Friday, September 21, 2012

Toddler preschool paper cutting

There is nothing more fun (or more scary!) then teaching and watching a toddler learn how to cut with scissors. And once you get them started, there is no turning back! Usually before scissor handling is taught the child is taught to rip pieces of paper, simply by taking a long thin peice of paper, cutting slits about 1 inch apart, and showing the child to rip apart at the slits. The next step is teaching them how to hold the scissor with their two hands (their usually not ready to use one hand right away) and teaching them "open" and "close" while the adult holds the paper for them. If they start going crazy then you tell the child "gentle, we hold the scissors like this...", if they listen, GREAT! If not, then for safety reasons take the scissor privelages away for a few days and try again another time. They will learn that proper scissor handling = scissor privelages! Click here for the link to this apple paper cutting activity sheet! (it is uploaded to google docs)
21 months old, practicing his cutting techniques

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Geoboard Fun

Geoboards are something that is great for all ages. As a pre-k (3+ years) child it's a great way to practice those fine motor skills, concentration, shapes, vocabulary and even creativity.

Below is a picture of one of the children creating different shapes and even a picture of herself!

We got ours for only $3.50 on amazon (prime shipping!)
11x11 geoboard on Amazon

Some helpful websites
Pre-kinders: math and geometry
Creek side learning: printable cards for learning shapes

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bean Transfer Activity

Here is a great activity for building concentration and those helpful fine motor skills. You simply get two attractive cups or small bowls (porcelain or metals are best because children are attracted to the sounds it makes when the beans fall into them). Then you place whatever you like in one, it can be dried beans, rice, beads, get creative. Obviously these are "choking hazards" so you always want to be around when you are showing the child how to use them, also some kids are fascinated with sticking things up their nose and in their ears, so teaching them the proper use is very important! If you find that they are throwing the materials constantly...and after many times of saying "these are for transferring...we keep them on the tray....." then you might want to take the tray away for a few weeks and present again later. 

The idea of this activity to have to have the child transfer the materials from one cup to another by hand. They feel the texture, they hear the sounds as it drops in. Any items that spill they leave for last and pick up one at a time with their pincer grasp (finger and thumb). 

I got this cute set from the second hand store, for very cheap so if you don't have one keep your eyes open or maybe go to grandmas house and ask if she has something. :)