I am always looking for extra ways to incorporate fine motor development into our activities and since Easter will be here soon we decorated playdough eggs. Because this activity uses small items remember to use close supervision with children under the age of three and those still in the stages of putting small items in their mouths.
The children rolled out the playdough and then cut egg shapes with a cookie cutter. I set out bowls of jewels that I had purchased from the craft store and the children were free to decorate the eggs any way they wished.
The children pressed the jewels into the playdough and tried to put as many on each egg that they could. While they could put any jewels on any way wanted I gave them a challenge of seeing if they could put different jewels on the eggs so that each egg did not have two of the same jewels on it which turned it into a sorting activity as well.
We have used water beads for a variety of activities and the children really enjoyed them. I recently found a source for jumbo water beads and decided to give them a try to see what they were like.
I purchased them from etsy but the same seller also sells on ebay. The water beads were around 7.00 dollars for a package of 24 but the seller included a few extra in case of damage during shipping.
The jumbo beads start out the same size and the finished size of the original water beads. Because they are small objects you will want to use very close supervision for children under five.
I put the beads in a bucket of room temperature water and made sure the beads always had enough water to cover them. The instructions that came with the beads were not the clearest as to the specific time frame it would take for the water beads to reach full size.
After one hour of soaking the beads in water they developed the look and texture of raspberries. I was surprised how much they had grown in such a short time period.
After fours hours in water the beads had grown larger and developed smooth ridges. The outer area of the beads started to become transparent while the center remained solid.
After twenty-four hours the beads had grown very large but still had some dimples on them which indicated that there was still room for them to grow. The instructions stated the water beads could take 2-4 days to reach full size.
After forty-eight hours the beads had reached their full size and and we did sorting of colors and sizes as well as counting activities. The children also free
played with them in the water which was for a sensory play activity.
We observed the changes together and the children could pick the beads up while observing but I always made sure that I was there to supervise. After the beads reached there full-size they are pretty hard to break by just squeezing them.
You can see a video of the jumbo water beads below:
I went to Walmart today and found bags of shaped pasta that would be awesome for sorting and counting activities. They price was listed at 3.50 per bag but that may vary from store to store.
There were three different themes:
Each bag contains three different colors of pasta in a variety of pasta shapes.
How fun are these? We are going to sort by shape (cars ... trains ... airplanes etc) and then we are going to sort by color. We will then count how many we have sorted.
Because the pasta is small remember to user supervision when working with children under the age of three and those still in the stages of putting items in their mouths.
Let me know if you were able to find the shaped pasta and where. Also what activities you will be doing with them!!
I put together a math and fine motor activity that uses pringles potato chip canisters and buttons. It is really easy to set up and I think it turned out super cute.
You will need to have an empty and clean pringles canister ... glue ... scissors ... an exacto knife ... and something to cover your can with. I made mine with scrapbook paper.
I measured the scrapbook paper to fit the length of the can and cut it to size using a paper cutter. I then applied glue to the back of the scrapbook paper.
The next step was to roll to carefully roll the paper around the canister making sure it was even. I then glue my "button drop" label on to the front of the can. You can find that label here.
I used an exacto knife to cut an opening on the cover of the canister. I made mine a slimmer opening so that the children would have to push the buttons more to get them to drop into the canister. You can make yours a bigger opening if you choose to.
In this activity children pick up the buttons and push them through the opening at the top of the canister. I used medium size buttons in a variety of colors because I wanted the children to also sort and count the buttons after they had finished dropping them in the can.
The children also used a dice with this activity for additional math practice. They rolled the dice and then put in the same number of buttons into the can. When all of buttons had been dropped into the can they took the lid off the can and emptied all of the buttons on to the table. The next step was to sort the buttons by color and then count them.
You can see a video of this activity below:
The free membership printable this week is a fishbowl uppercase and lowercase sorting activity. I printed all the patterns on cardstock paper ... cut them out and attached the letter fish to craft sticks.
I attached the fishbowls to the front of clear plastic cups and set them out along with the letter fish. In this activity the children put the fish into the correct cups based on whether it was an uppercase or a lowercase letter.
The fishbowls can also be glued onto a sheet of construction or cardstock paper and the children would put the loose fish (not attached onto craft sticks) on the correct mats. You can grab the patterns for free until Sunday February 14th ... after that they will only be available in the member's section which is also where the fishbowl number sort is located.
We did a color sorting activity that the children really enjoyed. I purchased buttons from the crafts store and walmart which came in six different color and in a variety of sizes.
The button colors matched the color sorting bowls that I purchased from amazon.com. I set the buttons out along with the empty sorting bowls and the children sorted the buttons into the correct bowls.
After the buttons had all been sorted the children estimated which color had the most buttons and the least buttons. We then counted the buttons. This activity was super easy to set up and not only did it work on colors and sorting but also fine motor skills. Because buttons are small objects please use supervision for children 3 and under and those still in the stages of putting items in their mouths.
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