Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's in the Game

Today it was all about games and crafts! When I taught preschoolers I found out that as long as I had a name for my game, it was cool. I am not kidding. For example, I always tested the children twice a year to see what skills they needed to work on. Of course the children never knew that. They loved the game "Climb the Mountain" aka. "Check to see if you can alternate feet on the stairs." See? "Climb the Mountain" is way cooler!

This game is called "Heart Hop." I pre-cut hearts out and taped them to the floor. I love this hopping ball from Target. It is really only for 2-4 year olds; it is a lot smaller than the ones I am use to. But, these balls are getting more popular now and easier to find in stores. I also get out my large dice bought from a teacher's supply store. It is a must have!

To play this game, I roll the dice (a little hard for Ethan to being he is on the hopper about now) and Ethan counts how many dots he rolled. Then, he hops that many hearts until the finish line! We always have music playing in the background so that Ethan knows it is "game time." When the music is off, he knows it is time to slow down and stop.

Later, we played "Valentine Twist." I bought crepe paper at the Dollar Tree. It comes in a two pack. Who can beat 50 cents for a roll of crepe paper? I cut three pieces, fold them, and staple them together. Don't make them too long - believe me, it wasn't too long ago that 15 kids were crying at my side because someone stepped on their streamers.

Play your favorite Valentine song and let your child loose to twist and dance away! Pause the music and have them "freeze." Then start the music up again to boogie woogie once more!

In the afternoon we had our craft time. I wanted Ethan to make a craft that he can give away tomorrow while we are out on our errands. We have been learning about how to share our love and kindness with others. I found these great craft foam die cuts in my stash. I remember using them during Easter many years ago. You could easily trace your little person's hand on craft foam (also found affordable at the Dollar Tree). I had these self-adhesive pin backs from Christmas and bought a large pack at Walmart.

Craft foam will not stick with regular Elmer's Glue. Use a light heat glue gun for this project. You will thank me in the end! We glued the fingers down to make the ASL sign for "love."

Ethan then placed all the pin backs on the craft foam hands. Yes, the pins are not stuck on straight. But, what would this craft mean to Ethan if I took the pin off and stuck it on straight? Be proud of what your child does - even if it isn't what we as adults think is perfect! I would have to say that when someone puts on this crooked pin they will think, "Ethan thought of me" Not, "Wow, Jen made a cute little craft." Cause it's not about us... it is about showing our love and kindness to others.

We printed out Signing Time Valentines and practiced cutting for the first time. I am laughing in this picture cause all Ethan was saying was, "Rachel, Alex, Leah, Hopkins!" Not bad for the first time! We really need to work on those little fingers! ;) Then Ethan kept on saying, "Princess Leia" and we realized that he probably thinks that Leah (from Signing Time), Leia (our Worship Team Leader), and Princess Leia (his McDonld's Star Wars bath toy) are all the same person. We really need to get rid of that bath toy...

1 comment:

Rebecca Grinder said...

Thank you for sharing! Looks like fun and I hope I get one of those cute pins! I would wear it proud!