Learning 4 Kids https://www.learning4kids.net Early Childhood Education website for parents, teachers and educators that encourage learning through play. Visit our Learnig4kids Online shop that sells educational toys, resources and art and craft supplies. Fri, 29 May 2020 07:35:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Printable Measuring Length Learning Centre Mats https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/05/02/printable-measuring-length-learning-centre-mats/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/05/02/printable-measuring-length-learning-centre-mats/#comments Mon, 02 May 2016 05:18:42 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=25009 Printable Measuring Length Learning Centre Mats Read More »

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Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats.  Indirect measurement.

The Measuring Length Activity Mats provide a hands-on opportunity for children to indirectly measure a range of pictures and write their answers on a record sheet. They are great for small group work or learning centre activities to consolidate the learning completed during mat sessions or whole class tasks.

The aim of the Measuring Length Activity Mats is for children to compare the lengths of several pictures using the language associated with measuring length such as shorter, taller, tallest, shortest, etc. Children have the opportunity to compare objects directly by counting to determine which is longer or shorter.

Print and laminate these templates for a re-usable resource children can learn and play with.

The Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats used in this post are available for purchase in my online shop.

What you will need?

Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats - Measure (indirect) and Record

You will need the Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats, laminating sheets, white board markers and connector blocks.

The Measurement Mats come in a set of 15 pages. 6 measurement recording mats and 16 pictures for measuring. All recording mats are different and the pictures have a line which children use to measure along.

Let’s Play 

Indirect measure with connector blocks. Printable activity for maths learning centres

The Measuring Length Activity Mats Pack include 6 recording mats to allow groups up to 6 children. Each child has a laminated mat and a whiteboard marker. Place all the pictures in the centre and children take turns to measure the length of each picture that is shown on their recording mats.

Children indirectly measure using connector blocks along the line provided on the picture.

Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats - measure along the line on each picture and record the answer on the mat

Count and record the number onto measuring mat next to the picture that was just measured.

Some Ideas:

  • Have a number line handy for writing numbers as a visual support.
  • Ask questions: Which object/picture is the longest? Which objects are the same size? Predict which picture is going to the shortest.
  • Provide different tools to measure with: Bottle tops, buttons, gemstones, 1cm or 2cm cubes.

Let’s Learn

Printable Measurement Mats - great for learning centres and small group work

Learning Opportunities

  • Use language associated with measurement attributes such as shorter, shortest, longer, longest, tall, taller and tallest.
  • Measurement – comparing objects to determine which is longer, taller, shorter.
  • Problem solve and overcome challenges
  • Writing numbers and counting.

Click here for more MEASUREMENT activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Measurement Activity Mats – measuring length tallest to shortest

Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats

Printable Measurement Activity Mats - measuring length tallest to shortest
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Measurement Length Activity – The Really Big Dinosaur https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/26/measurement-length-activity-the-really-big-dinosaur/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/26/measurement-length-activity-the-really-big-dinosaur/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:46:12 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24890 Measurement Length Activity – The Really Big Dinosaur Read More »

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Measurement lesson idea - how many blocks tall is your dinosaur.  lots of measurement learnign centre ideas too

This measurement lesson was inspired by the story The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. It really got my Pre-primary (4-5 year olds) class engaged and motivated about measuring length! We started the lesson with a predicting question which lead to a great discussion and children making and measuring their very own dinosaurs. The best part was comparing all our dinosaurs to find out who had the tallest and shortest dinosaur in the class!

Scroll down for the free printable!!

Inquiry Question – Predicting

inquiry question- children predict how many blocks tall the dinosaur is.  greatfor discussing measurement concepts

To begin, I offered the class a measurement related question that required them to predict. As children arrived to school they answered the following question ‘How many blocks tall is the dinosaur?’ On a A3 piece of card, I made 3 columns with the following answers to choose from, 3 blocks, 10 blocks and 20 blocks. The dinosaur is a colour photocopy from the story The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. The class wrote their name in the column that they thought was the correct answer.

Looking for the book?

The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne

Let’s Discuss

measurement activity - measure the really big dinosaur

Sitting on the mat in a circle, we then discussed the question and why we thought what we predicted. It is really interesting to hear the different answers and why they chose it. I asked if anyone would like to change their answer now that we have discussed our ideas. This made for a great discussion about measurement and the children were really engaged in sharing their ideas!

Next we measured the dinosaur using connector blocks and began to read the story, The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne. As we were reading the story, we would sometimes refer back to the connector blocks used to measure the dinosaur and compare the height of the other dinosaurs pictured in the story.

Some ideas for questions:

  • Do you think this dinosaur is going to be taller or shorter than our dinosaur?
  • How many blocks tall do you think it will be? More or Less?
  • Is there another way we could measure the dinosaurs?

Once the story was finished, the class draw their very own dinosaurs on an A3 piece of paper.

Let’s Measure

Measurement activity inspired by the book The REally Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne

We cut out the dinosaurs and glued them onto colour card with another sheet of paper that says ‘My dinosaur is ____ blocks tall.’ Each child measured how tall their dinosaur was using the connector blocks and counted how many they used. They wrote their answer onto the space provided.

Click here to download and print the:  My Dinosaur is…. measurement activity.

Comparing Dinosaurs

measurement - length activity

When all the dinosaurs in the class had been measured, we wanted to find out who had the tallest dinosaur and who had the smallest dinosaur. This made for another great discussion about what was the best way to do this because we had so many dinosaurs! We decided to use the class numbers chart to assist us and children placed themselves in a line from the lowest number to the highest number.

Learning Opportunities

How tall is your dinosaur  Measurement activity inspired by the book The Really Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne
  • Use suitable language associated with measurement attributes such as shorter, shortest, longer, longest, tall, taller and tallest.
  • Measurement – comparing objects to determine which is tallest, shortest.
  • Problem solve and overcome challenges
  • Predicting and making observations.
  • Counting.

Measurement Learning Centres

Printable Measurement Activity Mats - measuring length tallest to shortest

Measurement Maths Centre Activity Ideas

Measurement Printable Ideas – as shown in the image above.

Keep an eye out for MORE measurement activities coming really soon…

Click here for more MEASUREMENT activities & play ideas

Available in our Learning 4 Kids Online Shop 

Please click on product name to view product details.

Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats

Meauring Length Printable Mats and Pictures. Measure and record.
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Balancing Felt Balls – Fine Motor Fun https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/17/balancing-felt-balls-fine-motor-fun/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/17/balancing-felt-balls-fine-motor-fun/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2016 13:04:27 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24730 Balancing Felt Balls – Fine Motor Fun Read More »

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Balancing Felt Balls Challenge - fine motor activities for kids

I am always looking for playful and inviting ways for kids to develop their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills using fun resources. These felt balls are so tactile and sensory and kids absolutely love playing with them.

I set up a challenge using the felt balls, suction pads and tweezers. I challenged the kids to transfer the felt balls from the basket and balance them onto the suction pads without touching them. As they played, we introduced a timer and two friends competed to see who would balance all the felt balls first. There are other ways you can also play with the felt balls, suction pads and tweezers.

What you will need?

fine motor, pincer grasp invitation to play ideas and activities

You will need felt balls (the ones pictures are 1cm), tweezers and suction pads.

The suction pads are small anti-slip mats used in the bathroom. I have turned the mats over to expose the suction caps to use in this activity.

You can find these bathroom suction pads in a range of colours, shapes and pictures in the bathroom or nursery isle in most shopping centres. I found these colourful circles in the baby/nursery isle at Toys-R-Us.

Pompoms are a great alternative to using felt balls.

Let’s Play

Balancing Felt Balls Challenge for fine motor fun and coordination.

Children transfer the felt balls using the tweezers and balance them onto the suction caps.

Some Ideas:

  • Sorting and matching colours.
  • Count the felt balls as you place them onto the as it is placed onto the suction mat.
  • Introduce a sand timer to add an element of challenge.
  • Create patterns using the different colours.
Fine motor balancing activity and sorting colours

Miniature tongs are a useful alternative to the tweezers shown in the earlier photographs.

Balancing felt balls - great for developing pincer grasp

Using the fingers is also a great way for developing fine motor and coordination, particularly the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp enables a child to pick up small items using the thumb and index finger and is important for tasks such as holding writing implements and manipulating items such as zippers, buttons and shoes laces.

Let’s Learn

making patterns with felt balls - fine motor activity balancing felt balls

The felt balls and suction pads also provide an opportunity to explore patterns using the different colours.

Water Play with Eye-Droppers is another great activity to encourage the pincer grasp.

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Language development – colour names and describing what is happening.
  • Mathematics – patterns, counting
  • Creativity and imagination

Click here for more FINE MOTOR activities & play ideas

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Sensory Exploration with Sand https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/10/sensory-exploration-with-sand/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/10/sensory-exploration-with-sand/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:33:21 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24491 Sensory Exploration with Sand Read More »

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Hours of fun Sensory exploration with Sand, cardboard tubes, funnels, scoops, bottles, bottle tops and so much more

Funnels, tubes, sifts, bottles, scoopers, spoons, bottle tops and SAND! The perfect sensory play recipe for kids with endless fun and exploration.

There are hours of fun and learning to be had with sand as it promotes and encourages imaginative play! Add different props such as animal figurines or water to change or evolve the learning experience. The ideas are endless!

Please note we have re-used our sand from our SAND FOAM Sensory Play activity, and is the sand left over from our Sandy Creative Art post.  For more info on how to make coloured sand, click here.

What you will need?

invitation to play with sand - sensory exploration

You will need are large sand tray, plastic bottles, funnels, tubes, sifts, scoopers, spoons, bottle tops and SAND! We also added a squeezie paint bottle.

How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play?

Let’s Play

Sensory Exploration with rainbow sand - the ideas are endless

Miss 5 scooping up the different coloured sands with a spoon to create coloured rainbow layers in the bottle. She also scooped up the different coloured sands and filled each of the bottle tops matching some of the colours.

Sensory play with sand

All the colours mixed together! It is very hard to tell by the photo but the sand is a lovely mix of rainbow colours.

The cardboard tubes became a funnel for filling up the bottles with sand.

Let’s Learn

Sensory play with sand and cardboard tubes

Learning Opportunities

  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye & hand coordination – watching and doing and coordinating these actions.
  • Promote creativity and imagination through role and developing stories.
  • Sensory- Development of the sense of touch. Feeling and manipulating objects and moulding the sand.
  • Language development – playing with sand is a social activity requiring speaking and listening, also developing vocabulary. Practicing and experimenting with language.
  • Overcoming challenges – problem solving
Sensory exploration with sand - some ideas

Click here for more SENSORY activities & play ideas

Click here for more SAND activities & play ideas

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Tea Leaves Textured Play Dough Recipe https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/03/tea-leaves-textured-play-dough-recipe/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/04/03/tea-leaves-textured-play-dough-recipe/#comments Sun, 03 Apr 2016 10:58:15 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24389 Tea Leaves Textured Play Dough Recipe Read More »

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Tea Leaves Textured and Scented Play Dough Recipe

Tea Leaves Scented Play Dough Recipe is naturally coloured, textured and scented from the addition of tea leaves to a basic play dough recipe.

This play dough is a simple and fun that heightens the sensory play dough experience. It provides children with the opportunity to smell and feel the different scent and textures while playing creatively and developing their fine motors skills.

I plan to incorporate the Tea Leaves Scented Play Dough into my science program about the five senses and linking this to autumn (fall). The colours fit nicely into the earthy colours of autumn (fall). We will be adding dried autumn leaves, twigs, seeds and other items that the children collected from the playground to the play dough experience.

What you will need?

Autumn or fall theme play dough recipe - textured with tea leaves

2 Cups plain flour

2 Tbsp. oil

1 cup Boiling Water

1 Cup Cold Water

1 Cup salt

4 tsp cream of tartar

4 Tea Bags

Please Note:

  • This recipe has been doubled and will be a good amount for larger groups (4 or more children).
  • No colouring required, the tea leaves provide a natural colour.

Method

Textured play dough recipe with tea leaves
  • Place the 4 tea bags into a heat proof container. Add 1 cup of boiling water and let it stand for 5 minutes to allow the colour to bleed.
  • Add 1 cup cold water to boiling water and allow to stand.
  • In a saucepan, pour all dry ingredients, flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add tea water and oil to dry ingredients.
  • Empty the wet tea leaves from the 4 tea bags into the saucepan. This will provide texture to the play dough.
  • I use a whisk before heating as I find this helps remove the lumps and blends the ingredients well.
  • Cook over medium heat constantly stirring until it becomes a thick blob.
  • Then turn out onto a clean surface and knead into a smooth ball. Be careful the play dough will be very hot!
  • Use a little bit of flour if the play dough is sticky.
  • Store in a plastic zip lock bag or air tight container.

Take a look:

The tiger who came for tea - letter t sensory tub activity

Tiger Tea Party Sensory Story Retell – more tea themed activities and ideas.

Click here for more PLAY DOUGH RECIPES

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Bulk Activity Pack of Counting Raindrops Play Dough Mats

Number Play Dough Mats with 10 Frames

Printable counting play dough mats - read the number and make that many raindrops with play dough
Number play dough mats with 10s frame for 1to1 correspondence
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Fine Motor Work Station or Centre Activity https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/27/fine-motor-work-station-or-centre-activity/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/27/fine-motor-work-station-or-centre-activity/#comments Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:54:35 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24379 Fine Motor Work Station or Centre Activity Read More »

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simple and engaging fine motor activity using buttons and pattern lines

Creating patterns, swirls, squiggles and zig-zags with buttons, children will have so much fun playing with this fine motor work station or learning centre activity.

Children enjoy hands-on activities and the bright colours and buttons are so engaging and motivating for children.

What you will need?

invitation to play with buttons and patterned lines for fine motor development

You will need coloured card, marker pen and assorted buttons.

If you do not have button, you may like to use gemstones, string, stones, pebbles, bottle tops, pompoms, shells or other small tokens for this activity.

Let’s Play

Fine motor work station or learning centre activity for kids

This activity can be utilised as a simple work station. It also promotes fine motor and coordination skills as children are picking up and placing glass gems onto the paper using the pincer grip action.

More ideas

fine motor activity

This activity is great for sorting and classifying the colours or size of the buttons. Children can create patterns, rainbow colours or only used one colour for each line. The creativity and imagination is endless.

fine motor activity using buttons
fine motor play ideas

Turn the paper over to create your very own pictures, patterns, words, letters, numbers and shapes.

Let’s Learn

Super simple fine motor activity using buttons (or pebbles) on pattern lines

Learning Opportunities

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Language development – swirls, patterns, zig-zags and colours.
  • Mathematics – patterns

Click here for more FINE MOTOR activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Measurement Activity Mats

Printable Measurement Activity Mats - measuring length tallest to shortest
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Bugs and Bottle Tops https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/20/bugs-and-bottle-tops/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/20/bugs-and-bottle-tops/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 13:26:56 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=24299 Bugs and Bottle Tops Read More »

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Bugs and Bottle Tops - simple, fun fine motor activity for kids.

Bugs and Bottle Tops is a simple and fun activity for kids to play with. It is a great opportunity for children to develop their fine motor skills.

The activity can be incorporated into a science topic such as bugs or insects or learning about the letter B learning centre and also an opportunity to sort, classify and match colours.

We have been exploring bugs in our Pre-Primary (5 year olds) science program, sharing books about them, searching for bugs in the playground with magnifying glasses, bringing some bugs into the classroom and observing them. We have also been drawing and labelling them.

The Bugs and Bottle Tops was a small group (2-3 children) activity that was set up in our classroom with purpose of provide an opportunity for developing their fine motor skills and linking it to bug theme we have been covering in science. The class had so much fun with this activity, sorting, matching and classifying the bugs and coloured bottle tops. We also discussed that if these pretend bug counters were real-life bugs, how would we need to pick them up without hurting them. It was so wonderful to see children carefully picking up the bugs by the body and not the legs as these could break off easily.

What you will need?

Invitation to play with bugs and bottle tops - fine motor exploration activity

You will need tweezers or min tongs, assortment of bottle tops and bugs or insect counters.

Let’s Play

Fine motor science centre activity - bugs and bottle tops

Some Ideas:

  • Use the tweezers to pick up the bugs and place them into the bottle top.
  • Turn the bottle tops over and place the different bugs sitting on top rather than inside the bottle top.
  • Have a variety of bottle top and plastic lids sizes.
  • Sort and match the bugs to the same colour bottle tops.
  • Introduce other items that children can place the bugs onto such as blocks.
  • Problem solving – what can we do with the bugs that are too big to fit into the bottle tops?

Let’s Learn

Matching and sorting colours with bugs and bottle tops - fine motor activity

Sorting and matching the different coloured bugs with the same colour bottle top.

Fine motor activity moving bugs with tweezers onto a token or counter

If you do not have bottles, you could also use large counters or tokens, blocks, a muffin or cupcake tin turned upside down and branch circles.

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development – strengthens hands, wrists and fingers.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Colour recognition – matching
  • Sorting, matching and classifying
  • Language development – names of bugs and colours
  • Problem solving  – overcoming challenges

Click here for more COLOUR activities & play ideas

Click here for more FINE MOTOR activities & play ideas

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Creative Sand Art Activity https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/13/creative-sand-art-activity/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/13/creative-sand-art-activity/#comments Sun, 13 Mar 2016 12:59:32 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23802 Creative Sand Art Activity Read More »

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Creative Sand Art - activity inspired by the stroy Magic Bach by Alison Lester - creating landscapes with sand

Creative Sand Art Activity was inspired by reading the story Magic Beach by Alison Lester.  This activity is open-ended and great for multi-age groups of children. My 3 children participated, 5 years, 8 years and 10 years. Each had their own ideas and ways to create their very own landscape using sand, wool and glue.

What you will need?

Creative Sand ARt inspired by Magic Beach story by Alison Lester

You will need sand, Magic Beach by Alison Lester, wool, PVA craft glue, paper, scissors and paint brushes.

I used about 1 cup of sand for each colour, here is a simple guide on How to Colour Sand?

Different landscapes in the story Magic Beach by Alison Lester

The Magic Beach was a great book to build on our experiences with different landscapes and colours that make up these landscapes. We also talked about the different times of the days and seasons and how this affected the colours in the landscape.

We looked at the illustrations in the book and talked about the different layers of colours in the landscape. We counted them and talked about the size, for example the hills look small in the back ground because they are further away and the rocks look larger because they are closer in the landscape.

The Magic Beach by Alison Lester - sand art inspired activity
  • Apply PVA craft glue to your paper with a paint brush. Apply it thick.
  • Cut the wool (yarn) and create shapes for the landscape.
  • Apply more glue if needed.
  • Sprinkle the different coloured sand using a spoon or finger tips.
  • When the art work is dry, shake off any excess sand.
  • Apply more glue and sand if needed.
  • Add other elements to the art work such as leaves or shells.

Let’s Play

Creating Landscapes - sand art inspired by Alison Lester's story Magic Beach

Miss 8 chose to create her landscape on a circle shape similar to the one shown in the story. She decided that her landscape was at night time and used darker coloured sand. This is her interpretation

Exploring colours using sand - creative art inspired by Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Miss 5 chose to create a summer time landscape suing bright colours.

Creative Sand Art - creating landscapes inspired by Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Miss 10 adding more layers and detail to her landscape with a rock pool. She is also trying to incorporate the size of objects with those being smallest are further away and larger items are closer.

Let’s Learn

Creative Sand Art inspired by Magic Beach by Alison Lester - to add more detail, shells etc

Learning Opportunities

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Cause and Effect
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with size and space
  • Sense of pride and achievement.
  • Sensory exploration.
  • Experimentation and discovery.
  • Building self-esteem, sense of satisfaction.
  • Overcoming challenges and problem solving.
  • Language development – describing process.
  • Communicating art ideas and making connections with our world.
  • Colour recognition.

Click here for more SAND activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Dot to Dot Alphabet Letter Charts

printable dot-to-dot alphabet letters (a-z) charts.
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Measurement Maths Centre Activities https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/06/measurement-maths-centre-activities/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/03/06/measurement-maths-centre-activities/#comments Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:36:30 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23792 Measurement Maths Centre Activities Read More »

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Some ideas for measurement maths centre activities with printable activity mats

Today I am sharing two measurement math centre activities I have been doing with my Pre Primary class (5 year olds). I have been utilising them as part of our small group work stations and sometimes rotational maths centres.

The aim of these activities is for children to compare the lengths of two (or more) objects using the language associated with measuring length such as shorter, taller, tallest, shortest, etc. Children have the opportunity to compare objects directly by placing one object against another to determine which is longer.

I like to use small group work or centre activities in my classroom to consolidate the learning completed during mat sessions or whole class tasks. It provides children with the opportunity for peer to peer learning in a hands-on context.

The Printable Measurement Activity Mats used in this post are available for purchase in my online shop.

What you will need?

Printable Measuremen Activity Mats shortest to tallest - available in two fonts

Children can measure and compare the lengths of several different items. I have changed our items when using our printable measurement mats to keep the interest and provide a variety of different tools. You can use different length tools such as straws, wool (yarn), leaves or string. Another idea is to make a basket of mixed up items that are not the same for children to compare and order from shortest to tallest. The ideas are endless!

The Measurement Mats come in a set of 8 pages. 4 pages measure from shortest to tallest and the other 4 pages measure tallest to shortest. The mats are a mix of multi-cultural children, with 2 boys and 2 girls. The Measurement Mats clearly shows a starting point for measuring the different tools.

Available in 2 fonts:

Printable Measurement Activity Mats available in 2 fonts
  1. Printable Measurement Activity Mats STANDARD PRINT
  2. Printable Measurement Activity Mats CURSIVE PRINT (shown in the photos in this post)
Printable Measurement Activity Mats - measuring length tallest to shortest

In other activities we have compared the height of 3 friends and drew a picture labelling and writing our friends names. We have also compared the length of 3 friend’s shoes. I have planned this week to add measuring jumping frogs to our group activities.

Measurement activities for work stations or maths centres with printable measurement mats

The items shown in the picture are called Measuring Worms by Learning Resources and I purchased mine from here .

There are 72 in a set and each colour is available in 4 lengths. This is great for those children who are still grasping the concept and need less items to compare and measure.

Printable Measurement Activity Mats - using string, play dough, sticks and other items to compare and order length

I also made up small bags of coloured wool with different lengths. Children laid these out on the table to see and compare the different lengths before arranging them from shortest to tallest or tallest to shortest on the mats.

You could also use play dough, different length pencils, twigs, leaves or different length straws.

Measurement activity using a number line - comparing lengths

Using a number line is also another great way to provide children with a starting point to compare the length of different objects. For some of my children 10 sticks were too much but a great challenge for stronger students. I also made bags up a 5 different length sticks for children to compare and arrange from tallest to shortest. When they had finished they swapped bags and tried a set of different lengths and this time arranged them from shortest to tallest. Some children arranged their sticks from counting down from 10 along the number line.

Math centre or measurement work station activities

The same activity again using different manipulative tools. Again these Measuring Worms are good for those children who are still grasping the concept and need less items to compare and measure.

Another Printable Measurement Centre Activity

Meauring Length Printable Mats and Pictures. Measure and record.

The Printable Measuring Length Activity Mats provide another hands-on opportunity for children to indirectly measure a range of pictures and write their answers on a record sheet. All six recording sheets are different and have different pictures to measure (16 pictures in total). Laminate the measurement recording sheets and pictures for a re-usable resource that can be used over and over again.

Learning Opportunities

  • Use suitable language associated with measurement attributes such as shorter, shortest, longer, longest, tall, taller and tallest.
  • Measurement – comparing objects directly by placing one object against another to determine which is longer, taller, shorter.
  • Problem solve and overcome challenges

Click here for more MEASUREMENT activities & play ideas

Keep an eye out for more measurement activities and printables to come!

Available in our Learning 4 Kids online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Measurement Activity Mats (CURSIVE PRINT)

Printable Measurement Activity Mats (STANDARD PRINT)

Printable Measurement Mats available in 2 fonts - measuring length shortest to tallest - available in 2 fonts
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DIY Chalkboard Branch Circles https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/28/diy-chalkboard-branch-circles/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/28/diy-chalkboard-branch-circles/#comments Sun, 28 Feb 2016 13:02:08 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23749 DIY Chalkboard Branch Circles Read More »

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DIY Chalkboard branch circles - lots of fun activities and ideas to use them.

I am always looking for fun ways to encourage and motivate children in developing their fine motor and writing skills. I made these DIY Chalkboard Branch Circles for my Pre-primary class (5 year olds) to create an exciting new canvas for children to draw and write on.

There are countless ways that you can use the DIY Chalkboard Branch Circles, such as, writing letters, numbers, shapes, words and names. The ideas are endless!

What you will need?

How to make you own chalkboard branch circles - lots of ideas on how to use them too.

You will need, branch circles, black chalkboard paint, paint brush and chalk.

When applying the chalkboard paint, you will only need one coat of paint.

Shapes

Drawing Shapes activity - homemade chalkboards

Some ideas:

  • Sorting – matching – classifying shapes into groups, pairs, etc.
  • Play Memory: Draw the shapes twice on each branch circle and turn them all over. Children turn over 2 branch circles at a time to expose the 2 shapes, if they match children keep the pair, if they do not match, they turn the shapes back over to have another try.
  • Drawing shapes – fun canvas to practise drawing shapes. We started with basic shapes, circle, square, rectangle and triangle. You can extend this to other shapes too.

Numbers

Counting, number activities using homemade chalkboards.

Some ideas:

  • Writing numbers – depending on ability this can be numbers 0-5, 0-10 or 0-20.
  • Place one number on each branch circle and order the numbers from 0-10 or 10-0.
  • Create a jumbled number line, children un-jumble the numbers and place them in the correct order.
  • Play Memory: Write the numbers twice on each branch circle and turn them all over. Children turn over 2 branch circles at a time to expose the numbers, if they match children keep the pair, if they do not match, they turn the numbers back over to have another try.
  • Matching Counting Game: Write the number on one chalkboard branch circle and on another to match draw on some dots. For example for the number five, write the number 5 and on another branch circle draw 5 dots. This becomes a counting and match activity for children.

Alphabet Letters

Homemade chalkboards - a great way to motivate children to write and learn the letters of the alphabet

Some ideas:

  • Write all the letters in the alphabet onto the branch circle chalkboards using chalk.
  • Order the alphabet from a to z. Use an alphabet chart to assist if needed.
  • Add props beginning with each letter in the alphabet such as toy car for the letter ‘c’. Children place the toy car on top of the chalkboard branch circle with the letter c written. Continue this for all the other letters in the alphabet.
  • Use only the letters SATPIN to create small CVC words such as pat, sat, nap, sap, pin, tin and so on.

For more Alphabet Letter Activities and Play Ideas click here.

Names:

Name activity - write each letter on one chalkboard each and then create your name in the correct order.

Some ideas:

  • Children write each letter in their name onto a separate chalkboard branch circle.
  • Un-jumble the letters in your name and place them back in to the correct order.
  • Extend the learning by adding the letters in the child’s surname.

For more NAME Activities and Play Ideas click here.

SATPIN and CVC Words

Create CVC or SATPIN words using DIY Chalkboard Branch Circles by Learning 4 Kids

The SATPIN letters are the first 6 recommended letters to teach children in the Jolly Phonics synthetic approach to teaching reading and writing program. It is a well-known synthetic phonics method of teaching the letter sounds in a way that is fun and multi-sensory.  Children learn how to use the letter sounds to read and write words.  The letters are not been introduced in alphabetical order. The first group (s, a, t, i, p, n) has been chosen because they make more simple three-letter words than any other six letters.

Some ideas:

  • Move the S, A, T, P, I and N letters around to create words. Write these words onto a mini white board, student work book or paper.
  • Make flash cards with CVC words or SATPIN words. Children work with a partner, one child calls out a word for the other child to create using the letters on the Branch Circle Chalkboards. Each child takes it in turn to complete the different tasks.

Take a look at our PRINTABLE CVC Word Bundle Activity Pack

Let’s Learn

Lots of simple and fun ideas & activities for kids using chalkboard branch circles

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Language development – shape names, numbers, alphabet letters, CVC words
  • Mathematics – sorting, classifying, matching, number recognition, name and draw basic shapes, counting

Click here for more FINE MOTOR activities & play ideas

Click here for more PRE-WRITING activities & play ideas

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Counting with Dominoes https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/21/counting-with-dominoes/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/21/counting-with-dominoes/#comments Sun, 21 Feb 2016 13:23:30 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23609 Counting with Dominoes Read More »

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Number Sense - Counting with Dominoes.  I love these large wooden domino blocks!

Dominoes are a great learning resources and an excellent manipulative for developing number sense and maths skills. They build upon dice patterns, help children read and name small collections of groups (subitising), addition, counting, matching, sorting, classifying and so much more.

Here is one example of playing and learning with dominoes on a larger scale using large wooden dominoes. This invitation to play provides children with the opportunity to explore and manipulate the dominoes and tools provided and learn about basic number sense skills.

We also left this opportunity to play out for a couple of days and the ideas and experiences developed and changed every time.

What you will need?

Using dominoes in maths - great manipulative to develop number sense and maths skills

You will need large dominoes, magnetic or wooden numbers and a variety of different tokens/counters.

fun ways to play with dominoes

The tokens we used in our activity included wooden buttons, transparent tokens, and felt balls.

Some other alternatives you may like to use; pompoms, buttons, glass gems, stones, pebbles, bottle tops and blocks.

As another option, you could also introduce play dough into the play experience and children can roll small balls of play dough to place over the dots.

Let’s Play

jumbo wooden dominoes

We did not traditionally play dominoes by the rules but the children had the right idea about matching the same numbers together.

Some Ideas:

  • Talk about and predict which dominoes have the most dots on them or the least amount of dots on them.

Let’s Play Some More!

Using dominoes in maths lessons - great manipulative for developing number sense

Placing the different tokens onto the domino dots and counting out loud. Adding the different type of tokens or counters makes the activity so much fun and motivating.

Let’s Learn

Maths activity ideas using dominoes

At times the children would match the tokens or create patterns and at other times they enjoyed mixing them up as they were counting.

Let’s Learn

Counting Activity Using Large Wooden Domino Blocks

Counting out loud and using the magnetic and wooden numbers to match the number of dots shown. For example placing the number 6 next to the six dots/felt balls and so on.

Let’s Learn

Super simple and fun way to play and learn with dominoes - counting, subitising, addition

Learning Opportunities

  • Numeracy: number recognition, measuring, counting, addition, subitising and patterns.
  • Problem solving
  • Sensory- hands on manipulating tools.
  • Fine motor skills- strengthening little muscles through manipulation of tools.
  • Hand and eye coordination- watching and doing and coordinating these actions.
  • Language development – talking about what they are doing, sharing ideas, communication and numeracy vocabulary.
  • Self-esteem- a sense of pride and achievement

Click here for more DOMINOES activities & play ideas

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Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/14/printable-cvc-words-bundle-activity-pack/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/14/printable-cvc-words-bundle-activity-pack/#comments Sun, 14 Feb 2016 13:21:01 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23402 Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack Read More »

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CVC Words Printable Bundle Activity Pack - over 100 pages

The Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack includes 8 different CVC word activities that are developmental. There are photos, instructions and suggested ideas included in the pack. The bundle activity pack caters for children at different ability levels, starting with the CVC Puzzle Set, followed by the Tracing over the CVC Words Set. The CVC Bundle Pack also includes a set for fill in the missing initial, medial and final sounds. When children are ready, there is also a set of CVC Cards where children fill in all the missing letters. The Printable CVC Word Bundle Activity Pack also includes Match the Word to the Picture Mats and Finish the Sentence Mats. These are great for early reading skills as the sentences are repetitive and predictable.

The Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack is a great addition to any early childhood or junior primary learning environment. The 8 different hands-on activities are bright, colourful and inviting for children. Just print and laminate these templates for a re-usable resource children can learn and play with.

Available at an introductory offer: The Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack is available in our online shop.

The download includes 102 pages:

  • 26 CVC Word Puzzles and Instructions (page 3-16).
  • 26 CVC Initial Letter Word Cards and Instructions (page 17-30).
  • 26 CVC Word Medial Letter Word Cards and Instructions (page 31-44).
  • 26 CVC Word Final Letter Word Cards and Instructions (page 45-58).
  • 26 CVC Word Cards Missing All Letters and Instructions (page 59-72).
  • 26 CVC Tracing Word Cards and Instructions (page 73-86).
  • 6 CVC Picture Word Match Mats and Instructions (page 87-93).
  • Instructions for Finish the Sentence CVC Tracing Mats and Sentence CVC Mats (page 94)
  • 4 Finish the Sentence CVC Tracing Mats (page 95, 97, 99 and 101).
  • 4 Finish the Sentence CVC Mats (page 96, 98, 100 and 102).
  • Include 3 re-downloads.

CVC Word Puzzles

Printable CVC Word Puzzles - part of a CVC word bundle activity pack

26 Puzzles to un-jumble and put the CVC words back together using the picture as a guide.

CVC Fill-in Initial Letter Word Cards

Printable CVC Word CArds - fill in the missing letter - 26 cards part of a cvc word bundle activity pack

26 cards included in the Fill-in the Initial Sounds CVC Word Set.

Alphabet Pebbles Lowercase Letters

CVC Fill-in Medial Letter Word Cards

Printable CVC Words 26 cards - fill-in the missing medial sound. part of cvc printable bundle activity pack

26 cards included in the Fill-in the Medial Sounds CVC Word Set.

Lowercase Letter Beads Pack of 288

CVC Fill-in Final Letter Word Cards

Printable CVC Words - fill in the missing final sounds. 26 cards part of a CVC printable activity pack

26 cards included in the Fill-in the Final Sounds CVC Word Set.

CVC Tracing Word Cards

printable tracing cvc word cards - part of a cvc activity bundle pack. 26 cards included.

Set includes 26 Cards. The laminated surface of the CVC Tracing Cards provide a dry-erase canvas. Using a white board marker, children trace over the faint lettering to form the CVC words.

Fill-in the Missing Letters to Create CVC Words

printable cvc word cards - fill-in the missing letters to match the picture. includes 26 cards and part of a cvc activity bundle pack

Children sound each letter in the CVC Words using the picture as a guide. 26 CVC Word Cards included in this set.

Wooden Letter Tiles Pack of 93

CVC Picture Word Match Mats

printable circle the cvc word mats - laminate for a re-usable teaching resource. part of a cvc bundle activity pack

Using a white board marker on the laminate surface, children circle the correct CVC word that matches the picture in the box. 6 mats are included in this set.

Finish the Sentence CVC Mats

Printable CVC word mats - finish the sentence. 1 set has trace over the word, the other set the word is left blank to finish.  part of a cvc printable activity bundle pack

This set comes with 8 pages. 4 pages include Read and trace over the CVC words to complete the sentence and the other 4 pages include, read and finish the sentence matching the CVC word to the picture.

The Printable CVC Words Bundle Activity Pack is available in our online shop.

Available in the Learning 4 Kids Online Shop

Click here to view all our Downloadable Products

Alphabet Pebbles Lowercase Letters  This product is shown in the above activities.

Lowercase Letter Beads Pack of 288  This product is also shown in the above activities.

Wooden Letter Tiles Pack of 93  This product is also shown in the above activities.

Alphabet Pebbles - Lowercase Letters
Lowercase Letter Beads Pack of 288
Wooden Letter Tiles Pack of 93
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Sight Word Play Dough https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/07/sight-word-play-dough/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/07/sight-word-play-dough/#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:47:25 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23268 Sight Word Play Dough Read More »

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Creating Sight Words in Play Dough with letter stampers - alternatively use plastic magnetic letters to make letter prints

Hands-on sight word activities are a motivating way to help children learn how to read common sight words. Making Sight Words in Play Dough with letter stampers creates a fun canvas to promote sight word recognition or reinforce any prior learning.

Sight Word Play Dough would be a great activity for literacy work station or centre activities in the classroom.

For this activity I have used the FREE Printable Sight Words here on Learning 4 Kids.

What you will need?

Sights words and play dough

You will need Play Dough, Free Printable Sight Word Cards and Letter Stampers.

If you do not have letter stampers, you could alternatively use plastic magnetic letters and press these down into the play dough to create letter prints.

Let’s Play

Hands-on fun with sight words, literacy centres or work station sight word activity

Some Ideas:

  • Place small balls of play dough out and pressed them flat with the palm of your hand.
  • Stand the laminated sight word cards up into the play dough, leaving enough room for the letter stampers.
  • Point and read the sight word.
  • Search for each letter in the play dough stampers and match them to the letters in the sight words.
  • Turn the play dough balls over and add new words or repeat difficult sight words.
Literacy centres - creating words in play dough

Children can create other words in the play dough, such as words that are part of a unit study or other words that have been added to the classroom word wall. Children may also like to create their names or he names of their friends in the play dough canvas.

Let’s Learn

Learning the alphabet, using play dough as a canvas to create letter prints

Another fun way to use play dough and the alphabet letter stampers is to sing the alphabet song and order all the letters of the alphabet.

Learning Opportunities

  • Literacy – letter names and sounds.
  • Interactive and hands on learning; picking up the letter stamps, matching letters and ordering letters to create sight words.
  • Problem solving – using strategies to decode the sight word. Such as looking for letter patterns or smaller words within the sight word.
  • Memory – Recall, recognise and become familiar with some sight words.
  • Develop early reading skills
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration

Click here for more SIGHT WORD activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts

Dot-to-Dot Alphabet Letter Charts

Printable Dot-to-Dot Letters - follow the dots to guide you to create each letter correctly
Printable Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts - can be used as a chart or dry erase. Sing the number rhymes to guide you through what strokes to make with the marker pen to form the correct number shape
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DIY Pop Stick Shape Dominoes Game https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/01/diy-pop-stick-shape-dominoes-game/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/02/01/diy-pop-stick-shape-dominoes-game/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:56:09 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23189 DIY Pop Stick Shape Dominoes Game Read More »

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Homemade Pop Stick Shapes Dominoes - simple hands-on game for learning and playing with shapes.

Dominoes is such a fun and popular game with children! These DIY Pop Stick Shape Dominoes Games is a resource I have made for my classroom to use part of my geometry (shapes) program. It is something that is fun, motivating and a great way for children to consolidate their learning in small independent group activities.

Playing with the Shape Dominoes encourages children to sort, match, name each two dimensional shape and become familiar their attributes, such as a circle is round or a square has four sides, a triangle has 3 corners.

What you will need?

How to make shapes dominoes.

You will need large pop sticks, assorted shape buttons and a hot glue gun.

  1. Place all the pop sticks out in a row.
  2. Sort the buttons into pairs and place one button from the pair onto one pop stick and the other matching button onto another pop stick end. Continue this until all the buttons are laid out on each pop stick, forming a matching pattern sequence.
  3. Carefully place a small amount of hot glue onto the end of the pop stick and gently press the button on top.
  4. Repeat this until all the buttons are glued on.

Let’s Play

Shape Dominoes - homemade classroom resource for learning about shapes.

Some Ideas:

  • Find the matching shape buttons and place the ends together so that the matching buttons are touching. Continue this sequence until all buttons have been matched.
  • Children can be creative and place the domino pop sticks into whatever patter they like. The dominoes in the above picture placed at random but the photo below shows a swirling pattern.
  • Go on a treasure hunt around the house, classroom or other environment searching for real-life objects that rectangular, circular, triangular or square shaped.
  • Read stories about shapes or watch educational videos about shapes on YouTube.

Let’s Learn

DIY homeade pop stick shape dominoes

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Language development – name familiar two dimensional shapes.
  • Mathematics – Sorting and matching shapes
  • Creativity and imaginative play
  • Problem solving and self-correcting
  • Geometry: make connections with basics shapes and objects in the environment, such as the classroom door is a rectangle.

Click here for more SHAPES activities & play ideas

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How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/24/how-to-colour-sand-for-sensory-play/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/24/how-to-colour-sand-for-sensory-play/#comments Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:22:42 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=23083 How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play Read More »

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How to colour sand for sensory play, simple step by step guide.

How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play, is a quick and easy step by step guide on creating your very own colourful sand for children to play with. The are many different ways to colour sand and this post provides my very own DIY recipe outlining how we colour our sand but I have also provided a couple of alternatives that also works well when colouring sand.

Homemade coloured sand is so much fun and inviting for children to play with. It is great for sensory play activities using funnels and scoops or art activities using glue and other crafty items.

To make our coloured sand I have re-used the sand we used from our Sand Foam Sensory Play Activity.

What you will need?

how to colour sand

1 cup clean dried sand.

1 teaspoon food colouring

Paper towels

Tray or plate (this for drying the sand)

Two Alternatives:

  1. Colour Sand with Paint: Dilute 10mls paint with 10mls water. Mix until combined thoroughly. Follow the same steps outlines in this post. Please note that the sand turns out wetter than food colouring and will take a little longer to dry.
  2. Colour Sand with Edicol Dye: Place sand into a container and add a teaspoon of edicol dye. Add a small quantity of water to release the dye and mix through sand thoroughly. Spread sand out on a large sheet of newspaper or paper towels in the sun to dry.   Small quantities of sand can also be spread across an old baking tray and dried in the oven on a low heat.

Note: Do not leave the sand to dry out in a windy area!

Step 1:

how to colour sand for sensory play
  • Place sand into a bowl and add food colouring.
  • Using the flat part of a large spoon, make large strokes over the sand to blend the colour evening. Stir and repeat large stroke actions.
  • Add a little more food colouring if needed to achieve desired colour.

Step 2:

step by step guide on how to colour sand
  • Place the wet sand out onto a paper towel and plate or newspaper.
  • Using a large spoon spread the wet sand out evenly to dry out.
  • Place the wet sand out into a sunny place (not windy) to air dry. If the sand is still wet, gently move the sand around to expose the wetter parts of the sand to dry out.
  • Give the container/bowl a wipe and a rinse, and proceed with your next colour!

Step 3:

how to colour sand for sensory play activities.  Step by step guide
  • When the sand is dry, gently rub the sand between your fingers to break up any sand that may be stuck together.
  • Coloured sand will last for several years if stored correctly in an air-tight container or zip-lock bags.

Click here for more SAND activities & play ideas

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Basic Shapes Work Station or Centre Activity https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/19/basic-shapes-work-station-or-centre-activity/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/19/basic-shapes-work-station-or-centre-activity/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:34:20 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=22952 Basic Shapes Work Station or Centre Activity Read More »

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Fine motor fun with basic shapes, learning basic shapes, maths centre activity

This basic shapes activity provides children with the opportunity to explore and create with shapes. The activity involves placing coloured gems along the lines of the square, rectangle, circle and triangle. It encourages shape recognition and learning about their attributes (what each shape looks like and their qualities) and how to make them.

This activity can be utilised as a simple work station or maths centre for children to play and explore with shapes. It also promotes fine motor and coordination skills as children are picking up and placing glass gems onto the paper using the pincer grip action.

What you will need?

invitation to play with basic shapes - work station or math centre activity

You will need coloured card, marker pen and coloured glass gems.

If you do not have glass gems, you may like to use buttons, string, stones or other small tokens for this activity.

Let’s Play

Simple small group activity learning about shapes- great for maths centres or work stations.

Some Ideas:

  • Place coloured gem stones only the lines of the rectangle, square, triangle and circle.
  • Talk about the attributes of each shape and ask questions, what do you call a shape that has two long sides and two short side (lengths)? Which of the shapes would you say looks like a window or dinner plate?
  • Extend the learning and talk about corners. What is a corner? Which shape does not have corners?
  • Go on a treasure hunt around the house, classroom or other environment searching for real-life objects that rectangular, circular, triangular or square shaped.
  • Add other loose parts to the activity, such as stones, buttons or string.
  • Create patterns using the different colour glass gems, such as green, blue, green, blue, etc.
  • Turn the cardboard over and see if you can make the shape again but this time with no lines.
  • Turn the cardboard over to expose a clear canvas for children to create freely on. Provide them with the opportunity to make their own pictures using the gemstones.
  • Read stories about shapes or watch educational videos about shapes on YouTube.

Let’s Learn

Basic shapes activity for kids using glass gems.

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Language development: Name basic shapes
  • Mathematics (Geometry): Describe and name familiar two-dimensional shapes e.g. a circle is round or a square has four sides.
  • Geometry: make connections with basics shapes and objects in the environment, such as the classroom door is a rectangle.

Click here for more SHAPE activities & play ideas

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Cardboard Box Creativity https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/17/cardboard-box-creativity/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/17/cardboard-box-creativity/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2016 14:03:11 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=22887 Cardboard Box Creativity Read More »

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Cardboard Box Creativity - another way to play with a cardboard box.

Cardboard boxes would have to be my most favourite ‘toy’ for children to play with as they are an open-ended material. They inspire creativity and imagination as children transform and reinvent them into something else. It could be exploring imaginary places such as turning the box into an imaginary item such as a pirate ship or castle, the ideas are endless.

Today’s activity that I am sharing with you is another way you can play with a cardboard box using items such as stickers, stamps and writing implements to play and create with in an unstructured way. This box pictured has already been played with at lengths by my kids, from a cubby house for my daughter’s toys to an aeroplane flying around the world in imaginative games.

What you will need?

cardboard box creativity - add stickers, stamps and textas.  anything really.

To set up this invitation to play you will need a box, stickers (sticker dots), stamps and colouring/writing implements such as textas, crayons or pencils.

These items are only an example, you can provide several other creative materials such as paint, glue, paper cut-outs, fabric, dot markers, washi-tape and so much more!

To get access to a large cardboard box, you can visit many retail stores as they are generally more than happy for you to take a box or two for home or the classroom.

Christina Katerina & The Box by Patricia Lee Gauch

Christina Katerina & The Box by Patricia Lee Gauch

This book is a wonderful story about playing creatively with a cardboard box (a large refrigerator box) and may inspire the imaginations of some children.

Let’s Play

Cardboard Box Creativity - another fun way children can play with a cardboard box.  The ideas are endless!

Some Ideas:

  • Playing creatively with cardboard boxes is great for multi-age groups of children.
  • Drawing on cardboard boxes is a motivating way to get reluctant writers/drawers involved.
  • Discuss with your child/children about what they would like to make?
  • Discuss with you child/children what they are doing? How are you going to play with the box after you have finished creating?
  • Add other items as your child’s imagination and creativity develops as they create using the box. For example, your child wants to turn the box into a ship and would like to add a flag.

Let’s Learn

Cardboard Box Creativity - play ideas for kids

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Experimenting with tools provides
  • Language development – talking about what they are doing (the process)
  • Creativity and Imagination

Other Cardboard Box Activities on Learning 4 Kids:

Jack in the Box Activity Role Play

Jack in A Box

Great Places to Play at Home

Shape Toss

Available in our online shop:

Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts

Printable Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts - can be used as a chart or dry erase. Sing the number rhymes to guide you through what strokes to make with the marker pen to form the correct number shape
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Painting with Balloons https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/03/painting-with-balloons/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2016/01/03/painting-with-balloons/#comments Sun, 03 Jan 2016 12:53:59 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=22683 Painting with Balloons Read More »

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Painting with Balloons -creative painting and sensory activity

Painting with Balloon is a great activity for kids to explore creatively and imaginatively as they create freely using simple props in an open-ended and unstructured way. It also makes a great sensory activity as children use their hands to manipulate the paint and balloons to create patterns and prints onto paper.

What you will need?

invitation to paint with balloons - super fun and super simple to set up.

You will need 6 balloons (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple), a paint palette, large sheet of paper and coloured paint (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple). These balloons are not water balloons, we used regular party balloons filled with air as they are much stronger.

Place the green balloon in the green paint, red balloon into the red paint and so on.

We also placed the activity onto a large activity because the balloons become slippery and children may also like to roll the balloons around the paper.

We only inflated the balloons slightly, providing enough volume for small hands to hold and grasp.

Let’s Play

Art fun - painting with balloons

The rainbow coloured balloons inspired a rainbow pattern painting which started off by creating large blobs of paint prints onto the paper. It later ended up in a sensory messy experience with rolling balloons and all the paint mixed together into one brown paint colour. It was so much fun!

Painting with Balloons - painting ideas for kids

Some Ideas:

  • Count out loud as each blob of paint is pressed onto the paper with the balloon.
  • Set a challenge, can you cover the whole page with paint? Start on the outside of the paper and work your way to the middle of the page.
  • Mix the paints and create new colours.
  • Use the painted paper as gift wrap or as a book cover.
  • Read stories that have balloons and talk about how balloons are used in our world.

Let’s Learn

Painting with Balloons - rolling balloons around in paint on paper in a tray

Paint and roll with the balloons. The different coloured patterns that are created with rolling balloons is so much fun to watch!

Sensory paint play idea - painting and exploring with balloons

Exploring and experimenting: mixing all the paint together and making the balloons extra slippery and slimy to create with.

Learning Opportunities

  • Creativity and imagination.
  • Sensory exploration.
  • Experimentation and discovery.
  • Building self-esteem, sense of satisfaction.
  • Fine Motor Development.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control.
  • Cause and Effect.
  • Overcoming challenges and problem solving.
  • Language development – describing process.
  • Communicating art ideas and making connections with our world.
  • Colour recognition.

Click here for more COLOUR activities & play ideas

Click here for more PAINTING activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Alphabet Letters Tracing Mats  Available in 2 fonts

Number Tracing Mats

Printable Number Tracing Mats wih dots and arrows for guidance - Fun Rainbow Theme
Printable Alphabet Letter Tracing Mats avalable in two fonts - fun rainbow theme and matching pictures

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Fireworks Theme Maths https://www.learning4kids.net/2015/12/29/fireworks-theme-maths/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2015/12/29/fireworks-theme-maths/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2015 10:16:23 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=22574 Fireworks Theme Maths Read More »

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Fireworks (aka bows) maths ideas and activities  great new years theme acitivities

To keep within our celebration and fireworks theme, I have set up a couple of number and measurement activities to be completed over the New Years period.

The coloured metallic bows imitate the ‘fireworks’ to keep within the celebration/fireworks theme activities we have been completing.

These brightly coloured metallic gift bows are so inviting and motivating for children, they will be so excited to play and learn with them.

What you will need?

Sorting activity with bows - classifying into groups of big, medium and small.  Measurement activity.

You will need a bulk pack of metallic gift bows with an assortment of sizes. You can purchase these from $1.00 to $5.00 in most variety stores. You will also need 3 cards labelled small, medium and big, and two hoops or chalk to create the circles.

I have also added a set of tweezers (or small tongs) to pick up the bows and support fine motor development, this is optional.

For other activities shown below, you will also need numbers (magnetic, wooden or from a puzzle) and a small tub.

Sorting by Size

Measurement activity - classifying bows by size big medium and small.  Fireworks (bows) theme maths activity.

Sorting big, medium and small bows is a great activity to introduce and play with the concept of measurement. Giving children the opportunity to compare objects and use language associated with measurement, such as smaller than, bigger than, biggest, smallest, etc.

Some Ideas:

  • Talk about the similarities and differences – size, and shape.
  • Depending in the age and ability of the child, you may only like to sort the bows into 2 groups rather than 3 as shown in the picture. Classifying by size is a skill that takes time to develop, begin with only sorting into 2 groups labelled big and small.
  • Look at other objects around the room. Please find me an object that is small than a pillow or larger than a pencil.
  • Use and encourage language associated with measurement. Is this one bigger that that one?

Hidden Numbers

Fireworks (bows) maths theme activity - hidden numbers in a fireworks sensory tub.

Hidden Numbers in the Sensory Tub is a fun counting, sequencing and number recognition activity.

  • Children search for the numbers hidden in the tub underneath the metallic bows.
  • When they have found a number, say it out loud and place it along a number line in order from 0 – 10.

Other ideas:

  • Jumble up the numbers along the number line and try and put them back into order from 0 to 10.
  • Play another fun game called “Guess the Missing Number”. Remove one number and your child has to try and guess which number is missing from the number line.

Let’s Learn

Counting fireworks (bows) - celebration, new years or fireworks theme activity

To extend the learning from the above Hidden Numbers Game, you may like to count out ‘how many’ bows underneath each number shown in the number line.

Learning Opportunities

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Language development – bigger and smaller than, big and small
  • Mathematics – measurement, comparing two or three objects (size)
  • Problem solve and overcome challenges
  • Number recognition, ordering numbers and counting numbers 1 to 10.

Click here for more NUMERACY activities & play ideas

Click here for more MEASUREMENT activities & play ideas

Click here for more CELEBRATION & FIREWORKS activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Dot-to-Dot Alphabet Letter Charts

Printable Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts

Printable Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts - can be used as a chart or dry erase. Sing the number rhymes to guide you through what strokes to make with the marker pen to form the correct number shape
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Painting Fireworks https://www.learning4kids.net/2015/12/27/painting-fireworks/ https://www.learning4kids.net/2015/12/27/painting-fireworks/#comments Sun, 27 Dec 2015 06:54:16 +0000 http://www.learning4kids.net/?p=22582 Painting Fireworks Read More »

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Fireworks painting activity - great new year's or other celebrations activity.

Here is a super easy and fun New Year’s Day Celebration activity – Creating Fireworks with Paint!

Using some of the left over cardboard rolls from the Christmas gift wrap, we created different length ‘firework’ fans for printing with paint. The print pattern created by the cardboard roll fans mimics that of fireworks brilliantly and children can create as many different size and coloured fireworks as they like.

What you will need?

Invitation to paint fireworks - new year's activity

You will need coloured paint (we have only chosen 4 colours), large sheets of paper and cardboard tubes.

Cut the cardboard tubes into different lengths as shown in the photo, to create different size firework prints.

Please note:

Do not place the cardboard tubs into the paint until you are ready to use them because after a while the cardboard strips become soft and will break off after they have been in the wet paint for some time.

New Year's, Celebration or Fireworks story books for Kids.  The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing

The Fireworks Painting was inspired by reading the story The Night Before New Year’s written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer. This is a fun story that you can read to children as an introduction to the theme activity.

Let’s Play

Making fireworks with paint and cardboard rolls.  Great new year's celebration activity

Some Ideas:

  • When printing the fireworks onto the paper, we used a ‘bounce and twist’ motion as we transferred the paint and fireworks pattern onto the paper.
  • Start printing with the largest fireworks cardboard fan first and print over the top with the next size down to the smallest.
  • Create a fireworks using the smallest cardboard fan first overlapping the paint with the next biggest until the largest.
  • Create single coloured fireworks with no overlapping with several colours.
  • Talk about the different sizes, which one is the largest fireworks and which one is the smallest?
  • Watch videos or read stories that show fireworks.
Fireworks celebration painting with glitter.

Add a small amount of glitter to the wet paint to finish off the ‘fireworks’ effect!

Let’s Learn

Fireworks celebration activity - painting fireworks with paint and cardboard rolls.

Learning Opportunities

  • Imagination and Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Colour recognition and creating new colours.
  • Language development – New vocabulary such as fireworks, New Year’s Day, etc.

Click here for more PAINTING activities & play ideas

Click here for more CELEBRATION & FIREWORKS activities & play ideas

Available in our online shop:

Please click on the product names to view full product details.

Printable Dot-to-Dot Alphabet Letter Charts

Printable Dot-to-Dot Number Rhyme Charts

Printable Dot-to-dot alphabet letter charts - laminate for dry erase board and reusable writing tool
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