Vegetable Soup Story Tray

Children can find it very difficult to re-tell stories and even harder to make them up. This is particularly so if they have not had much experience with stories and story telling in the preschool setting.

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There are a variety of ways to involve children with texts, and the use of ‘story trays’ is one that does not only spark an interest in reading but also involves much talk and discussion, which is why we include them in our curriculum!

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A story tray is a tray containing a book, plus items associated with the story, which might include characters in the form of soft toys or puppets. There might also be a non-fiction book on a similar theme, which allows children to experience different types of text.

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These items are used to help bring the story to life. They provide a visual and tactile stimulus that the children can use to take part in the telling or re-telling of the story. Children of all abilities enjoy using them but they can be particularly useful in helping children who are not interested in reading, for whatever reasons, to enjoy books. For this activity, we used a variety of items to re-tell the story of a book called Vegetable Soup. Each child was given one of the items in the story, and as the story was read, they would add their item to the tray. Some of these items included toy vegetables, a water can, soil, toy shovels, and seeds!

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Fall Leaf Sorting

Many preschoolers are able to use numbers arbitrarily; pretending to count, or mixing up numbers and letters. From about the age of four, preschoolers will begin to show one to one correspondence, or the ability to count objects correctly, as well as recognize most numbers 0-9 and sometimes recreate numerals when given an example.

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As with many preschool skills, it is important for young students to be given many different opportunities for to see, touch and use numbers throughout the day. Including numbers in thematic play is one way that they can begin to recognize numbers.

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For this activity, your little one participated in a sorting/numeral recognition activity that tied in with our fall weather theme. Using manipulatives and pictures of leaves (with numbers printed on them), your little one practiced sorting and matching groups of leaves with their corresponding numeral.

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Q-Tip Corn

Children who are encouraged to write with a variety of utensils at an early age will later learn to execute their fine motor skills more easily, more effectively, and with greater confidence than children who do not have this encouragement. Though the mastery of one’s fine motor skills take time, they can be practiced and developed throughout the course of one’s preschool experience.

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Occupational therapists agree that the tripod grasp is the preferred mode of writing in the latent preschool years and into middle childhood. This grasp provides the most control of a pencil. To refine the muscles required for this grasp, we practiced dabbing spots onto construction paper that resembled corn.

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Lego Letters

Using Legos, the letters F-A-L-L, and our learning minds, we created the word “FALL”! In young children, gross motor skills are the first to develop, therefore creating a need to continually introduce your budding writer to an array of fine motor activities. These activities build a foundation for the later manipulating of various writing utensils.

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Playing with Lego building blocks, cutting paper with scissors, and putting puzzles together all serve a developmental purpose. They not only promote coordination, but improve dexterity and hand control.

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And not only that, when your children are moving, they are learning! In our classroom, we use games and other materials to relay prekindergarten concepts. These materials almost always consist of things that they are naturally interested in, so they do not realize they are learning!

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Since our class is going through a Lego craze right now, we love to incorporate them into our developmental domains. By creating letters out of Legos, they are experiencing a range of important skills.

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Squash Painting

Children who are encouraged to write with a variety of utensils at an early age will later learn to execute their fine motor skills more easily, more effectively, and with greater confidence than children who do not have this encouragement.

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Though the mastery of one’s fine motor skills take time, they can be practiced and developed throughout the course of one’s preschool experience. Occupational therapists agree that the tripod grasp is the preferred mode of writing in the latent preschool years and into middle childhood.

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This grasp provides the most control of a pencil. To refine the muscles required for this grasp, we practiced dabbing spots onto a paper squash with pom poms and clothespins. Since we were learning about squash and other fall vegetables, this fit in perfectly with our theme!

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