We seem to have accumulated a lot of ice cube trays in my classroom and I use them regularly in many different ways. I thought I would share a few of these with you.
COUNTING AND PLAYDOUGH
I wrote the numbers from 1-10 on mini pegs and pegged them onto the sides of the ice cube trays. The children had to roll sausages from the playdough and cut the dough into small pieces. They then had to count the cut pieces of playdough and put them in the ice cube trays.
COLOUR MIXING IN ICE CUBE TRAYS
I filled the ice cube trays with coloured dye and let the children experiment with colour mixing to create beautiful paintings. Using the eye droppers is also a great fine motor skill.
FINE MOTOR ACTIVITY
After dying penne pasta, I put out tongs with the pasta for the children to fill each ice compartment. The children did one piece of pasta at a time which was also a wonderful counting activity.
PAINTING WITH FROZEN DYE
I froze some dye with little matchsticks as handles. The children had to start at number one and paint in order from 1-5 by painting over each number with each colour. They also painted all over the page- they are 3!!!
I got some recycled plastic bits from our local recycling supplier and let the children fill a variety of containers, including ice cube trays. Sensory play is one of their favourite things to do.
We made a really fun, practical and useful resource recently at school. We had been looking at a different shape each week and this is what we made in square week.
Square Bean Bags!!
I cut out small squares of black fabric and wrote the children's names on the front.
The children then printed squares with a square foam block and white fabric paint. Some chose to do the squares in rows and others did it randomly.
Once dry and ironed a lovely mother brought her sewing machine to school and sewed up the sides, leaving a gap to fill the bean bag.
At each step I asked the children to find their name as we are working on name recognition as well.
Using funnels and spoons, the children filled their bean bag with rice. We counted the spoonfuls, estimated how much rice they would need and kept feeling them to see if they were happy with the weight. The children loved being responsible for their bean bag and enjoyed each and every step.
The mother helping us then sewed up the last open gap. Our bean bags were ready to play with!!
As it was square day, I made a large square on the mat and we had fun throwing our bean bags into the square.
We drew squares outside with chalk and threw them into the squares.
We threw them to each other, in the air, into buckets and baskets and everywhere!! Each time, the children had to find their own name and they were soon reading and finding each other's.
This was a simple activity that the children absolutely loved- you just need a very kind person to man the sewing machine so you can do it all in the classroom.
We had some pretty big storms here last week with some very strong winds. While I was driving I noticed some large sheets of bark that had blown straight off some paperbark trees.
I thought this was an amazing opportunity to do some bark painting with my kids at school and to talk about Aboriginal art.
We used colours that are often used in Aboriginal art and sticks and cotton buds to paint with.
I drew some simple designs for the children to paint.
As I had set up this painting activity outside the children collected other natural materials like small flowers and tried to paint with them as well.
This activity promoted so much language and was a wonderful sensory activity.
I love it when you find something interesting like this which provides the inspiration for so many learning experiences. My program didn't include Aboriginal dot painting last week but proved to be wonderful spontaneous teaching opportunity.
If you have been following my blog for a while you would know that I love using recycled materials whenever I can. I especially hate throwing away plastic containers and rack my brain to think of ways I can use them. It is easy to find ways to use milk container lids in the classroom and I have written several posts on ways to repurpose milk containers. Here is one more!!
Take one milk container.
Cut the side off the container.
Use a hole punch to punch holes down both sides.
Thread wool through the holes.
Gather your weaving supplies.
Display in the garden for some outdoor art. It would be nice to attach some bells to the ribbons to make it into a wind chime.
Check out some of my other blog posts on recycling milk containers and let me know what you think.
Sensory play provides so many wonderful benefits for young children and is definitely a favourite activity in my classroom. The children particularly love it when I fill containers with rice and add spoons, scoops, pouring vessels and funnels. They could spend hours pouring and transferring rice from container to container, letting the rice gently fall through their fingers and filling containers.
We are trying to learn and identify the numbers from 1-10 at the moment and I always looking for interesting ways to engage the children. As sensory play is one of their favourite activities and appeals to all children, I thought this was a perfect way to learn and revise the numbers 1-10.
I wrote the numbers on table tennis balls, on plastic spoons and in the bottom of an egg carton. (I included the numbers 11 and 12 since I was using an egg carton)
The children tried to pick up the balls with the corresponding spoon and place it in the egg carton. Some children used their hands to move the balls, some children were more interested in playing with the rice and counting spoonfuls of rice, but all children were engaged, interested and having fun while learning.