Puzzles, beads, small animals, play-dough, sea shells, nuts, are some of the items in this center that help children develop hand/eye coordination. In addition, as the children are learning through cause and effect and trial and error, they are building feelings of competence which will support them and encourage persistence as they grow and mature. Through these hands-on activities, children improve both their cognitive and social emotional skills without frustration or boredom.
When we play in the manipulative center, we are learning:
fine motor skills
matching, sorting, and classifying
direction following
problem solving
critical thinking
number concepts
feelings of competence