Playdough Counting Cards
These play dough counting cards are great for building math skills and developing fine motor skills. We put the counting cards on a cookie sheet and the children make small play dough balls to put on the counting cards. Click here to download the black and white version and here to download the colored version.
Magnetic Pick-Up Game
This game is a lot of fun for the children to play. You can use it to teach/reinforce many skill concepts such as letters ... numbers ... shape ... colors ... and sight words.
You will need:
Metal washers about the size of a fifty cent piece (you can find these at Menards or any hardware store).
Small magnets (I got a pack of fifty at Michael's Craft Store for under six dollars).
Stretchy bead thread (found in the bead isle of the craft store).
Wood dowels cut into 16 inch lengths with a hole drilled into one end.
A dishpan (I got mine from Wal-Mart for under two dollars) or small bucket.
Paint the wood dowels and let dry. String the stretchy bead thread through a metal washer and wood dowel. You will need to use enough of the stretch thread so that the metal washer hangs about eight inches from the dowel. Tie a secure knot in the stretch thread.
You can make your own skill cards using index cards and a marker or choose some of the many free printables found at here ... laminate for durability and glue a small magnet on the back of each skill card. Let dry.
Lay skill cards on the floor face (magnet side up). Children take turns using the magnetic rods to pick one skill card by dangling the metal washer over the magnet on the card. The washer will pick the skill card up and the child take's the card off the washer and attempts to read the card (identify number ... letter ... color ... shape ... sight word etc). If the child is successful he/she puts the skill card in the dishpan and the next player takes a turn. If the child does not successfully read the card the card is put back on the ground face down. Continue until all the skill cards are placed in the dishpan.
Clothesline Sequencing and Matching
Clothesline sequencing and matching is fast becoming one of our favorite activities!! I purchased a "classroom clothesline" from my local teaching supply store ... but they can be found online as well. You can also make your own using regular or plastic coated clothesline and clothes pins. I mounted the clothes line on a long wall and placed clothespins along the length of the clothes line.
There are many ways you can use the clothesline. For the activity pictured about I gave the children a set of uppercase letters and had them hang the letters up on the clothesline (leaving one empty clothespin between each letter). I then gave them the lowercase letters to hang up next to the matching uppercase letter.
The clotheslines can be used for shape ... colors .... numbers ... sight words and so much more. Use your imagination and have fun.
Alphabet folders are a great addition to any literacy or reading center. You will need 26 file folders (we use the color ones found at Wal-Mart or any office supply store). You will also need the alphabet labels that you glue on the front of each folder (you can download those here).
Inside each folder you would glue pictures of items that begin with the letter of that particular folder. For example to the letter Aa folder you would glue pictures of things that begin with the letter A. You can look in magazines for the pictures but I found it much easier to do a google image search. I put six items in each folder .... you can do more or less depending upon the age level of the children. Under each picture I put the name of what each item was.
Pom Pom Counting Book
This is a fun book that develops math skills as well as fine motor skills. You will need to buy pom poms and velcro self-adhesive dots. You can download the pom pom counting book template here. Print the book pages on cardstock paper and laminate. Bind the book together. Put velcro dots on the circles of each page and on pom poms. Children put the correct number of pom poms on each page. We do one page a time and then remove the pom poms before going on to a new page.
Pom Pom Alphabet Book
The Pom Pom Alphabet Book is made the same way as the pom pom counting book pictured above.You can download the Pom Pom Alphabet Book template here. Print the book pages on cardstock paper and laminate. Bind the book together.
Put velcro dots on the circles of each page and on pom poms. Children put a pom pom on the blank circles of the letter. This activity is great for fine motor skill development as well as letter identification. We do one page a time and then remove the pom poms before going on to a new page.
Counting Cups are a fun way to develop math skills. All you need are plastic cups (we used left over egg coloring cups) ... craft sticks ... counters (we used counting chips sold at Wal-Mart) ... tape ... and the number printables which you can download here. To make the counting cups print out the numbers on cardstock paper ... cut out and laminate. Glue numbers on a craft stick and tape the craft stick inside a cup. Children place the correct number of counters in each cup.
Sorting bowls are another fun way to develop math skills ... there are so many things you can do with them. I purchased a set of six sorting bowls for 7.00 and 100 Animal Counters for 8.00 from my local school supply store ... if you do not have a school supply store near you try one of the online stores.
When we put the bowls down I ask the children to name the colors of the bowls in the order they are placed in. I then ask if the bowls are all the same size or are they different sizes. The children then sort the the animal counters by color into the same color bowls. While they are sorting I ask which bowl has the most in it... and which bowl has the least in it. I then ask them to count how many they have in each bowl at that time. We also sort the counters by types of animals into different bowls.