I love helping kids learn through fun. I know it helps me quickly learn the material, if I feel invested and excited about the activity or information. Kids are the same way. They love fun and it makes your job so much easier, because you will have kids who are invested and interested in what you have to teach.
One of my favorite teaching friends is "Percy" the puppy. He is one of my son's old stuffed animals from when he was a baby. Percy has two special qualities. He has one of those buttons you can push and he barks. He also has a super strong magnet hot glued to his nose.
I don't remember exactly what kind of magnet I used, I ordered them a long time ago online. These are super strong and make it so easy to pick up anything magnetic. I usually use paperclips on laminated pictures.
Percy loves to sniff around for all kinds of things. In the picture below, he is "sniffing out" matching shapes. Students can take turns letting Percy sniff around for the matching shapes. Students will snap up the two matching shapes. If you have a strong enough magnet, you can pick up two shapes at a time. It is so much fun!
You can hot glue a magnet to any type of stuffed animal. We have "Hello Kitty" in our house, because she is a definite favorite. You can use dolls and glue the magnet to one of their hands. Depending on what you choose to use for your magnet, it can influence what you want to catch. If used fish, dog bones, any kind of food with Percy. The kids love seeing him snatch up any type of food.
As for what you can match, I have used so many things.
Students have matched:
- Uppercase letter to uppercase letters
- Uppercase letters to lowercase letters
- Lowercase letters to lowercase letters
- Letters to picture with matching beginning sound
- Letters to picture with matching ending sound
- CVC word to matching picture
- Rhyming words
- Numerals to numerals
- Numerals to ten frames
- Numerals to objects
- There are so many more options!
Hope you like Percy and that it inspires you to make your own magnetic friend!