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Fine Motor Folly: Ghost Busters!

How about we combine Halloween, math, and a fine-motor activity?!


The Goal:

Fine motor skills come easily to some students, but are harder for others to master. Finger strength is sometimes overlooked. GHOST BUSTERS encourages kids to use fingers in a pincer grasp and also works on hand strength.

From a math perspective, this activity can be adjusted to suit either pre-school, kindergarten, or first-grade level students.

In kindergarten, some of the common core math objectives are the following: (pre-schoolers may benefit from these concepts too!)

* understand the concepts of more and less.

* count items to twenty, matching the number name with one item.

* add and subtract within 10, using objects.

In first grade, some of the common core math objectives are the following:

* understand how many more or less when comparing two groups of objects

* add and subtract within 20

Great, now it's game time!


The supplies you need are minimal. A page with a picture of a big ghost on it. (Feel welcome to download my ghost picture at this link). You'll also need colorful paper or construction paper.

First, explain to children that this ghost is a SNEAKY ghost - she likes to steal Halloween decorations at Halloween. Not nice! Place this SNEAKY ghost on the child's desk.

Second, make pretend decorations out of the construction paper. How? Easy. Ask the child to tear small pieces off the paper. Next, show the child how to crumple or fold the pieces. Kids may need a little help.) Have each child make 10 to 20 "decorations".

Third, give directions. These will vary, depending on the child's age.

For younger children (Pre-K and Kindergarten) the following types of directions can be given. Ask math questions as you go.

* "Put three decoration on your ghost." "Put five decorations on your ghost."

* "Let's count how many decorations the ghost took. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. She stole 8 decorations!"

* "She feels bad and gives back 2 decorations. How many decorations does she have now?"

For older children (First Grade) you may wish to print two ghosts and lay them down beside each other. Then directions can be more complicated. Ask math questions as you go:

* "Put seven decorations on the first ghost." "Put eleven decorations on your ghost." "Which ghost took more decorations?"

* Give many directions so kids really must focus and listen. You can add more decorations, subtract decorations. "How many decorations is each ghost left with?" "Who has more?"

* Perhaps you will think of other ways to make GHOST BUSTERS fit into what you're teaching in math right now.

I hope this is fun for you and your students.

If you enjoy this blog, follow me on Facebook (CLICK HERE). I LOVE sharing games, activities, and ideas to help kids master skills!

Lisa Marnell, Occupational Therapist - Kids Master Skills

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