Monday, September 27, 2010

Shape and Letter traces

One activity we do all the time with our preschoolers (3's) is tracing the perimeter of shapes with tactile objects. For this particular project (we were focusing on circles at the particular time), the children glued dried beans around a drawn circle (predrawn by the teacher/parent). We had a variety of levels of "gluers" for this activity--for some of our kids they were able to trace the circle perimeter with the liquid glue bottle all on their own. Others needed some hand-over-hand help squeezing the bottle. For our young-uns/inexperienced glue-ers we applied the glue for them and let them focus on applying the beans. We talked to them and modeled gluing the next bean against the one before so as to not leave any gaps.

Our kids love this type of activity. It's rhythmic, soothing, and allows them to learn the properties of shapes through their tactile modalities.

It addresses:
-fine motor skills (picking up small beans and setting them down, squeezing the glue bottle and tracing a line with glue)
-geometric awareness
-art (see below accomodations)
-spatial awareness (applying beans against one another)

Other accomodations we make:
-glue other objects--buttons, beads, pasta, cereal pieces, torn scraps of paper, hole-punched circles, round dot circles, BINGO dauber from Dollar Store, etc. Really the possibilities are endless.

-you can color your beans/pasta--mix together 3 T rubbing alcohol with enough food coloring to get the desired brightness in a glass jar with a lid. Add pasta/beans and shake until coated with color. Pour out on layered newspaper (may want to do this outside so you don't stain your counter! I'd also recommend wearing plastic gloves so your hands don't end up colored!!) Allow to dry for several hours, and once dry the alcohol makes the pasta/beans colorfast!!
***this means you could make several colors of beans/pasta and let the child apply colors as desired

We trace each shape several times with various mediums.

We also use the same process for gluing objects on letters--of course starting with the first letter of the child's name!!
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