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Developmentally Appropriate Materials for First- Through Fourth Grade Children (Ages 6-10)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Teachers must carefully consider how to use developmentally appropriate materials and resources to foster first- through fourth-graders' creative thought. Materials  for these children should also reflect their need for realistic, rule-oriented, and peer activities. The table below lists a variety of developmentally appropriate materials for this age group.

Type of Material Appropriate Materials Examples
Skill/concept Books/records Books on different cultures, recipe books, Caldecott and Newbery Award books and tapes, folktales, fables, historical fiction books in a series, biographies, jokes, riddles, tall tales; music of all types
  Games Strategy and memory games; more-complex board and card games for problem solving and decision making; sports games
Gross motor Active play Organized group games
  Outdoor Jump ropes, flying disks, bicycles, rope ladders, wagons, beanbags, assorted balls, sports sets
Manipulative Fine motor Gardening equipment, canister of buttons to sort and classify, weaving looms, sewing kits, combination locks, pickup sticks, Spirographs
  Puzzles More complex puzzles with 50-100 pieces; puzzles of reproductions of paintings; form boards by famous artists
  Investigation Science materials and kits; printing sets; terrariums and aquariums to create and observe
Construction Building sets Sets with realistic models, additional unit blocks, shapes, and accessories; props for roads and towns
  Carpentry Add screwdrivers, vises, and accessories
Self-expressive Dolls and soft toys Dolls from other cultures; more detailed, smaller dolls; varied play settings and action figures
  Dramatic play Storybook masks and costumes, walkie-talkies
  Sensory Collecting toys in sets; clay and clay tools
  Art/music Small crayons, chalk, watercolors, hole punchers, staplers, all music instruments, basket-making materials, pottery wheel, stencil and craft kits
Natural and everyday Sand and water Add food coloring, funnels, pumps, hoses, plastic tubing, and assorted containers and utensils
    Simple cameras and film; computers, paper and pencils; items for "collections"
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