Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fine Motor Activity-Water Beads

Water Bead Transfer: Fine Motor Activity

Materials Needed:

  • Handy Scooper, spoons, large tweezers etc.
  • Multiple bins cups or containers for scooping
  • Water beads (follow directions on the bag)


Water Beads or “orbits” as I have heard them called are small, spherical, jelly-like beads which have endless uses in the early childhood classroom. I came across water beads when I was working with students with autism. I put the water beads into plastic bottles which I called “sensory bottles” for students to look at, shake, and watch as the beads move around in the bottle. Students marveled at the way the orbies danced around the plastic bottle.

I wanted to show a fine motor activity you can do in class if you are fairly certain your students will not put the orbies in their mouth. They are very colorful and look like candy so be careful with students who tend to “mouth” objects…



  • If you have time allow students to “make” the water beads. They start as very small balls and over time 6-10 hours absorbed the water and can become large. Allowing students to be part of this process can encourage them to follow directions, learn to wait and watch the slowly growing and seemingly magic process of the water beads puff up.
  • Once you have the water beads at the size you would like them, (the longer you keep them in the water the bigger they get). Find a container to store them in. A container with a lid will help them stay the same size for weeks.
  • Provide multiple scooping items for students to use to scoop and transfer the beads from one container to the next. Provide multiple cups, containers and bowls for transferring the water beads.
  • Once students become more adept at using the handy scoopers have them sort the beads into containers based on color.
  • Encourage students to touch the beads with their hands as an added sensory experience. Many students instinctually want to crush or squeeze them with their fingers and the bouncing effect makes any student want to throw them across the room.

This activity is considered a fine motor activity because it encourages students to use their hands or a tool such as the handy scooper to transfer water beads from one container to another. This activity builds hand strength and coordination and is simply a lot of fun!

Here are some links where you can get water beads and handy scoopers:

Handy Scoopers:

Water Beads:



Library Day-Treasure Hunt

The story is about a young boy who visits a library and learns about all of the fun and unique things he can do at the library. This is a recent book from Anne Rockwell (2016) and Lizzy Rockwell the illustrator, embeds some of Anne’s older books in the illustrations. After reading Library Day by Anne Rockwell, visit your public library and complete the “treasure hunt” and see if you can find the following items/areas of your library. Continue reading

My ABC Book-Letter Identification

Ages: Preschool-Kindergarten

Materials Needed:

  • Spiral bound composition book with blank pages
  • Child size scissors
  • Magazines
  • Marker

Skills Addressed:

  • Initial Letter identification
  • Fine Motor Skills: Cutting & Gluing

A great way to start letter identification is by making this ABC book with your child or students. Spend time together looking through magazines or catalogs. When you see a picture that catches your eye, ask your child to identify the picture. Ask him or her “what letter does it start with?” Continue reading

Inclusion: Children with Autism and the Playground

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mainstream Playground

When we think about inclusion, we typically think about the classroom setting. For many students with autism, social skills are a known area of deficit and an area for IEP teams to write goals and objectives. In the article, Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Mainstream Playground, the authors do a nice job detailing the value of the playground as an important area for inclusion. With schools placing an increased importance on academic instruction and minimizing the importance of play, early childhood practices need to advocate for the importance of playground time, especially for students with ASD.

Physical Improvements: Students with autism typically have slower motor development compared to their typically developing peers. Continue reading