One of my favorite parts of teaching young learners, is looking for and creating resources for developing their fine motor skills. Once again, my dear friend Pinterest comes to my aid with an insane amount of ideas. Some of the ideas take a lot of prep and others use everyday items to create these engaging activities. Today’s post is a break down of some of the activities we use in our school. As you may have noticed, I have titled this post, Part 1 as there are just far too many ideas for 1 post and I shall definitely share some more later on 😉
Buttons, stones, pistachios?
This activity requires very little prep. All you need is:
- Colored paper
- Marker (sharpie)
- Little stones / pebbles
- Colored buttons
- Pistachios / Sunflower seeds
All you need to do is draw different lines / waves / squiggles onto your paper, laminate or insert into a plastic folder and then choose which medium you want to use and you’re good to go.
We love alternating ours so sometimes we use the little stones or our buttons. You now have an excuse to eat countless amounts of pistachios. ‘It’s for work, honey!’ haha. Why not use sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, pom poms and the list goes on.
The kiddies are 100% zoned throughout this activity and once they have completed the page, they are thrilled to present it to you. What’s not to love about it?
You will need:
- stones / pebbles (larger ones)
- letter cut outs / numbers (whatever you would like them to ‘trace’.)
- grass mats (great visual and sensory effect)
This activity can be adapted countless ways. I really enjoy using the larger stones that I purchased at a nursery for around $5. This was also a score as it has been quite challenging finding things around my little town. However, Siem Reap has developed tremendously in recent years and one bonus is having access to all these delightful goodies.
I also love doing this activity on top of the grass mats, it looks really cool and offers another cool texture for the kiddies to experience. I really enjoy using the letters to practice formation and it’s always a hit.
These blue stones, as seen below, were a fabulous little find and come in super handy. Many teachers ask if they should be worried about using these smaller materials. Obviously I don’t just hand the stuff out and let them run wild with it all. I also always use these during controlled stations / centers. That way I can keep a watchful eye. We also walk through all the rules before completing the activity. I haven’t had any problems with kiddies following, purely because I think they’re really enjoying working with different materials.
Don’t they look so pretty? 🙂
Red beans, white beans, beans everywhere!
You will need:
- Beans (red or white / any 2 colored beans)
- Tongs / Tweezers
- Container – to store the beans
- Smaller container – for students to separate the beans
Another easy activity to set up. I bought some plastic containers (tupperware) and the tongs (tweezers) from what we call here, the 2500 riel store. Basically 50 cents for majority of the items. That store has been such a haven for finding resources. A real win.
The beans came packaged from the supermarket and one pack was more than enough to fill 2 containers. The tongs were also an awesome find as some are a little tougher to use (harder to squeeze), which works out perfectly for those who are ready for more of a challenge.
Kiddies just need to use the tongs to pick up the beans and separate them into the smaller container. Looks real easy peasy but it’s not, especially if they haven’t developed their motor skills. I think this works beautifully in the classroom and at home. This activity is very adaptable. Another option would be to have kiddies practice counting and placing the correct amount of beans into an ice tray and so on.
You will need:
- Geo boards
- Colored elastic bands
- Alphabet / Number / Shape cards
I have the hubby to thank for these. I desperately wanted geo boards after seeing several incredible ideas online and after searching the town, DIY was the answer.
We used small chopping boards and push pins to create them. I must say they have really represented. We have had them for a long time and they are still very much in good condition. Thank you Hubs.
I like to have the kids practice forming the letters and I found these PERFECT cards in teachers pay teachers by Play to learn Preschool.
You will need:
- Cork board (or card board paper lid)
- Push pins
- Print out
How adorable is this activity? I LOVE it! Not only is it super easy to prepare but it’s also really engaging, plus time consuming if Mom needs a little quiet time at home 😉
Simply print out an image / letter / number that the little one is going to copy, grab some push pins and a cork board (I have also used the lid of the container that paper comes in and that works amazingly) and let little one have a blast.
This isn’t just fun for the little ones, I’ve seen our teachers and TA’s quite happy doing this. 🙂 🙂
If you’re unable to get hold of the cork boards, then no stress! Grab some paper box lids, no need to make them pretty although you could paint / spray them if you must. 😉 They actually work really well and it certainly puts them to good use. We collect them very quickly with all the copying that goes on.
You will need:
- Pom poms
- Tweezers / Tongs
The last activity for today has to include pom poms. I had to bring these up as I have waited patiently to find these. I know that back home (South Africa), these are super easy to find but I finally got hold of some and this is a snippet of what we get up to.
I found this Pom Pom Alphabet set online, created by the Measured Mom. If you’re new to teaching or have your little one at home, then you should swing by her site. She has a ton of resources available.
That’s all for today folks 🙂 I’d love to hear which activities you enjoy doing with your little ones.
Until next week,
Have a magical day!