Whether in the mountains, at home or at the center gathering a few twigs for some early childhood fun also gives opportunity for learning.
First, gather the twigs. This gives opportunity for fine motor strengthening grasping. Count the twigs while gathering them for a little math practice.
We had fun getting out the watercolors and painting the twigs. The second photo shows a shorter brush that is easier for a toddler to hold. Children choose the color they want to paint, how many colors to use, and if they paint the whole twig or one side.
So, fine motor is strengthened with holding the brush and the twig. Color knowledge is increased as children name the color they choose for painting.
Notice I put a paper on the tray. After each child finishes painting, the paper is a great art piece, too! (Talk about multi-tasking!)
If you don’t want to paint, the twigs are used for making alphabet letters. Or, paint and then make letters. Here an A is made. Each child can make the letters in their name or letters of their choice.
For shape recognition and practice, use the twigs for each child to create squares, triangles, and rectangles. Children can add a little glue to make their creations more permanent.