As Kinder teachers, we understand the importance of helping our students develop their fine motor skills. We’re constantly searching for new and exciting ideas to use in our classrooms. Pinterest certainly aids this and can become rather addictive. It can also become overwhelming at times, seeing all the amazing ideas that other teachers and parents are doing with their kids. Some are extremely clever, reusing materials that can be found around the house and others can end up being quite pricey. Regardless, they all help in developing motor skills.
Today I’m sharing the activities we used during our stations this week. These were all budget friendly as it consists of goodies that we already had and what we didn’t have was easy and affordable to get.
Let’s dive straight in.
I was super chuffed to find these wooden pegs for next to nothing. They are normally quite pricey in Cambodia, or they certainly used to be, so that was quite a score. I bought a mixture of pegs, which the little ones all handled with ease.
Pegs can be used in so many ways, but for today I just wanted them to practice clipping them onto the happy faces and I included the counting cards because why not? Unfortunately I cannot find the link to the site I downloaded the pics from but it is easy to make your own.
They were so excited to present their happy faces. Kids are great aren’t they? 🙂
Nuts and bolts
Now this may be because I recently made the chess set but this is something I have wanted to do with the kids for a long time but just never got round to it. Finally I popped on over to the hardware store AGAIN and purchased some nuts, bolts and washers. I sprayed some green and pink to add some variety and that was all the prep needed.
They all thoroughly enjoyed this activity, girls and boys had a whirl of a time.
Beads, sticks and sponges?
This is another easy activity to put together and super affordable. The sponges cost less than 50c, which I cut in half. The sticks were also 50c for a pack of 100 and I used straws and small beads to make it more challenging for early finishers, and that’s it.
I simply placed two pieces of sponge on top of each other, pushed four sticks through, arranged some straws and beads in little containers, and the station was ready for action. This was a real hit as they were completely zoned throughout. For those speedier than others, I added another stick or two and that kept them busy. What a hoot!
This station sounds funny but again, another simple activity to put together. All you need are some single-hole punches and leaves. I grabbed leaves from our mango trees, which was great as they’re big and found some smaller leaves off of our durian tree. That’s it. My students really enjoyed this, it’s a random activity but great for experimenting with different textures.
Fishing for elastics
This is exactly what the header entails. I used small containers to house the water (these were about a $1) added small, colorful elastic bands and gave the kiddies a stick (same sticks used earlier). They needed to fish for the elastics and place them into a small container. This was the favorite for the day, must be because of the water but they all absolutely LOVED it!
Well I hope that inspires you. I really love doing creative stations with my kids. They work for all ages and the kids benefit greatly from them.
Wow! December 2020, can you believe it? What a whirlwind of a year. I know we can all name plenty ways in which our lives have changed because of the pandemic from not seeing family and friends, losing loved ones, likely receiving a much lower salary or not receiving one at all. Medical professionals around the world have been working non stop and of course, schools closing.
The closing of schools obviously affected millions of students around the world. We all understand why it had to happen but try explaining that to a 3 year old who loves putting his little uniform on in the morning. Kids are experiencing something that I couldn’t have even imagined as a youngster. My biggest worry in Primary school was making sure my homework was complete and remembering to bring my lunch box home .(stressful times 😉 )
It’s a pretty looking school, don’t you think?
I must say, compared to how intense some of the lock downs have been around the world, including my country, South Africa. Cambodia got off lightly. Family and friends constantly informed us of all the rules and restrictions. South Africa even stopped selling alcohol and cigarettes during their lock down. You had to have a specific permit to travel to a family member in need. Intense. Here in Cambodia, we have had a tiny amount of cases compared to the rest of the world. Majority being incoming cases. All schools closed in March and we went online shortly after.
All our grades went online, from Kindergarten – High school.
Now, I must say that I was very impressed and proud of our Schools and my team. We all worked together in researching the best and easiest ways for our students to join lessons online. We experimented with various online platforms and decided on the simplest one. As teachers around the world can relate, it was definitely not easy setting it up, especially when facing so many obstacles. Some teachers not being tech savvy, students not having access to a phone / tablet, students don’t have WiFi or data, no parental supervision and so on.
A Ben 10 desk. Perfect set up for his lessons. 🙂
However, after many video tutorials and countless phone calls, we got our schools online. Students were suddenly exposed to all this exciting technology. We had our Grade 1’s chatting away with their classmates and some of them signing in on their own. Never doubt kids, they absorb new information so quickly. We stayed online for the rest of our academic year and even during our Summer School. Then some wonderful news…
SCHOOLS WERE GOING TO REOPEN IN OCTOBER.
Our lovely ladies ready for our first day back.
We were thrilled. Students were excited and parents were beyond excited. There was very strict guidelines but we were all eager to adapt to our new ‘norm’. Our Schools set up the disinfect machine, everyone wore masks and visors, the classrooms had been arranged to adhere to social distancing and we shut down our canteen etc. One of the most challenging things was our Kindergarten. These teeny tiny kids wore their masks and then it became a toy or a tissue or something to whack their friend with. (You know you can relate…) Another difficultly was not allowing our students to play outdoors, not having their P.E or I.T lessons. But… kids were happy to be back. We all got into the swing of things for October and most of November but then some more bad news came. Cambodia had some community cases.
The entire school was prepped and ready to reopen.
All students must have temperature checked upon arrival.
I must say Cambodia really did handle the whole situation really well. We were informed to close our schools on the Sunday night and we were back online by Wednesday. It’s amazing how much we have all learnt during that time. I think our eyes have all taken a beating but at least our kids have still been able to maintain some sort of routine. We forget how much they love school, loving seeing their friends and their teachers.
So to all the teachers, parents and students out there. A very big WELL DONE! You are all superstars. Teachers have developed themselves by learning new programs, exploring google and creating some exciting resources. Parents have a new found respect for teachers but many have been super helpful during this time and to students, who have been forced into distance learning but handling it like champions. GREAT JOB!
Snapshot of Keith during his lesson.
Chin up everyone,
Things are starting to look up. Keep taking good care of yourself. We’ve got this. 🙂
I can’t believe it’s already October. This has certainly been an intense year for everyone but on a positive note, things are improving. We’re back at School, which is awesome! It’s been 7 months since our kids were at School (we went online in March) so it has been an exciting and VERY busy first week back.
Normally we would celebrate Halloween with lots of games and activities but things will be rather different this time round. One thing I am really looking forward to are all the fun crafts. I thoroughly enjoy making crafts with the little ones and I know they LOVE them too. 🙂
We created this little lady a few years back but she is still one of my favorite Halloween crafts. The kids really LOVE the 3D nose and it’s very interactive with coloring, cutting, folding the hair and then pasting it all together.
I’d highly recommend printing this craft of board (card stock), it’s more durable and makes for a great classroom display. Students just need to color in (using crayons or coloring pencils).
Students will need to cut, using the guideline.
Grab some colored paper strips and fold them to create a ‘curly’ look. Choose any color you like.
Glue the hair on each side. Slice cutting line to add nose. Slide nose through hole and glue onto the back of head.
Glue the hat on.
Show everyone your rad craft. 🙂
Click the FREEBIE to collect your very own copy. We’d love to see how yours turned out, feel free to tag us on Facebook / Instagram.
Oh my word! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE making food mosaics. I will make it work with any theme and boy, does it work. It doesn’t matter which grade I have made them with, from K- lower primary but they all ADORE it and are 100% zoned throughout. I am also always impressed with how well they follow instructions.
As Halloween is approaching, we will start making some really rad crafts. This year we have this cool FREEBIE for you, which you can grab at the end of the post. Be sure to check out our other Halloween Freebies too (Links at end of our post).
Doesn’t it look super duper cool?
Mosaics are really fun to make but the end result is pretty epic. The kids love working with the different textures and are super proud to show of their creation once they’re hanging up in the class.
What ya making?
You will need:
Board (card stock)
Yellow and orange lentils
You can totally change your ingredients to whatever is available and affordable. The ingredients I used are very affordable this side and most of them cost less than $2 for each pack.
Let’s get crafting!
The first thing you will need to do is ensure that all ingredients are easily accessible to the kiddies. I really enjoy these trays that I found in the supermarket. They’re a perfect size and I must say, I am always impressed at how little mess there is at the end. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a mess but not nearly as much as one might expect.
Normally my kids would be sitting in groups and they would share trays but we’re back at school, following strict guidelines so the trays will be slightly different now. I generally have the small white glue container for each table, wonderful opportunity for the little ones to practice their squeezing (great hand workout), although I also walk around with my glue to help those who need.
We go through the rules and then work step by step making our mosaics.
Once they have glued the goodies, they are instructed to lift it up to let the excess fall down. We generally let it fall on the ground, which we will sweep up once finished. Even though we’re making the same craft, it’s always fun seeing how unique they each turn out.
We also walk through how much glue is actually needed. Teachers are well aware, there are ALWAYS one or two kiddies that feel they must use the entire bottle of glue on their masterpiece 😉 but overall, they really handle it all with ease.
This year we have made the pumpkin template, bats flying with the moon in the background and a skull template. It’s hard to choose which one I like more as I think they turned out beautifully. I am also a sucker for making these. I find it rather relaxing;) haha 🙂 I get way too excited when doing these with the kids.
Sure…making crafts can be tiresome but it’s well worth all the prep and the pure joy in the faces while making it. 🙂
For the bats, I used basil seeds for the smaller one and black beans for the bigger one. I really like the effect it made.
Instead of only using one ingredient for the moon, I chose to mix the yellow and orange lentils and even added some popcorn seeds. Again, I am a big fan of how they turned out.
So whether you’re a parent creating this with your little one at home or a teacher making these with a class full of eager faces, I hope you have a wonderful time. I would also love to see how they turned out and which ingredients you used. 🙂
If you’ve been been teaching young learners, then no doubt, you are familiar with all sorts of mini books. We use them for everything from introducing new vocab to reading practice to Science to Math and so on.
There are plenty available online but if you’re like me, you enjoy making them yourself. I love picking out the clip art and choosing the font so be sure to grab yourself the FREE blank mini book template blank template.
If you’re completely new to mini books and are unsure how to fold them, then do not worry. The video above shows you exactly how to do it and also shows how easy it is or keep reading below.
Print out your mini book and cut the outline.
Fold the paper in half.
Fold the paper on all the vertical lines.
Now cut your book on the dotted line in the middle of the paper. This is going to help fold it into its final shape.
Now you’ré going to pull the two center vertical lines (where you cut the middle horizontal line) to create this shape as seen above.
You’ve reached the final step. Just fold the cover over and you now have your very own mini book. How fun! 🙂
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think and stay tuned for some more exciting activities.