Every few weeks, my students and I do a shape activity on our whiteboard. I draw a shape and ask them what we can make with that shape. Then under their direction, I create it. It was time to take it from the rug and whiteboard and get my students drawing too. This simple activity is so much fun, and it’s really packed full of all kinds of learning, creativity, and of course, skill development. That’s a lot for one easy-to-set-up lesson. Let me show you how we did this It’s Not A Box activity at preschool.
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The Book: Not A Box
Not A Box by Antoinette Portis is a wonderful book for children, and it celebrates imagination and absolutely encourages drawing. The little rabbit is playing with a box, and an unseen adult asks why they are doing different things with it. The rabbit continues to say it’s not a box. It’s a… rocket, burning building, race car, etc… They are using their imagination to turn this simple box into anything!
Not A Box Activity for PreK
I like introducing this activity with this book because it gets the creative juices flowing.
After reading it, I moved to my whiteboard, where I made a rectangle and explained that this wasn’t a box either but that I needed my students to suggest what it could be. Hands flew up! It’s a bear, a rabbit, a house, a garbage truck… I got so many ideas. Right now, in my class, we are working on our students adding details to drawings. So while I drew their suggestions, I modeled adding more details. I had various color dry erase markers and used more than one color for my drawings as well.
After each child had the opportunity to make a suggestion ( 8/10 students did), it was time to make our own creations.
Earlier in the day, I had prepped paper with rectangles glued onto them. Each student chose the color they wanted. These were waiting for my students in our art area, along with markers.
Now it was time to create.
Look at these details!
I was just thrilled with the creativity and care they all put into these drawings. As they were drawing, they were working on important fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills. But that’s not all!
Once they were done with their drawing, it was time to come see me and dictate what was going on in their picture. I wrote it down for them… can you tell which were done last? My handwriting got a little sloppy.
Writing down children’s dictation is essential, and don’t forget to read it back to them as well. It helps young children learn that the words in a text are the words they say. I know that probably seems obvious to you, me too, because we take that for granted, but preschool-aged children are still learning that spoken words are translated to written text. This foundational literacy concept is important to model and make time to cement in your classes, and the best way to do that is through activities like this.
Seriously how amazing are these?
So much fun, and they got to take them home and share their brilliance with their families right away.
LOOKING FOR MORE SIMPLE PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES?
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO FIND INSIDE EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL:
Over 170 simple preschool activities that use everyday materials. You don’t need to invest a lot of money to teach your child at home.
- Activities are short, with minimal prep so that you can fit some learning into your busy day.
- The book is organized into nine categories of learning; literacy, math, science, sensory, art, fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional, and bedtime reading tips.
- Everyday Preschool activity book was created using various state standards for PreK and has tips for making activities easier or harder to fit your child.
- An appendix filled with extensive booklists, links to free printables, song lyrics, nursery rhymes, my favorite playdough recipe, and more.