Here is a fun activity that passed a rainy Sunday afternoon for all of us – it was the most popular activity we have done for a while, and kept L and N occupied for well over an hour, which is amazing considering their concentration hasn’t been brilliant recently. What we did was a simplified version of the “Fixing Station” from Teach Preschool.
They love to mend things, and play with a tool set, and also love building things with cardboard, so this activity was perfect for them. We called it “can we fix it?”.
I cut paper plates of different shapes and sizes into pieces – some big, some small, some just in two, some into lots of tiny pieces. I put them all in the middle of the table and told L and N there had been an accident in my kitchen, and all my plates were broken, and that I need their help to mend them. They caught on to the game right away and were full of enthusiasm.
They enjoyed finding the right pieces to fit together, and found this easier than expected – next time I might try some 3D “mending” of boxes and cardboard tubes for an added challenge.
I had supplied them with lots of materials to mend the plates with – tape and scissors (this was insulating tape in different colours for added interest, from the pound shop), glue sticks, PVA and paperclips – to allow them to experiment with which worked best.
L went straight for the tape – and used it very effectively. He quickly worked out that the best way to make it a strong join was to use several pieces of tape across the join, rather than one running lengthways. He then decided he wanted to cover a whole plate in tape, and was very methodical about it, measuring lengths and cutting appropriately.
N experimented with the glues, and overlapped the pieces to join together effectively. She found it more challenging to use the tape, but by the end she managed to use it very effectively, and got in some good practice at using scissors too.
There was some great maths going on here (shape and space), as well as problem-solving skills and fine motor skills. It also allowed them to experiment with and practise using different materials for construction and craft. they also got a great sense of achievement from completing the task and solving the problem. I absolutely loved this activity and we will definitely be doing more mending activities!