Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weather Counting Wall

This activity may be one of my favorite that we did during our Weather Theme. It took a bit of work to get it ready to go, but it got a lot of use and is something that I can save (most of it anyways) for future use. I took the idea of the Sticky Wall that we've done several times in the past, combined with this idea from Pinterest, and adapted it to fit our theme. 

I cut out LOTS of little shapes out of foam sheets. I wanted to practice one-to-one correspondence (meaning a child has the ability to match ONE object to ONE corresponding number or object), so I cut out the shapes in sets:
1 Rainbow
2 Windsocks
3 Lightning Bolts
4 Windmills
5 Snowflakes
6 Puddles
7 Suns
8 Clouds
9 Hailstones
10 Raindrops

 Next, and this is the tricky part, I took a sheet of contact paper and on the back (NOT sticky) side I wrote the number of objects in each set, a word or two to label the objects in the set, and then traced the outline of the corresponding foam pieces. Why is that so tricky? Well, you have to do it all backwards as it will be reversed when you turn it sticky side out to hang on the wall. You may notice in these pictures that I made a spelling error, and chose not to redo the entire thing just to fix a word that Erik can't read yet anyways. It's really hard to spell correctly when you're doing it all backwards!
 Next, you remove the backing off of the contact paper and hang it sticky side out on a wall or window low enough to be comfortable for your little one. Give them the foam pieces, and turn them loose! The first few times I sat by Erik and we sorted and counted together, but after that I let him do it on his own. He would choose to come back to this (with no prompting from me) at least once a day for the two weeks we had this hung up, which means it was something he really enjoyed (I'll be honest, that kinda surprised me, I thought I'd have to encourage him to spend time counting the shapes, but he loved it!)
The stickiness of the contact paper eventually wore off (or more likely got covered by dirt and grime) so that part of this activity just went in the trash when we were done with it, but I'll save the counters for future use.

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