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21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Nuts 'n' Bolts

Today we added some new resources, stainless steel nuts, bolts and washers, which we introduced to the children.

We laid them out on the table inside and waited to see what the children would think, and what they would do. Many spent absolutely ages engrossed in them, twisting, screwing, turning, fitting, threading, sorting and manipulating - the children were absorbed, focused and curious.

Nuts and bolts provide great opportunities to refine and develop many important skills.

One of these skills is 'hand -eye co-ordination'. Hand-eye co-ordination takes a lot of practice and is a critical skill, required for success in tasks such as holding a pencil for writing and drawing.

Another opportunity is that of developing 'fine motor skills'. Fine motor skills are the small, refined muscle movements required to perform delicate tasks. As the children worked with the nuts, bolts and washers they had to concentrate hard to line up the objects with each other and then gently and carefully manipulate them to make them fit together, using the co-ordination of their first finger and thumb (known as the 'pincer grip').

Pre-literacy skills include having proficiency with hand-eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and pincer grip.

The children loved investigating and exploring these objects, figuring out the mechanics of how the nuts and bolts worked.

"Repetition, repetition and more repetition creates the necessary conditions for the beginning of experimentation and the desire to experiment keeps alive the sense of curiosity, as well as giving the child even more experience patterns." (The Comprehending Hand, 1979.)

As the morning went on we became aware that these simple, everyday household objects were also extending the children's 'conceptual thinking' as they transformed into rockets, spaceships, bullets and other imaginative ideas based on the childrens prior experiences or current thinking.

Making these connections allows children to think abstract thoughts that are based on what they already know. Engaging in play experiences that include these ideas helps children to relate to abstract concepts which ultimately aid their understanding of the subject.


(posted by Christine)


Mairtown Kindergarten said...

'I like turning the little bolts' from Ollie.

TracyP said...

what a fantastic activity! So much fun!