For those parents home schooling their children here are some innovative ideas of how to make teaching fun for your children at home. These activities can be done indoors or making the most of the weather can be taken outside. Today I will share ways in which ‘Finger painting’ can enhance the learning of Maths, English, Science and Art from children aged 2-7.
Counting to 10- Paint each fingertip with a different coloured finger paint counting each finger as you paint it. Then press them onto a paper and count each print to make sure they are all there.
Here is a video to actively get them counting to 10 in sequence, which can be used as a starter activity before they get painting.
Touch counting- Get the child to do as many fingerprints as they want on the page and you count them. Point to each print and give it a number. Then you do it for you child. To extend the learning your child could then write a number next to each fingerprint.
You can also write numbers on a page and get your child to do the correct amount of fingerprints next to the number using finger paint.
Adding single digit numbers- Give you child a number sentence e.g 4 + 6 =. They then have to do the correct amount of fingerprints under each number and finally count all the fingerprints together to gain the answer. We use this method in schools however, we normal use dots, so this way is much more fun!
Number bonds to 10- Use the finger paint to cover each of your childs hands. Then carefully cut round them. You stick the palms to an A4 sheet of paper making sure not to stick the fingers. Then you make a fold at the end of each finger. Write the sums for the number bonds to 10 with a missing number in the middle e.g 1 + __ = 10. They then use their hands to support them find the answer by putting one finger down and seeing how many are left to fill in the missing number.
Here is another video to warm up their minds and keep them active before starting their number bonds activity.
This is an example of what your number bond hands may look like:
Odd and even numbers- Paint your childs finger tips using finger paints ONLY USE 2 Colours. Start with the first finger and paint it a colour of their choice and paint every other finger that colour. Then use your second colour to paint the other alternate fingers. Then print the fingers onto paper and write a number above each finger. You can then explain how one colour represents odd numbers and the other colour represents even numbers.
Pattern- Repeating patterns can be fun to create. Use the finger paints to design a repeating pattern. Challenge children by introducing numbers!
Here is another fun video to introduce pattern to your child.
It is important for children to know the phoneme a letter makes (the pure sound) and the letter name. I always start my phonic lessons with an alphabet song.
If you are unsure of the pure sounds here is a link to how they are pronounced.
Finally, here is a link to phonic play which is offering free subscription for parents and have interactive games which are tablet friendly.
Fine motor skills- Before children can begin to form letters correctly they need to gain fine motor movements. Using finger paints children can follow zigzag, wavy and straight lines on some paper.
Having a bubble letter which children can fill in with fingerprints also increases their fine motor skills alongside gaining letter recognition. To then challenge them take away the outline for them to finger-paint it independently. Remember letter formation always starts from the top!
Letter formation- Let your child explore and get messy. Pour some finger paint onto a surface of some paper and get them to use their fingers to create letters. If this activity feels too messy they can dip their finger in the paint and form the letters on to their paper.
Pointillism- This is an art technique we teach in schools it is a way in which we create pictures and mix colours using dots. The artist who invented pointillism was ‘George Seurat’ I have added a link to a video which informs children about the art technique and the history on George Seurat.
Get you children to draw a picture following their interests and see if they can create the pointillism effect using finger paints.
Why not link your artwork to science? Get your children to create four trees using pointillism one for each season. Talk about the different season and seasonal change. How will their art reflect the seasonal changes? Challenge your children by getting them to write about the different seasons and the changes that occur.
Here is a video on seasonal change.
To access these activities all you will need is:
- Paper or note pad
- Finger paints or child friendly washable paints
- Apron or spare clothes
- Lots of enthusiasm
I hope these activities will support you and your child development at this uncertain time. It is important to remember to keep the activities fun and to ensure they are not too onerous on yourself.
Teacher trained in ages 3-11 years (PGCE)
English Lead (NPQML)
Early years trainer (ELKLAN level 4)
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