The child pours blue water from one small jug to another.

Pouring water

Pouring water


The child practices pouring skills.



  • eye-hand co-ordination
  • fine motor control
  • concentration
  • independence
  • strength in the dominant hand




  • Two small jugs of the same kind
  • Plain tray
  • Small sponge

Control of Error

Water spillage on the tray


Jug, water, sponge, pouring


Show the child how to hold the jug handle.

Place two fingers of the other hand under the rim and slowly pour the water into the empty jug. The two jugs should not touch. Pour the water back into the original other jug, then again pour it into the jug on the right.

Once a direction is given to him, the child’s movements are made towards a definite end, so that he himself grows quiet and contended, and become an active worker, a being calm and full of joy.
—Maria Montessori in Dr. Montessori Own Handbook

Show the child how to dab the lip of the jug with the sponge. Mop up any spillage and squeeze the water back into the jug.


Pouring water

You may let the child practice first with dry materials before pouring water. A jug with a well-designed spout helps the child better control the water flow.

Pouring can be explored through simple opportunities such as playing in the water or sand trays and even through role-play.

Let the child practice pouring their own drinks and watering flowers and plants.

Further Challenges

Pouring water

Offer the child some variations:

  • two, three or more containers
  • glass cups marked with a line for the water height
  • a few drops of food coloring in the water to better see the water level

Once the child has mastered the pouring skills, offer more fine items that require more care, such as mini china jugs or glass cups.