I wanted to share this activity with you because the children absolutely loved it and it also evolved in so many different ways….and they were so proud of their end result and that means a lot.
I provided this activity for my 3 year olds but it could quite easily be adapted for younger children by using larger metal pieces so as not to provide a choking hazard.
Let me take you though the set up…it was so easy!
- You'll need a tub of rice (or other fine sensory material…will work with sand, beans, pasta etc)
- Some magnets (I used some large horseshoe ones but smaller will work fine too)You could also use small tongs.
- A tray for sorting (I just used a cutlery tray)
- Some metal O Rings and Bolts from the garage…the older and more rustic the better!
- Wood off cuts
- Watered down pva glue and brushes
Here's what you do…..
Using these sort of recycled and older materials also opens avenues for discussion about their original purpose, how they might have been used before by people and the discovery of different shapes, sizes, textures and colour.
When interest finally began to wane in the collecting and sorting I brought out a box of wood scraps we had collected earlier in the week for our woodworking, a little watered down PVA glue and the sorting tray of rings. The old bolts and screws were a little too bulky and heavy to use for this part of the activity so I left them out.
They were so excited to be creating their own little recycled masterpieces and I thought they did such a lovely job. We talked about small, large and medium as they worked and they told me which ones they were choosing and all about the patterns they were creating. Such self expression!!!
There was a LOT of glue used but that was part of the fun and it dries clear so it didn't matter how much they used. And of course we were outside so I didn't need to worry about mess!
- Strengthening of fine motor muscles and control
- Investigating size and length
- Sorting and classifying
- Encouraging communication and language development
- Problem solving
- Opportunities to incorporate counting skills
- Basic science concepts of magnetic fields, magnetic, not magnetic.
- Using teamwork to reach a shared goal
- Discussion and research around the recycled materials and how they were originally used. An awareness of items in our environment.
- Opportunity for self expression and an appreciation of the process over product.
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A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.
Alleena Van Horn says
What a cool magnet and great for little hands. Where did you buy the magnet?