Friday, August 24, 2012

Playing with Pushpins

Recently, I purchased some inexpensive corkboards and pushpins for the girls to play with.  Since pushpins (or thumbtacks) are sharp and a major choking hazard, I introduced this as a very special activity for "big kids only", supervised the whole time, and made sure we stayed in one place and put every pin back in the box when we were done.  It was a fun, inexpensive activity in creativity and fine-motor skills...

The pushpins feel really nice going into the corkboard, and I have to admit that it was enjoyable for me, as well.  I showed the girls that they could make different patterns, letters, designs, etc..

L spent more time talking than actually putting the tacks in, but she still had a good time.

As soon as I introduced the activity, E declared that she was going to make "Africa, where all the animals live!".  As she was pushing her pins in, she talked about making a river (I asked her if it was the Nile River and she said 'yes').  Then she said she was putting in trees for giraffes to browse on (and we talked a bit about Acacia trees and the African Savanna).  This was totally her idea, and we haven't studied Africa for a while, so that was pretty neat. 

I briefly showed the girls that if they stick their pins through scraps of paper, they will stick on the board.  I'd like to cut out some shapes out of colorful paper or felt and include that next time we play this.  It could be a great geometry lesson, as well (i.e. make different geometric figures and let the girls count the corners by placing pushpins in each one).  I'd also like to do some Montessori pin punching to strengthen their pincher (pencil-holding) grips.  So much fun with a bunch of items that I found for less than $5 total!

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