TotSchooling: Hexagons, Egg Cartons, and Pom Poms
The most basic materials are the best ones to use when introducing any new concepts to children, especially when it comes to toddlers. Toddlers absolutely need to use all of their senses when engaged in activities, this sometimes means that they may put objects in their mouths in hopes to gain more understanding of what the material is all about.
So, how is one able to still give toddlers hands on opportunities that are accessible, safe, and allows them to further manipulate the material?
Before making the materials available to the children for independent use, especially for toddlers I introduce the materials to them during small group time or by 1:1 lessons. I make sure to organize the materials as simple as possible so that they are able to place the materials back as found when done. Sure, reminders are needed, but it has proven to be a great way to encourage independent activities and for the interest in said materials to be able to develop further.
Our Experience Toddler monthly core concepts are the same as our preschool curriculum from Experience Early Learning. This means that our math interests center has a variety of manipulatives that the toddlers are interested in, which makes it a must for them to have accessible materials. They always are interested in what their bigger friends are doing. The preschoolers are the toddler's teachers too! The toddlers observe their friends often from start to finish when they choose an independent activity or a game with each other. They become very interested and motivated to do what they are doing.
The Color in Carton activity game is a perfect example of simple, safe, hands on activity that can be repeated in a number of ways. This activity is included in April's monthly Experience Toddler curriculum from Experience Early Learning.
The provided materials for the activity is the egg carton, foam hexagons, and pom poms. Very simple, and easy to organize. On our math interest shelf the egg carton along with another one is in a basket on it's own, 4 bowls stack in a basket , two tweezers in a very small basket, and then in it's own containers with easy lids to open are the pom poms and foam hexagons. I organized it this way to provide open ended play and for them to able to see where the materials should be placed when done.
This activity includes learning about sorting and patterns. It also incorporates fine motor skills. The child transfers the materials to the egg carton to sort, match, or to make patterns. The toddlers already had a strong interest in using scissors. So, if we were doing this lesson together I would offer the scissor type of tweezers, as I know they would be very interested in this activity if they saw these tweezers. LoL. Win! Win!
With Experience Toddler the lesson cards are easy to follow and you can easily see what skills that the toddlers are learning while engaging in this activity. The picture above is of the back of the lesson card for Colors in Carton activity. As you can see there is nothing stuffy about teaching sorting and patterning to toddlers, it's all play with Experience Early Learning, as it should be!
As an Experience Early Learning Blogger, I receive the Experience Early Learning Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic experiences. As always, my opinions are 100% my own. #preschool #familychildcare #EELblogger