Have the flowers popped up in your neck of the woods yet? The crocuses are taking over my flower beds, and I couldn’t be happier. This simple little color matching and hand-eye coordination activity is a great tray to put out for free choice in your classroom. You might be wondering why we would purposefully work on hand-eye coordination in preschool; the short answer is handwriting and self-help skills. The longer answer is that working on these skills help children strengthen the child’s visual motor integration which is just the technical term for using what the eyes see to guide what the hand does. As you can imagine this is super important for handwriting, buttoning their pants, and using a fork among other things. So it’s important. Coupling it with some color matching makes this spring preschool activity more fun for the children.
Gather your materials. You will need some playdough, milkshake straws ( they are a little bigger than regular drinking straws), some fake flowers that match the colors of the straws, scissors, and a tray.
Start by cutting your straws in half.
Spread the playdough out so that it’s in a line and about 3/4 of an inch thick. You want it to be able to hold the straws in place.
Pop the straws in.
Put the trimmed flowers on the tray and invite the children to match them up.
I kept this tray small with only two colors of flowers because I teach 3-year-olds and want to keep the activity within the range of success for them. Too many would be frustrating and boring.
In my class during free choice as the children move freely from one activity to the next casually go to activities that are completed and set them back up. From time to time I have a child not want for me to deconstruct their work and in that case, I offer to photograph their work for posterity. That hasn’t failed me yet… how do you handle that situation in your classroom?