This week’s Reading Readiness Post-Storytime theme has been numbers and counting–which while not strictly reading related is a very important skill. Recognizing the connection between the numerals and the physical quantity of an item, along with sequencing the order of numbers, both contributes to Kindergarten readiness and literacy. Many of the children I work with are very good at identifying how many fingers are held up, but can not tie that into the numeral. Some children can count fingers, but have difficulty with counting other items.
Our activity this week uses plates purchased from Lakeshore Learning, and doctored by me, to teach these skills. It also helps children with motor skills–since many are still mastering the crayon, and find the rubbing motion to be a new skill. The plates, which are relatively flimsy on their own, are attached to pieces of craft foam, and then pieces of paper are taped at the top over the plate. Children then color on the top and magically numbers appear.
Initially we just used the plates without the foam or tape, but the children needed more supervision and help then caregivers or children had any patience to give. Mounting the plates and using tape provided a much easier activity, and even 2 year old children could color without distorting the underlying image. (Though it is much harder for them to rub over the plate)
We had about 40 attendees for the first two sessions, before we solved the problem, but only about 32 after. This was mostly the result of weather, and normal attendance patterns.