Flashcards are a great addition to play and learning set-ups. They add a subtle but important splash of learning to the activity without taking away from the hands-on experience for the child. In this blog we are sharing 3 simple activity ideas for preschoolers which combine early literacy and numeracy learning with our Educational Flashcard Sets.
Pom Pom Addition
Pom poms are a great manipulative to use for early numeracy learning. The soft texture and bright colors are always appealing to preschoolers. We used colorful pom poms, our Learning Resources Squeezy Tweezers™, a fun activity tray from the Target Dollar Spot, and a selection of addition flashcards from the Educational Flashcards- Addition Set. We also needed a little bit of masking tape to create an '=' symbol on the tray.
Our preschooler is 4 years old and was super excited by all the vibrant colors on the tray when she saw the set-up. She flipped over the first card and got straight to work transferring the first 3 pom poms over to the far left tray compartment. She then counted across the second number on the card which was 4.
The next step was for her to count the total number of pom poms across the two compartments to find the total of the sum.
Then she used the Squeezy Tweezers to place 7 pom poms in the final tray compartment. This is a great way to break down the concept of addition for preschoolers.
We repeated this process several times, each time working on 1:1 correspondence, number recognition and vocabulary, and counting. Of course there was also plenty of fine motor development happening as well.
Learning the letters in your name is a big deal for preschoolers. For some children it comes naturally, for others it takes a little more practice. We always try to offer a variety of hands-on activities for our preschooler to help letter recognition and formation. We set up this fun name tray using the letter cards from the Educational Flashcards- Toddler Set, some letter waffle blocks found at the Target Dollar Spot, and some colorful paper squares and a pencil.
The letter flashcards were arranged in the correct order for her name but the waffle blocks were not in the correct order. We started by pointing to each flashcard letter, identifying the letter name and making the sound together.
Next our preschooler set to work matching up the letter blocks with the flashcards to build her name. As she picked up each letter block she repeated the letter and sound again and identified the image as well.
Once she had completed her name it was time to practice writing the letters. She loved using the individual pieces of paper as she said it was like she was making her own flashcards. She carefully formed each letter using a pencil and placed it in the correct order on the tray.
This was a great way to practice her name letters but in a hands-on way. When she was done, she spent ages playing with the waffle blocks and her own flashcards, rearranging the letters to make up different names for herself.
Play Dough Shapes
Believe it or not learning about shapes is a great early numeracy development opportunity. Add some play dough into the mix and all of a sudden you have a fun hands-on sensory activity as well. The third tray we are sharing included our Toddler Shape Flashcards, some homemade play dough, a knife and a rolling pin.
Having the opportunity to build shapes with play dough was such a hit for our preschooler. She got straight to work rolling out the dough and choosing a shape to build.
She used the knife to carefully cut the shape which matched what was shown on the flashcard. As she did so she was using her fine motor skills and counting the number of sides on the shape.
The name of each shape is also on the back of the flashcards. this provided a good extension for her to learn the names of some of the shapes she didn't recognize. She also enjoyed trying to invent her own new shapes!
We hope this blog has given you some inspiration for hands-on numeracy and literacy learning activities for your preschooler. If you try one out we'd love for you to tag us, @merkastore.