Practical Life

Montessori Practical Life: Pouring Dry Goods

One of the early practical life exercises in a Montessori classroom, Pouring Dry Goods is typically introduced after or simultaneously with Transferring of Dry Goods and Introduction to Sponging.

So, very young children in the classroom are primed for this work. Don’t be surprised, though, when the older children continue to go back to these activities, perfecting the work as they practice.

For those of you at home, this activity is great for preparing while you get some work done around the kitchen. I actually keep Practical Life materials in our pantry in the kitchen to make for easy access. Montessori Services also offers an easy and inexpensive Montessori Pouring Dry Goods Set to get you started in your classroom or home.

The Pouring Dry Goods Lesson

  • After showing to the child the location of the work, carry the tray to the work area.
  • Place tray in the visual field of the child.
  • Name the objects on the tray and the parts. “This is a pitcher. This is a pitcher. This is the spout. This is the handle.”
  • “This pitcher is empty. This pitcher has objects in it.”
  • Pour objects slowly from left to right using the proper grip.
  • Pause and exaggerate listening to the sound.
  • Make sure there are no grains left in the pitcher.
  • Place left pitcher is in its original place.
  • Repeat the exercise with the right pitcher.
  • Make sure there aren’t any grains left in the pitchers or on the tray.
  • Ask the child if he would like a turn.
  • If yes, get up and allow the child to try. If not, invite the child to carry the tray back to the shelf.


Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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