Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Shape Game

Remember how I've been trying to find learning games for the boys that don't involve sitting still?  Well, Sonlight came to the rescue this week with a fantastic idea and I had to share it with you.  It's very simple (2 minute set-up) and kept both of my guys engaged and learning for a full fifteen or twenty minutes.  Here's what you do:

Grab some oversized paper or even an old sheet and draw a bunch of shapes on it.  Fill up an old sock with beans or rice and tie it up.  Lay some tape down for an "official" throw line and give them the rules.  Here's how our game played out.

"Okay guys - You have to throw the bean bag on a shape then yell out the name of the shape it lands on.  Every time you hit a target, I'll give you a heart token.  Whoever has the most, wins!"  I told them.

"I get to yell!?" my oldest asked, completely incredulous at this turn of events.  "Absolutely.  Be loud!"  I encouraged him.

He threw the bean bag and landed directly on the rectangle.  "RECTANGLE!!!!" he yelled.  "Great job!" I told him.  "Now it's your brother's turn," I said as soon as I saw him going in for another throw.  He started wiggling impatiently and spinning around on the floor trying his best to wait.

My little one walked right on top of the shapes, dropped it on the triangle then started cheering.  "What shape is that, Drew?" I asked him.  "SQUARE!  YEAH!" he yelled.  (Hey, that's why we were playing, right?)  I handed him a heart token and he delighted in throwing it all over the place.  Hitting an actual target took a little too much coordination for my little guy.  Once I asked him to put the heart token on a specific shape he was able to play along.  It turned out to be wonderful practice for learning his shapes.

We sat down to do a few problem solving workbook pages and my oldest's concentration was better than I have ever seen it.  He finished quickly without wiggling off his chair (seriously...sometimes he actually falls onto the floor) and he was enthusiastic about getting each answer right.  I think maybe we'll do something active every day to start our school day.  It might just keep all of us a bit more sane.

Any good activities in mind?  How do you teach your children in unconventional ways?

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