“It’s a triple threat”, is what Madi said to me when describing one of the activities she did with Cali the other day during their session. The activity that follows promotes improvement in three different areas:
1. Fine motor.
2. Learning to track ones counting.
3. Number recognition.
The main reason for this activity was to help Cali learn to keep track of her counting. We spent a LONG time teaching Cali to count, but when we were teaching her, the thought never occurred that teaching her to count in a single line wouldn’t later translate to knowing how to count things/objects in a group. Although, I guess we should have assumed this. Cali doesn’t generalize basic concepts which means w have to continually teach her ALL the progressive steps. Counting was no exception. So, on to the activity…
The first step is to have Cali count small objects (i.e. marbles) by picking them up one by one and placing them in a random lid. This step teaches Cali the idea of tracking her counts. After counting the total number, we ask Cali, “How many?” Cali responds with the correct number and next, finds the corresponding number on the pumpkin (a pumpkin that has been segmented into different pieces, with a number designating each piece). This step helps with number recognition. Once she finds the number, she then colors the segment. This last step helps with fine motor. After she completely colors in the segment, Cali gets one small candy to place in her cup. When the activity is completed, she gets to indulge in her cup of candy.
If you want to try this at home, this is what you will need:
1. One small dixie cup (to hold the candy).
2. Pumpkin coloring page (email for a copy).
3. Markers or other coloring utensil.
4. Small objects to count (i.e. marbles).
5. Small lid or other object to place marbles in after counting (this lid is key to the teaching the child to track their counting!)
6. Candy for after completing the process.
Here is a breakdown of the step-by-step process:
1. Place desired amount of marbles on the table.
2. Model for the child how to track your counting. If this is your first time with the activity, you may have to model each time before the child begins to count. Otherwise, model once and then have the child initiate each proceeding time.
3. When the child completes the counting, ask him/her, “How many?” Child responds with the correct number.
4. Ask the child to point to the corresponding number on the pumpkin.
5. Have the child choose a color to color in the number piece on the pumpkin.
6. When the child has fully colored in the piece, have them get a piece of candy to place in their cup (I don’t allow Cali to eat the candy until after she finishes).
7. Repeat the process until pumpkin is fully colored or until you feel is adequate.
*Note. I haven’t had Cali complete the entire pumpkin in one sitting. WAY too many segments to color in. We will complete the pumpkin within a couple to a few days.