Montessori AMI Primary Guide
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Preliminary Exercises
  Carrying a Mat
  Unrolling/Rolling a Mat
  Carrying a Chair
  Sit and Stand from a Chair
  Carrying a Table
  Carrying a Tray
  Carrying a Jug
  Geometric Cabinet Tray
  Carrying a Sharp object
  Opening a Door
  Removing a Book
  Opening a Book
  Turning pages of a Book
  Opening Bottles
  Opening Boxes
  Folding Cloths
  Spooning Grains
  Pouring Grains
Care of the Person
  Washing Hands
  Dressing Frame
    Hook and Eye
   Safety Pins
  Polishing Shoes
  Preparing a Snack
Care of The Environment
  Washing a Chalkboard
  Dusting a Table
  Washing a Table
  Polishing Wood
  Polishing Glass
  Arranging Flowers
  Washing Cloths
  Setting a Table
  Wet Mopping
  Dust Mopping
  Outdoor Sweeping
Grace and Courtesy
  Greeting a Person
  Thank You
  Excuse Me
  Introduction of One's Self
  Offering Help
  Expressing Admiration
Control of Movement
  Walking on the Line
  Silence Game

Opening Boxes

A basket full of boxes



Invite 1 child to come with you by telling them you have something to show them. Tell the child to bring the basket of boxes to a selected table. Have the young child sit down before you. For choosing the first box, place the basket where the child can clearly see the contents of the basket, choose a box and then gently push the basket to where the child can still see inside but where it will not disrupt the presentation. That way for later boxes, you will not need to move the basket. Tell the child that you are going to show him how to open and close boxes.

Place your right thumb on a box’s base on the point nearest to your body. Wrap your fingers (two is usually enough) around the box. Slowly and carefully lift the box out of the basket so as to not hit any of the other boxes. Place the box on the table by placing the point closest to your body down first, and then the opposite side down as well. Release the box with your right fingers and then your thumb.


  1. Grasp the box comfortably with your left thumb and as many fingers as comfortable by placing your left thumb on the part of the box closest to your body and your fingers wrapped around to the other side.
  2. Place your right thumb on the box’s lid above your left thumb.
  3. Place your right index and middle finger on the lid on the opposite side that your thumb.

    opening gently a box

  4. Lift the lid directly into the air.
  5. Lower the lid to the table.
  6. Place the lid slowly on the table with one point of contact at a time.
  7. Release your right fingers and then your left.
  8. Release your left fingers and then your thumb.


  1. Place your left hand on the box the same way you did as when you began opening.
  2. Place your right thumb on the box’s lid on the part closest to you.
  3. Place your right index and middle finger opposite your thumb.
  4. Lift the box’s lid.

    closing gently a a box

  5. Place the lid on the box’s, making sure it fully covers the opening.
  6. Give the lid a little press until it is securely on.
  7. Lift both right fingers and then your thumb.
  8. Lift your left fingers and then your thumb.
  9. Place the box in front of the child and offer the child the opportunity to open and close this box.
  10. Once the child has been successful, ask the child to place the box gently on the top left corner of his table.
  11. If the child had some difficulty, demonstrate again with another box, possibly asking the child to choose the box this time.
  12. Continue the presentation if the child seems to need them but if not, let the child finish opening and closing the other boxes.
  13. Once the child has opened and closed all the boxes, come back and demonstrate how to gently put one box back in the basket at a time and then to place the basket back in its place.


Direct: To assist the child to independently cope with opening and closing boxes. .
Indirect: To strengthen the hand and wrist muscles.

Points of Interests
Feeling the lid slide down on the box.

2 1/2 - 3 1/2 years


This Montessori Video shows how to present a child with opening boxes.

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