Mat Man: Who knew one could learn so much from a floor person?
October 8, 2019
From PreK Teacher Mrs. Anders ~
The other day, during Circle Time, I asked the children to help recreate a person on the carpet. I asked them what I would need to do so. Each child had his or her hand raised, poised, ready to share answers, such as “legs,” “arms,” “face,” “head,” “body.” Thus began the creation of MAT MAN.
Mat Man is a floor person designed by the company, Handwriting Without Tears, to help teach children about their bodies- body placement and function. In addition, Mat Man helps the children learn skills like counting, sequencing, identifying shapes, object placement, taking turns and working together as a group. Lastly, Mat Man introduces children to letter formation.
During Circle Time, we created Mat Man using rectangle and semi-circle shaped wooden pieces, a foam mat, and various accessories, such as bottle caps, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and yarn. We figured out the placement of each body part (head, eyes, nose mouth, ears, etc.) in order to form a completed body as well as discussed the function of each (see, smell, hear, touch, speak, etc.). As a bonus, we manipulated the wooden pieces to create letters. It was so much fun figuring out how to make the beginning letters of each of their names!!
Later, both individually and together, the children recreated Mat Man on the rug. What happened next was so exciting! The children began making their own “Mat People” using construction paper and tape. They either ripped or cut out pieces of paper using scissors to make the individual body parts, ripped or cut tape and connected the pieces, and drew any additional features with markers. Although each “Mat Person” was unique, they each shared the same body parts discussed during Circle Time and all were placed appropriately. As an added bonus, the children’s fine motor skills were worked vigorously! Who knew one could learn so much from a floor person?