# Unicorn Sorting

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 three pictures of unicorns that were of varying length.

After this, they were asked to sort them by size. The target words for this activity were long, longer, and longest.

Following this, they were encouraged to measure the width of the largest unicorn. Lastly, we recorded the answers and compared our results!

# Unicorn 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 letters 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 as part of our unicorn theme.

To do this, we did a couple of things.

First, we wrote the word U-N-I-C-O-R-N on the sidewalk using chalk.

Then, we placed jewels (the manipulatives) on to the letters.

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

# Unicorn Counting using One-to-One Correspondence

One-to-one correspondence is an early learning math skill that involves the act of counting each object in a set once, and only once with one touch per object. Rote counting and counting with one-to-one are very different.Rote counting is just reciting the numeral names in order, “One, two, three, four, five…” But counting with one-to-one involves actually touching each object and saying the numeral name aloud, which is a much more complex skill for young children.Activities that involve real objects that children can hold in their hands and manipulate are going to be the most effective for teaching the concept of one-to-one correspondence. One of these activities involved counting with unicorn “horns”. Using pipe cleaners as the “horn”, students slid beads while counting.Each “horn” had a number ranging from one to ten. They were directed to slide the number of beads that matched their number. It was so exciting to see how sparkly our “horns” became!

Manipulatives increase strength and coordination in the small hand and finger muscles. For this activity, we added beads to a craft stick (placed into play dough) that we deemed, our “Unicorn Horns”.

Picking up the bead and manipulating it in your child’s hand until it was pinched between their thumb and forefinger, involved translation, shift and rotation movements of the bead within the hand. This promoted the tripod grasp.

Maneuvering the beads from their hands fostered visual discrimination as your budding writer selected the pattern that fit their mental image of what a unicorn horn should look like. Lastly, this activity was self-correcting, which encouraged creative thinking, problem solving skills, and spatial reasoning.

# U-N-I-C-O-R-N

Many children have problems learning the letters of the alphabet. Since letter recognition depends on understanding a sequence of features, the best way to teach children the sequence of features in making a letter 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 unicorn blocks of letters to letters written on a mat.

# Unicorn Horn Sort

There’s more to preschool math than counting! Children ages 3-5 may wonder about measuring many things – from how tall they are to how long it takes to walk around the play ground. They hear adults talking about miles, pounds, gallons, acres and minutes. They see adults using measuring tools. Measurement activities can help young children understand basic math skills. They also hone their ability to compare and contrast objects, an important precursor to geometry. For this activity, we practiced sorting unicorn horns. Using their thinking minds, students placed larger horns at the top of the tray and smaller ones at the bottom.