Try these in your classroom: activities spotlight blog header

Try these in your classroom: activities spotlight

All of us in early childhood education are always looking for new and fun ways to enhance our curriculum. It’s so wonderful when we stumble upon a database of activities that do the “hard work” for us. Our children should always be enjoying what they are doing while learning valuable skills. Hands-on activities that involve play and integrate multiple domains of learning are ideal. HiMama Activities is one resource that I often use if I’m looking for a fun and easy activity to do with my children. Whether it’s a game or an alphabet lesson, this database has a great variety! 

My top five HiMama activities:

  1. Toy car wash

This is one of those activities that never gets old and can be for any age from 2-10! This is a hands-on activity that helps with fine motor skills and social skills. When we do this in my classroom, I use either a large, deep bin or a water table. I allow two children at a time at the “car wash” and have this near the block center since that is where we store the cars. In the bin, I have the water, a quarter of the way full, some soap, and various sponges. Then, I encourage children to “drive” their cars up to the car wash and then play in the bin by washing them. Then, there are towels to dry, and then they can drive off! 

Another option for older children is to have them operate an entire car wash with attendants, cash register, washers, dryers, customers, etc. This can be in the dramatic play center, and they would have a blast working together to do this. This can also be something children do outdoors if the weather permits!

  1. Ice block design

Who doesn’t love playing with ice?  Children love this activity because it can be done as part of science while still integrating other domain areas by what you decide to freeze in the block of ice. When I have tried this activity, I chose a lot of different uppercase and lowercase letters and froze them by using a shallow bin. Then, in the science area, children were able to work in groups of two to play with different materials like salt, warm water in syringes, toy pickaxes, etc. Encourage children to identify what letters they see, and once a letter is “freed” from the ice, they can try to draw the letter, create the letter with other mediums like clay, etc. 

This activity takes time to prepare, but children will be “wowed” by the block of ice and truly enjoy this. Encourage them to see what happens with salt when it touches the ice. What happens with the warm water? Children will be able to explore their curiosity and have fun with it.

  1. Finish the sentence concept cube

Childrens’ favorite subject to talk about and learn about is themselves! This activity is a great one for the whole group during morning circle time. My children love this because it gives them a chance to tell the class about something they love. Using a squishy cube or even a ball, start by tossing the cube to a child. Depending on the age, the person who tosses it can call out which hand or which side of the cube to read aloud. If that is too difficult, the child who catches the cube can pick which sentence to finish.  The sentences should be simple like, “I like to eat_____,” or “My favorite animals is ____.” Do this as many times as you’d like and allow for all students to have a chance to throw and answer.

  1. Fossil fun

It is so fun to learn about topics in a hands-on way. Even though dinosaur fossils are impossible to make in reality, it is fun for children to experience what a fossil is by providing clay (Model Magic works best) and various dino toys. Children can make imprints in the clay pieces and then look up what actual fossils look like. This is a fun way to learn about how paleontologists were able to learn about dinosaurs. After making these “fossils,” I like to mix them all up and then have the children try to match the fossil with the dino toy. 

  1. Marshmallow constellations

For older children, when learning about outer space, this activity will really get them excited. I always start by showing photos of actual constellations, especially the popular ones. Then, I like to show an example of a constellation using toothpicks and mini marshmallows. This is a fantastic activity for fine motor skills in addition to learning about constellations. Using the provided worksheet, children will love trying to create these constellations in addition to making their own.  Don’t forget to provide marshmallows for them to eat when they are done! 

I chose these five activities to highlight because they show the vast variety of what you can find in HiMama Activities and how easy it is to apply to your classroom. The best part is that I can adapt all of these and make them my own based on the children in my classroom. Having the framework and the supplies available to me, including the downloadable worksheets is a bonus! Just remember to make this fun and enjoyable for the children and for you!

What is your go-to favorite activity in your classroom? Comment below! 

Missy Knechel

Missy is a professor in the early childhood department at Eastern University and director of Victory Early Learning Academy, a childcare center that she started ten years ago. Prior to that, she taught Kindergarten and second grade for a total of 10 years. She has been married to her best friend, Jason, for 18 years, and together they have four beautiful children ages 8, 9, 12 and 13 in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. In her spare time, Missy loves to bake, read historical fiction, sing karaoke and travel to Central America on short term missions.

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