Autumn Manipulatives

You have heard me mention the word “manipulatives” many times and in case you don’t know what they are, they are basically items that children can manipulate while working math problems.

Here are some manipulatives that are perfect for an autumn themed My Obstacle Course:

From our yard

From Pottery Barn

Some . . . → Read More: Autumn Manipulatives

Back To School Tip #2

Use A Checklist

A basic checklist with words or picture symbols can make a huge difference for you and your child. This has helped us because like the timer, it removes the “mom” (or “dad”) aspect of telling him what to do over and over again.

Start Small AND With Things You Know They Can . . . → Read More: Back To School Tip #2

Back To School Tip #1

It is back to school time and I have seen several questions posed on different forums asking for tips and strategies to help kids get back to school. I thought I would share some things that not only help Andrew but also help me BIG TIME!

Tip 1: Use A Timer Time To Go Helper . . . → Read More: Back To School Tip #1

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #10: Tunnels

Kit Item #10: Tunnels

Tunnels are one of my favorite items to include in My Obstacle Courses because they encourage cross patterning, creeping and crawling while creating a fun, movement filled transition from activity to activity.

Fabric tunnel

Collapsible tunnel

Tunnels can be created a number of different ways. I have used dining . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #10: Tunnels

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #9: Clothesline and Clothespins

Kit Item #9: Clothesline and Clothespins

This is one of my favorite tools and the fact that I can use it to build multiple skills and concepts by combining an academic or concept driven skill with the fine motor skills and planning involved with using clothespins just makes it even more awesome! It adapts beautifully . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #9: Clothesline and Clothespins

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #8: Beach Ball or Balloon

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #8: Beach Ball or Balloon

I chose a beach ball or balloon to build gross motor skills involving ball play because they can deflate and fit perfectly into a kit. They are also colorful, light and float in the air a bit longer than a regular playground type ball, making . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #8: Beach Ball or Balloon

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #7: A Writing Surface

Kit Item #7: A Writing Surface

There are many different writing surfaces out there that would be perfect to put into a kit. I love using things that can be used again and again to help Andrew build his handwriting skills. I have the following items in my own My Obstacle Course materials:

Magna-Doodles (I . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #7: A Writing Surface

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #6: Food Coloring

My Obstacle Kit Item #6: Food Coloring

When thinking about how to make activities fun in order to make building more challenging skills exciting, I thought back to teaching my “Colors” unit in kindergarten. The students loved experimenting and learning how different colors are made. I started using food coloring in My Obstacle Course station . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #6: Food Coloring

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #5: Droppers, Bulb Syringes and Turkey Basters

Droppers, Bulb Syringes and Turkey Basters

Dropper, Bulb Syringe and Turkey Baster

These items are great to have in a My Obstacle Course kit because they add fun and build hand muscles with hardly any set up – just add water and some bowls or cups and you are good to go!

They also . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #5: Droppers, Bulb Syringes and Turkey Basters

My Obstacle Course Kit Item #4: Tweezers or Tongs

Kit Item #4: Tweezers or Tongs

Tweezers or tongs (or even kiddie chopsticks like the ones I got from Sur La Table) are great for building muscles required for handwriting. Tweezers are something that almost everyone has at home which makes it even better, almost like getting a free tool! They also pair quite nicely . . . → Read More: My Obstacle Course Kit Item #4: Tweezers or Tongs