Over the past few weeks, my preschoolers have been bringing little gifts in the form of bracelets that they made at home. My guest Renee from School Sparks is here to share with you some easy ways to use the Rainbow Loom as a resource for learning too….
Easy ways to go from trendy to educational by School Sparks
One of the things I love most about early childhood education is that nearly any activity can become an opportunity for learning. Parents and teachers of young children have likely seen (or maybe you already bought one) the trendiest new craft activity for kids: The Rainbow Loom!
Since this craft seems to have captured the attention of many children right now, it is a perfect vehicle for some fun – and educational – activities. (Even if you don’t have a Rainbow Loom, the small baggies of colored rubber bands used with the loom are available at any craft store and are very inexpensive, so you can easily complete these activities even without the actual loom.)
Give your child a pile of small rubber bands and ask her to sort them by color. This activity requires strong visual discrimination skills as her pile of rubber bands may include a few different shades of some colors and other colors (such as orange and red, blue and green) are very similar. This activity also requires strong fine motor skills, as your child will need to use the proper pincer grip to select just one rubber band at a time.
Let your child grab a small handful of one color of rubber bands and then a small handful of a second color. Ask her to guess which pile has more and help her count each pile to confirm to prediction.
Or create a game by allowing your child to trade in 10 of a common colored rubber band for 1 of a less common colored rubber band (I hear the “glow in the dark” rubber bands are in scarce supply!). Before making each trade, she will need to count the rubber bands she wants to trade into groups of 10 and correctly tell you how many of your rubber bands she is trading for.
Ask your child to create a bracelet using a repeating pattern. Encourage her to map out the pattern before starting to weave. Begin with a two-color pattern (such as ABAB or ABBA) then progress to four- and five-color patterns which are more challenging for young children to identify and create.
Ask your child to touch a peg on the loom. Using only words (no pointing), give your child directions such as, “Put one green rubber band on the peg two above the one you are touching” or “Stretch a yellow rubber band between the peg you are touching and the peg three to the right.” With so many pegs on the board and so many different colored bands to choose from, your child will need sharp listening skills to follow your directions.
For more simple ideas on how to foster any child’s educational development
please visit www.schoolsparks.com/blog!
Renee has lots of free kindergarten resources on her website as well!
Be sure to check them all out over at School Sparks!
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