Numeracy: Shapes and Colors
What is Friendship week without hearts?
We took our clay out of the art room and made them into heart shapes. We were going to decorate these little red hearts. Our kids just loved the red color of the hearts. This activity was nicely aligned with our lessons about shapes and colors. So we discussed these first before we started decorating the hearts.
We looked at the hearts, discussed the shapes and colors. But the children just couldn't wait to smell and touch the hearts and use their senses to explore further. There was a discussion on how the hearts felt and how they smelled. So we learnt words like smooth, rough, hard and soft.
After exploring the clay hearts with our senses, we provided little pink and yellow styrofoam balls and other decorations. It was up to the children which decorations they wanted to use. It is always more fun when you get to choose what you want! This way, children learn about making decisions. Although our children like shiny decorations, the little styrofoam balls were a big hit. My guess is because this is something the students have never used before, so it was interesting. Also, the colors and the way they feel is interesting as well
Fine Motor skills: Pincer Grip and Sensory
The next step was to press all the decorations into the clay. The children have to use a bit of force when pressing the decorations into the clay. This helps them to develop their fine motor skills as well as their sensory. Furthermore, it helped them develop and mature their Pincer Grip. A Pincer Grip enables a child to pick up small items using the thumb and index finger, which will help them later on with writing and holding a pencil correctly.
Exploring and Finding Things out Through Trail and Error
We soon found out that not all the styrofoam balls would stay in the clay. The bigger ones were hard to press in the clay because their texture is soft. So we had to pick out the tiny little balls, which were a bit harder and easier to press and stuck better to the clay.
Enhancing Attention Span
When you are a three-year-old, it is not always easy to focus and sit down quietly and finish a task. However, this activity was enjoyable for them, especially if you put on some classical music as background music. We found it a great way of keeping our children focused. They were very serious about their decorations as you can see from their faces.
One of the most thing rewarding moment is at the end of this activity. The children enthusiastically showed their hearts to each other and their teachers. They were really proud with their end results and so was I.