Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Milestone Challenge Game

If you live in St. Louis you have probably heard of the Parents As Teachers program.  The program was started in Missouri in the 1970s and has since expanded to all 50 states and 7 other countries!  Unfortunately, a lot of programs were cut due to the economic downturn.  We feel very lucky that our city's program is still in place.

Among many other things, our Parents As Teachers Educator comes to our home on a regular basis to assess the develop of my kids and give me guidance and support to help me further their development.  It's always a fun visit that my girls and I look forward to.

During our last visit, our Parents As Teachers Educator brought a game.  The game was educational, but it was also fun!  It was intended for Ava, but Sidney couldn't resist joining in.  The girls had so much fun so I recreated it.

First, I created a bunch of cards in Excel with skills that I'd like my kids to work on.  Click here for a link to the Excel file.  I printed out the cards and cut them out.  

On the blank side, I numbered the cards from 1 to 6.  I have 6 cards for each number for a total of 36 cards.  I also glued colored shapes (or stickers) next to each number.  For example, next to the number 1, I glued one red heart.  Next to the number 2, I glued two yellow triangles.  And so on...  Then I laminated the cards so that they'll last longer.  There is a store in St. Louis called Bradburn's Parent Teacher Store where you can laminate things for $0.75 per foot!  It cost me less than $4 to laminate all the cards!

To play the game, your child must first sort out all the cards by number in piles from 1 to 6.  They can use the shapes or the numbers to accomplish this.  This will help them learn numbers, shapes and colors.

Next, place your big foam dice on the low end of your board.  I found the big dice at Bradburn's and I went to Home Depot to get the boards.  Your child steps on the high end of the board to "roll' the dice.  Then they must figure out what they rolled and then find the corresponding card.  Mom or Dad can read the instructions on the back of the card.  If you run out of a particular number, the child can just pick from any of the remaining piles of cards.  It is very easy for Ava (4 years old) to "roll" the dice.  Sidney, who is 2 years old, can "roll" the dice but is not quite as coordinated as Ava yet.  This will help develop balance as well as coordination.

Do you have any educational games that your kids like?  We're always looking for new ideas!

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