We use a whole-lotta-lead in our little cooperative school. This year I got wise, I go directly to Dixon for the goods! But sometimes, especially as young ones are honing their reading and writing skills, they need work that does not involve gripping a pencil. We call this type of work “Discovery” because it affords the opportunity for the primary student to make a choice, attend to the work involved in that choice, and ultimately, discover something in the process.
We dedicate shelf space and time in each day to this type of work. Discovery provides an opportunity to focus on an independent activity without dividing the effort between two skills, the academic task at hand and the developing fine motor, which is a task and a half for many children.
Discovery activities are usually hand made, or assembled from treasures found at the dollar store or at yard sales. We also mix in prepared materials designed for the Montessori and Waldorf style classroom. The possibilities are truly only limited by your imagination. Once the work is complete, the student has the work checked then attends to the task of placing the materials back in its place on the shelf until next time.
Here are some ideas from our little group, and as time goes by we'll be sharing additional activities. Please contribute your own ideas too in the comments section…learning from eachother is a gift!
Sock Paring Basket
– medium size basket
– 8-10 pairs of colorful ankle socks (easier to fold together)
Mix up sock collection in basket. Child finds pairs and folds them together. Talk about what a pair is, count the pairs aloud together, talk about the colors and patterns, etc. When finished, child separates socks and places them back in basket.
Pom Pom Sorting
Pom poms are by definition fun and full of delight! Now something to do with that large bag from Michael's that was calling your name…
– small basket
– muffin tin
– pom poms in various sizes and colors
– small tongs
Child builds fine motor skills by using tongs to sort pom poms into muffin cups. They can play with sorting by either size or color. When finished, child places pom poms back in basket.