Let Me Be Me Activity  & Let’s Be Friends Activity

Let Me Be Me Activity & Let’s Be Friends Activity

Let Me Be Me Activity
Work with Manipulatives
Where: Center Activity Table or Writing Area
Tools: Three manipulatives (Lego blocks, puzzle, stackable magnets)

How: Set out three different manipulatives. If there’s more than one child, there should be enough resources so that each child can choose one without fighting. For a list of manipulatives, refer to Part II: Open-Ended Toys, page 64.

Challenges: Allow the children plenty of time to choose and explore each activity that is set up. Let the children struggle through trial and error before helping. If they are struggling, put one piece in the right place, or guide them to try turning the piece around. Children will eventually become very capable, and this is part of figuring things out.

Once they have mastered an object, you will see them begin to use their imaginations in what they do with them (for example building different towers with magnets). My children built more structures than I could have ever imagined, and each time they were different!

FOR LEGO MASTERS: introduce small-size Lego blocks and kits as their fingers become more skilled. There are many different options. Begin with extra-large blocks until the choking hazard phase has passed, then introduce the next level when appropriate (large to medium-sized, then to medium to small-sized).

FOR PUZZLE MASTERS: introduce a variety of puzzles with more pieces to increase the complexity level as they master easier ones. Begin with basic wooden puzzles of four to five pieces, increase to large floor puzzles of 10 to 20 pieces, then 20 to 40 pieces, and eventually progress to small 100-plus piece puzzles.

Let’s Be Friends Activity
Learn to Take Turns and Timers
Where: Any Learning Area
Tools: Face clock (analog), timer, or a stove timer

How: Show the children the minute hand on the face of a clock. Tell them the “game” is to take turns! The first child will get at least 10 minutes with a toy object (or longer depending on the ages of the children).

After 10 minutes, the other child will have a turn. Explain and show the hands and numbers on the clock. When the long hand gets to the 5, for example, it is the other person’s turn to have the toy.

Put a sticker next to the number so the children will have a visual marker for when the time is up. You may be surprised when both children watch the clock and forget about the toy!

You can also use a minute timer that buzzes or rings, but this doesn’t give the children as much chance or power to see time moving and to begin to understand the concept of time.

Challenges: Ask one child to be the timekeeper. Even very young children can learn to recognize numbers. Incorporating “real life” things into play, like using clocks, helps them understand in a fun way the world around them.
Time is a concept that can be understood even before a child can read time. Children learn there’s a purpose to clocks and time, why we leave when we do, and sometimes why we rush. This is also a great activity to make taking turns fun (especially with siblings).

The paperback version of Create a Home of Learning is available at Amazon, your favorite bookseller or jodidee.com

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