Weekly Activities - Wind Chimes and Threading
Book of the week
Jeremy Worried About The Wind by Pamela Butchart.
Jeremy is a worrier. He worries about odd socks, spotty bananas, evil squirrels, burnt toast, dinosaurs and, most of all . . . the wind! His friend Maggie isn't worried about anything - after all, what's the worst that could happen? But when Maggie decides to go outside and play in the wind, Jeremy must act fast to keep her out of danger, and he is soon to discover that a bit of courage leads to the most exciting adventures.
This week we were making various different wind chimes. Some of the children made theirs by finding a stick, cutting it to size using secateurs, cutting and then tying some wool at each end to form a triangle which it would be the hanging point. We asked them to find various natural objects lying around the nursery to hang from the stick on the end of a piece of wool such as leaves, stones, feathers, slate and also some wooden beads. Other children decided to make theirs using card that they decorated and cut into a spiral shape. They attached some wool towards the top and helped improve their fine motor skills by threading leaves onto the wool.
After reading our book of the week, we talked about how wind chimes work, how they move in the wind and the sound they make.
Aims and Objectives
Learn how to make a wind chime.
Discuss how a wind chime works - learn about wind and how we can use it to make sounds and movement.
Source natural materials found at either site to make the wind chime, eg, sticks, leaves, mud and other natural bits and pieces.
Understand different stick sizes eg, short, long, fat or thin.
Decorate the wind chime using paints, coloured pens and crayons.
You'll be amazed at the amount of benefits (listed below) a seemingly simple activity such as threading has for pre-schoolers. Get some string, wool, garden wire, pipe cleaners or twigs and let your child thread on items such as leaves, pasta tubes/macaroni, beads, buttons, cereal hoops (for an edible necklace) or anything else that is relatively small and has a hole in it.
Use smaller items or items with smaller holes for older children to make it more challenging for them. You can also introduce patterning by asking your child to thread according to a ‘rule’, such as ‘one white bead followed by two red beads,’ or ‘two big beads, two small beads.’
Fine Motor Control
Threading is an excellent way to strengthen the finger muscles and learn to control the fingers as they work together.
Developing fine motor skills in childhood is essential if a child is to learn to hold a pencil and write. There is more value in doing pre-writing activities during the preschool years than in teaching a young child to write prematurely.
Bilateral coordination is about using both sides of the body to perform tasks such as dressing, cutting a piece of paper and walking.
There are movements that are symmetrical (such as clapping hands), alternating (such as running) and then there are movements that require a dominant and a supporting hand.
When stringing beads, a child must learn to hold the bead with one hand while controlling the string with the other.
Beading is a great way to practise colour recognition. There is no need to use worksheets in preschool to teach concepts like shapes and colours.
While your child is playing, ask her to pass you the red bead, make a pattern with blue and orange beads, or tell you what colour bead she wants to string next.
Visual perception is when the brain makes sense of what the eyes see.
It is an important pre-reading skill and children must develop letter recognition through play first – by being exposed to lines, patterns and shapes, which they will later see in letters.
Stringing beads is good practice for building hand-eye coordination, an important aspect of physical development.
Want your child to excel at sports one day? Spend lots of time doing movement activities, but also lots of time doing intricate activities such as playing with pegboards, to let the eyes and hands work together.
Early Maths Skills
Playing with toys such as blocks and beads teaches children about the concept of numbers and amounts, as well as one-to-one correspondence.
You can also introduce patterning activities to pre-schoolers which is an important early maths concept.
Concentration and Perseverance
Fine motor activities usually require a child to sit for lengthy periods of time, which in turn builds their attention span.
The act of trying something as intricate as threading a string through a tiny hole will teach children not only how to sit still and focus, but also how to persevere and try again if they fail.
Children develop creativity when they are left to play independently, come up with ideas and solve problems for themselves.
It is ok to do a fun activity with children, but don’t forget to also leave some materials lying around and see what your children do with them.
You will be amazed at the result.
When children are engaging in play, they are learning the vocabulary around what they are doing.
Pretty amazing eh?