This Montessori bolt block acorn nut is a step up in difficulty due to the characteristics of the small acorn nut. Children use a Montessori bolt block as a material to develop the hand and finger muscles. Strong hand and finger muscles are the first step to develop good pincer grip. In addition, the action of connecting the nut with the bolt is effective in developing hand-eye coordination.
About the Exotic Wood
This unique, high quality Montessori Bolt Block is handcrafted from Padauk wood with a maple base. This wood is from Central and Western Africa and is pronounced variously “pa-dook” or “pa-dow-k”. Due to Padauk’s distinctive reddish orange colour, people sometimes refer to it as Vermillion. The colour is very bright when freshly cut, gradually oxidizing and turning a reddish brown. The grain is open with more visible pores – mostly seen on the top of the block, which has a slightly rougher texture. Woodworkers commonly use Padauk for fine furniture making, veneers, musical instruments and turned objects (wooden bowls, cups etc). They also use it to make cutting boards due to its high abrasion resistance. The block is varnished with non toxic water based finishes. It is also available as a set of 3.
Practical Life Activity
Children use bolt blocks for a Montessori Practical Life activity typically in the 3-6 year old classroom. This material helps develop and strengthen hand and finger muscles of the pincer grip. It is one of the many examples of how design in Montessori materials indirectly prepare for a future skill – in this case for holding a pencil. In addition, the practical life aspect helps a child to learn how to thread, tighten and loosen a bolt and nut!
This bolt block material is an excellent addition to any preschool or homeschool classroom. It is both intriguing to children and develops concentration.
The Montessori bolt block acorn nut is considered challenging in difficulty, or Number 3 in the set of 3.
- 3/8″ Bolt and corresponding Acorn Nut with an oversized Washer
- Base is approximately 2-3/8″ square (6cm) and 1″ thick (1cm) allowing it to be comfortably held in the hand
The acorn nut is small and therefore more challenging to pick up and hold in position in the hand. Its shape makes it a little slippery to grip, with one smooth, domed side. This design feature also makes the acorn nut unevenly weighted. The hex shaped base is heavier than the dome top. Therefore, it tends to roll around in your hand. In addition, the length of the bolt protruding from this block is very short. This feature also adds a challenge to the fine motor control skill necessary to be able to start threading. All of these characteristics contribute to the higher level of difficulty with this bolt block. As a child develops finger dexterity and pincer grip he or she can pick up and hold the small acorn nut. By mastering the twist, a child is able to get the first few threads to catch on the bolt.
One Bolt block
One Acorn Nut