Lesson Plan: Our Amazing Hands

At a preschool playdate a few months back when we were still living in NY, Nora and a friend enjoyed using their hands in different and fun ways. We started off by singing songs that required the child to use their hands.  (If You’re Happy And You Know It, Two Little Blackbirds, Five Little Pumpkins, Popcorn Popping)  We then read together a picture book all about the things our hands can do, such as Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson.  Next we had an interesting activity that illustrates for the child the power of touch.  The hosting mother had a medium sized brown paper bag, and she would place an item possibly recognizable by touch to the child inside the bag.  She gave the girls a chance to feel inside the bag and say what they were feeling and what they thought it might be.  To my surprise Nora, who was only two and a half at the time, actually got a couple right.  We then enjoyed eating finger foods, painting the girls’ fingernails and making hand-prints with washable paint.  This preschool playdate was a big hit and very insightful and appropriate for the children. I plan to  do it again someday soon, but will also try some new activities such as lacing/sewing and possibly use sock-puppets, which Nora has been begging me for, and would be a great craft for us to do together : )

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3 thoughts on “Lesson Plan: Our Amazing Hands

  1. Very well thought out lesson above and a way to extend the learning and have fun is to try handprint animals (there are lots of books, pix out there to get ideas from) and using a sock to put some thing in it and try to describe it…..what it feels like—soft, hard, rough, smooth, round, square-ish, what it smells like, does it have moving parts, opening like a shell, etc. Maybe have 3 identical socks with something totally different inside each one…let her come up with a describing word and then take it out and check it. Gradually move into 2 describing words, etc.

    Let her put something different in each sock and see if you can describe/guess what it is!

    Lacing/sewing can be frustrating for all kids as they tend to pull the thread out of the needle…there is a way to stop this from happening but I don’t know if I can describe it effectively—let me know if you want to try over the phone together. (I can see that this would be a good Skyping activity!)

    Lacing is easier than sewing through holes as it’s a simple over and into the hole; sewing is harder
    due to the need to come up through the bottom and down through the top and they get mixed up easily. But, it should be lots easier to teach her one-to-one; one of my successful “stitcheries” in Kindergarten was tracing the child’s initial on a piece of light-colored burlap; they did the running stitch over the letter and then we trimmed it and the child also fringed the edges……one little boy was so taken with it that he made another one for his sister’s initial!

  2. I like the idea of three socks that look the same but with completely different things inside them. That is a good twist on the idea. Handprint animals sounds perfect for Nora. She wants to make everything into an animal : ) Good advice on encouraging her to describe with different words. I think turning the tables and having the parent guess would be their favorite part. They love it when they have the power!
    I would love for her to stich her initials. That would be perfect for her when she understands letters more and has practiced using a needle a bit. She has lacing cards now, but doesn’t quite see the point of them. I think she might like to try stitching with yarn or something..we should chat about the safest ways to teach them to use a needle. Obviously not using one that is too small, and keeping it a safe distance from the face would be important. I think she will love that. ♡!!!

    • Use a darning needle or needlepoint one without a sharp point……I have some very good quality wool yarn from when I did needlepoint—-I’ll send you some if I can locate it again LOL! Obviously you’ll want a large-ish eye but you’ll likely do most of the threading yourself……Needles have one side of the eye that’s smoother (easier to thread from) and licking the needle rather than the yarn makes it attract the thread apparently…..a good length for the yarn would be 18″ or so, but bear in mind that the shorter it is, the sooner you’ll have to re-thread a new piece (if you use the technique that I’ll see if I can find on the internet….I learned it in an Erica Wilson? book on teaching kids to needlepoint.

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