Do you ever stock up on Target dollar spot items and then think, what am I going to do with these? On a recent trip to Target I grabbed a couple of classroom banner sets and I will show you three easy activities that are perfect for preschoolers and easily adaptable for toddlers. Some days I need an activity that is easy to pull out with minimal prep, these activities below are perfect for those kind of days. For more, be sure to follow us on instagram.
- Lightbulb Banner – Target
- Alphabet Banner- Target
- Popsicle Sticks – Target
- Velcro – Amazon, click here
Letter Recognition: The alphabet banner is great for a variety of activities, but the first activity we used it for was scissor work. Lily (4) got to work cutting along the line between each letter. This was a great opportunity for fine motor work and a chance to use bilateral coordination. Bilateral coordination is using both sides of your body to complete a task in a controlled manner; this is important because so many tasks require the use of both sides of our bodies. Once the pieces were cut, I wrote lower case letters on popsicle sticks and attached velcro to both the stick and letters. This is a great activity for letter recognition and an opportunity to work on phonics as well. An expansion of this activity would be preparing multiples of each letter and forming sight words and to adapt this for a toddler, I would use capital letters on your popsicle sticks and introduce a few letters at a time.
Patterns: Pattern work is a building block towards a strong math foundation. For this activity I used the lightbulb classroom banner that was double-sided. The one side has yellow bulbs and the other side is white with only the outline of a bulb. I instantly thought of pattern work and colored in the bulbs. Coloring the bulbs is an activity in itself that your child can assist with and be a part of the process. I included 7 of pink, orange, green, yellow, and blue. I attached the velcro to both the paper and backside of the bulbs. On one sheet I arranged 2 patterns that I invite Lily to finish. On another sheet I have a large pattern that I invite her to fill in the missing bulb. To adapt this for toddlers I would have very basic alternating patterns and limit the number of colors used.
Matching: Another early math skill is matching which can help with classifying similar objects. In this activity I utilized both sides of the light bulb banner and show the light bulb on versus off. This activity also presents the opportunity to work on phonics. I invite Lily to match the yellow bulb to the on position and the white to off. We also use this activity as a time to reference electricity and introduce names like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison. To adapt this for a toddler or a variation, you could write “on” or “off” on the bulb they are matching.
These activities took minimal prep work and were very inexpensive but offer great learning opportunities. I hope you enjoy and happy playing!