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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun and creative learning games

It's not hard to find learning opportunities with your little toddlers, whether it's looking for squares in the public bathroom, finding a specific color while waiting at restaurant, counting how many steps you have in your house, or explaining what the farmers are doing in the fields around you. But here are several new games we've been playing at our house lately. If you follow our school blog then you've already been seeing them there, but I thought I'd post here too...

Color-by-number picture - turn any coloring page into a color-by-number by writing numbers on the picture and adding a color code for child to follow (allowing child creativity is good too, but this is also a fun way to practice numbers)
Homemade puzzles - use any coloring page, color it, cut it into large random pieces, and have child put it back together. Save it in a zip-lock baggie for another day. Note: Works better to do this on the carpet where pieces can't slide around as much.
Shape puzzle - arrange shape blocks into all different positions (triangle works well), trace around them, and color. Have child figure out how to turn and flip the triangles in order match the pictures on the paper. (I can't wait to get pattern block puzzles this Christmas!)
"Slap" - using a set of SkipBo cards, pull out all the number 3's and numbers 1's (or whatever two numbers you want) and SkipBo cards (the wild card). Now add a small stack of the misc numbers. Set the remaining cards aside. It takes too long to play with ALL the cards, that's all. Now for the game, I flip the cards down onto a pile on the floor pretty quickly, and when Eli sees a number 3 (or whatever number of the week we're doing) he slaps it and then keeps the card. I slap for number 1's, and we both race to slap for the SkipBo cards (whoever gets it first keeps it). Then in the end we count to see who collected the most cards.
UNO - Eli understands and can actually play this game as is. Sometimes I take out the action cards (skips, reverses, etc) though since it's usually just the two of us playing. It's a slooow version of the game, but we have fun and it's great practice for numbers and colors!

Number hunt - this is an old one I know I mentioned a long time ago, but we still play it a lot! On card stock paper make a bunch of number cards in varying colors and sizes. Hide them all over the house. Choose a number of the day (say 4 for example). Child looks for numbers--4's go in his bucket, other numbers go to mommy. I make sure the majority of the cards are of the number of the day.


Kelly said...

I saw that you wanted to get the pattern block puzzle for Christmas... we got this one from Toys R Us...it is GREAT!! Lots of options and a handy storage bag to keep it all in. Addie LOVES it and plays with it all the time. Let me know what you think!!


bp said...

I always enjoy looking at your ideas and craft projects. You're doing a great job!