Puzzle box game for toddlers

While in the process of getting my preschool ready for our first day, my little tag-along decided to try out all of our puzzles…

Sitting on the table along with the puzzles was a wooden Kleenex box that we plan to used in our classroom.  I dropped a puzzle piece in the box first and the puzzle box game began…

My grandson stood at the table and dropped every single puzzle piece he could in the box.  I think he stood there for about 15 minutes just adding adding blocks. Then he would lift the box and start again…

If a piece didn’t fit quite right, he would continue to push it around until he either got it to drop in the box or it fell off the edge…

Most of the pieces fit easily into the opening of the box. I really enjoyed watching as my grandson worked those puzzle pieces into that box…

My grandson hasn’t quite figured out how to get the puzzle pieces back onto the puzzle boards but he’s got the puzzle in a box game down!

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All tied up in knots

Tying knots is very challenging for preschool age children and so today we “loosely” explored the process of tying a knot together…

Even though not all of my students were quite able to master this process, we did have some amazing teamwork and support for one another that made this process far more rewarding than just tying knots…

Before everyone got their own length of rope to work with, we had a group discussion on using rope safely in the classroom and we set a few rules to keep us safe too. Then we took turns feeling two kinds of rope – silk and plastic. We discovered that silk rope is softer and plastic rope is more slippery….

After our discussion and chance to feel rope, I gave each child their own piece of rope and together we walked through the process of trying to tie a knot…

We crisscrossed the ends of our rope and then worked to figure out which end of rope needed to go through the loop. Okay – I won’t kid you but this was quite confusing to explain to the children but most of them figured it out by simply exploring the process on their own…

Our older students really started to get the hang of it…

And some of our younger students caught on too…

And those who had mastered the knot tying process stopped to help their friends figure it out too…

Whether everyone mastered the knot tying process today didn’t matter because what my students are mastering is how to care about one another – now that is priceless!

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Wild about this space from I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!

Outdoor Play from Learning for Life

Big Rope Play from I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!

By | March 19th, 2012|Categories: motor skills|Tags: , , |12 Comments

Marble painting with preschoolers

As you might have guessed, we have been exploring marbles and you just can’t explore marbles without including a little marble painting in your planning…

Every time I introduce marble painting to a group of preschoolers, I change the process a bit. I adjust the process based on the age of the children, the size or kind of box we will use, the kind of paint we use, how many children will paint at one time, and anything else I think will need adjusted to make the process fun and age appropriate for the children in my class…

For my PreK class, I let them squeeze out some tempera paint on a sheet of paper and then they were good to go.  You will notice in the photo above that I also set out some plastic wrap.  We would have wrapped the box with the plastic wrap if needed to help keep the marbles from falling out of the box but we decided it wasn’t needed.   By adding the plastic wrap, the children can still see inside the box while they roll the marbles through the paint with out worrying about the marbles falling out…

But since these children were older, they were able to manage the marbles and the box without needing to add the plastic wrap.  It was actually good eye-hand coordination and a little practice in multi-tasking for them to tilt the box, keep an eye on the marbles so they don’t fall out of the box, and direct the marbles through the paint all at the same time…

Once the marbles get a little too much paint on them, it is a good idea to rinse some of the paint off in between each child’s turn.  This helps keep the marbles rolling through the paint better. Otherwise, the marbles can get all goopy and not roll very well at all…

Some of the children had a little trouble getting the coordination of moving the large box from side to side.  If they preferred, they could have a partner hold one end of the box to help them tilt the box back and forth. Working with a partner is also a challenge because the children have to tilt the box the same way at the same time – not an easy thing to do…

Regardless of the challenges involved in marble painting, the children stayed engaged in the process. Simplifying the process does not always make the project more fun – those little challenges along the way can actually be an important part of the process…

Our marble painting turned out bright, colorful, and beautiful…

All that paint, movement, concentration, and freedom in the process and almost no mess – now how do you like that?

Can you see the name hidden behind all that paint?

 

By | January 23rd, 2012|Categories: Painting|Tags: , , |13 Comments