I am starting off with a posting about spooning activities, because I think it is one of the easiest activities to prepare, and most people have all the supplies they need already in their home. I usually gather together several different kinds of spoons or scoops, two containers (or a container that is pre-divided into sections), and a tray. My children were using a melon baller and a small measuring cup in the photo. The tray is not an absolute requirement, but my children need the tray to remind themselves and each other where their own workspace is located. The tray also has a function use of keeping spilled rice, beans, etc. in one place! I use the small, colored cafeteria style trays that you can order from Oriental Trading. See the link HERE. There are many other activities that are better with a tray, so you can use them again and again!
Then just add some dried beans, rice, marbles, cereal, beads, etc. and allow the child to transfer the material from one container to the other! Even a one year old child can do this activity, but please supervise children 3 and under to ensure that they do not put anything that poses a choking hazard into their mouths. This activity is easily refreshed by simply changing the material that they are spooning, or the containers or spoons they are using.
This activity is always a hit with my kids, and it helps to develop their fine motor skills. This activity is part of the Practical Life Montessori Curriculum for Early Childhood.