Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Learning Games

Pk and I have been having a lot of fun with our morning games when Baby Bean is sleeping. Today, he slept for almost two hours - something unheard of in a baby in our family during the day. Pk and I had a blast with some fun learning games.

Pumpkin Grab
I got this idea from a blog that I am grabbing ideas from all the time, now - Teach Preschool. I had a ton of these little pompoms left from another activity I took from there and since I had to have black ones for that and my dollar store only sells assorted colours, I was in luck. The goal is to pick the pompoms up using the clothespins. Using a clothespin uses a very similar muscle pattern to holding a writing tool - it's something that occupational therapists have suggested for students in my class in the past who have fine motor difficulties. Pk loved this game!

Colourful Fish
This is an activity from Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, a book that I LOVE for activities for Pk. This is a game that allows you to reinforce colour knowledge while also adding in a fine motor element. Since Pk saw a man fishing the last time we went to the beach, it has added meaning to her and she loved this game, too.

Number Pegs
This is a simple game I made up myself. Pk is great with letters and sounds but she really doesn't like to work with numbers. Given her fascination with clothespegs right now and the fact that they give a good fine motor workout, I made up this game. I wrote each number on a piece of cardstock and then punched that number of holes for her to use as a guide to match the same number of pins. She is working on her one-to-one correspondence and working with the numbers at the same time.

Salt Box
I saw this on someone's blog and I feel funny about sharing but this idea is so great and dh, who is also a teacher, said that he used it (or something very similar) when he taught kindergarten so maybe I am the only person who didn't know about it. You get a reasonably deep box lid and you fill it with salt. Your child can work on writing letters in the salt. It may sound like a little thing but it's really working with Pk. We are talking a lot about how letters are formed and while she is writing a little bit with a pencil or marker, this way, I can systematically teach her how to form letters without doing printing sheets, which are beyond her right now. As a teacher, a big pet peeve of mine is that a number of students begin writing letters from the bottom instead of from the top and this way, when we write in the salt, we are talking about the parts of the letter and how to form each part. It can get messy, which is why I put the box lid into an old cookie sheet. Don't turn your back (I ended up having to do some vacuuming the last time that Pk and the salt box were left alone together).

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