September is such a big time in the world of Kindergarten. Our students are starting to settle into the school routine. All of that hard work during the first few weeks of school practicing rules and expectations is starting to pay off, and that’s exciting for everyone!
Typically at some point September, my students are ready to begin learning centers and morning tubs. We always start small and practice, practice, practice. Activities that are hands-on and engaging will typically yield the most success for lots of reasons. For example, would you rather sit down to count five apples on a piece of paper, or would you prefer to use playdough to make five apples and get to count them with your hands?
I think the answer is obvious – hands-on activities win (almost) every time!
Here’s a quick round-up of my five favorite hands-on activities to use in the month of September!
Apple Line Tracing Cards
Incorporating fine motor practice into your classroom can be as easy as adding activities to morning tubs or centers! These line tracing cards are a great addition to morning tubs at the beginning of the year. They’re easy to understand and students can get started on them right away. Plus, they get to use dry-erase markers, which is really motivating for a five or six year old!
Another way I use tracing cards is in my reading groups as a warm-up activity. Fine motor tracing cards build hand strength and coordination, which are necessary for writing letters and words. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to tie these into small group work if I have a few minutes!
Beginning Sound Link-up
Although these linking cards aren’t apple-themed, they’re absolutely perfect for September!
Your students will likely not be ready to use the entire A-Z set of cards, so best practice would be to first use these as a small group activity. For example, give each student a plastic link and a picture that begins with one of the sounds you’re working on. Then present each letter card, discuss its sound, and see which student has the card that begins with that sound.
Apple Pie Matching
Sorting is a huge part of our first few months in kindergarten. We begin by sorting items by color, shape, and size. This apple pie matching activity is a good way to build on sorting skills by mixing in number representations!
One fun way to use this activity is as a whole group activity first, and then add it to your learning centers. Simple place the pies in a pocket chart or on a whiteboard with magnets, pass out the apple cards, and call on students one at a time to count and sort their apple card.
Spin and Cover Ten Frame Mats
Hands-on activities are important in first grade, too! This skill, which is from my September First Grade Tubs pack, should be familiar to most new first graders, so it builds their independence with morning tubs right off the bat. Plus, it gives you an excuse to use those cute apple mini erasers you have stored away somewhere!
Apple Counting Mats
This fun apple activity is one of my September morning tub activities, and it’s always a favorite! Students will use playdough to make apples on each tree. The cards are designed to reinforce 1:1 correspondence, as students can count the apples at the top of the card before adding apples of their own.
Try it for free!
Playdough is undoubtedly one of the greatest tools for building fine motor strength. I usually stock up on multi-packs each year, but it’s also really easy to make your own!
I have an awesome apple-scented homemade playdough recipe that adds a fun multisensory experience to the counting mats activity. If you’d like to download the recipe and the counting mats for free, just fill out the form below and they’ll be sent straight to your inbox!
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I’d love to see how you use these activities in your classroom! Tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen) and be sure to follow me while you’re there.