Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wooden Pattern Block Templates

     Due to the Twins sporadic napping, I have started to incorporate them into our school schedule.  Such as, while Anna is working on her math, the twins are allowed to  play with the math manipulatives.  Since they aren't allowed to play with them any other time, they love them.  I have also started to think of other activities for them to do at this time.  There aren't a lot of "preschool" type things that two year olds can successfully do, but the twins love pattern blocks, so I thought I would give templates a try.  I printed off a couple from prekinders.com, and they both loved putting the pattern blocks on the templates.  Unfortunately, I don't have very many pattern blocks, and I unwittingly printed off two patterns that use more squares than we have.  Samuel managed to get them first for his giraffe, and Abriel was upset that she didn't have enough to finish her lion.  Then Samuel went to the bathroom.  I was in the bedroom, and overheard Samuel come back and say, "Hey! Where's my giraffe?" Abriel didn't answer him, but I could hear her singing, "I have little tiny squares, little tiny squares!" 
     I have ordered more pattern blocks to keep that from happening again, but I also needed to make more durable templates, since the paper printouts didn't last past the first day. 
     The solution: Mod Podge.  I love that stuff.   First I had Dave cut out several 8" by 11"  rectangles out of some thin ply wood we had.  I sanded them smooth, then carefully cut out some paper patterns. I then mod podged them onto the wood.  There are patterns on both sides of the boards, and if the pattern was small, I glued two onto one side.  I'm going to keep making these until I run out of patterns.  The twins love them, and they are good for learning how to match color and shapes.  Abriel has already started sorting her pattern blocks, as you can see in the picture.  She is very naturally organized, and likes to line things up or sort them into piles.

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