Category Archives: Fine Motor Skills

Coloring and Adding Details

Children love to color.  Using color crayons and seeing the streaks of color glide across a paper is fun for young children.   Now having said that, young children often color an entire paper using one only color crayon..usually a color that they like.  Pink person, pink hair, pink sky, pink dog, etc. They pay no attention to the colors that they use to color pictures.   In Kindergarten we establish a rule on the first day of school regarding using color crayons to do your work.  If you are 4 you MUST use at least 4 different colors on your work, if you are 5 you MUST use at least 5 different colors on your work and if you are 6 you MUST use at least 6 different colors on your work.  This transition from using 1 crayon to possibly using 5 or 6 doesn’t come easy but it with patience it does come.  I find the same problem first graders.  They choose one color crayon and off they go giving no thought to what the finished product will look like. We encourage the children to think about what they are coloring and what color would that object be if they were to see it in real life.  Take a look at your 4, 5 or 6 year old child’s coloring.  If you notice your child using just one favorite color…now is the time to start correcting that behavior and the Kindergarten and First Grade teachers will really appreciate your support.

Reposted from 2009


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Filed under Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Child Development Tracker

Here is a wonderful site from PBS that will help you to track the skills your child should possess for his/her age. Take a look at how your child should be functioning in the following areas according to his age:

  1. Approach to Learning
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Language
  4. Literacy
  5. Math
  6. Physical Health
  7. Social and Emotional Growth

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Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Behavior, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Maturity, Parents, Play, Reading, Responsibility

Math Games

Children can never have enough math practice. They should be practicing math skills over and over and over until they are like second nature.  Here is a site that has almost 80 different math games that your child can play online.  Check it out, you be certain to find a game that is just right for continued math practice for your child.

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Filed under Computer Skills, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Online Sites

Creative Play

In this day of electronic toys, one of the basic toys that many parents grew up with, is falling along the wayside.  Building Blocks. Blocks are toys that provide children with interesting construction materials for designing and building.  Children have many developmental opportunities as they explore shapes, size, measurement, distance and building skills.  Studies have shown increased language development in young children who regularly played with building blocks.





Encouraging Imaginative, Creative Play


Sometimes people avoid block play because they fear that it will get out of hand. A few simple guidelines can prevent that from happening. Here are some sample guidelines for rules for block play:


  • We build with blocks, not throw them.
  • You may knock down only the tower you build.
  • You may build as tall as you are.
  • We keep the blocks on the carpet.
  • We build away from the shelves and others.
  • We take only what we will use.


Preparing for Block Play

  • Make sure that blocks are sorted and neatly arranged.


  • Always categorize blocks neatly when putting them away.


  • Place them with the long side in view to make their size readily apparent.


  • Never dump them in a bin or tub.


  • Children will have difficulty finding the needed sizes when blocks are not stored in an orderly manner.


  • They will simply scatter blocks unnecessarily if you store them in a bin or in any disorganized manner.


  • Language Improvement by playing with blocks.



To understand the benefits of block playing check out:


What are you waiting for?   Take out those blocks and watch the learning begin.

Re-posted from August 2009

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Filed under Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents, Play, Problem Solving, Social Skills

Magazines For Children

The next time you are about to purchase a video game or other type of technological device for your young child, please give a magazine subscription some serious thought. There is something exciting in the eyes of a young child when the mailman or mail woman brings mail just for you. There are many magazines out now that cater specifically to young children.  You should check them out for your child.  A magazine is a gift that keeps on giving every month of the year.  Magazines also make a great birthday gifts for all of the parties that your young child will be attending.  Although my own children are all grown and well beyond these magazines, here are a few of my favorites for young children.

Your Big Backyard:

A publication of the National Wildlife Federation and is perfect for kids aged 3 to 5.


Disney and Me:

Join Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and all Pooh’s friends in Hundred Acre Wood for early-learning fun in a bi-monthly, full size, 32 page 4-color children’s magazine for ages 2-6

National Geographic Little Kids Magazine

This innovative NEW magazine is full of learning and fun for youngsters ages 3 to 6 and their parents. Bursting with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games, each issue supplies you with fresh and imaginative teaching tools brought to you by National Geographic.;jsessionid=B55E9BE7E3FD9AB5EE6DFD2AD890A164?_dyncharset=UTF-8&_dynSessConf=4376355928084419046&trailSize=1&advancedSearch=true&liveResult=true&categoryId=&trail=&addFacet=19016%3A1%3ASRCH%3Alittle+kids+magazine&removeAllFacets=true&categoryFacetId=9004&trailtext=little+kids+magazine&searchmenu=allCategories

Thomas & Friends Magazine

Every issue of Thomas and Friends is filled with charming stories and includes a collectible poster, educational activities, and a pull-out workbook for children between ages 2-5.

Sparkle World Magazine

Sparkle World Magazine features all the characters little girls love! Full of lovable friends such as the Care Bears, Angelina Ballerina, Strawberry Shortcake and many others, Sparkle World opens a magical world of early learning for little girls 3 and up

Highlights High Five Magazine:

Highlights High Five is the newest offering from the publisher of the nation’s #1 children’s magazine, Highlights for Children.  Perfect for ages 2-6.


I am in no way connected to any of these magazines.  I only hope that you will find a magazine that your own child will enjoy.


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Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Parents, Reading

Learning To Write Your Name

The ability to write your own name is a skill that we use several times each day.  We don’t remember how or when we learned to write our name but we know that some patient person taught us. Children will need to know how to recognize, and then write their own names from the first day that they enter Kindergarten.  Children’s’ names will be labeled on  mailboxes, coat hooks, school supplies, nametags, clothing, etc. and children will be asked to write their name many times each day on every project or paper that they complete at school.  If you are working on helping your child learn to write his/her own name, PLEASE remember to use only 1 upper case (capital letter) for the first letter in the name and the remaining letters should all be lower case letters.

i.e.:         Mary is correct

             MARY is incorrect

Please be sure that your child is holding the pencil correctly between thumb and forefinger.  In order to teach your child the correct formation of each letter, please check out this website:



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Filed under Fine Motor Skills, Kindergarten, Parents

Non Academic Skills Useful for Transition into Kindergarten

Non Academic Skills Useful for Transition into Kindergarten

There is more to being ready to enter kindergarten than knowing your letters and numbers.  If you are a parent of a preschooler, you have a little time before kindergarten, but if you are a Kindergarten parent, please take some time during the next month to honestly assess your child in the following skill areas:

Playing and Working Independently and Collaboratively

  1. Plays and works appropriately with and without peers
  2. Completes activities approximately on time
  3. Stays with an activity for an appropriate amount of time
  4. Plays and works with few individual prompts form the teacher

Interacting with Peers

  1. Imitates peers’ actions when learning new routines
  2. Initiates and maintains contact with peers
  3. Responds to peers’ initiations
  4. Learns and uses names of peers
  5. Shares objects and takes turns with peers
  6. Plans activities with peers

Following Directions

  1. Responds to adults’ questions
  2. Responds appropriately to multi-step verbal directions
  3. Responds appropriately to verbal directions that include common school-related prepositions, nouns, and verbs
  4. Complies with groups as well as individual instructions
  5. Modifies behavior as needed when given verbal feedback
  6. Recalls and follows directions for tasks previously discussed or demonstrated
  7. Watches others or seeks help if he or she doesn’t understand directions

Kindergarten Teachers will be expecting your child to come to school prepared in the above non academic skills, so please help your child practice them every chance you have.



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Filed under Behavior, Fine Motor Skills, Kindergarten, Parents