AT HOME Shape Sweep
This activity from Alexa’s PLAYC makes learning shapes fun
the activity can be done using household items you likely already have. You’ll only need a broom, tape and paper. Lara Padrigon, a teacher at Alexa’s PLAYC, says the idea was to take something young children find stimulating, like play sweeping, and make it more academic by adding in aspects of shapes, sorting, direction and coordination. “Children like to play with things that they can just grab, and the broom is a very motivating item because they see parents use it,” she says. “Kids as early as 18 months love to help and with this they can learn to sweep and sort. And there’s a variety of ways that all build gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.”
SHAPES ARE AN IMPORTANT PART of teaching children to navigate the world around them. Alexa’s Playful Learning Academy for Young Children makes learning shapes fun. The inclusive early childhood education program with locations on Rady Children’s campuses in San Diego and Murrieta caters to both children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children and focuses on play-based learning and teaching communication, cognitive and social skills in enjoyable ways. The experts at Alexa’s PLAYC have come up with a fun activity to help children learn shapes while also building up their gross motor skills. And perhaps the best part:
Start by creating an outline of the shapes you want your child to identify on the floor with tape. Place crumbled up paper, pom poms or any other items you have around the house on the floor near the shape outlines. Call out the name of a shape and have your child sweep the items on the floor into the corresponding shape using a small dustpan brush or a child- size broom. This will keep your child engaged in the activity while also practicing their gross motor coordination. You can alter the activity to your child’s needs or preferences by having them identify different items (e.g., letters, numbers) or by incorporating a timer. You can even bring the fun outside by outlining the shapes with chalk on the cement.
WINTER 2023 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE 11
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