Visual-perceptual motor skills are an area of emphasis in our preschool classroom. These skills refer to children’s physical responses to visual stimulation.
Such skills are later used for activities such as reading from left to right or copying from the blackboard.
During our projects, I try to introduce activities that begin to challenge your little ones’ visual-perceptual performance skills.
Activities such as finding hidden pictures (figure/ground), bingo and lotto (visual scanning), concentration or memory card games (visual memory and matching), and block design replication (visual-spatial relations) address different aspects within the area of visual-perceptual motor skills.
As part of our week of gardening, students used their visual-perceptual skills to bob for vegetables. Using their hands, they practiced retrieving toy vegetables from bowls of water with tongs.
Many children have problems learning the letters of the alphabet, especially when they are grouped together into words.
Since letter (and word) recognition depends on understanding a sequence of features, the best way to teach children the sequence of word-making is by guided practice.
Because of this, we partake in a variety of letter “games” that encourage your child to recognize, enunciate, and match the concept of a letter to its print form.
Young children learning letters need vivid, concrete language to understand the abstract component of the written word.
For this activity, we practiced matching cardboard cutouts of letters to the letters in the word B-A-K-E-R.
Young children learn measurement initially by sorting objects by size. For this particular activity, we practiced sorting and measuring the length of cupcake sponge blocks. Measurement can be a tricky concept for preschoolers to grasp, so experimenting with different materials assists them in the understanding of complex measurement concepts. When relaying concepts of measurement, it’s best for your budding scientist to be concrete, because that’s how preschoolers think at this stage of their development.
A preschooler would have a tough time learning the ropes of measuring skills using a regular ruler. They don’t have much of a handle on any abstract skills yet, and measurement falls in that abstract area. Still, the basics of measurement can be taught at the preschool level with great effectiveness by using very basic measuring methods.
Even though inches and centimeters are much too abstract for a preschooler’s grasp, the concept of comparing lengths of items is more concrete and can be a great way to introduce measurement. The acquisition of measurement concepts also includes new vocabulary. Throughout the activity, your little one was encouraged to use words such as longer, smaller, heavier, lighter, and variations of the terms such as large, larger, and largest.
When children participate in the kitchen, they are learning important life skills. With specific direction, they can create several tasty dishes, and enjoy the sense of autonomy that is fostered as a result.
These kinds of activities provide endless opportunities for building self-esteem and increasing vocabulary!
For this particular activity, we made bread with the assistance of a picture diagram as we learned about the world of baking.
Since we are learning about the book, In the Night Kitchen, we thought it would be fun to bake our own bread! To do this, we divided into groups of two.
Each child would have a turn holding the bag that the bread would go into, while the other child added ingredients. Once finished, we put it into the toaster oven and then, into our tummies!
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.
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!
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.
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!
The United States is one of the world’s most prominent suppliers of peanuts! These tasty legumes grow best in loose soil, and adapt readily to a variety of different climates. With shovels, flowers, peanuts, tractors, and farmers, we created our own peanut farms! Your little one learned that peanut plants form flowers, and that they are harvested in stages. We practiced loosening our soil and burying our peanuts beneath our flowers. The second stage of harvesting required separating our peanuts from the flowers, so we did that as well!