Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Fine Motor
- Variety of blocks
- Props, including people, animals, vehicles, fabric, dollhouse furniture, and items from nature (like sticks, branches, seashells, and rocks)
- Drawing paper, pencils, markers, crayons, letter stencils, and tape
- Language and literacy
- Social development
- Math skills
Collect a variety of books and pictures of different types of buildings or structures, such as castles, homes, skyscrapers, hotels, farms, bridges, hospitals, garages, lighthouses, or towers.
Bring the group together to look at the collection of pictures. Ask children to identify the type of each structure and to discuss the different features they observe, such as the shape, height, length, decorative features, and purpose of the building or structure.
Ask children to imagine that they are all builders. What type of building or structure would they like to build? Tell them it can be something real, such as a bridge, or something imaginary, like an underwater castle. Provide children with drawing materials to develop their ideas. Later, invite children to share their ideas with the group.
Explain to children that they will each have an opportunity to use blocks and props to create their building. Develop a schedule so that at least two children can work at the same time in the block area. Have the suggested props and writing materials available for children to use while building.
Photograph each child with her finished structure. Invite children to share their structures with their classmates before dismantling their work. Give children their photographs and assist them in writing or dictating a story about their building. Create a wall display in the block area to document their work.
Remember: Some children may digress from the original building ideas they drew once they start working with the blocks. This is perfectly acceptable, the point being to encourage children's creative thinking and fine-motor skills.
Identifying Buildings. Send a note home explaining that the children are learning about different types of buildings and structures. Ask families to take a walk or ride through their neighborhood and count the different types of structures in their communities, such as homes, stores, factories, hospitals, towers, silos, tunnels, and bridges.
Body Shapes: Invite children to make shapes using their bodies. Suggest that four children lie down on the floor to make a square. Then, ask the group how they could use their bodies to make a rectangle or triangle. Can they make a house shape with a pointed roof, an ice cream cone, or a sailboat?
B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel (Gulliver Books, 2003)
lsh by Peter H. Reynolds (Candlewick Press, 2004)
Tonka: Building the Skyscraper by Justine Korman (Scholastic, 1999)