Monday, July 9, 2012

Bucket of Balls Preschool Homeschool Activity

Activity: Shape Sorting of Different "B" items into buckets.
Goal: To learn more about the letter "B" as well as to differentiate between different shapes and items. 
Cost: Plastic Bin- $1 from Target, Balls- $2.72 from Target, but you can use any balls you happen to have on hand, Blocks-$1.00 Once Upon a Child.  Total: $4.72 

Creating Your Own:

So simple- I just selected small, yet baby safe items from around the house and a few newly purchased.  March's letter of the month is "B" so I chose buckets, balls, blocks, a box (the ring box from my engagement ring)  and we have also had a boat and a few other things in it during the month. 
Playing with Your Little One:
I purposely chose to include small tin buckets that I had previously bought from the Target dollar spot near the door so that Noah can practice sorting like objects into the buckets.  Typically I begin playing with him by putting  a ball in one bucket and a block in the other and asking him, "Where are all the balls?" 

Tell your little one the name of each item, making sure to pronounce the first letter of the word, usually I say something like, "B-bu-bu, ball.  B-bu-bu, block.  They both start with the letter "B." 
homeschooling preschool activity
Noah will also play independantly by filling the buckets and practice his fine motor skills with pouring the balls from one bucket to another or bouncing the balls, as well as stacking the blocks.

Adaptions for Different Ages:
Under One Year: What child doesn't love playing with a ball at any age?  At this point,  you can still be introducing letters and tell your children the names of objects in their box, but obviously, not much else will be done aside from gnawing on the toys, which is just what should be happening.
One to Three Years: My current goal for Noah is to increase his awareness of letters and not necessarily to learn to read.  I don't subscribe to the whole, "Your Baby Can Read" system, although they do get a few things right, like the intentional play and the making learning a part of life.  That is why I am taking a whole month on one letter, and discussing letters in general, teaching him spelling of his name (which he is currently one letter away from doing!)
Older Kids: Obviously, older kids will be able to handle increasingly complicated sorting of objects, and providing them with manipulatives that can be categorized in more than one way is a great idea.  They can sort objects by color and by shape-- such as providing blue and yellow blocks and balls.  Then they can decide which attribute to categorize the objects under.

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