Activities for Small Groups
education activities that teachers can use to enhance the growth of language,
logic, pre-reading and counting skills of young children. These activities
easily develop into lesson plans that provide active learning experiences
for preschool children and enrich early childhood curriculum.
E-mail Gayle to include your favorite Small Group activity.
Preschool Activity Theme for Small GroupsWoodworking Activity: "Space"
During this woodworking activity by Anna P. teachers help youngsters create the planet Saturn and promote hand eye coordination and motor skills.
Materials: Foam ball
(tennis ball size works great),
Description: This starts
as a one on one activity.
2. Teacher helps fit the ball into the clamp. You want it to be secure, but don't squish the sides in or the planet will be flat.
3. Stand behind the child, show him or her how to hold the saw. They should use 2 hands so there is no danger of them cutting themselves. Cut the ball in two equal-ish halves. Teacher holds the ball steady with one hand by pushing down of the very edge by the clamp. Your other hand will be holding the saw. Help the child get started by telling him or her to push / pull. Most have no trouble, some need help getting started.
4. Put saw up!
5. Have the child go to another table (art works) and cut out their cardboard circles. Glue the half ball to the center of each circle. They love this part because you need to use a LARGE puddle of glue to make it stick.
6. Decorate your planet with paint or squeeze glue over both halves and cover with glitter or sand. The glue leaves a nice track, some painted the glue on and had a smooth finish.
You will need to let
it dry at least 24 hours. Then staple the two halves
Comments: The children loved it! When explaining what we would do, the girls insisted that only boys could use saws. The sawing was everyone's favorite part!
Space Theme is in the Rainbow
Materials: A bottle of soda water and a handful of small sultanas (raisins).
Description: Talk with children about water
and soda water - the addition of gases which makes the water bubbly. Open
the bottle and add a few sultanas - watch them dance as the bubbles collect
around them! Close the lid and they stop - why? Great for problem
solving and predicting.
Materials: Cone cups, straws, clown picture to color.
Description: Children paint cups with water colors, tempera paint is too heavy! Make a hole at the cone's tip and color the clown. Glue the straw to the clown and insert the straw through the hole on the cup. Each child can give a name to their clown and made up songs to Pop, Goes the Weasel.
Comments: Change clown shape to any other
Materials: A small plastic pool, children's safety scissors, all kinds of materials such as; construction paper scraps, magazine scraps, yarn, etc.
Ask children, a few at a time, to sit in the cutting pool and cut and
much as they would like. They are not allowed to jump in the pool because
only for cutting skills. When the children are done, they put their scissors
into a sand
bucket and leave all the scraps in the pool. Teachers then collect the
scraps for future projects.
with Clips and Rings
Materials: An assortment of various sizes and colors of clothespins, hair clips (the kind that when you squeeze the top, the bottom opens), and macramé rings.
Description: This is an idea for something you can put in one of your interest centers, such as the table toys center. Put a variety of clothespins, hair clips, and macramé rings in a container or bin. Show children how they can clip the clothespins and rings onto the different size macramé rings. Children can create patterns by alternating blue clothespin, red clothespin, blue clothespin, red clothespin, and so on. They can also sort by putting all the blue clips together and all the red clips together. We use a variety of hair clips in fun colors and motifs (flowers, stars, butterflies). The children really love manipulating the items.
Comments: For children 3 and under, be careful of what size clips you use because they could choke on the small clips.
Motor Scissors Skills
Materials: Safety scissors for children, paper with pre drawn lines on them.
Description: My kids love to cut on lines, so I draw many types of lines on paper and copy them on the copy machine. I put them out at the small motor table and the children have the choice of going to that center.
Coupon Cutting Idea
Materials: Scissors and coupons.
Teachers, in a small group, provide preschoolers with a variety of coupons and encourage them to cut them out.
Materials: Several colors of construction paper cut into strips, small bowls andscissors.
Description: Have the children cut the paper, one color at a time, into the bowl. They can pretend that they are cutting vegetables for soup. This activity can also be used to assess children's knowledge of colors. My students enjoy it thoroughly!
Materials: Markers, paper and a clock.
Description: Begin by having the children sit around a table or in a small circle on the floor. Give each child a piece of paper and one marker. Have children write their names on the paper and then turn the paper over, so that the blank side is up. Instruct the children to begin drawing whatever is in their imaginations. After 30 seconds (more or less), have each child pass their paper to the left.
Now instruct the children to begin drawing again. After thirty more seconds pass the drawings to the left again. Continue drawing for thirty second increments and then passing until the papers arrive back to their original owners. Allow the last drawing session to last for two minutes. Share the drawings with the group. Talk about what it was like to try to imagine what each paper was supposed to be like. Share interpretations of the drawings.
Comments: This works best with a small group.
Materials: Two chairs, benches or blocks, a piece of Plexiglas (11 x 14 or larger),a magnet wand or a strong magnet, metal objects such as washers, nuts, bolts or metal balls, tempera paint, paper and tape.
Description: Place Plexiglas across two chairs, benches or blocks so there is enough open space in between for the child's arm to move freely under the Plexiglas. Tape the paper on top of Plexiglas. Dip washers and other metal objects in tempera paint and place on the paper. Hold the magnet wand under the Plexiglas and begin moving the the magnet. The magnet will begin moving the metal objects around the paper to create a picture.
Materials: Papers for paint center, paint and paint shirts.
Description: Normally the papers at the paint center are regular rectangular shape. However, during some themes I cut the paper into shapes and leave it at the center for the students. I have used a large leaf for my fall theme, an apple and the one they especially liked, the dinosaur.
and Activities are in the Rainbow
Materials: Bubble wrap, plastic hammers, masking tape and different colors of paper.
Description: A really
fun idea that works from toddlers to pre-k.
Comments: This activity kept my toddler 1's interest longer than any other activity I have come up with yet.
There is a Bubble
Theme in the Rainbow
Materials: An empty 2 Liter pop bottle, one balloon, baking soda, vinegarand a spoon.
Description: Fill up the 2 Liter bottle with vinegar. Fill it only about almost half way. Place as many scoops as you wish of baking soda into the balloon. Stretch out the balloon over the bottle. Don't flip it yet! Ask the youngsters what will happen to the balloon. Flip over the balloon so that all the baking soda falls into the bottle and watch how the balloon get full of air.
Comments: You can use different sizes of bottles and see if the children will think any differently.
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