Montessori Activities: Rolling and unrolling the mat

The mats are used every day and they help to define a child’s work space. Rolling and unrolling the mat promotes co-ordination of movement, development of muscles and concentration.
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Gross motor co-ordination
Visual discrimination
Respect for peers
Crossing of mid line (smoothing out mat)


How to unroll the mat

  1. Invite the child to begin Work Cycle.
  2. Place the rolled up mat in front of your body.
  3. Position your knees on the edge of the rolled mat.
  4. Using the tips of your fingers, gently push the mat away from your body to unroll slightly. With left hand, smooth out left side of mat and with right hand, the right side.
  5. Again, using the tips of the fingers, roll out mat further repeating smoothing process. Repeat until mat fully unrolled.

How to roll up a mat

  1. Position your body at the end of the mat.
  2. Grasp the mat with the fingers on top of the mat and the thumbs on the underside of the mat and roll your hands to create a roll in the mat.
  3. Continue to roll the mat a few times.
  4. Still holding the mat with your left hand, tap the right hand edge of the roll with the right hand. Exchange hands and tap with the left hand.
  5. Place both hands on the mat and continue rolling. Repeat tapping action with alternate hands. Continue until the mat is entirely rolled.
  6. Swivel the mat around.
  7. Invite the child to have a turn.
  8. End the work cycle.
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