Here’s a spring activity I used to promote fine motor and math skills at preschool. This was a simple, easy to set-up math center that kept the kiddos busy for most of center time. They had a blast, all the whole improving their fine motor skills and practicing age-appropriate math skills.
I set out ice cube trays, large kid-friendly tweezers, and a variety of spring-themed erasers. Before the children began, I suggested they sort the erasers or make patterns with them. Each of the children grabbed an ice cube tray and a pair of tweezers and set to “work”.
They picked up the erasers one at a time with the tweezers, which really gave their fingers a workout. At the time, most of my students’ fine motor skills were on-track. However, there were a few who tended to shy away from most fine motor activities. This wasn’t a problem with this activity, though! They were so focused on moving the erasers to the ice cube trays that it didn’t occur to them. :) I love when kids are having so much fun that they don’t realize they’re learning.
In addition to the great fine motor work, the erasers were used for different math skills. Some of the children chose to sort all of the erasers before doing anything else. I loved how into this task they were! They sorted by colors (yellow flowers, green flowers etc.). They sorted by type, as well (ladybugs, butterflies, etc.).
Once the erasers had been sorted, the patterning fun began. Many of the kiddos used one row of the ice cube tray for one pattern, while using the other row for a completely different pattern. A few of them chose to make just one pattern inside all rows of the ice cube trays. They were so excited to show Mary Poppins and I their patterns! A few of them even asked to show the patterns to our preschool director . . . they were THAT into this math play.
I will definitely be using the tiny erasers in the future. Of course, I think they’re too small to actually use as erasers! But they’re great for tons of other games and activities. Here are some other ideas for using the tiny erasers for math activities:
- Have the students place the correct amount of erasers by written numerals. For example, 5 erasers by the number 5.
- Use the erasers to illustrate beginning addition and subtraction skills.
- Match colors using the erasers. This can be done with color cards and/or written color words.
Those are just a few extension activities in regards to math! How would YOU use the tiny erasers with your students/children? I’d love to hear your ideas. :)