I recently added another young preschooler to our school days and have had the opportunity to become much more intentional with my work with Jack. I’ve been wanting to work more with him for a while and adding A (she’s almost exactly a year older than he is) has been just the impetus I needed!
I’m doing a simple “Letter of The Week” type curriculum with them using some of the activities from ABCJESUSLOVESME and some other activities that I’ve either done with the bigger children when they were little or found online.
This week we looked at the letter B, and did a couple of activities that were also good for improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
At the beginning of the week, I printed several copies of Big B and Little b from the ABCJKLM curriculum and put them in the tot’s folders.
On Monday I presented them with a page of B’s each, a bottle of school glue and a selection of dried beans. We talked a little bit about words beginning with a “B” sound and then I showed them how to put a line of glue on their letters and place the beans into the glue to outline the letters.
This is always an interesting project with toddler/ early preschool aged children. Some will practically wallow in glue and cover their papers with glue and beans to the point where they nearly tear from the combined wet glue and bean weight while others don’t like the feel of the glue at all and carefully place the minimum number of beans while getting as little glue on their fingertips as they can manage.
Some children are also very particular about using only one type of bean while others don’t seem to notice the differences and just glue on beans.
These two definitely noticed the differences and wanted to know the names of the beans we were using (split chickpeas (Chana Dal), Great Northern, and Pinto), and were very precise in placement but didn’t worry too much about lining them up straight or using only certain ones in certain places. A had to be reassured a couple of times that we would wash hands when the project was done, but did really well with the feel of the glue which I know she doesn’t prefer.
The second project also involved the letter B and glue but this time we used scraps of blue, black and brown paper and glue sticks.
One of the things we’re working on is identifying different shades of the same color as part of the same group so we had two different shades of blue.
Jack was still in his pajamas since he likes to wear them and keep his feet warm and we weren’t planning to go anywhere. A wasn’t with us as the snow made transportation difficult.
I like glue sticks at this age as they give the children a lot of freedom to glue where they want to without making a huge sticky mess or over wetting the paper.
These gluing onto an outline projects are so wonderful for the following skills:
- hand-eye coordination
- following directions
- spatial relationships
- pincer movement
- Using multiple steps to accomplish something (putting on glue, choosing a piece to glue, placing the piece, putting on more glue)
All of these skills will be heavily used in learning to read and in math and this fun approach to building them helps to give a strong foundation.
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