Monday, July 23, 2012

Using Keys for Your Learning Centers

Hi, Everyone!

Isn't it nice to spice up your learning centers once in a while with something really novel and high interest? The little learners just can't wait to get their hands on them!

Did you know that you can get mismade keys for free at home improvement centers and hardware stores? Talk about a novelty item for your classroom!

It's easy to mark the keys with dimensional paint (AKA puff paint), nail polish, or permanent markers. If your key doesn't have a smooth surface, put on a little paper tag or sticker, and seal it with a layer of ModPodge  for durability.

Here are photos of a few simple-to-prepare ways to use keys in your centers.

Since the photos are not that great, I've put it all together into the google doc that you can download by clicking on the cover photo at the top. There's a list of ideas,  and also the mat that you see in the photos.

Please leave a comment with your ideas for using keys!
Happy Teaching!


  1. I have never thought to use keys in centers. What a great idea.
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

  2. What a great idea for those kids that need a motivating hands on activity - very creative...
    ✿ Judy
    teaching with J

  3. Thanks, Mechele and Judith! It's always fun to use something different... especially when it's something free!
    Do you have any other suggestion for using keys in centers?

  4. Asking parents for their old keys is a great resource. The kids love them and we have many boxes of like objects that we call "junk boxes" via the Box It and Bag It program. We use them for sequencing, patterning and just plain play. We also collect things like buttons, bread bag tags, old metal pool passes, etc. The kids love to play with the boxes of "junk"!

  5. That is definitely valuable "play", Heather! Lots of kids are not getting that kind of play at home as pre-schoolers like they used to ... button boxes, clothespins, etc. So many benefits there for fine motor, attention to visual details, classifying, etc.

    Sounds like you have a great classroom! Thanks for your comment!



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