Eight Lessons in One!

I put something together that will get plenty of use!  This piece of work grows with your child’s language development in a fun, sensorial-rich presentation.  Read on to find out how I turned a tub full of rice and tiny objects into eight stand alone lessons.



After loving the language objects from Montessori Services in my classroom, I decided to buy them to use at home and am so glad we did!   If you don’t want to buy the entire set at once, you could get a few from a craft store in the doll house section or find small items around your house.  Disclaimer:  the rice will probably come out of the tub.  The great thing about rice on the floor is that it leads perfectly into a practical life lesson on sweeping.

Lesson One:  Vocabulary

  • done with very young children as an introduction to object names
  • bury 4-6 objects (out of sight) in the rice 
  • put your hands in the rice with wide eyes, search for one
  • pull it out and very clearly say the name (child may or may not spontaneously say object name)
  • invite the child to find a buried object and say the name
  • once a child knows the names of objects, you can ask them to find specific items. “Hand me the banana.” or “Find the zebra.” 

Lesson Two: Matching 

  • pre-lesson prep:  take pictures of up to 10 items and print them out
  • bury objects (out of sight)  in the rice and place pictures of corresponding objects in a stack on a rug or large table  
  • take one picture out of the stack and ask the child to find it in the rice 
  • once found, place the object next to the matching picture 
  • continue until all objects are found 
  • once the child understands the lesson, it can be done independently 

Lesson Three: Tweezing 

  • done after child is comfortable using tongs/tweezers
  • bury objects (out of sight) and have child remove them using only the tongs in any order
  • once they are comfortable, ask for specific items, “Using the tongs, put the fish in the bowl.”


Lesson Four: Beginning Sounds 

  • this lesson is done after the child has worked extensively with the sound game and is comfortable identifying beginning sounds
  • bury objects in the rice 
  • tell the child, “I’m thinking about something that starts with the sound zzzzzz”
  • have child dig around in the rice uncovering different objects until they find the one beginning with the correct sound 
  • continue until they find all the objects 

Lesson Five: Mystery 

  • IMG_1782 (1)bury objects (out of sight) 
  • tell the child that you’re going to describe an object that you want them to find 
  • “I’m thinking about an animal that kind of looks like a horse, is black and white striped and starts with zzzzzzz”
  • “Zebra!”
  • have the child find the zebra 
  • continue until they find them all 


Lesson Six: Sound Matching 

  • pre-lesson prep: write one letter per card (could use index cards or card stock paper) that correspond with the chosen objects or use sandpaper letters
  • bury objects (6-10) and place cards in a stack on a large table or rug 
  • showing one card at a time, ask the child to identify the sound (not letter name) and find the object that begins with that sound 
  • continue until they find them all 

Lesson Seven: Moveable Alphabet Matching 

  • this is done after some preliminary work with the moveable alphabet
  • bury 4-6 phonetic objects (i.e. pig, dog, cat, hen, cup, etc.)
  • place tub on one side of the rug along with the moveable alphabet
  • ask child to dig around in the rice and uncover one object and place it on the rug 
  • ask the child to write the object’s name using the movable alphabet 
  • continue until they’ve named all the objects 

Lesson Eight: Phonetic Matching 

  • done with a child who is comfortable reading/making  phonetic words (pig, cat, mop, etc)
  • pre-lesson prep: write the names of one object per card
  • bury phonetic objects  (start with 4)
  •  place cards on a large table or rug evenly spaced and read one name
  • find corresponding object and place next to the card 
  • continue until they match all of the objects 

I hope your child/children enjoy these lessons and have fun exploring in the rice!  This has been a hit at our house and is used almost daily.

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