ūüôā¬† This is a traditional Montessori activity that involves spooning objects from one location to another. I have read about something similar on many, many other blogs, so when I spotted these cute heart shaped trays at Target’s dollar spot, I thought they would be perfect for it.


  • An ice cube tray or other compartmented container
  • Marbles, floral gems, buttons, beads or beans, etc.¬† (I found my heart shaped gems at the Target dollar spot too).
  • Bowl to contain the gems.
  • Spoon.
  • Tray (optional).


  • Set your items in front of your tot.

  • Tell your tot that he or she is going to transfer the items from the bowl to the holes in the tray.
  • Pick up the spoon and demonstrate using it to lift one item out of the bowl and carefully move it to the tray.¬† Select an empty hole and tilt the spoon to allow the item to slide into it.
  • Offer to let your tot have a turn.

Observations: This is another one of those activities that adults take for granted, but usually fascinates toddlers.  It is so easy for us to move an object with a spoon that we forget what a feat of dexterity it really is.

Sweet Pea was really happy with this activity.¬† She carefully spooned each gem into a heart on the tray and then spooned them all back out again.¬† She did 2 trays worth and would have worked longer, but I had to get some laundry out of the dryer didn’t want to leave her alone with the little heart gems.

I had tried a spooning activity a while ago that just involved spooning beans from one bowl to another, but that did not hold her interest like this one did.  I think there was something about putting 1 object in each space of the tray that captivated her.  Also, the little heart shaped gems really appealed to her.

It is so cheap and easy to put together an activity like this.  I would  recommend it for other tots.

Notes from the Trenches: The only hic -up we had was after SweetPea finished the tray, she said she was done and tried to put everything away.  I had to stop her and suggest thatshe  try taking the gems back out before she would continue working.

Obviously there is serious choking hazard with the little gems.

Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)

Carnival: This post is linked at One Hook Wonder’s weekly Toddler Tuesday.


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