This week we have been very lucky to team up with Amy from smithlittlelifeofours! Amy and her girls have been busy showing us creative ways to use our Archie Activity Sheet which is free to download from our website. We cannot wait to share their wonderful ideas!
Hello, I’m Amy!
Mum to two girls, Alexa aged 3 and Eden aged 13 months. When Little Learners asked us to write a Guest Blog we jumped at the chance. Little Learners classes have been fantastic fun for both of my girls, and I’ve loved seeing their progress throughout the term. I am passionate about play and its many benefits and so we also do a lot of at home learning.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll like to get the most from any activity. Attention spans are short in the early years and it can be disheartening to set up elaborate activities for them to be finished before the kettle has even boiled. If you follow our Instagram, you’ll already know that my passion is for simple play, that anyone can achieve with minimal resources.
One way to extend a simple play is to use different mediums (materials). To show you an example of how I do this I’m going to use this free download colouring in sheet of Archie the Mark Maker. Archie is the rainbow shaped mark from the Little Learners classes and Mark Makers series. Practicing this shape helps develop those prewriting skills needed for children to write letters like m, n, r and numbers such as 2,3 and 5.
On first look at a sheet like this you would automatically assume to colour it in, and yes that’s number one on my list, but there are lots of other ways to ‘mark make’ using things you may already have in the house.
1. Colouring Pencils/Markers/Paint – Watercolour/Poster/Acrylic…Whatever you’ve got will work!
2. Lentils/Pulses/Beans – Raid that cupboard!
3. Dried Pasta!
4. Rice – tutorial for colouring your rice like ours on my Instagram highlights
7. String – colour in white string with markers or use shoelaces etc.
8. Lego/Building blocks
9. Coloured paper – This also works on scissor skills, and gluing and sticking, perfect for pre-schoolers!
10. Nature – flowers, grass, sticks, leaves etc.
It’s very important to work on these prewriting skills through play before children even come to holding a pencil, as there is a lot more to handwriting than the actual act of writing. Developing the muscles in the hands and fingers required to properly hold a pencil and the fine motor coordination needed for writing can be achieved without actually putting a pencil to paper. Working on these skills without the child even realising they are learning is something that still amazes me!
“Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions! – Dr Karyn Purvis”
I think that quote speaks for itself, the act of play is vital in the world of learning for a child. Little Learners provide invaluable opportunities for this in their classes, you can check to see if there is a class near you here. At home you can easily provide further learning opportunities for your child by keeping it simple, using what you already have and most importantly having fun!
We really hope you found these Archie Activity Sheet Ways useful & you have fun putting some of them into practice!