S is for Spider

The origins of the long s, ſ, can be traced all the way back to old Roman cursive, a script used in Rome for everyday, informal writing from the first century AD to about the third century.

In this script, the letter s was written as a vertical downstroke with a small curve at the end of it, and a diagonal upstroke at the top. It looked almost like a check mark, with an added diagonal line on top of it. I

n new Roman cursive, which developed between the third and seventh century AD, s was written almost as we write the lowercase r today: a vertical downstroke, followed by an upstroke with a curve.

For this activity, we learned all about the long s sound found in the word SPIDER.

To do so, students used manipulatives (in this case, toy spiders) to cover the letter S.

This letter S was placed onto a letter card. Students enjoyed playing with the spiders and putting them into different shapes on the letter.

B-A-T: Spelling with Manipulatives

Manipulatives give children the opportunity to interact with the alphabet through hands-on play.

They are able to feel the shape of the objects and arrange multiple items to form letters and words.

They can see the curves and the lines that come together to form each letter, and some manipulatives even allow children to explore letter formation and tracing.

We used manipulatives (in this case, letter cards) as part of our bat theme.

To do this, we did a couple of things.

First, the students were given a note card with the word BAT written on it.

Then, they were given the cards (manipulatives) to match to the correct letter.

Lastly, we sounded out each letter until we created the word!

Sorting Spiders: Smallest to Biggest

Measurement concepts are often a part of children’s interactions.

“My dad is bigger,” “I can jump higher,” and “I have more play dough than you!” are common comparisons that children make.

From the child’s perspective, these statements compare quantity; however, they also provide a nice introduction to measurement.

Unfortunately, it is an often neglected content standard in early childhood classrooms.

Throughout the many projects we do throughout the week, we are constantly measuring, comparing, and contrasting items related to the theme.

For this activity, your little one was presented with a problem.

They were each given five different-sized blocks with pictures of different-sized spiders on them. They were then asked to sort them by size. The target words for this activity were small, big, bigger, biggest, smaller, and smallest.

GHOST Glitter Tracing

There are many activities children can enjoy that will improve their pre-writing skills. If you visit some of our other tracing activities, you’ll find lots of great information on the importance of pre-writing skills, what they are, and how to develop them.

Tracing lines is just one way of helping children get ready to write.

And they don’t even have to pick up a pencil to do it. It’s valuable to start out tracing with fingers because holding a writing tool can be tricky!

So as part of our ghost theme, your little one participated in an activity that honed their tracing skills. With a few simple materials, we learned about the letters that make up the word GHOST. Throughout the week, we talked about the letter G.

We then discussed the sounds that G made. Following this, we sung a song about the different words that start with G. Lastly, we used flower and glitter to trace G,H,O,S,T!

Ghost Slime

Sensory activities play a key role in the maturation process of young children.

Activities that require manipulation and touch enable children to heighten the adaptive response through their senses.

They are an integral component in early childhood education.

They not only engage the child, but stimulate cognitive development.

To access this, your young one participated in an activity where they made ghost slime!

Using corn starch, googly eyes, water, and glitter, we manipulated and created various combinations to create the perfect consistency for our goo!

Monster Rocks

For this activity we used several river stones to create monsters!

We have been so enjoying this theme, especially now that Halloween is near.

First, we cleaned the rocks, removing dust and dirt.

Once they were clean and dry we painted them with acrylic colors. We then let the paint dry.

Following this, we worked on the eyes!

We made the eyes with googly eyes, and with much precision, were able to attach them!

Lastly, we used pipe cleaners for their limbs.

Cute monsters everywhere!

We had so much fun that many students wanted to make two!

Monster Counting with Rings

For this activity, we placed monster rings onto straws with different numbers.

Students were encouraged to choose the correct amount for each straw and then count as they slid them onto the straws.

This strengthened fine motor control, one-to-one correspondence, and the pincer grasp!

Monster Slime

From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development – it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways.

This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem solving skills.

For this activity, we used a few different materials to create monster slime. We first combined glue and saline solution to create the “slime”. This is a malleable substance that appears as a solid when placed on a hard surface and liquidity when it is picked up.

Following this, students added googly eyes and glitter. Lastly, we explored the substance, watching it ooze through our hands as we played with it!

Tactile Monsters

Tactile learning and touch is essential for a child’s growth in physical abilities, cognitive and language skills, and even social and emotional development.

Touch is not only imperative for short-term advancement with infancy and early childhood sensory experiences, but for long-term development within the child. Many children learn through tactile experiences, especially when they are young.

If a child struggles to learn through their auditory or with their visual system, they may use their tactile experiences to develop other learning skills. For this activity, your little ones explored the texture of corn starch and water, known as our “gooey monsters” experiment. Students enjoyed placing googly eyes and other manipulatives onto their goo, and experimenting with the different textures!

One-to-One Bats

Before learning to count,  a child needs to understand one to one correspondence.

This means being able to match one object to one other object or person. 1:1 correspondence is simply the ability to match each member of one set to the member of an equal set.

Usually when we think of 1:1 correspondence, we are only thinking of matching one of something to one of something else, but this concept also includes matching two of one thing to two of another thing, or three, or four, or five, or a hundred (and on and on and on). For this activity, we practiced our one-to-one correspondence with bat erasers and numbers.

Using tweezers, students placed their erasers into an ice tray. Within each cube was a number (1-6). Students were instructed to match their numbers to the correct number of erasers that they were instructed to count out. In addition to one-to-one correspondence, this activity also targeted fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.