Those packing forms that are all kinds of shapes have been very useful for some unique and free artwork around Learning Charms. I let the kids pick the form that they wanted and then they turned it into whatever they "saw" (visual closure). We painted them, but markers & crayons would work too. They are so lightweight that they can be hung with a string and a pushpin. Time to go recycle bin diving!
Our children in the Mini Charmer's Preschool class had a great time with this glue and salt art activity. I love this multi-sensory activity, but not as much as the kids do! First, they squeeze glue into any shape onto card stock paper. Then they cover the glue with salt. The grown ups shake off the extra salt and then the children use droppers to drop paint (we use water and food coloring) onto the salt. The color "drives" up the salt path, which is fun to watch.
Our gym activity was a new "treasure hunt" game. The kids were divided into 3 teams. Each team had to find the same number of cones, gingerbread mean and round shapes. These items were hiding in the gym. It was fun to watch the kids count (they had to have the exact number of each item to win), to see who ended up to be the "counter", the item seekers, and the mediators.
Our weekly "Mini Charmers" preschool class gets to play with lots of messy sensory activities that encourage handwriting preparation. Yep, thats right. Work on handwriting without doing handwriting. In the studio, we had a few centers going at once.
Our first center was the cornstarch tubs. Lots of gooey cornstarch, mixed with water, washable paint and small things thrown in. Kids were Encouraged to find and pull out everything they could find-- from frogs to tiny perler beads. The cornstarch is resistive, so this works the finger muscles. The activity also encourages tactile processing as children have to distinguish between textures.
Another preparatory center was our "N" and "M" activity. They cut the big lines out of magazines and placed them on the construction paper. Building letters is a great reinforcer for visual memory of letters and for the stroke too. We use Handwriting Without Tears curriculum so there are lots of building and writing inside of boxes and with consistent language.
In another center were our clothespin activities. Miss. Kelly and the OT students made these foam sea creatures, etc, a few minutes before class. Kids loved adding legs and candles!
Then, we always have our group direct handwriting instruction for our letters of the week. These kids are laying on their stomachs as it increases core strength and helps their forearms and hands be in the correct position. You can see that these 4 years olds are writing their letters very well and independently. These are some bright Charlotte kids!
Welcome to our 2nd year of summer camps at Learning Charms! We are excited about our camps and another fun summer!
All of our camps max out at 15 campers (with "My Kindergarten Friends" maxing 20) with a ratio of at least 1 staff to each 5 kids. Each camp has ample play in our 1,000 square foot gym each day. Some themes for this year include: Kooky Pens and Smencils (handwriting), Recycled Art and Green Thumbs (art /composting/gardening), Camp PLAY, Sensational Speech (led by speech therapist), Fancy Little Girls' Camp (all girls! crafts/arts), Fancy Letter Girls' Camp, Fine Motor Madness (crafts/arts/fine motor/gross motor fun), and more!
Remember that camps will close once we have registered 15 campers, so be sure to register now and get in on the fun!
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here