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5 Fine Motor Activities for Thanksgiving

fine motor activities for Thanksgiving

Here are five simple fine motor activities for Thanksgiving that you can do with preschoolers.

  1. Tweezer Sorting: Provide children with Thanksgiving Harvest Mix Bead Assortment, some fine motor tweezers, and a veggie tray from Dollar Tree.  Have kids use tweezers to pick up and sort the various beads into the divided tray.
  2. Turkey Lacing: Cut out a turkey shape from cardboard or thick paper.  After children decorate it, add holes around the edge for children to lace.

    Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company

  3. Colandar Turkey: We love this idea from A Dab of Glue Will Do.  Turn a colander upside down, tape on the turkey printable, and have children start decorating by placing feathers in the colander holes.play
  4. Golf Tee Turkeys: Make some brown playdough, add some googly eyes, and a playdough beak and wattle.  Let children push colored golf tees into the playdough for the feathers.

    Photo Source: icanteachmychild.com

  5. Turkey Baster Painting: Water down (a little water) some fall-colored paints. Dip a turkey baster into paint, squeezing the paint into the baster.  Then squeeze the paint onto paper to make a turkey baster painting.

    Photo Source: notimeforflashcards.com


Why is it important to help children develop their fine motor skills?

Improving children’s dexterity will help them be able to write, pick up items, hold books, and much more. Finding fun ways for children to develop their fine motor skills is an important part of your job as a caretaker or early childhood teacher. Activities such as the ones included in this article are great ways to bring fine motor practice into the classroom without letting children know that’s what they’re working on as they play and create. (Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company)


Resources and Amazon Picks:

Candy Corn Math

candy-corn-math

Looking for some ways to incorporate candy corns with preschool math activities?  Try one of these candy corn math ideas with our free printables.

Candy Corn Counting

Cut out our Candy Corn number cards and laminate them.  Have children place the number of candy corns on each card, corresponding with the number on the husk.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Patterning

Cut out our Candy Corn pattern strips and laminate them.  Have children place the next candy corn in the pattern in the box.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Measuring

Print out our Candy Corn measuring sheet and make copies.  Have children find the items listed in the room, and measure each item by lining up candy corns next to the item. They can count the candy corns and write in the number.

candy corn math


Candy Corn Handful Graph

Also try…
Have the children grab a handful of candy corn and count how many each child grabbed. Graph the results. To graph the results you can write each child’s name and number on a small rectangle of card stock, then place them in order from least to greatest along the bottom of a bulletin board. If you have more than one child with the same number, you would stack them. To make it more interesting you can trace the child’s hand, and write their name and number on the hand instead of the rectangle. Label the graph “How much is a handful?”

(Source: The Activity Idea Place)

Acorn Sorting

acorn-sorting-printable

The Early Childhood Academy is please to offer you a free Acorn Sorting File Folder Game.  This allows children to sort acorns by letter and number.

  1. Print and cut out the acorn pictures. Laminate.
  2. Print File Folder Cover and glue to front of file folder.
  3. Print File Folder inserts and glue to inside of file folders.
  4. Let kids sort the pictures.

To download this Acorn Sorting freebie, click on the image below.

acorn sorting


Why Sorting?

Children have a natural desire to make sense of their world, to create order in a world that seems largely out of their control. For that reason, sorting activities often attract children. In fact, many children will start sorting things without even being taught. Many parents have likely walked into a room to see their young child putting their blocks or other toys in piles based on color or some other category.

Sorting is a beginning math skill. It may seem that a big chunk early math is about learning numbers and quantity, but there’s much more to it. By sorting, children understand that things are alike and different as well as that they can belong and be organized into certain groups. Getting practice with sorting at an early age is important for numerical concepts and grouping numbers and sets when they’re older. This type of thinking starts them on the path of applying logical thinking to objects, mathematical concepts and every day life in general. Studies have even been shown that kids who are used to comparing and contrasting do better in mathematics later on.

(Excerpt from The Importance of Sorting Activities)

 

Must-Have Math Manipulatives

 

Math manipulatives are great for children to use for problem-solving and understanding basic math concepts.  They also encourage imaginative play and exploration.  Here are some popular math manipulatives to consider.

Pattern Blocks
Pattern Blocks Math Manipulatives
Unifix Cubes
Unifix Cubes Math Manipulatives
Counting Bears
Counting Bears Math Manipulatives
One Inch Cubes
One Inch Cubes Math Manipulatives
Attribute Blocks
Attribute Blocks Math Manipulatives
Geoboards
Geoboards Math Manipulatives
Base 10 Blocks
Base 10 Blocks
Double Sided Counters
Double Sided Counters
Links
Links
Dominos
Dominos
Dice
Dice
Big Buttons™
Big Buttons
Geometric Solids
Geometric Solids
Balance Scale
BalanceScale
Lacing Beads
LacingBeads

Importance of Hands-on Manipulatives in Math

(taken from article)

Math manipulatives range from simple counting blocks to geoboards and tangram puzzles. Manipulatives work well to solve problems, as a way to introduce new math skills and during free play to explore math concepts. The use of manipulatives varies based on the teacher’s philosophy of math instruction, but these math materials offer several benefits to students.

Concrete Representations
Manipulatives give the math student a concrete object to represent the concept he is learning. Instead of reading about a math concept or working out a problem on paper, he works with a physical object to better understand what he is learning. Diagrams in math textbooks often fall short because the student can’t physically interact with them. The concrete representation is useful at all levels of math, from a preschooler using blocks to strengthen counting skills to an older student using fraction models to understand equivalent fractions.

Engaged Sense
A worksheet or textbook assignment is limited in the senses it engages. The child only moves slightly to use his pencil. Manipulatives give him more freedom to move and get physically involved in solving the math problems. The manipulatives reach a wider range of learners, such as those who don’t perform well on paper-and-pencil tasks. The manipulatives engage the sense of sight and touch. Discussions about the manipulatives — either with the class or with a partner — builds communication skills. You can also use these math tools to write about the concepts. Students can draw pictures and describe what they did with the manipulatives in a math journal.

Problem Solving
Physical objects in front of the learner give him tools to solve problems that are complex of difficult to understand. Manipulating the objects can lead the child to the answer. For example, if he struggles to reduce a fraction to lowest terms, fraction strips can help him solve the problem. He sees that one-half matches up with three-sixths on the strips. A student learning division uses counters to solve the problem. For 42 divided by 7, he gathers 42 counters and divides them into 7 groups. Instead of staring at the paper trying to figure out the answer, he solves it with the counters. Learners also get confirmation on answers that they don’t get on paper. With a worksheet, he won’t know until the teacher checks the work if he was correct. With manipulatives, he can see right away that he is correct.

Enjoyment
Manipulatives make math more enjoyable for most students. Completing paper-and-pencil assignments is often boring and tedious. Students lose interest quickly or struggle to get through the assignment. Manipulatives feel more like playing than learning, particularly when the students are allowed to experiment and explore with the tools outside of assignments. Even when a worksheet or written assignment is required, the manipulatives can make the problems easier and more interesting to solve.