One of my biggest goals currently is to work on their fine motor skills so they can write their own name. A lot has to happen before they are able to do that thou, they will need a lot of fine motor practice to work on getting their hand muscles working well enough to be able to hold a crayon and pencil correctly. They will need to be able to follow directional lines, and they will need to learn how to trace. So currently we are working on coloring in coloring books.
I will also be printing out these amazing highway letter papers that can be found at one of my favorite websites: Making Learning Fun
I have some little vehicle erasers that I found at the Dollar store and I will have Veronika and Gavyn practice running the car along the letter highway. There are so many things that can be done with these letters and I can hardly wait to get started.
We are also working on color matching. With Veronika I can set out all the cups and give her several bears at a time and she will sort them into the correct color, often signing the color as she places it into the cups. Gavyn needs more guidance with this activity. I want him to feel successful and not stressed out about it so we only do two cups and one bear at a time. If I see him starting to put the bear into the wrong cup, I will tell him the color of the bear and cup it goes in and help direct him to the correct cup, then we clap for him. I think his favorite part is the clapping.
This is a little game Veronika got for her 3rd birthday a few days ago. It can be played many different ways. For Veronika, we had her open the shoot and take out the chips and match them to the correct color and animal on the fence. She was able to take out each piece, look for the correct color fence for the chip and find the correct animal that went on it.
When she was finished we had her put them back in to work on those skills as well.
With Gavyn, we focused on one color fence at a time and I needed to help him match it by pointing out where the piece would go. Once I showed him where it went, he would put it in the correct place.
Another skill we are working on is matching shapes and putting them in the correct hole. We got this Melissa and Doug shape sorter. While I am normally a big fan of Melissa and Doug toys the box on this is not very child droll proof. I will be having my husband stain this toy and coat it with a water resistant coating to protect it and also make the lid that slides on and off a little more harder to pull off. Currently the lid comes off a little too easy as you can see in the first picture where Veronika is trying to get her shape in and the lid moved on her. Other than that, we love the shapes and it is proving to be wonderful for their shape recognition.
Veronika is just learning her shapes so we are working on two at a time. First I will flip the the flash cards once or twice telling her the names of all the shapes. Then I will put two down on the table and ask her for a certain shape. I will either ask her to point to the shape or hand the shape to me.
She is very good with all of her colors so we do three colors at a time.
Gavyn is working on his colors so I will offer him two and ask him to give me the correct color.
For shapes, since he is just learning, I only put down one shape and ask him to hand me the shape. Using the name over and over and having him hand it back to me makes him aware of the shape, it's name, and works on following directions.
Another great activity is the Mellisa and Doug beginner pattern blocks. The more advanced pattern blocks have a flat surface but these are great because it works like a puzzle with the space the shape goes being indented.
Of course, exploring is also lots of fun and very educational so a trip to our local Children's Museum is a wonderful addition to our learning time.