I have TONS of keys to use in the classroom and for this take-home activity. I got them by asking at hardware stores for donations of keys that were cut wrong, as well as asking families for old keys. For the matching, I photocopied the keys (about 25) onto a piece of paper which I laminated. Just put the keys right on the glass of the copy machine-it works great.
THE KEY CASE
Did you know that keys could be math materials? They can help your child learn about counting, classification, estimation, and more. The following ideas are meant to promote development of math and language skills, while being enjoyable for you and your child. Please don't try to do them all at once, just choose a few that interest you and your child.
* Read Where Are Kermit's Keys? with your child, reminding him/her to be careful with the flaps.
* Read Alfie Gets In First to your child. Ask for ideas about how the problem could be solved.
* Give your child an opportunity to explore the keys.
* Ask your child to guess (estimate) how many keys are on the key chain then count them.
* Turn this page over and match the keys.
* Try to find two keys that are the same.
* Put the keys in order from smallest to largest.
* Sort the keys with your child using whatever attribute he or she chooses. After sorting one way,you may want to sort them again a different way.
* Create a pattern of keys (for example: silver key, gold key, silver key, gold key) and challenge your child to decide what key would continue the pattern.
* Give your child one key, and ask him or her to describe it. If necessary, ask questions such as "What color is the key?" and "How many holes does it have?".
AFTER EXPLORING THE KEYS:
* Ask your child to use pictures, numbers, and words (may be dictated for you to write) to tell about key case experiences on one or two pages of the larger journal.
* The smaller journal is for whoever used the key case with the preschool child (parent, older child, . . .) to share their thoughts on the experience.
* If you have extra keys at home, please donate to our class collection (we also use keys at school for similar activities, as well as in our dramatic play area).
PLEASE BE SURE TO RETURN THE CASE WITH THE FOLLOWING ITEMS BY THE DUE DATE SO THAT OTHER FAMILIES MAY ENJOY IT:
* these directions with matching game on the reverse side
* Where Are Kermit's Keys? (written by Alison Inches, illustrated by Richard Brown)
* Alfie Gets In First (Shirley Hughes)
* key chain and keys
* a journal for your child's words and drawings about the keys
* a journal for any thoughts you would like to share about your experience with the key case
* writing/drawing tools for the journals