Saturday, January 16, 2016

Top 10 Creative Ideas For Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor skills are an important part of development for every child. These skills lay the foundation for many things they will need to do and learn in their school age years and beyond.
Strong Fine Motor Skills are a huge help when it comes to children learning handwriting, letter formation and cutting skills.

Fine Motor can be practiced in lots of ways and can be adapted to fit many themes in your classroom. Here are some of my favorites:

1.Glue/ Cutout Pictures (or sticker tracing): Create a line or shape of glue (or draw one for stickers) and instruct the child to "trace" the shape by placing stickers along the line given.

2. Small Object Sorting: Sorting is a skill within itself but with the use of small objects such as candy, beads, beans, counting manipulatives, students can master the pinch and place movement and learn to place things within a designated goal or area. 

3. Beading & Lacing: These are both fairly common but can be used in several ways to help a child improve their skill. Using a pipe cleaner instead of string to bead is easier for small hands and allows them to push something through the bead more easily. Another inexpensive trick for lacing is to save the backings from cardboard punch outs (often found in games or craft supplies) and use shoestrings to lace larger holes first. 

4. Clothespin Counting & Matching: You can create an endless supply of games using the concept of matching a designated clothspin to a number or picture card. Not only does this benefit fine motor skills but you can use it to co-teach another concept your class is working on. 

5.Q- Tip painting & Tracing: Using q tips and a cup of paint you can paint a variety of pictures, decorate trees, trace letters and hand drawn or printed pictures or their names.

6.Fill & Empty: For little hands both of these tasks are important to learn. Filling or stuffing colored patches or fabric, pom poms or other flexible items into a wipe container, Pringle can, or similar containers and then opening, dumping and starting over is a basic and early skill to master. 

7. Geo-board Games: Using the tradtional pegged math Geo-boards create rubber band games to teach other basic skills. This and other shape/picture making ideas Geo-boards provide will encourage the child to manipulate the rubber bands in a specific way and try new things. 

8. Tearing, Snipping, & Line & Shape Cutting: There are many techniques that encourage and enable cutting skillls. Tearing is an early skill that teaches the basic concept or ripping a specific section of paper. Once tearing is mastered it is important to allow the child to adjust to the way scissors move and cut. Let them snip at random learning how to open and close the scissors. Next work with hand drawn (or printed) lines across paper for them to follow. Make the lines straight and thick at first to allow them to feel confident in staying within the line with their cut and over time teach them to use a smaller thin or curving lines and then finally beginning to cut around shapes and pictures. 

9. Playdough Drawing & Tracing: Using print outs or hand drawn letters and pictures have children roll play dough into 'snakes' and form the letters and lines.
  
10. File Folder Wkst. Games: You can turn virtually any worksheet into a game by per-coloring, cutting pieces and laminating them. Matching, placing and writing on worksheets such as these helps with the fine motor skill of placing an item in a specified place.
 
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Valentine Pockets

Do you need an easy solution for Valentine Mailboxes for your class? This simple Valentine Pocket is inexpensive, easy to make and fun for the kids to decorate and use! :)

How To Make:
1. Fold two paper plates in half and crease down the center.
2.Slide the edge of one paper plate between the sides of the other to form a point at the bottom and staple to secure at the point.
3. Add extra staples to secure at the top on each side.
4. Decorate with paint, stickers, crayons, etc.
5. If desired you can also add a handle with a strip of construction paper, ribbon or yarn.


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5 Senses Taste Test

The Five Senses can be touched on with almost every Preschool classroom theme. I have always enjoyed teaching and focusing on this aspect of self awareness and helping children to realize their own vast abilities and distinguishing skills in the area of their 5 Senses. This activity, The 5 Senses Taste Test allowed my class to taste a variety of flavors and use multiple tasting areas of the tongue.

We discussed the flavors and their category of taste (Bitter, Salty, Sweet, etc) and graphed what tastes they liked and didn't like! :)
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Indoor Snowdays

When Winter hits and the snow starts falling I tend to want to head indoors and hibernate. I'm not much for the cold weather, snow fall and all that comes with it... but as a teacher I have quickly learned that children don't grow tired of snow and winter quite so easily. Nothing is quite as exciting as that first snow fall and being able to get their little hands on some snow...but it's SO COLD! Both this Winter and last I have used this solution to keep them warmer and allow them to enjoy the snow as well!


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Glitter Snowflakes


These glitter snowflakes are made in just a few easy steps! :)

How To Make The Glitter Snowflakes:
1. Fold a standard size piece of copy paper into fourths.
2. With a pencil draw lines and cuts across on side of the folded paper to make a cutting pattern for the child.
3. After creating the cutting pattern direct the child to use their scissors to follow the drawn lines and cut out the shapes through the folded paper.
4. Open folded paper to see the snowflake cut out and attach white paper to colored construction paper of your choice with glue.
5. Trim and cut the edges and holes of the snowflake.
6. Mix a small amount of glitter with Mod Podge and paint over the pre-cut snowflake. When the Mod Podge dries the glitter will show through!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Little Litter Bugs

These adorable litter bug crafts are great for Earth Day or any time of year that you feel your little ones need a lesson on Recycling and Reusing!! :)

What you need: 
-1 paper plate
-2 wing cut outs
-2 large googly eyes or handmade eyes
-1 brown circle (for face) 
1. Attach the wings to the back of paper plate.
2. Attach eyes to face and draw a smile.
3. Attach face to top of the plate.
4. Use cut pieces of trash, food wrappers, etc to decorate plate (body) of Litter Bug.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Busy Busy Bees

I have recently started working at a new Preschool and I am loving it! :) The school opened this Summer and I happily accepted a job there as a Pre-K teacher! It has been very exciting seeing the new place begin to blossom and I'm so happy that I got to be a part of it from day 1. There is definitely something special about seeing something develop like that. It is so encouraging to me to meet new families and children in a different area and to know that in some small way I am making an impact in their lives.

If you happen to live in the Louisville/ Lyndon area and you or someone you know is looking for childcare check us out!! :) You can find the school on Facebook by searching Busy Bee Academy Louisville. :)
Click HERE to go there Now! :)


The Preschool/ daycare is called Busy Bee Academy and as such I've been having fun creating lots of bee themed decorations and projects. I hope you can use these ideas as well! :)

Wish us luck as we keep buzzing along!! ;)

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