## Fine Motor Skills Challenge ( and some math)

My son like many kindergarteners has been focusing a lot on writing this year and while they hone their letter formation they are also working on spelling and punctuation. It’s a lot to coordinate. If the physical task of writing is using up all their concentration the more complex ones just add to the possible frustration . The best thing parents can do is to find ways to build those fine motor skills. This task was NOT easy for my son.  What I did with this was to balance it with an element he loves ( math) in order for him to do all 4 corks instead of giving up with the first. Don’t be afraid to make something hard just decide what your goal is.  That said had there been a complete refusal I would have adapted it using larger objects.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some wine corks or rectangular blocks and many elastic bands.
2. Wrap the bands around the corks. Wrap a different number of bands around each. Make some tight and other looser.
3. Invite your child to make a prediction about how many rubber bands are on each cork. No need to write it down but if you want to add some writing into the activity by all means grab some paper and a pencil with an eraser.
4. Start unwrapping.  A lot of things come easy to my son so challenges are not always welcomed. I reminded him not to give up that we needed to find out how many were on these little corks. After getting them off count.
5. Repeat with the other corks.  This one was wrapped very tightly and he got frustrated initially but oh wait for it… I got a smile out of him too. I slipped in a little chat about how over coming challenges is way more fun that doing a task that is easy to start with.

Other ways to easily build your child’s fine motor skills are to play with play dough, beading or lacing , sewing and needle arts, playing with stickers, and our favorite Lego.  Check out more ideas from all over the web on our Fine Motor Pinterest Board.

## Turkey Counting – Thanksgiving Math Activity

by Kim

Stores may already have winter holiday decorations out, but fall is not over with. There is so much more time to enjoy it. Here is a fun way to incorporate learning, crafting, and turkeys. Yep, turkeys.

You will need some construction paper, glue, scissors, and markers. For a reusable (and glue-free) version of this activity use felt instead of construction paper.

Trace circles onto brown construction paper. I used a drinking glass to trace. Make a circle for each number you would like to use in this activity.

Cut out the circles and glue them onto smaller sheets of colored paper. At this point you could have your child cut and glue. I prepared all of mine ahead of time because this activity was done simultaneously with 9 children and only me. Draw little wings, feet, and turkey heads on. At the top write the number for each sheet.

Now cut out lots of feathers in an array of colors.

Now your child can read the number (or count the dots) and set out how many feathers need to be glued onto the turkey.

Let your child start gluing away. With so many small children and just me, I used glue sticks.

Have them count out the feathers to make sure they have the correct amount. Then they can be a silly turkey themselves.

This is a fun activity that helps number recognition, counting, colors, sorting, you can even do the feathers in a pattern, motor skills, and is just plain fun.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It