Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Jelly Marbles Exploration
Steve Spanglers Jelly Marbles™ from Discount School Supply are packed with so much learning and fun. To set this invitation to explore the marbles first you will need to place the tiny solid spheres in water, and in a couple of hours they will absorb over 150 times their weight in water and grow. After they have grown, you can place them in a sensory bin. Next you will need Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set, different sized clear containers placed in a sensory tray, and 3-4 cups filled with Colorations Liquid Water Colors and water.
The first part of this invitation is letting the child explore and transfer the water beads to different size containers. As they transfer the water beads with the tools this provides opportunities for the refinement of hand-eye coordination and fine motor control. It allows a subtle and indirect preparation for writing by gently encouraging the hand to curl into the 'pincer grip' used for writing. Working with fine motor tools provides an engaging exercise which captures a child's attention and promotes attention to detail and sustained concentration. Transferring the waterbeads requires precise movement and helps in hand-eye coordination.
Once they have filled up the containers with the water beads you can invite the child to 'paint' the Jelly Marbles with the twisty droppers and liquid water colors for the second half of the invitation. As the child uses the droppers this enhances their fine motor skills,increases their color recognition, and lets them use their senses in a myriad of ways. Painting on the Jelly Marbles is an interesting surface to paint on – quite different from using paper, which will spark the interest of the child immensely while cognitively challenging the child to paint in a distinct way. Being that the Jelly Marbles are a sensory material, and children learn best through using their senses this will allow the child to creatively explore and retain new skills. Through hands on learning they are developing and enhancing multiple layers of skill sets that will provides the stimulus children need to confidently continue to ignite their curiosity through their learning journey.