Locking/Unlocking Padlock


Montessori Lessons Album


Practical Life


3 – 4 years


One basket and three sets of different sized padlocks with keys.


Unlock and lock padlocks of different sizes.


Fine motor skills
Eye hand co-ordination
Develop strength in fingers
Develop pincer grip
Visual discrimination


  1. Invite the child to begin Work Cycle.
  2. The child places the tray on the mat in front of the adult.
  3. The adult pushes the tray to the top edge of the mat.
  4. With right hand, remove the basket from the tray and place on mat.
  5. With right hand, remove padlocks (individually) from the basket and arrange in order of size from left to right horizontally across the mat.
  6. With a right hand pincer grip, grasp the keys (individually) and place in front of respective padlock.
  7. Using left-hand pincer grip, pick up padlock and turn it so that the child can see the keyhole.
  8. With your right hand, pick up corresponding key in a pincer grip and gently slide into keyhole.
  9. Turn key clockwise until it clicks.
  10. Return key to its place on mat, open padlock arm slightly and return to position on the mat to show it is unlocked.
  11. Continue to do the same with other padlocks.
  12. To close padlock, using left hand index finger and thumb, hold the base of the padlock. With your right index finger and thumb, depress padlock arm so that it clicks into locking position.
  13. Return to padlock to relevant position on mat.
  14. Continue to do the same with other padlocks
  15. Moving from left to right, with right hand pincer grip, replace padlocks in basket.
  16. With right-hand pincer grip, moving from left to right, pick up keys and return to the basket and place the basket on the tray.
  17. Bring tray to the centre of the mat.
  18. Invite the child to have a turn.
  19. End the work cycle.


Noise - dropping padlocks and/or key
Colour coding of padlock and key


Unlock a padlock in environment
Unlock door in environment
Unlock combination lock i.e. suitcase


Different sizes of locks and keys.