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.
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.
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.