Nuudles are biodegradeable building blocks that are made
out of cornstarch and can be used for a variety of activities.
They are also excellent for fine motor skills development.
The magic nuudles stick to paper and to each other when
they are gently pressed on to a wet paper towel or sponge
for about two seconds. They can not be dipped in water as
they will dissolve.
the pictures above we
used the magic nuudles on letter
pages ... for making patterns
... and for free design.
magic nuudles can be purchased in teacher stores for about
7.99 and online at magicnuudle.com.
is a favorite activity in any early learning environment.
It is perfect for fine motor skills development when children
pinch ... shape ... and roll the dough. It is also great
for social and cognitive development as the children think
of what to make and share their creations with their friends.
Plastic cookie cutters are wonderful tools to use with playdough.
I purchased the two cookie cutter buckets shown in the picture
above at Michael's Craft Store for under ten dollars each.
You can also purchase them from the
company that makes the cookie cutters.
painting is a great open ended project. All you need is
paint and paper (we like fingerpaint and fingerpaint paper
because the paint does not dry as quickly ... I do not recommend
tempera paint for this activity). Give each child a sheet
of paper and let them make any kind of a design on the paper
that they wish. We use fingers or brushes but sponges and
other things can be used as well. Once the design has been
made fold the paper in half and gently rub on the folded
paper. Open the paper and you will see a design that is
the same on each half of the paper. Children can then decide
what they have made. Another way of doing symmetrical painting
is to fold the paper in half first to make a crease and
then paint a picture on one half as shown above in the flower
picture. Fold the paper ... gently rub and open and there
will be a mirror image.
and Word Cups
and word cups are a great literacy building activity. For
the name cups I printed out the names of everyone in our
class on mailing labels (1 x 2 5/8 size). I did the same
thing for the words that I wanted to use on the word cups.
I then stuck the labels on 6 ounce plastic cups (you can
use any size that works best for you) and put letter tiles
in each cup that would spell the name or that was on the
cup. Children take a cup and pour the letter tiles out and
put them in order of the name or word that is on the cup.
you do not have the letter tiles you can download some that
I have made here.
ball counting is an excellent activity for building math
skills as well as hand-eye coordination. You will need cotton
balls ... a bowl ... spoons ... plastic cups (optional cotton
ball counting page ... glue and markers). Pour cotton balls
into a bowl (we used a plastic one) and put a spoon in (we
used a tablespoon) the bowl. Children scooped the cotton
balls out of the bowl and put them in their cup (we used
a six ounce size but you can use any size you want). They
then emptied the cotton balls out of the cup and counted
them as they put them back into the cup. They then put the
same number of glue drops on the cotton ball counting page
and put the cotton balls on the glue drops. They counted
the counted balls again and wrote in the number that they
had on the page in the blank square.
you would like the cotton ball counting page you can download
love to see their names in print and using playdough name
mats is a wonderful way to develop letter and name recognition
as well as fine motor skills. I printed each child's name
in large letters on a sheet of cardstock paper. I then cut
off about 1/4 an inch all the way around the page and glued
it on a sheet of color cardstock paper and laminated it.
The name mats were placed on a table and the children were
asked to find their own name. They then rolled the playdough
into "snakes" and put it over the letters on the
name mat. When they were all done with their own name they
exchanged mats with another student.
activity is great for letter identification, hand-eye coordination
and developing fine motors skills. We used do-a-dot paint
(which is kind of like bingo markers) and letter sheets
that I had made which contained circles for the children
to put the do-a-dot paint on.
you would like the alphabet do-a-dot pages you can download
Cutter Name Stamping
This is another
great name identification activity which helps to develop
literacy skills. You will need plastic cookie cutter letters,
paper plates, paint, and large white construction paper.
I poured different colors of paint onto paper plates and
had each child find the cookie cutter letters that were
in his/her name. The child then dipped the letter cookie
cutters into the paint and pressed them down on the white
construction paper. You can also use all different kinds
of plastic cookie cutters for a fun stamping activity.
Making a group
collage is wonderful way to develop fine motor skills
(cutting and gluing) as well as cognitive (deciding what
to cut and where to put it) and social skills (working
with others). I purchased black foam boards from Wal-Mart
for around 3.00 each. I also purchased packs of small
colored cardstock squares (found by the scrap booking
material) for 2.00 each (you can use construction paper
as well). I had groups of 3-4 children work together on
one board and the children cut the paper into any kind
of shape/design that they wanted and glued it on to the
board. When they were done putting the paper on the board
they glued on gemstone sequins that were also purchased
counting is not only a great activity for developing math
skills but is also wonderful for developing fine motor
skills because of the pinching and grapsing of the clothes
pins. I made number circles and printed them on cardstock
... cut them out and laminated them. I put the cothes
pins in a bowl and set out the number circles. The children
then put the correct number of clothes pins on each number
If you would
like the clothes pin number circles you can download them
are great for letter identification and hand-eye coordination.
I printed the puzzles on cardstock paper ... cut them
out and then laminated them. I also printed out a puzzle
mat that the children could use to place the puzzles on.
If you would
like the puzzles you can download them here.
This is another
great counting activity that is very easy to make and
also great for building math skills. We used white paper
lunch bags (we took about 2-3 inches off the top of each
one to make it easier for the chidlren to put their hands
in) and glued number labels on the front the bags. The
children were then given counting coins and they put the
correct number of coins in each bag. You can use any objects
that you like for the children to count into the bags
(smaller children may need supervision).
If you would
the number labels for the front of the bags you can download
This is a wonderful
activity for visual discrimination and hand-eye coordination.
I purchased fabric in different colors and patterns and
cut them into squares. The children had to find two pieces
that matched and glue them onto the cards.
If you would
like the fabric matching cards you can download them here.
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