I found a cute apple and worm paper set at the local Dollar Tree store. I knew I’d make a game so children could have a fun way to practice position words.
So, I laminated all the apples and the worms so they will last a long long time.
Each child sets the apple in front of them. Do this at a table, on the floor, or put it in your bag the next time you need to spend time waiting with a child. Ask the child to put the worm “on top of” the apple. Picking up the worm, encourages the child to strengthen the grasp of their thumb and forefinger to coordinate their small motor muscles.
Ask the child (or each child if doing this with a group) to put their worm “under” the apple. Acknowledge the child’s accomplishment when completing this task. Each child listens and pays attention to know where to put the worm.
Each child places their worm beside the apple.
Continue with “under”, “over”, and maybe even “between” 2 apples!
Soon the children will want to choose where they want to place the worm. Encourage the child to say the position name when choosing where to place the worm. (If there’s no dollar store near you, cut out pictures of apples, draw an apple or use a real apple and yarn to represent a worm.
This little Apple and Worm With Position Words game can be used in group time, small group time, or kept in the Table Toys area for a child to choose to use doing play.
Posted in cognitive, Imitation, kindergarten readiness, Math, Motor Development, School readiness, table toys, Transitions
Tagged apples, fine motor, games, position terms, position words, transition ideas, worms
Children are intrigued with playing in the sand. This day is no different for this toddler. He spots the sand while exploring the outdoors. Rather than sit down he lies down on the sand and just enjoys the warmth of the sand.
Then, he moves his hands so they are covered with the sand. Back and forth he moves, covering his hands with sand and uncovering them.
This great sensory exploration experience with sand provides learning experiences such as learning about:
- math terms such as “more” and “less”
- to explore force and discover cause and effect
- to use small and large muscles
- building a sense of competence
- apply previous skills to this new situation
- answers “what next” questions
- testing ideas
- coordinate motor activity
- demonstrate sensory regulation by pushing sand/objects in sand
- repeats demonstrating persistence
So, find a little sand and enjoy all the learning!
Posted in Motor Development, Movement, Outdoor Play, Super Science
Tagged cause and effect, fine motor, gross motor, mass, math, preschoolers, science, sensory, toddlers, volume
“No Matter What” is a warm and tender book by Debi Gliori. This story is about Small who says to Large “I’m grim and grumpy and I don’t think you love me at all.” Large knows just how to reassure Small about a parent’s endless love for a child.
After reading this story to a child or a group of children, expand the story into the activities for the day or week. This story springboards many activities to be included in a lesson plan. With a second and third reading the children can join in whenever “I’d always love you no matter what.” comes up.
Introduce new vocabulary words featured in this story. Choose words children are likely to hear in their family/community. There are several possible words, so, you may choose to focus on 1 or more words depending on the developmental level of your child/children. I picked out several as an example.
The word “grumpy”….what does “grumpy” mean? Ask how do you feel when you are grumpy? How does your face look? Make the face and look at the child/person next to you.
The word “squishy”. What could it mean? What are some times to say the word “squishy”? The word “grim”. What could it mean? When would a person feel grim?When would this word be used?
A craft activity could be to punch and glue stars on black paper with a few cotton-ball clouds. Using the punch to make stars is great to increase fine motor development skills. Gluing gives each child choice for placement and eye-hand coordination. The pulling the cotton-ball to stretch into a cloud gives fine motor and prediction of what each cloud will look like. Take time to count the stars and the clouds.
Use stars and a counting mat for each child to place 1 star in each space (there are 10 spaces here). Count the stars. For toddlers, you may choose to use a mat with only 3-5 spaces and for older preschoolers they may use 2 mats to count to 20! I use stars here from a sticker book but cut out stars or punch more with the paper punch.
Here are just a few lesson plan activities: (I’m sure you will think of many more!)
||Hugs – Talk about safe touching and hugging.social skills in story: table manners, brush teeth routine, bath time routine, bed time routine
||Vocabulary wordsDictated Stories: Children draw a picture of this story. Write the words each child says about their picture on their paper.
Make flannel board Small and Large characters so children can retell the story on their own.
||Math graph – How many pillows are on your bed at home?Sensory Table – Have stars hidden for child to find
||Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with actionsReach for the stars to music stretching arms and body.
||Why are the names in this story “Small” and “Large”?What other names could they have?
How did the furniture get messed up?
Why are the curtains not hanging straight down?
Posted in Art, Books, cognitive, Emotions, Language, Lesson Plans, literacy, Math, Motor Development, School readiness
Tagged book, counting, emotions, hugs, language, love, shapes, stars, vocabulary, words
Clipboards with paper for drawing and recording observations is an important part of the basic equipment in the science area.
Children use the clipboard both indoors and outdoors. Today there are flowers outside to observe.
Observing and drawing nature.
- make drawings of objects
- make drawings of observations of nature
- find pictures in books to compare drawings
- write the words
Posted in ABCs, Books, Language, literacy, Super Science, writing
Tagged alphabet, books, fine motor, fine motor development, letters, literacy, observations, outdoors, preschool, science, toddlers, vocabulary, writing
Fabric float or sink is a great hands-on science activity using materials you already have on hand.
- a variety of fabric (here you see flannel, cotton, felt, rayon, polyester, and upholstery fabrics)
- a container for water
A child chooses which fabric to put in the water. Does it float or does it sink? The fabrics here all floated at first.
When does the fabric start to sink and why? The fabric would float until either the fabric soaked in the water or the child turned the fabric over so both sides were wet. The results: All the fabric pieces used here sunk.
Children get to
- observe change and learn about cause and effect
- use sight and touch senses to gain information
- compare similarities and differences between objects
- observe some attributes of fabric
Posted in cognitive, Super Science, writing
Tagged clothes, experiment, fabric, hypothesis, material, observation, preschool, science, water
As children develop their writing skills, take time to make it fun! Here a green theme is used to make writing fun and encourage writing.
Children need multiple opportunities to draw and write. The green box needs to be easy for each child to open using fine motor skills. The contents include green writing tools: markers, pencils, crayons. A variety of white and green papers for children to write on. Words with photos give a model for children to draw letters and make the connection that letters make words as they write the words themselves. Include the names of other children: friends, siblings, classmates, and teachers in the box.
Give children an opportunity to display their writing. When they see writing as enjoyable and purposeful they will do it more!
Posted in ABCs, cognitive, Colors, kindergarten readiness, literacy, Motor Development, School readiness
Tagged alphabet, cognitive, colors, fine motor, green, language, literacy, preschool, teach colors, writing
Jamberry by Bruce Degen is a wonderful book about a boy and a bear who find berries celebrating along the way.
After a few readings, the children will chant the words as the story is read!
To extend the story into the library area, cut flannel purple berries. Children put the berries on a flannel board counting the number of berries. Cut red, blue, black, and purple shapes to represent the berries. Sort the berries and compare the colors and shapes. Retell the story with the felt pieces.
Enjoy a Jamberry snack with berries. Add a little yogurt for a little dipping. Be sure to count the berries, compare the shapes & sizes, name the colors, discuss the textures, and observe that some have seeds.
The bear and boy dance with enjoyable movement in this story. Put on some fun music and everyone dance like the dancing in the story. Use ribbons, fabric, or scarves to move while dancing. Children can use the musical instruments and play them to the rhythm of the music while they move to the music!
Extend the story by looking around the environment and find any “J”s in the room. Here is one on the alphabet wall.
Posted in Books, Colors, Language, literacy, Movement
Tagged berries, books, dance, lesson plans, literacy, movement, observations, reading, rhythm
A vehicle writing case gives young children a fun way to write.
Use a case that can be opened on by the child. Inside the case include some of the following materials for writing:
- 1/4 sheets of copy paper
- markers, pencils, color pencils
- names of the children in class or family members
- cards with stickers or pictures of vehicles and their name
Children may trace the vehicle words.
Children may write the vehicle words on another paper.
Children may copy the names of the children or family members.
Children may think of additional vehicle names to add to their vehicle writing case!
Writing is a developmental process. To help children develop the small muscles in the hands and arms, use a variety of tools like the vehicle writing case!
Posted in ABCs, For Teachers & Parents, kindergarten readiness, Language, literacy, Motor Development
Tagged fine motor, language, school readiness, small muscle, words, writing
I notice that the children are interested in playing with music. So, I decide to use this interest as a starting point for them to explore something new. I choose to use something that is common to their environment – cans.
After gathering cans, the children sort them according to size. Only 3 sizes are used: small, medium, and large. A tally mark is placed on the graph according to the size of the can.
Since I choose to use cans from their environment, I choose to introduce a paint brush as the “stick” to cause the music sound.
Using the paint brush, each can is tapped. After listening to the sound, another can is tapped and the children notice that a different size can has a different “pitch”. Talk occurs about similarities and differences of the sounds and which cans make which sounds. The small cans make a different sound than the large can does. The children predict what the large can will sound like when tapped with the paint brush.
Also, the paint brushes cause their own sound due to the type of metal on the paint brush. They identify that one object (the paintbrush) influences or affects other objects (the cans). I record these observations on a large paper so each child can see the words.
Some of the concepts from this study include:
- Cans come in different sizes.
- Each size makes it’s own sound.
- Common items are used for music and play.
- We use our ears to hear the sounds.
- We can count and sort the cans using a graph.
- Science and music are fun.
Posted in cognitive, Imitation, Math, Music, Observation, Super Science, Terrific Toddlers
Tagged cans, cause and effect, comparison, graph, interest, math, music, patterns, prediction, science