It may only be June, but I am thinking ahead to September when William starts school. We’ve already had lots of information about school readiness, and having taught Reception myself I know what I think it means to be ‘ready’ for school. William will be one of the older ones and he is already very keen to learn. The thing he really struggles with, though, is buttons. I’d seen this idea on Pinterest when I had my Reception class and never got round to making it for the Funky Fingers area. However, now I finally have the time so I made him a set. Basically it consists of strips of felt with a hole in one end and a button sewn on the other. The resource can then be used however you like. I know William likes challenges so I might give him a stopwatch and see how many he can button together in 1 minute, then we can write his score down for him to beat. Another thing we will probably try (since Daddy is very competitive too) is a race to see who can put the most together in 1 minute. There’s a few other things we could try with it as well, but for about 30 minutes of making time and a few scraps of felt with buttons from my collection I think it’s a lovely resource which will hopefully help him to be more independent once he starts school.
Not wanting to leave Jess out, I decided to make her a set of threading ‘buttons’. Basically these are pieces of funky foam die cut into various shapes which then had holes punched into them. She enjoys things like this, and I gave her pipe cleaners to thread on to as they are sturdier. She can then progress to wool/string with the end taped up, or maybe some baker’s twine. I purposely made a variety of shapes and colours, and punched different numbers of holes up to 5 in each shape. This means that they are also a flexible resource, as we can progress to sorting by colour and eventually number of holes. The varying numbers of holes also provide opportunities to thread in different ways. The only thing is 45 isn’t enough-both kids loved playing with these!
Both of these resources were really cheap, quick and easy to whip up and have gone down surprisingly well. I’m always on the look our for ideas that will help them develop basic skills without making home too much like school. It’s particularly handy when I can make them myself using things that I already have!