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Three Activities to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

This summer we have been working on strengthening our fine and gross motor skills using Lakeshore Learning's toys and activities.  Twisting, buckling, and zipping have been difficult for Harry, so I assumed lacing would be as well....NOPE!  He did extremely well at lacing the giant alphabet beads and was super proud each time he added a bead to his string.

Lakeshore and I have partnered together to review some of their fine motor products that are perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and even kindergarten students. Please note that I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning and I am compensated for my blog post, but all ideas are mine. :)

The colorful blocks are chunky enough for his little hands to grip it and string but they also were fun for him to scoop and dump.  We practiced lining them in a row and counting, and of course mommy strung his name on a string and we practiced saying the letters.

Our second activity were Harry's favorite, Snap-Bots.  Harry snapped the wooden blocks together to create a robot.  He loved pulling the pieces apart and snapping them together to create new creatures each time!  

One thing I like about the Snap-Bots is that to snap two pieces together they need to have opposite pieces, so to create a robot, not every piece fits together perfectly.  The kids have to rationalize and think outside of the box to flip, turn, and manipulate the pieces to successfully build a robot.  It takes a little extra planning and thinking.

I would highly recommend trying "My First Washable Markers"if your little one isn't successful at coloring yet.  I thought Harry wasn't interested in coloring, but come to find out, his interest isn't the issue it's just that he has difficulty grasping the marker.  When we tried these easy-grip markers he was SUPER excited and didn't want to stop coloring.  The round shape fits perfectly into his hands and he can grip it perfectly to scribble his little hear out!

I taped the paper down so it wouldn't slip all over the place until he learns to stabilize his paper with his other hand.  I ended up covering the table in paper because he was so excited confidently color he was wanting to cover every surface area with marker! ha!

Now through September 3, shop 20% off the entire Lakeshore Learning store to celebrate back to school! Find your nearest store hereThe offer is valid in stores only.

To all you parents out there, be sure to download Lakeshore’s FREE Parent’s Guide to a Successful School Year.


Teacher Memes (Part 2)


Back to School Teacher's Gift with Expo Markers

I would argue that one of the best part of going back to school is getting to open a new pack (or 5 packs, lol) of Expo Markers.  I am partnering with EXPO to showcase their NEW Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator. It’s clear ink barrel lets you know exactly how much ink is left!

It's always a thoughtful gesture to give your teaching team a small token of friendship/partnership/welcome/etc. on the first day of school.  Especially if you have a new teaching team member, the smallest note or gift can go along way to make that person feel welcome and included.

Grab these FREE flamingo gift tags in my TpT Store to pair with a fresh set of EXPO markers for your co-workers.  The tags have different phrases, so you can use them at the beginning or end of the year. ;)

You could always unwrap the marker set and just give each co-worker one or two markers! ;)  With six colors to choose from, you can make it personal by sending your or the recipient’s favorite color.

Be sure to grab a pack of EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator markers on your next Target run! ;).  You can also grab them on Amazon and other places that sell EXPO markers as well!  Please note that I am partnering with EXPO and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Cactus Classroom Decor

Cactus decor is all the rage right now.  It's a big commitment to change your whole classroom theme, but this is going to be our #schenrysclass theme next year!  We already have these colors throughout our room, so switching out the decorative items, labels, and decor will be doable (and affordable!).

"In this class we stick together."
Achieving academic success is SO important.  But so is treating each other with respect and kindness.  In our class we want our classroom to be a safe place where we "stick together," build one another up, and can be ourselves.  

You can grab my cactus bulletin board template in my TPT Store.  I purchased the paper fans and streamers at Target (dollar spot for the win), the wood paper is from Lakeshore, and the text and cacti are from my cactus bulletin board set.

Grab the wood grain paper HERE.