I make many of my Montessori activities and you can too! I have touched on opening and closing a box activities before, but only briefly. I thought today, I would spend a little more time on this subject. This is a great activity for our little toddlers. Really, all you need to do is collect several items that the little ones can practice opening and closing. Try to get as many different kinds of lids and jars as possible (screw on, pry open, and ect.). Begin by introducing the basket of different jars to your child and showing them how to open the jars (grasping the lid with your dominant hand while your other hand holds the bottle for example). I'm not a professionally trained Montessori teacher and I know that I don't follow all the steps. For example, I've found posts for this simple exercise that involved 36 steps! I suppose that I'm a little turned off by that much regimn. I tend to take what I like from different curriculums and combine them. What I want my daughter to learn from the open/close activity is just that-to open and close! Basically, to help her developing little motor skills and to increase independence. I think showing her the bottles, showing her how to open them, and then letting her explore with them is enough. If someone disagrees, I'd be happy to hear why because again, my knowledge only comes from reading about Montessori on my own. Often, I put a little something inside of the jars. Again, that may not be the usual way of doing this activity. However, I find that if I put some stickers, playdough, or a small book inside of the jars she is more likely to stay with the activity and enjoy it more. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of moving so the open/close basket is packed away but here are the containers I have inside of the basket (of course all containers are empty of product and have been washed): beauty creme container with screw on lid, empty nail polish bottle, baby food container, empty aromatherapy bottle, jewelry box with snap lid, coin purse that snaps, zip coin purse, box with lift off lid, minature canning jar, travel soap box, film canisters, clear plastic trading card holder. Again, this is something very easily made yourself. It was one of the first Montessori activities I introduced. However, if you desire to purchase it here are a few resources:
The little Hermetic Jar below is available from Montessori Services http://www.montessoriservices.com/store/index.php?cPath=110_1408_1754&main_page=index for $1.75.
Montessori N' Such has an open and close container set on their website at http://montessori-n-such.com/detail.aspx?ID=921 for $19.50