Wooden Lacing Cheese
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A bright and cute threading exercise for young children featuring a sneaky little mouse threading his way through a wedge of 'swiss cheese'!
The cheese measures approximately 14cm x 9cm (and approximately 5cm 'depth' at the thicker end of the cheese wedge!). The mouse and the cheese are both wooden.
This is a great exercise for toddlers (or Pre-schoolers who require a little remediation with threading). The child builds hand-eye coordination, motor control and concentration through the process of pushing the mouse through the holes, pulling the thread through and finding the next entry point!
The wooden mouse is easy to grasp and rigid while the holes are quite large (fitting comfortably around the circumference of the mouse figure). This sets the child up for success with the initial moment of aligning it with the hole. The toddler can spend time threading the mouse back and forth through the cheese.
The task of 'unthreading' the mouse provides a greater degree of challenge. The adult can demonstrate to the child how to push the mouse back through the last hole it entered and then pull gently on the string (and so on).
Younger toddlers will most likely need assistance with this process. In a Montessori multi-age classroom setting the younger child can be encouraged to seek the assistance of an older peer (as Dr Montessori said - "There they work side by side; he who prepares himself and he who perfects himself.") In a home setting the young child could ask an older sibling for assistance or the parent may need to help to undo the threading to prepare it for use again.
Once a child has mastered the art of 'unthreading' (which is much more challenging than the initial threading process!) then the Lacing Cheese provides opportunities for long periods repetition without intervention from an adult.
The 'mouse' is the perfect size and shape (thick at the front, tapering back to a thinner end) for a toddler's developing pincer grasp. It can be held in a variety of different positions - allowing it to cater to a child who is progressing from the stages D through H (to provide support for refinement in levels I / J please see our Lacing Apple).