Some parents never say anything, others will ask me straight out, “where are the rest of the rings?”
The ring stacker with a rocking base and the ring stacker with a stable base are important materials in an early Montessori environment. These are easy to find on the market today and just need a bit of modification to maximize your child’s success.
The first is made of plastic and can be found at your basic toy store or even Target. The second is green sprouts brand and I found at a Natural Foods Grocery store. Each comes with a full set of rings. But the question remains, why are they not all there?
I remove every other ring so that your child can get his hand around the ring to remove it from the post. When the rings are stacked one on top of the other he has a difficult time getting his finger in between. And although we want to prolong the time he spends with an activity in order to build concentration, we don’t want to frustrate him in the first moments.
By removing every other ring he can remove the first ring, the second, and then work to put them back on. The short cycle to this activity allows him to feel the success and satisfaction that comes with completing work and he is more likely to repeat. And as I have posted so many times before, repetition leads to concentration. In her book What’s Going On In There, Lise Eliot writes, “Encouraging children’s attention even very early in infancy, helps foster the persistence and motivation they need to master more difficult challenges.”
When your child is no longer interested, remove the stacker from the shelf. After a few weeks, return he stacker to his activity shelf with all of the rings. He is now ready to tackle the full tower!