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Preschool Activities        < Previous        Next >

 

Kiddie Geometry: Nail Board

 

Today's Snack: Your child will love learning about the geometric shape known as the "cube" if you fill an ice-cube tray with yogurt and some sliced fruit, freeze halfway, push popsicle sticks in each compartment, and let freeze completely. Fruit Yogurt Pops will come in the shape of cubes. Who knew math could be so tasty?

 

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Nails with flat heads

Thick, sturdy scrap square or rectangle of wooden board such as a 2x4

Hammer

String, yarn or colored elastic bands

 

 

If you have time, combine this activity with a trip to the hardware store to learn about all the different kinds of nails. Point out the difference between a nail and a screw, for example, and explain why the lengths and heads of the different fasteners are so different. Ask a clerk if you don't know.

 

Then purchase a number of nails for this project. You can do some elementary multiplication and show your child how it works. If you purchase, for example, 20 nails at 7 cents apiece, show your child how the bill comes to $1.40, plus tax.

 

If you don't have a piece of scrap wood around the house, or can't borrow or scrounge one, you can have a piece cut for you at the hardware store or a lumberyard. Make sure it's sturdy and thick.

 

Let your child watch you from a safe distance as you hammer nails into the sturdy piece of board. Space them one, two or three inches apart. Hammer them in a pattern, or use rows or circles. Your child will be using them to create designs.

 

Make sure the nails penetrate only the top side of the board, and aren't dangerously sticking out of the bottom. Each nail should stick up from the board a half-inch or so. Make sure to put away the hammer and excess nails to avoid accidents.

 

Then the child can create designs by wrapping and rewrapping string, yarn or colored elastic bands around the nails.

 

This is a good way to practice simple geometry. Start giving your child vocabulary words such as square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, octagon, parallelogram, and so forth. You can demonstrate how to form each geometric shape with string or rubber bands, and then let your child copy each one.

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Preschool Activities 07 2008

 

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