Well, after a much needed and well deserved vacation, I am back, rested and ready to resume the Summer Boredom Buster series. It's about time, eh? Seeing as there are only a few weeks of summer left!
I learned of today's activity from one of the preschool teachers with whom I work. She regularly puts this activity out during the free choice time and the kids just love it. Here's what you will need:
- A heavy duty paper plate
- Clothes pins (the kind that you have to pinch to open)
- Permanent markers in a variety of colors
So, what are we going to do with these items? Simple! We are going to make some learning wheels. You can make learning wheels to help your child learn his/her colors, numbers, letters, etc. Here's how to make a number learning wheel:
- Write the numbers 1-10 around the perimeter of the paper plate
- Write the numbers 1-10 on the end of the clothes pins
- Have your child match the clothes pin numbers to the corresponding number on the plate
To do colors, you need only color the tips of the clothes pin a variety of different colors and do likewise on the paper plate. You can also do this activity with letters of the alphabet (although you may need more than one paper plate -- I would do this activity with older kids, say kindergartners) or for younger kids, starting with the letters of their name. There are a number of ways you can modify this:
- Print out some clip art of farm animals, different vehicles, etc. Be sure to print two of each.
- Cut them out
- Paste one copy on the paper plate and glue the other cut out onto the end of the clothes pin (Be sure the clip art isn't too big. You may want to have the cutouts that you paste on the clothes pins laminated so they are more durable.)
There are a number of developmental benefits to this activity:
- The squeezing of the clothes pins is great for fine motor development which they will need to strengthen for writing and using scissors.
- It encourages one to one matching which helps with math and reading.
- It encourages problem solving.
- It encourages letter, number, and color recognition.
- It encourages visual perceptual development.
Who needs flash cards when you can make this simple and inexpensive activity! Of course with this being a sit down kind of activity, you'll want to get the kids up and moving before introducing it so that their attention and concentration are enhanced! The most important part of making this a fun and educational activity is your role as teacher. Here are some tips:
- Model how to do the activity.
- Be supportive and encouraging.
- Be patient. Some kids will need more time and practice.
- Follow your child's lead. If your child isn't interested in the activity when you present it or moves on to something else shortly after it is introduced, you need to move on with him or her.
- Keep it fun! If you are having fun, chances are your child will too!
For more matching activities, check out PBSkids.org where you can download and print a variety of Clifford the Big Red Dog matching cards.
Check back next time for more Summer Boredom Buster activities or subscribe to my blogs feed by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner. That way, you will be updated any time I enter a new post!