Manipulatives may not be a familiar word to most people. We categorize manipulative activities as those that work the fine motor and cognitive skills. Many of these activities require children to use their fingers to “pinch” such as lacing, Mr. Potato head and building with small interlocking blocks.
One of the most popular activities in the manipulatives center are puzzles. Every age from toddler to school age enjoy putting puzzles together. Our preschoolers enjoy having “puzzle races”. They will see who can put a puzzle together the fastest!
Children develop at different rates. This is why we provide a wide variety of puzzles in our manipulatives centers. Some children may need 9 pieces puzzles while others may be working on 64 pieces. Children are able to build their skills by working with others in cooperative play. Friends that may not be able to work a more difficult puzzle can learn by working with a friend.
Games are a big part of manipulatives. Children learn how to follow directions and take turns. This is an important skill, especially for our Junior Kindergarteners. Through playing games, they learn cooperative play as well. Games can teach colors, counting, patterning, pre-reading skills and so much more!
At home you can play games as well! Uno is one of our favorite games to teach preschoolers. It is a great way to learn numbers, counting, turn taking, colors and rules.
For younger children have them practice zipping or buttoning jackets at home! This is a great fine motor skill activity.
What are some manipulative activities you have at home?