When I first came to Panama, Geoboards were unheard of. So, I had my wonderful husband cut, saw, paint, and nail until our Kindergarteners had a class set. They worked fine, and bending the nails back into position just became part of the weekly routine. (If anyone would like to try it as a family project, I have a pattern.) However, now you can buy one at Ultracom for $5.49! Pick up some colored rubber bands, and your child should be ready to go.
As with any manipulative, children need lots of time just playing and exploring independently. When they are ready for more of a challenge, here are some ideas you can suggest...
- Make a picture "Can you make a _____?"
- Copy someone else's picture
- Make shapes
- Make numbers (I have a master if anyone would like a copy)
- Make letters (uppercase are easier)
- Copy a geo-board design on a paper grid like this one
- Follow verbal directions of the teacher or another classmate