Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You can play this versatile learning game right now!

This is an easy game that doesn't require much preparation and can be used with many different toys and ways to move! It's an activity that not only works on the child's gross motor skills, but is also great practice for following several step directions, an important skill that begins to develop in the toddler years.

What we did:

We set-up a basket of Ty's building Wedgits on one side of the room while my husband sat on the other side to help define where Ty was to go at first (and to cheer him on!). It isn't necessary to have two people, we just happened to both be home so it was helpful. I first taught him how to play the game by demonstrating it myself. I sat on his scooter board, scooted to the basket of Wedgits, picked one, then scooted over to my husband to place a Wedgit on the floor, then went back to the basket for another. Ty picked-up on this activity right away and couldn't wait to play!

Grabbing a Wedgit and turning to go back to the other side of the room to place it. He called out the color of the Wedgit each time, a little addition he made on his own.

Eagerly scooting to place the Wedgit.

On! Now back for more!

Just a few of the ways you can play:

This game can be played by laying or sitting on a scooter, using a bike (with a basket on it) outdoors, or simply walking, running, jumping, crawling, rolling, or moving like a certain animal to get from one point to the other.

You can also use a variety of items and toys! You can put puzzle pieces in the basket with the puzzle base on the other side of the room. You can use balls to throw into a box, stack block by block, or put clothes pins or other items one by one into a container. The next time we do this we will likely have a basket with baby doll care items (bottle, washcloth, spoon, blanket etc.) and he will bring one at a time to perform the pretend play action with the doll on each trip. You could even make some of your Montessori sorting and matching games more physical and fun this way. Physical movement gets the brain moving and really enhances learning!   

Adding obstacles to move around adds to the challenge. If not using something like a bike or scooter, using a tunnel to crawl through, chair or ottoman to climb over, low items to jump over, a balance beam to cross, or a rope to duck under are just some of the possibilities. If on wheels, using cones (or other defined objects) to bike, skate or scoot around boosts the difficulty level. Maneuvering through these obstacles can really add to the fun and brain power needed to complete the task.

I hope that you have as much fun as we did!

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