The Growth and Giggles Blog
Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.
Today’s activities will be toward benefiting pre-reading and pre-math skills. We will get the body and senses involved.
It is important to remember to set up everything so there will be minimal clean-up afterwards. (For instance, on top of an old shower curtain or sheet.)
Finger Painting with Shaving Cream
Find a dark surface (for example, table, play table cloth). Spread out shaving cream. (Don’t do this activity if the child will put it in their mouth. Warn them not to. It’s gross!) Have them draw the number in the shaving cream with their finger. If you are doing “Number of the Day!” have them make that number a few times. Then have them turn it into a picture. Have them make that number of dots. Turn it into a picture. Turn it into that number of lines, or squiggles, etc., and then into a picture.
As long as they are making that number, the nerve impulses from the finger to the brain wires the brain for better understanding. It is particularly important to get them to say the number each time.
Other Ideas for Number of the Day
Pick a number for the day.
At lunch, if your number of the day is 4, cut the sandwich into 4 pieces. After lunch, give them 4 things to play with. Have them make that number with playdough or clay. (It increases finger strength.)
If you have costume jewelry beads, have them make the number with the beads. Or with yarn on a rug. (Don’t do beads or yarn on a slick surface; it’s best on a rug or towel to avoid frustration with slipping.)
Have them make the number with sand or salt on a pie plate.
Give them a piece of cardboard, a paintbrush, and some water. Have them paint the number with the water on the cardboard. This can also be done – painting with water – outside on the sidewalk or driveway. Add a word of warning for the children: when you paint with water, it will disappear!
Paint with a matchbox car with rough wheels. Use tempura paint on a Styrofoam plate. Roll the wheels in the paint. Make the number of the day by “driving” the car on the plate.
Tip: put the paper inside a box lid of some kind (a flat one with shallow sides) so that the car (and paint) will be stopped at the edges of the paper instead of going everywhere.