Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beads, Playdough, and Cupcakes, oh my!

Last year I had a little guy who needed some major finger-strengthening, so I did what most teachers do:  I put my coffee cup in one hand, my mouse in the other, and researched, researched, researched!  One "I never thought of that!" idea that I absolutely fell in love with was the idea of hiding objects in a big blob of playdough. 
I find that there is never enough time in Kindergarten to address one skill at a time, so I toss anything that I can't double, triple, quadruple.  Here's my recipe for doubling fine motor strengthening with letter recognition:

big blob of playdough
capital letter alphabet beads
garage sale label stickers
plastic cupcake container

Simply write the lowercase letters on the garage sale stickers (I wrote two or three letters on each sticker since my cupcake container held a dozen cupcakes) and stick to the bottom of each cupcake hole.  Pat the playdogh flat like a pancake, and press alphabet beads into dough.  Roll into a ball.  Viola!  A new favorite center!

Here are some other centers inspired by this borrowed treasure:

Matching uppercase scrapbooking letters (free from Naer!) into cupcake holder

For a real finger workout, I wrote lowercase letters on the lids of prize containers from prize vending machines.  Students open the container, read the lowercase letter, and put the capital letter bead inside.  My girls loved this one!

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