The Zip It Zipper Board is perfect for any early children classroom or home environment where children can access the board much like an educational homemade toy and play with it regularly. The Zipper Board would also be a great addition to a literacy program focusing on the letter recognition and the letter Z.
The Zipper Board is fun, hands-on and engaging and children will exercise their fine motors skills while learning about the letter Z. The zippers open in the direction of how you would form or make the letter z when writing it on paper.
This activity was inspired by the book Zip it by Patricia Hegarty. The book is highly interactive and is a great tool to introduce the letter Z.
What you will need?
You will need a large piece of cardboard, lead pencil, zippers, hot glue gun and a marker pen. I had some zebra print washi tape which added to our Z is for Zebra and Zipper Board perfectly but this is optional. The zebra pictures are also optional.
How to make the Zipper Board?
- Using a lead pencil, I lightly outlined the location of the words and zippers. Pressing only lightly with the pencil allows me to later gently remove the pencil marks without damaging the cardboard.
- Following the pencil lines, a used a marker pen to write the words Z is for Zebra and Zipper.
- Before gluing the zippers, I evenly laid them out with the zippers opening in the direction you would write the letter Z.
- One zipper at a time, I squeezed a fine line of hot glue along the edge of the zipper, avoiding the zipper teeth.
- Turn the zipper over carefully (it’s hot) and put it into place on the cardboard and press gently on the glued areas. Try and avoid pressing to hard as the glue with can run into the zipper teeth. The zipper will not open correctly in this case.
Zip It by Patricia Hegarty is bright and colourful. There are illustrations of animals that teach young readers how to manipulate fasteners such as zippers, snaps and buttons. This book is interactive and great for fine motor tasks but it is also a wonderful introduction to the letter Z.
- Read the story Zip it by Patricia Hegarty and talk about the story, pictures and relate it experiences. For example, do you have any clothes with zippers? Where have you seen zippers before?
- Re-read the story and play spot the letter Z. Talk about the letter and what sound the letter makes.
- Using the point finger, draw the letter Z into the air with oral prompting cues. Such as make a pointing finger, start at the top, move across, then down and back across again.
- Now try on the Zipper Board, using your pointing finger trace over the zipper to form the letter shape, again using repetitive oral prompting cues to guide.
- Next, instead of using the pointing finger, use the zipper to form the letter Z shape, using repetitive oral prompting cues to guide.
- Try writing a few letters or numbers without tracing.
The zippers open in the direction of forming the letter Z. This is a fun and motivating way to introduce children to correct letter formation and starting the letter in the correct location.
- Fine Motor Development and Hand-Eye Coordination
- Phonological awareness (onset-rime) – hearing and understanding that words are made up of individual sounds and other word patterns.
- Letter recognition-letter name and sound.
- Problem Solving – overcoming challenges.
- Commencing the letter Z formation in the correct location.
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