Preparation: Dotted numbers on coloured paper, pegged around the house.
Activities: After finding the numbers 1-10 hidden around the house, we joined the dots to form the numbers. Do not worry at this stage about correct formation for pre-school/Reception. Talk about the numbers - do they know them? What number is this? Have you seen it before? If they don't know, tell them! As you can see, my little Panda had not yet developed the pencil grasp seen and encouraged in schools, but was instead, still using the toddler grasp. This is not a problem - it did not affect his ability to achieve the task!!!
Next, we used pegs to match each number shown on the paper - 5 pegs for number 5 etc. (You can, instead, use a selected number of objects and place them upon the paper to match the number written). We chose pegs because this strengthens finger muscles at the same time - good for early writing. We then re-pegged them around the house to play again!
The last challenge was to put the numbers in order from 1-10. I challenged him by re-ordering them incorrectly whilst my little one closed his eyes and we spotted the mistakes, talked about them, and corrected them again.
Letter recognition -
Preparation: Child's name written onto paper. Random chalk-drawn letters drawn onto floor.
Activity: Supply child with water spray bottle and a copy of their name written on paper. Write letters of their name plus random other letters in chalk. Challenge them to spray their name out in the correct order to match the paper.
Speech strengthening exercise! -
Preparation: Simple target drawn onto large paper. Rolled up paper tubes/straws.
Activity: Pom-pom targets. Provide pom-poms and straws/rolled up paper. Child blows pom-pom onto drawn target to score points! In this picture, we blew the pom-pom through the rolled up paper tunnels - this made us blow harder! This action of blowing helps to create muscle tone within the mouth, aiding speech development.
Fine Motor skills/help with writing -
Preparation: Block of polystyrene. Box of nails/pegs & beads.
Activity: A block of polystyrene, a box of beads and a pot of nails/pins = supervised but independent, creative play, making a picture, or just exploring the materials given, but encouraging the perfect grasp for pre-school writing - the 'pinch'.
More simple activities to build fine motor skills -
Activities: Feeding chickens with blades of grass! Pegging washing on the line! Making pictures/sticking with small craft items.
Scissor skills -
Preparation: Magazine/photo or hand-drawn picture.
Activity: Simple jigsaw activity using scissor skills - cut any recognisable picture into squares and put it back together.
Activity: Baking with your child will encourage so many skills - vocabulary, ordering, reading, measuring, hygiene, independence, control, fine motor skills, gross motor skills (the larger/stonger movements that help co-ordination and balance), and best of all, it will use the senses, espcially taste!!