Oranges + Cloves

The Toddler 2 class has been exploring citrus fruit through various activities this past month. We’ve been juicing every Friday, playing with orange scented play-dough, and using dried orange peels as loose parts for play. One of the parents found a great blog post that incorporated cloves with oranges, so we saw this as a great opportunity to incorporate the children’s sense and to work on their fine motor skills.

Some children found it challenging to grasp the tiny clove and push it through the tough orange skin. We used this struggle as an opportunity for some of the older children from the preschool class to show the toddler 2 class how to master this skill.

It was a wonderful opportunity because the room smelled absolutely delicious and the children were able to learn and play in a relaxed environment together. It was also a great opportunity for problem solving, teamwork, and for the older children to care for the younger ones. The following pictures show some of the children as they created this beautiful fall piece!

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The final display piece:

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According to examiner.com, fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enables functions like writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. Fine motor skills typically develop as the neurological system matures and it requires strength, coordination, normal sensation, awareness, and planning to complete a task in order to develop these skills. Fine motor skills even contribute to the development of communication skills by advancing children’s ability to write a name or message, manipulate a computer mouse, create a sculpture, and draw a picture!

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