I have seen lots of ideas (especially this time of year) for using plastic eggs in the classroom, or in play. After seeing and reading all of these posts I was inspired to finally break out all of our Easter “supplies” that I had been keeping up in the top of my closet so we could explore and play. Last year we used plastic eggs for some color matching games, and for hiding games (of course!). Little did I know that I had purchased two bags of easter eggs last year that I hadn’t even used yet! Bonus! So, I was set to go and we were ready to create a quick and easy-to-make learning game.
I originally wanted to come up with a way to use the eggs to match uppercase and lowercase letters (Not only for letter recognition, but putting the pieces of the egg together is great fine motor practice as well). I thought I would just write the letters on the eggs in permanent marker, the uppercase letter on the top section of the egg, and lowercase on the bottom. I will probably still do this (and will update this post if/when I do…), but today I wasn’t quite ready for the permanence of a Sharpie marker. Due to my non-committment (aka: I am cheap because I didn’t want to have to buy any more eggs than I had to!!) I decided to use stickers (which can be removed and changed) instead. Also, since this was her first time doing this activity I wanted to create something that she could feel success with from the beginning, then make it more challenging once she got the ‘basics’ down.
Using what I had on hand in my bag o’stickers we put one letter sticker on the top of the egg, and one on the bottom, like so:
*Since our letter stickers contained multiple colors of most letters we made sure to use the matching colors for each letter as well. (Again, since the stickers can be changed we can go back later and use two different colors of sticker for each letter egg to make it a little bit more challenging.)
We kept ‘stickering’ until we had an egg for each letter. (Our eggs were attached together, so we also had to pull them apart so we would have two separate pieces).
Using my fancy bird tray (which I LOVE!) we dumped out all the egg pieces on the tray.
Now, once you find a match, put the egg together, shout out the letter and drop it in the Easter basket. And….go!
*Naturally, Little Sis had to be involved in what we were doing, so she got to play with the eggs once Big Sister had made a match. (Right after this picture she put the basket handle over her head and wore it as a necklace- classy!)
My three year old was able to do this independently, and she enjoyed being able to recognize the letters and find the pieces of the egg that matched. She was so proud of herself with each letter egg she put together! Now that she has done this version of matching the letters to make letter eggs I will probably change out the stickers to try some of the following:
- letters (letter stickers that are different colors on each egg)
- lower and uppercase letters
- shapes (using foamie stickers)
You could use eggs to build rhyming words-write the first letter/sound [for example: c,b,h,m, th] on one side of the egg and the ‘rhyme’ [at] on the other to build words: [cat, bat, hat, mat, that]. OR use the eggs to make number sentences. For younger kids gather just a few plastic eggs (1 egg in each color that you have), separate the pieces, and create a game in order to practice identifying and matching colors. You could also build listening skills and following directions by having your own egg hunt. Hide the eggs and then give your child directions as to where to find each of them, varying the difficulty of the directions and hiding spots depending on your child’s age. Older kids could even have written clues (similar to a scavenger hunt) that they would need to read in order to help them find the hidden eggs.
While these learning game ideas are certainly not exhaustive, I’ve included them here to prompt your thinking. Usually once I see an idea that someone else has tried I can make it my own, and change it to work with the materials I have on hand or even adapt it for the learning experience I want to provide for my kids. I hope these ideas inspire you to do the same. Many of the above ideas are examples of play that is less open-ended in that they have one specific end (learning goal) in mind. But, plastic eggs can be used in a variety of ways. Set out plastic eggs in an Easter basket along with little items that your child could ‘hide’ in them, or put some plastic eggs in a sandbox or sensory bin to use as scoops! Create a discovery bin filled with all things Spring (Easter basket grass, fluffy toy chicks or bunnies, artificial flowers, etc.) that your child could explore and discover. There are many possibilities!!
Angela (a readingteachermom)