Many children feel that practicing handwriting is a chore, an unwanted burden and something they dislike spending time on. With all the technology and electronic devices we have today, it almost seems like handwriting is becoming irrelevant.
In our class, it isn’t. There are several ways to form letters, and in our class, we learn to construct them properly without even using a pencil!
As your children are introduced to letter formation, they benefit most from a hands-on approach using manipulatives.
Even before children can properly grasp a pencil they can practice this way and get a feel for the way a letter should be formed.
For this particular activity, we practiced creating letter A (for Asteroid) with play dough and stones. Each child first rolled their play dough into the letter A. They then placed “asteroids” (stones) into the dough!
Throwing is an important skill that young children acquire in their preschool years.
It involves the whole body and requires balance, as well as planning and executing movements in a sequential, coordinated way.
We love throwing because it strengthens hand-eye coordination. It also improves bilateral skills. By throwing, your little ones practice using opposite sides of the body in a coordinated way. Visual perception and control also increases.
Accurately throwing something at a target involves gauging the distance to the target, and how much power is required to reach it. Lastly, throwing requires a child to learn about gravity and the properties of objects.
It is a child’s first gravity lesson, as she learns that when she throws something up as it always comes down. For this activity, we practiced throwing asteroids!
These asteroids were constructed out of tinfoil balls. Using the large muscles in their hands, students threw their asteroids into a box!
Learning shapes isn’t just about teaching your child how to draw a circle or square.
When we look closely enough, we may recognize just how many shapes occur naturally in the world around us.
Not just in math, but in also reading, science, and art. For a young preschooler, learning shapes can be incredibly helpful in offering an early step in understanding how shapes and numbers relate to one another.
To tie this in with our rocket theme, students used shapes to construct rockets! They were first presented with craft sticks and a diagram of a rocket made out of construction paper.
Following this, they were asked to match the sticks to the corresponding color on the page. Lastly, they were told to put these sticks together into the shape of a rocket!
Gross motor activities are an essential component to any preschool curriculum.
These activities build skills that aid the development of young children, and prepare them for elementary school.
Because your little ones are active and often on-the-go, it is important that they learn how to control their bodies
Comfort with gross motor skills means that your child is aware of his personal space.
By controlling his body, he can respect other people’s personal spaces as well. For this activity, we learned that being an astronaut creates intense physical demands on the body.
Comfort with gross motor skills means that your child is aware of his personal space. By controlling his body, he can respect other people’s personal spaces as well.
For this activity, we learned that being an astronaut creates intense physical demands on the body. Because of this, potential astronauts undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the challenges of space travel. Using yellow rope and our bodies, we participated in an astronaut obstacle course! This enabled your child to practice accessing both sides of the body simultaneously to get through the rope maze.
Dramatic play benefits are numerous. In addition to supporting creativity and self-expression, dramatic play can help children learn real life skills and social skills that can serve them throughout their lives.
The benefits of dramatic play include learning conflict resolution, helping children to learn creative problem-solving skills alongside their peers.
Dramatic play also allows children to explore self-empowerment, allowing kids the opportunity to make choices, act out their feelings, and find a new connection to themselves.
For this activity, students participated in a dramatic play activity where they (along with their friends) “flew” to the Kuiper Belt! Different students played different roles. Some were the passengers, some steered the rocket, some were the engineers, and some were the engine or “fire”.
Students counted down from 10 to 1 and “flew” to the music of Star Wars. Along their adventure, students faced asteroids, interference, and black holes!