by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Charts are a great way for toddlers to learn. When combined with crafting for a hands-on lesson, the benefits of this method can be greatly multiplied. Here is a fun and educational shape and color chart craft along with some daily activities to do with your toddler once the chart is completed.
Shape and Color Chart
This chart will represent these shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, and heart. Make each shape a different color to also make this a color chart. The colors you should represent are: red, blue, yellow, green, black, and white. If you want to add pink, purple, and brown, make an extra each of the circle, square, and triangle, since those are three of the main shapes.
Before you do the craft with the children, cut out enough shapes in their designated colors for each child to have one of each. If you're doing the extended colors, make sure you have enough of those as well. Sort out the shapes by putting them in a zippered plastic bag for each child. Also, be sure your shapes are an appropriate size to fit onto a 12x17 piece of paper all together and spread out from each other slightly.
First, you'll need a 12x17 sheet of light blue construction paper for each child. This will be the surface the shapes will be glued onto. Place them in front of the children.
Next, give each child their shape bag and a glue stick.
Instruct (and probably help) the children to glue on each shape one at a time as you call them out by shape and color. The children can place the shapes wherever they'd like.
Once that is done, let the charts dry. Then, laminate them or cover them in clear contact paper for prolonged use.
Keep in mind that there should also be a chart for each teacher or parent as well. A master chart can and will come in handy later.
For full benefits of the chart, there are many activities that can be used with it to enforce and re-enforce the lesson of shapes and colors. Below, I will outline two to get you started.
Me, Then You
For this activity the parent or teacher should stand in front of the children with his or her chart and point at and say the shape and color. For example: The teacher says "red square" and points at the red square with a pencil. The students then say red square, pointing at their red square. Continue this activity for about 15 minutes.
Shape and Color Mayhem
This activity requires more than one student, preferably a group of at least three. However, with a little thinking and modification, it could be fit for use with less students.
First, the teacher places the master chart on a blank wall with sticky tack or plasti-tak, which can be found in most art or craft stores, even at Wal-Mart or other discount department stores. It's a gummy clay-like substance that adheres thin paper and plastic items to the wall without damaging them or the wall, so they can be removed quickly and easily.
The teacher should have a hat or container full of folded papers with each student's name on them. Have another hat or container with the shape/color combinations on the folded papers. Start the game by drawing 3 names from the hat.
Those three students need to stand next to each other about three feet from the chart. The teacher then draws a shape/color paper and says it. For instance, if the paper says, "yellow triangle", the teacher says "yellow triangle". The first student to place his or her finger on the yellow triangle has won that round. Then, the other two students get back in the straight line again. The winning student goes back to his or her seat. The names need to be set aside, not placed back in the hat. A new name is drawn and the game continues until each student has won a round.
Hint: Don't tell the students that they will all win. It may ruin the good feeling they will get when they win a round.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Teaching kids to read isn't all textbook. Learn to have some fun and they'll enjoy learning to read. As a mom and homeschool teacher, I have invented plenty of games over the years. Game play is good for kids who learn by doing. It's also just plain fun. Reading Charades is a great way to instill comprehension skills in reading.
Materials and Game Preparation
To play Reading Charades, you'll need a book and chairs for all players. The parent or teacher also needs to make cards using characters, events, and places from the story. Everyone should be seated in a circle with enough room in the middle for one person to perform. If this is your group's first time playing or the kids are younger, you may want to use a story everyone is familiar with.
Game Play Instructions
The first part of game play involves reading the book. Make sure the kids know they need to pay attention to the story. Kids can take turns passing the book around to read the story. For older groups of kids, be sure to choose a challenging story. You may also want to assign their reading ahead of time, since their stories will be longer.
Once the story has been read, it's time for the first player to choose a card. He or she needs to read the card silently and not let on what's written. Then, it's time to act out what's on the card and get the other players to guess. In the beginning, it should be specified whether it's a character, event, or location. Other than that, there should be no talking or sound effects.
Everyone else should be shouting out guesses as they have them. Whomever guesses correctly first is the next player. Game play goes on until there are no more cards left (or the parent or teacher is ready to move onto something else). If there are kids who are not getting a turn, try to make the reading game last long enough so that everyone gets a chance. Some players might get more than one turn if they are good guessers.
Some kids may need assistance from a parent or teacher when it comes to reading the cards or thinking of ideas for acting them out. If the kids move through the cards quickly, you might need to create a bigger deck or use more than one story.
Benefits of Group Reading Activities
There are many benefits of reading activities, such as Reading Charades. Children can gain or expand on critical skills that may have been missing or misunderstood during regular lessons. Another thing to remember is that not all children learn in the same way. Some may do better with a hands-on reading activity. Comprehension, vocabulary, and working together as a team are just some of the things kids can gain from doing group reading activities.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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