Get your preschoolers involved with a Dinosaur Shape & Number Peg activity! Using wooden clothes pegs, pre-cut foam stickers and cut out dinosaurs, you can create a wonderfully easy and simple learning task for your toddlers. It will help them practise numbers, colours and shapes in a fun and enjoyable way.
Not only will they have the opportunity to practise learning in a light hearted way, the use of clothes pegs simultaneously helps practise of fine motor skills. They will have to work their pincer grasp as they attempt to open and clip the peg onto the dinosaur.
The pincer grasp is the combined movement of the index finger and thumb to hold an object. This fine motor skill displays the required further development of this as it is an important milestone for children to pass through. Being able to do this movement means that brain and muscle coordination are working together. It’s success foresees them to do things such as learn how to write, hold scissors and cut. The development and improvement in the pincer grasp will illustrate that the small muscles in their hands are strengthening giving them more control. It requires not only strength but also hand-eye coordination.
Making Dinosaur Shape & Number Pegs
What you will need:
- x2 construction paper/card stock (coloured or white)
- Wooden clothes pegs
- Pre-cut foam stickers (shapes, numbers)
- First decide what dinosaurs you will be using and draw their outlines on two separate bits of construction paper/card stock. They will need to be big and robust enough for at least a two year old to hold, so try not to make them too delicate.
- Cut out your two dinosaurs. Draw on any little details you may like to include.
- Place all the wooden pegs in front of you and the pre-cut foam stickers. Pick out four shapes and four numbers. You’ll need to make sure each of these pieces have a corresponding, matching pair. Try and make sure the colours match as well as this will help the toddler to begin with, especially if only just starting to learn these subjects.
- Take one of the matching pairs, remove the paper backing and stick to the end of one of your wooden pegs (where they will pinch it to open it). Do the same with one from every pair, one for each wooden peg, so that you are only left with their corresponding pairs.
- On one dinosaur, stick the remaining shapes along its back. Then on the other dinosaur do the same but with the numbers.
- Place them in front of your preschooler and explain that they need to find the matching pair to each of the pegs, and then peg them on.
Waste not want not:
If you would like to further learning, why not flip your dinosaur over and stick some additional shapes or numbers on it. This way you are not wasting any paper. Alternatively, cut a number of different dinosaurs out and use them like worksheets, rotating them when necessary.
Firstly, try mixing the pairs colours up so that they match only in pairing and not in colour. This may throw them off as they realise they may have been relying too much on the colours matching (not a bad thing as this is equally colour practise too).
Once they have that covered, cut out 5+ more dinosaur templates and add other shapes and numbers on them, making sure they have all their corresponding pegs. Pick on template but put all the pegs into the middle. See if they can pick out the relevant matching ones from a larger crown.
Reusing pegs and saving paper
If you are interested in switching the shape and number examples you have on them, why not initially stick them onto the dinosaurs with blue tack, This way you can simply peel it off the dinosaur. The pre-cut foam stickers stuck on the pegs will come off easily.
For more fun dinosaur activities, visit Caitie in Caitie’s Classroom for an episode all about dinosaurs!
Grace Selous Bull is an arts education author and freelance blogger. Her book, ‘Potty About Pots: arts and crafts for home and school’ is aimed at children from 5-12 years old and takes them through a journey of ceramics through time. Her blog, The Rainbow Tree, explores all aspects of arts and crafts, and is aimed at children of all ages. She is a full time Mummy of two girls, both of whom love being creative, and is married to her husband, Andrew, who does not. Follow her on twitter.
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