In my last post I wrote about my Make-a-Rainbow activity. Almost immediately after I put it out I thought of another thing to add to it to make it more interesting as well as a better fine-motor activity for the children. Today between my morning and afternoon session I made the changes I wanted to.
First, I cut the pipe cleaners I had been using into shorter pieces. I also cut the florist foam piece in half again. I had noticed after observing students working with this activity that the full-length pipe-cleaners easily became bent thus creating a lop-sided and bumpy rainbow. In addition to those changes, I added a bowl with pony beads: 10 beads of each of the 6 colors. Now the children will poke one end of the pipe cleaner into the foam, thread the 10 corresponding colored beads onto it, and then bend it into an arch and poke the other end into the foam, creating one color band of the rainbow. The rainbow pictured below was completed by one of my afternoon students just this afternoon. I forgot to take a photo of how the activity is set up on the tray so I'll try to explain. The small white bowl holds the colored beads and the clear plastic box holds the pipe cleaners once they are removed from the foam.
I like this variation much better. It requires more concentration and focus and helps the children refine their fine motor control and increase their attention.