Reproducing series and creating snakes
These bright plastic skewers quickly caught my eye. Since children love bold colors, I wanted to use them to create simple manipulation games.
You will also need a small plastic basket (it must have holes along its sides) and felt (same colors as skewers).
To begin, simply slide skewers in a few holes in your plastic bin after setting it upside down on the table, as show in the picture above.
If, like me, your basket has two series of holes, one on the left side and one on the right side, create a series on the left and invite children to reproduce it on the right. Obviously, use this opportunity to name each color.
To increase the level of difficulty, create a series, inserting skewers in both the bottom and top holes.
Once again, invite children to reproduce the series you created on the left in the holes on the right side. Encourage them to not only name the color of each skewer, but also to say “top” or “bottom” every time they slide a skewer in a hole, per its position. For example, they could say, “A blue skewer on the top, a purple skewer on the bottom…” This will help children understand spatial concepts.
Next, cut several square pieces of felt and use a hole punch to make a hole in the center of each one.
Repeat this step for each color so that you end up with a basket full of colorful pieces of felt.
Have each child pick a skewer of a different color. Here, they must insert the tip of their skewer in the pieces of felt of the same color, threading the squares onto their skewer. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, you may decide to let them use their other hand to slide the pieces of felt onto their skewer or challenge them by asking them not to use their other hand at all. It isn’t easy! There is no doubt that some pieces of felt will fall off. That’s fine! It will just make the activity last longer and test children’s patience.
Encourage children to persevere and keep going until all the squares that are the same color as their skewer are on it.
Once children have succeeded this challenge, you could wrap a rubber band around the thin tip of their skewer, so the squares won’t fall off.
To complete the activity, use a permanent marker to draw an eye and a mouth at the other end of the skewer and let children play with their “snake”.
At the end of the day, simply remove the rubber band and the pieces of felt and set them in your basket with the skewers. You can explore the contents of your basket another day!