Roll, Roll, Roll the Mat: Why I Embrace This Fine Motor Skill Exercise

To most people five months isn’t a very long time. To me, it’s enough to learn how to roll a mat. In 2016, I worked with children ages 3 to 6 years old in a private school that specialized in Montessori education.

In 2016, I worked with children ages 3 to 6 years old in a private Montessori school.

Montessori — what’s that? Google can tell you more, but I’ll take a stab first: Montessori education encourages learning through playThis specialized learning style focuses more on the learner, what s/he wants to work with, and the freedom to work with said object however way possible.  I am a proponent and firm believer of individualized learning because it boldly encourages the learner to gain autonomy over his/her learning and allows creative expression. Learning to embrace your environment is important because children develop habits early on which brings me to an important item mentioned in the first paragraph of this post: the mat.
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A few students’ took turns rolling up the mat in the center of the circle. Photo Credit: Teacher Alula 

Before we go further in depth about the benefits of working in a Montessori atmosphere or learning through play, here’s one takeaway: learn to roll a mat because every learner must use one while exploring an item, or as it is called “work”. So when a student volunteered to roll a mat in a manner that was neat and precise, she (the student) was following basic Montessori-style learning protocol. Patience, persistence, and detail are key components of this exercise. Please consider trying this with your child if you haven’t already.
-Tr. Alula