Cloudy Bones

As part of simple, tactile play – cloud dough can be squashed, squeezed, rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, raked, punctured, poked and shredded! Each one of these different actions aids fine motor development in a different way, not to mention hand-eye coordination and general concentration.

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It is for these reasons that I use cloud dough so often, and for some many different learning experiences. Many young children are tactile learners and require the sense of touch to interact with the world around them. Because we are learning about all things related to skeletons, I combined cloud dough, a diagram of skeleton, and our thinking minds to learn more about anatomy!

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There were two components of this activity. Students first named three different bones (the skull, ribs, sternum, and femur).   They then used their fingers to roll up cloud dough (baby oil and corn starch) into the different bones. Lastly (with help from Miss Carrie), they connected their pieces to create a full skeleton!

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Feelings Pumpkins

Felt pieces are fun and inexpensive and allow children to practice creative and problem-solving skills. We try to use as many open-ended activities as possible, so your child is motivated to think divergently. Open-ended materials are those which young children can use for creative play in any way they like, within a set of guidelines for safety and clean up. Open-ended materials are like open-ended questions.

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There is no “one” answer or one “right” way to use them. Any child can enjoy, and be successful in creating with a few simple materials, such as felt. Using open-ended materials nurtures both the child’s creativity and self esteem. Blocks, dress ups, props, recycled items, and natural materials like seeds, earth, sand, and water are also open ended materials which can be used in many ways. For this activity, we used felt pieces to create a variety of faces on felt pumpkins. There was no right or wrong answer. Each child created an expression that they saw fit, according to their own understanding of the various facial expressions they saw on a few pictures.

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Spider Web Weaving

To help us hone our fine motor skills, we strung pipe cleaners through an spider-shaped colander. Parents may think that activities like these have very little developmental significance, but the truth is just the opposite.

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Activities like these are crucial because they allow a break in the sometimes monotonous tasks of tracing or even coloring, and provides a wide range of motion that young writers can use. dominant hands. Stabilizing the cards while working the pipe cleaner through the holes strengthens those little fingers and muscles.

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Q-Tip Skeletons

The skill of effective problem solving is a valuable and important one. As a child looks at various pieces and figures out where they fit or don’t fit, he or she is developing this vital skill.

skelDiagrams, puzzles, and tangrams do just that. Because the study of the human skeleton may seem like an abstract one for the average preschooler, we try to involve your little one in activities that appeal to their sense of play. For this activity, students used q-tips to construct a skeleton.

skel1With a place mat as their guide, they placed q-tips onto various bones, counting as they did so. Activities such as these teach children to use their own minds to figure out how to solve problems and think in a logical way.

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Ghost Addition

With the aid of colorful illustrations (including googly eyes) we discussed what it means to add something to an object. In this case, there were two paper ghosts.

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Underneath each ghost was a number. Between each ghost was a “plus” sign.

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A class discussion was then initiated as a means to relay the meaning of this exciting symbol.

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We then added a counting element to this activity. Using googly eyes, we practiced adding them to our ghosts. Using real life items illustrates this complicated concept for young children, and enables them to make connections not allotted by simply using a paper and pencil.

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Manipulating colorful materials also provides instant feedback, which enables students to create meaningful connections between a concept and its application to real world situations.

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Skeleton Puzzle Match

Puzzle games are an early learning favorite for educators and children alike! By matching the shapes to complete the picture, students enjoy themselves while developing important skills such as problem solving and shape, pattern and color recognition. This game was intuitive and fun, with a variety of shapes designed to help your preschooler think critically. For this activity, your little one was gently guided to match pieces of a skeleton placemat together.

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The puzzle was made out of a foam mat, so it had the added bonus of being easy to grip. The skill of effective problem solving is a valuable and important one. As a child looks at various pieces and figures out where they fit or don’t fit, he or she is developing this vital skill. A puzzle, after all, can’t be completed by cheating! It either works and fits or it doesn’t. So puzzles teach children to use their own minds to figure out how to solve problems and think in a logical way.

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