Montessori Practical Life Lesson: The Hooks and Eyes Dressing Frame

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Montessori Practical Life Lesson: Hook and Eye Dressing Frame - teach children how to dress themselves by practicing on the Montessori dressing frames

So far in our Montessori dressing frames series, we’ve introduced buttoning, zipping, snapping, and tying bows. Today’s write-up is on mastering hooks and eyes. Just a couple more frames to go before we move on to a new topic!

Let’s say a quick word about the Montessori terms points of interest and control of error. Simply stated, the points of interest in a lesson are the areas in which a child may need help. Having invited the child to do a work, the teacher allows her to do it in her own way, giving encouragement only as needed and never interfering or correcting a child in the process of work–short of safety issues.

The teacher may re–present the material, highlighting the points of interest. Thus the control of error in practical life lessons rests only in the teacher’s indirect suggestions. Some Montessori materials have a built–in control of error, such as the cylinder blocks, in which one cylinder is left over if the child misplaces some of the others. A built–in control of error supports the child discovering her own mistakes and correcting them.

Another aspect of a point of interest is to create what Dr. Montessori referred to as a criterion of perfection, that is, showing the lesson again emphasizing precision in the small details, such as wiping the lip of a pitcher after pouring water. Dr. Montessori believed that precision in the details captures the young child’s interest and encourages her to imitate the actions with more concentration.

Personally, I have found this to be true. When you think about it, the practical life lessons are also an exercise in graceful movement, with all that precision and care.

So on to the next dressing frame.

Montessori Practical Life Lesson: Hook and Eye Dressing Frame - teach children how to dress themselves by practicing on the Montessori dressing frames

How to Present the Hooks and Eyes Dressing Frame


  • Direct: to develop the finger control and dexterity to manipulate hooks and eyes.
  • Indirect: independence and concentration.

Material: a Montessori hooks and eyes dressing frame (or you can make your own frames)

Age: 2 1/2 – 4


1. Beginning at the top, use a pincer grasp to pull back the edge of the top flap to reveal the first hook and eye (showing the child what the hook and eye looks like).

2. Now secure the bottom flap with your first two fingers of one hand, and take the top flap in a pincer grasp with the other hand.

3. Push the two panels together to disengage the hook.

4. Repeat with all the hooks and eyes.

5. Open the panels to show that the hooks are fully disengaged. Close the panels.

6. Secure the bottom flap as before with two fingers, then grasp the top flap. Pull the two panels together and partially engage the hook.

7. Gently pull the panels in opposite directs to fully engage the hook.

8. Repeat with all hooks and eyes.

9. Invite the child to try.

Points of Interest:

  • Does the child push the fabric panels together to unfasten the hooks?
  • Does she gently pull them apart to secure the hooks?


To learn more about Montessori theory, please visit Beth’s blog A Montessori Lexicon, and you can also find her at Teachers Pay Teachers.

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One Comment

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