My library has a few wooden puzzles and blocks in the children’s area which work great with the COVID situation because I can easily clean them once a week. I had been watching webinars and looking at blogs and pinterest boards for ideas about other activities that I could put out to support early literacy and early numeracy. I got the general idea for tabletop activities from Reading with Red and I took that idea and ran with it.
I knew that my activities needed to be made with materials we already have to keep them free, so for my first ever attempt, I went into our youth services office where we have all of our craft supplies stored and just looked around. I saw materials of a lot of different colors and plain paper plates, and I knew that sorting colors is great for early literacy, so I decided to build an activity based on that.
I chose five of the main colors, wrote the color names on plates with the corresponding-colored marker, cut pieces of pipe cleaner and streamers, added some colored wooden craft sticks, and cut and labeled different shapes in each color for some more word exposure. Finally, I taped the plates to the table so kids couldn’t move them around and used an unlabeled plate to mix all of my objects up.
How it went
The activity tables we have are not directly in my line of view, but I know since we had just started bringing things out to play with, that they were very popular. Every time I walked back there after kids had been here, all of the objects were sorted into the correct colored plate, so kids were definitely doing this activity. I left it up for two weeks and then put a new activity out, but I am keeping all of the pieces together so that I can use them again in the future because it seemed so popular. I may have to cut out new shapes and laminate them next time because they got a little beat up (I only recently discovered that we have a laminator), but overall, I think this tabletop activity was a success.
Let me know if you use this idea or if you have done anything similar, I’d love to hear! Also, if you have any suggestions for new activities, I am always searching.