Your little one participated in yet another fun sensory activity!
Using large styrofoam as ice, rocks, and walruses, your little one created their very own winter wonderland!
We began this activity with a discussion and review of the various arctic animals that we have been learning about.
We then talked about where these creatures lived.
Our discussion concluded with a review of the new vocabulary that we have been learning, such as glacier, albatross, walrus, Antarctica, and leopard seal.
Your little explorer then happily constructed the perfect living space for his walrus. This was the definite favorite for the week, as your little one applied their understanding of various vocabulary and scientific concepts.
Fine motor activities are the most difficult for young children to practice on a consistent basis.
Because they are mobile and constantly on the move, they tend to prefer gross motor activities such as jumping, running, pulling, and pushing.
To continue to hone these necessary skills, your little one participated in a special activity designed to build and refine the small muscles in their hands.
Experiences such as these aid your little one’s ability to grasp a writing instrument, manipulate tiny objects, and handle scissors. For this activity, your little one was directed to grab cotton with a large pair of tweezers. Their task was to maintain a firm grip on the cotton as they placed it into the jar.
Animals use a number of tactics during the winter months to survive.
Polar bears will hibernate, while certain types of birds migrate to warmer climates. Fish remain in rivers and lakes during winter, making ice fishing a popular activity for people living in colder climates.
Using a box covered with white paper to resemble ice, fishing poles, and magnetic fish, we went ice fishing!
To truly understand the definition of a concept of a word, young children must act physically on a concept in which the word is used.
When children have tested a concept by exploration and manipulation, then it has meaning.
Ice fishing provided the avenue to explore new vocabulary, which included the words fishing pole, casting, and reeling.
Using pre-cut pictures, we practiced putting walruses together! Puzzles help young children build the skills they need to read, write, solve problems, and coordinate their thoughts and actions – all of which they will use in school and beyond. They also help them begin to recognize colors and shapes, and come to realize that the sum of parts make up a whole – a concept that will help them with math later on. By arranging pieces into the puzzle, your little one also develops the muscle group used for writing, or the “pincer” grasp.
Writing is a skill that most people use every single day, whether it be writing a note to a friend or writing a check to a utility company. Even in the age of technology, the written word is still everywhere. But how do you teach a young child the proper way to write? The first step is simple… pre-writing. Pre-writing is learning the skills necessary to begin writing. Pre-writing is an important step because it teaches children the correct way to hold a pencil, how to use a good, firm grip, and emphasizes the use of fine motor skills. Pre-writing also helps children with the development of hand/eye coordination, learn that words go left to right, and that lines of writing go top to bottom on a page.
Ideally, the first materials used are not markers and pencils but materials that allow children to strengthen the muscles in their hands needed to properly hold writing implements. We add a tactile (kinesthetic) component when we practice shaping the letters with different materials. Shaping letters with dough, tracing them on textured paper cutouts, and writing in the sand or salt trays all help children internalize the shape of the letter, while developing their fine motor skills.
For this activity, we practiced tracing the letter W with flour! Your child was directed to trace the letter W into the flour. Doing so helped your child develop stronger familiarity with the structure of W, integrating the sense of touch to create a visual representation of the letter.
Using wax paper, we ice skated at school!
We began the activity with a discussion of the weather, the different kinds of weather we see throughout the year, and the different kinds of things we wear for cold weather.
We then put on our hats, scarves, and mittens, and skated around the room to waltz music!
Weather activities teach young children about the exciting world that they live in.
Talking about how weather changes helps your little one to make associations to how the world around them affects their daily lives.
Using toothpicks, and styrofoam pieces, your little architect constructed their very own structures!
Playing with a variety of building materials is critical for the development of spatial thinking, or envisioning where different items go in relation to each other as they build.
Deciding how to structure the pieces, connect them together, and configuring whether they are aligned or perpendicular to one another, are just the kinds of skills that support later learning in science, technology, engineering and math.