2012-06-07 / Lifestyles

Grandparents Teach, Too

Fun with math and fine motor skills

MARQUETTE – Fine motor is the coordination of hand muscles so children can print and do other tasks correctly. There are some, simple fun activities that can help teach, practice, and refine these skills.

For more help developing your young children’s skills to help them succeed in school and have a lifetime of learning see the authors’ book “Learning Through the Seasons” at grandparents teachtoo.org, museums, and bookstores, available in English and Spanish.

Materials You Will Need:

A pair of dice, pencil, paper, and ruler

What To Do:

Help your children investigate a pair of dice. What do they see? What numbers are represented by the dots? What shape is a dice? How many sides are there?

Explain a guessing game you can play. With your help, young children draw a chart using paper, pencil, and ruler.

Across the top should be six squares. Help your children write the numerals 1 – 6 and draw a vertical line from the top to the bottom of the paper from each numbered square.

Explain that tally marks keep track of how many times a number is rolled. Discuss that tally marks are another way of representing numbers and a way of recording an outcome. Ask your children which number they think will be rolled the most.

Have your children roll one of the dice. Count the number of dots on the side facing up. Show how to make a tally and have your child make a tally mark under the correct number.

Continue doing this for ten rolls. Show how you record five tallies by placing a slanted line over four of them. Talk about how it is easier to see and count which number has the most.

After ten rolls, ask children if their guess was correct. Which number did come up the most? WhichWoodlandnumberMeadowscameOpenhouse:up the least?Layout

How This Will Help My Child?

The simple act of rolling dice helps children gain strength in the shoulder, wrist, hands, and fingers. This control leads to correctly using tools like pencils, crayons, scissors, and other objects. Tally marks are a useful tool for children to keep track as they count and collect data quickly in science and math. Grouping tally marks also reinforces counting by fives.

What Else Can We Do?

You may want to use the pattern of the dots in the tally squares instead of the numeral itself. This helps your children visually understand a number. For an older child, you may use the numbers up to 12.

A child will need to add the faces of both dice to record the correct number. This helps practice addition skills. Count with tallies often. When your children understand five tallies, add on more tally marks2 for6/counting4/2012 practice.2:24 PM “TallyPage O’Malley” by Stuart J. Murphy and “Tally Cat Keeps Track” by Trudy Harris are great read together books.

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