'Squeeze and Squirt' Baster
The Squeeze and Squirt Baster is a cute Practical Life tool that can help to promote a child's fine motor skills. It may also help tp spark their curiosity about scientific concepts such as the flow and motion of water or the phenomenon of 'sink and float'!
This Squeeze & Squirt Baster measures approximately 26cm in length. This consists of approximately 18cm of the clear tube, with the coloured bulb at the top measuring around 8cm in length and 6cm width.
The cute feature of the little coloured balls inside the baster provides a unique point of interest. The movement of these balls as the water flows in and out can capture a child's attention and spark their curiousity about how water affects objects.
The Squeeze & Squirt Baster is an ideal bath-time toy. It can offer a fun and engaging game for a child as they enjoy a bath - and they can use it for practical purposes like helping to rinse the shampoo out of their hair!
Basters can be used during other real Practical Life tasks - such as for watering indoor plants. Using a baster to water the plants limits the amount of water and allows the child to nourish the plant while avoiding spills or floods!
They can also be used to make the 'Practical Life Exercises' that are presented on trays in many Montessori classrooms and homes. The use of trays helps to catch spills - limiting mess while allowing for self-correction - and help to define the procedure and purpose of the task.
The use of a 'baster' is an ideal pre-writing exercise. The child's grasp on the bulb of the baster helps to develop strength, control and coordination in the hands and fingers.
Baster activities can take many forms so that they are staggered in difficulty; from an introductory level through to more advanced exercises. A suggested progression could include;
- Early exploration: the child begins engaging with 'grasping' the bulb to suck and then squirt the liquid. This can happen simply in an open container such as a sink or bucket. This is particularly appropriate and engaging for toddlers.
- Basic transferring: the child uses the baster to transfer liquid from one open vessel to another. This activity allows the child to focus solely on mastering the use of the pipette itself.
- Measured transferring: the child uses the baster to transfer liquid from one vessel to a predetermined line on another vessel (for instance, a line drawn onto a small jug or to a certain measurement on a measuring jug).
- Advanced transferring: the child uses the baster to transfer small measurements of liquid into predetermined sections of a container, such as the spaces in an ice cube tray or the containers of an ice block mould.