This week is all about finding multiple uses out of these beads from Melissa and Doug.
For this activity I brought out the magnetic pompoms which are always a winner in our house. Check out this post to see how I made them.
J used the pompoms to recreate the multi-colored beads. This is great practice with shapes, colors, and size. We started with the circle beads since they were the easiest. He tried starting with the outside color and working his way into the center. Of course judging the size correctly was difficult and he ended up with empty space between each circle. I showed him how to start with the center and work out. Even this simple step added a level of difficulty to the activity since now he had to remember which comes first, second and third.
We moved onto the square beads next. These proved more difficult for him to create on his own. His squares kept looking like circles which frustrated him. I try to sit back and let him trouble-shoot on his own since that is part of the learning process. This particular time he eventually asked me how to make them look like squares. I showed him how to make the corners first and then fill in the rest to create squares. This provided the perfect opportunity to emphasize the 4 corners and 4 equal sides of a square.
**If you don’t own this set of beads from Melissa and Doug, you could easily draw your own design on cardstock to have your little one imitate.**
The circles were easily within his ability and the squares pushed him a bit. We didn’t even attempt the star beads because that was too far out of his ability level. A little frustration during an activity can be good (like he had when creating the square beads). It helps them learn how to deal with it appropriately, keep trying, and even ask if they realize they truly need the help. Too much frustration however would most likely mean the activity is too advanced for them. I knew that would be the case if I had asked him to recreate the stars.