Monday, July 26, 2010

Animal Cracker Work

On a past roadtrip Matt and I stopped at Bucky's for a candy run. It's a tradition of our roadtrips.
I couldn't bring myself to feed my little one candy, but we compromised with a box of these animal crackers. My mom used to buy us these as a treat when we were kids, so they brought back fond memories and Quinn lucked out with a box due to my reminiscing. :)
I couldn't bear to throw the box away when the crackers were gone.
Of course you know I have to make Q some work from it.

So I got on Google Images and printed out pictures of animal crackers.

Then I found photos of the corresponding real animals.
I sit down with Q and we work on matching them--it's a matching game. Honestly this work is a little above her right now. Mostly because she won't sit still long enough. But occasionally she'll ask for this work (she can spot it up on the shelf where I keep work she needs to do with Mommy) and we take a spin at it. Each time she does a little better and works a little longer at it! I love scaffolding her learning in this way. Just stretching her slightly beyond what she was able to do last time. A little Vygotsky, for you child development graduates out there. :)
She is learning new vocabulary--she had never seen a camel before this! We also talk about the animal sounds and even what the animals eat. This is actually a wonderful early literacy activity. As she looks carefully at the animals it will teach her to attend to details that have meaning--such as the giraffe's long neck. Later on she will apply this visual discrimination to letters as she puts sounds and words together. Math knowledge of how shapes and lines and curves look also comes into play......Matching games are so valuable for preschool and toddler learning!!
For older kids this could be played like Memory.....Flip them all over and see if you can make matches.
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