May 12, 2011

two easy games

Evelyn has made that sudden leap into kindergarten readiness. A few weeks ago she had no interest in letter sounds or practicing her numbers and then suddenly it became all about Bob books and writing words and finding numbers.
It's well timed. Now that the crazy house prep is over I've been spending a chuck of each day getting things ready for the Great Homeschool Experiment so my mind is back in teacher mode. It's also nice to have her interested in a few quiet activities for my still tired afternoons. So this week we've been making some little learning games. Nothing too schooly or strenuous, just a few activities for my fascinated girl. I feel a little bad, actually. Second child guilt I guess. I was much better at this with Briton. This time around I've been a little, um, distracted by life, I guess. But I thought I would share.

Mini Word Books

When Briton was almost five, he had a great little spiral bound book that flipped this way and that to form different three letter words. It was one of his favorites and lived in my bag most of the time for grocery store or errand running entertainment (ah, yes, that's what I did pre-iphone!) And though all our book culling and moving, I've always kept it, knowing that eventually Evie would love it too. Predictably, however, now that she's ready, I can't find it anywhere. SO instead we've got the DIY version.
They are simple and can be made with any old paper, but I like cardstock because it holds up better. Fold a peice of paper in thirds and then cut a flap 1/3 of the way down on the top and bottom fold. Cut all the way to the fold line so that you can flip the sections individually.

Write a letter pair on the wider section and then fill in the three smaller flaps with a letter that makes it a word. Trust me, and do it in this order, otherwise you may end up with a flap that doesnt make an actual word. Then, using the first letters as a guide, write letter pairs or "word families" for the other two wider flaps. For our current cards the word families we used were 'est', 'ank', 'an', 'ag', 'ay', 'ill', 'ot' and 'ow' and then combined with consonents like 'n', 'r', 'b' and so on to make a good range of words. The nice part is that they are so simple and fast to make and yet you can just toss them in teh recycling bin when they have those words down and make new ones.

Number Eggs
I was cleaning out a closet on Monday and found the leftover plastic eggs from our Easter egg hunt. Normally I'd store them away for next year but I'm trying to reduce what goes into storage at the moment so had planned to send them to Goodwill when Evie asked to play with them. After watching her take them apart, put them together and then hide and find them over and over, I had the idea to add numbers to one half of the egg and corresponding dots to the other and make a number game of it. We've played it two ways. First I pulled them all apart and tossed them i a bowl for her to put back together. When she got bored of that I put them together wrong and hid them in the yard for her to find and then rematch. I'm afraid a few may still be out in the yard, but even with a few pieces missing, she's been highly entertained by it.

I'm forseeing the need for more of these types of games to get us through the summer. Any suggestions? What learning games do/did your kids love?