If you and your preschooler are getting fed up playing the same game of cars, dollies or teddies, try using a classic nursery rhyme such as Baa Baa Black Sheep to inspire some new activities. The story of the sheep, with his three bags of wool, has been sung to children for generations because it is short and easy for them to remember.
Make a memory card game to play with. Cut out 20 rectangles of card or card stock about three inches wide and five inches long. Split your cards into five sets of four; on each set draw one of the following: black sheep, three bags of wool, a master, a dame, a little boy. Your preschooler may enjoy drawing the pictures of the sheep and the wool, or you could draw them for him to color in. Place the cards face down all over the table and take turns to pick two -- when you get a matching pair you get to keep the cards.
Make a collage of the nursery rhyme using materials with different textures. Draw a sheep shape on a piece of card stock for her to glue bits of black wool onto. Cut shapes for the bags of wool from a separate piece of card stock for her to glue on the picture and have her glue bits of wool coming out the top of them. Help her count the three bags. Draw or print and stick pictures of the master, the dame and the little boy. Cut pieces of leftover fabric for her to glue on as clothes. Use this as an opportunity to talk about how the different materials feel.
3. Make a Woolly Sheep
Help your preschooler make a black sheep. Cut two circles out of card, about 6 inches in diameter, and then cut a circle out of the middles, about 2 inches in diameter. Put the circles together and help your preschooler wind black wool around until there is no card left showing and you have a fat doughnut shape -- you may have to finish this part if he loses interest. Slide a pair of scissors through the wool and between the two pieces of card and cut the wool all around. Slide a long piece of wool between the two pieces of card, pull it tight and tie it in a knot. Cut a slit in both card circles to remove them. Have your preschooler fluff his wool up into a ball shape. Glue on a white pom pom or card stock picture for your sheep's head.
4. Sorting Activity
Use pictures from the nursery rhyme for a sorting activity. Draw pictures of the different scenes: the black sheep, the three bags of wool, the master with one bag, the dame with one bag and the little boy down the lane. Sing the rhyme together while laying the pictures down on the table. Now shuffle them up and say to your preschooler: "The cards are all mixed up. Can you put them back together in the right order?"
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