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Be inspired: locks and latches

This wooden activity board comes with 6 areas to work on. Hinged panels and different locks or latches to figure out and unlock. Improve fine motor skills opening each door with the added bonus of colours, animals and numbers.

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Activity Ideas

1. Basic unlocking with turn taking

Allow the children to take turns unlocking each door, one at a time, seeing how long it will take them to work it out, talking through the process with them and improving their fine motor skills. You can then track their progress each time they do it. Then ask them to pass it to the next child so they understand turn taking.

EYFS: Communication and language, physical development, mathematics, personal, social and emotional development
Foundation Phase: Language, literacy and communication skills, physical development and mathematical development, personal and social development

2. Numbers and counting

Count each door with the child from 1-6 and associate those numbers with the colours. While learning in a consecutive order, mix up the numbers as well, challenge the child to identify the numbers in a random order as well as point and response. Extend the learning by opening the doors, counting the animals behind the door.

EYFS: Communication and language, personal, social and emotional development and mathematics
Foundation Phase: Language, literacy and communication skills, physical development, personal and social development and mathematical development

3. Animal noise and letters

This item is great for learning different animals, you could use puppets along with the board to make it more engaging. Open each door to reveal an animal, you have a horse, fish, frogs, cats and more. Ask the child to say which animal it is, create the noise of the animal and encourage repetition. If the child is advanced and of age, link to letters, for example, H is for horse.

EYFS: Communication and language, mathematics, literacy and personal, social and emotional development
Foundation Phase: Language, literacy and communication skills, physical development, mathematical development and personal and social development

4. Colour tasks

Focus in on the colour aspect of the board and encourage identification of the colours. Collect items from around the room that are the same colours, e.g. purple, blue, yellow, red, green or orange. Put the items in a pile and ask the child to pick up an item and place it on the correct door on the board. Talk about the colours, encourage language development and open the door as a reward for getting the correct colour to reveal the animal inside.

EYFS: Communication and language, literacy, physical development
Foundation Phase: Language, literacy and communication skills, welsh language development, physical development and mathematical development

5. Shape identification

Close all the doors on the board and ask the child to identify a door by the shapes. For example, which door has the two circular windows? (orange) or which door has three squares on it? (red). Then allow the child to open the lock on that door to encourage fine motor skills. For a next stage, you could link to shapes around the room or in the garden.

EYFS: Communication and language, physical development, mathematics, personal, social and emotional development, understanding the world
Foundation Phase: Language, literacy and communication skills, physical development, mathematical development, knowledge and understanding of the world

NB: Please make sure within your risk assessment you take into account the types of locks on the board and locks children may encounter in everyday life.  

Let us know if you do any of these activities, we would love to see pictures!

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