Fine Motor Fun!

August 3, 2017

It's been a while since I've done a new blog post. I've been so busy with getting the school ready and then starting summer camps. We're on week 4 of camps and they are so much fun. Such a success! I can not tell you how fantastic it is to have kids in the preschool space. They are loving it!

I have a bit a free time and wanted to take a moment to talk about fine motor practice. Sometimes I get caught up in the kid whole (I live and breath preschool) and forget that not everyone knows about child development soooo here's a definition for everyone: Fine motor skills (also known as dexterity) is the development of small muscles in movement. Pretty much a lot of hand-eye coordination. At Tiger Lily Preschool we accept students of all abilities, that means I see kids with different levels of development and I create activities to meet those kids at their level. This is one of the many things about my job that I LOVE. You have to think creatively and sometimes out of the box. I like to think it keeps me on my toes.

When it comes to find motor practice the classroom is full of opportunities for it. Playing with trains, blocks, cars, dolls, dress up and more is using fine motor skills. Kids do a lot of fine motor practice on their own, playing independently or with peers. As a teacher I want to challenge them and help them develop their skills even more. That is where ice cube trays and puff balls come in! This is one of my favorite fine motor activities to do with kids (pictures below). There can be many variations on the activity. Kids can use their fingers, big tweezers or a spoon to place the puff balls into the ice cube trays. It can be more challenging with smaller ice cube trays or smaller puff balls. Using the big plastic tweezers helps kids get ready for writing. It helps develop the pincher grip which is important for learning to write. It strengthens the muscles in their hands and works on their coordination. And the best part? Kids love it! They have so much fun doing this activity, any variation of it. Another great thing is you might already have all the things you need around the house for this activity. If you have younger preschoolers you could start with just using their fingers or if you have older kids you could use the big tweezers (I got mine at the dollar store). Try it at home!

 Just about any ice cube tray works. The fish and the flower ones are from Ikea if you want to spice things up!

Just about any ice cube tray works. The fish and the flower ones are from Ikea if you want to spice things up!

 I usually put a little container with all the puffball in it to start with. It gives them a starting point and an end point. When they've got all the puffballs in the fish then they can start over and take them all out again and put them in the container. And repeat!

I usually put a little container with all the puffball in it to start with. It gives them a starting point and an end point. When they've got all the puffballs in the fish then they can start over and take them all out again and put them in the container. And repeat!

 Big old tweezers! It usually takes a little bit of couching for kids to master the tweezers. These ones have great finger grip spots that help the kids know where to hold on.

Big old tweezers! It usually takes a little bit of couching for kids to master the tweezers. These ones have great finger grip spots that help the kids know where to hold on.

 This one can be tricky for some kids but its great practice for feeding themselves too! It requires a little more wrist action with scooping the puffball and then dumping in the flower.

This one can be tricky for some kids but its great practice for feeding themselves too! It requires a little more wrist action with scooping the puffball and then dumping in the flower.

Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles!

April 6, 2017

Things have been super busy getting everything ready. I'm taking a quick break to share with you about my puzzle obsession.

I can NOT get enough puzzles! Puzzles are such a fantastic teaching tool. They teach problem solving, hand eye coordination, and more!! Not to mention they’re super fun! I’m a huge fan of wooden puzzles and I have a whole collection of floor puzzles. I can’t wait to get the kids in here to play with them. Also apparently I have a farm theme going on ;)

Ready....set.....

March 17, 2017

Things are moving and shaking at TLP (get it? Tiger Lily Preschool - TLP :) I’m really enjoying going through all the fun things I’ve collected and planning where they will be in the classroom! I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful community surrounding me. So many of the items in our classroom are second hand from family and friends.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Let's go!

February 24, 2017

Looking at the blank space that will be transformed into my classroom is exhilarating! There is so much potential! So many possibilities! But now to focus. Getting my head around how I want the space to be set up, what furniture I need, toys, art supplies, books, the list goes on! It’s all so exciting!

Step one: Painting. Choosing the paint color was an exciting step! Moving forward with painting was a lot harder then I remembered but I pulled through! I am so pleased with the end result.

 
 
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  Another fun project was adding fabric to the back of the cute little bookcases I got!

Another fun project was adding fabric to the back of the cute little bookcases I got!