by Melissa Jaramilllo and Julie Snyder
Learning should be enjoyable! Try these games that offer opportunities for counting skills, balancing, dexterity (hand/eye coordination) as well as lots of fun. To make things even more entertaining parents and older siblings should join in!
- Package of Clothespins (Check out your local discount store if you don't have any! A package of 100 can often be found for about $1 - $2.)
- Container (bigger for younger; smaller for older kids/adults): Bucket, large coffee can, wide-mouth jar
- Game 1: Begin by standing directly over the container and drop in the clothespins. (Adults, you may be surprised that this is not as easy as you may think in using a jar!) Count as you go to teach number sequencing, counting, addition and more. As skills improve, try smaller containers!
- Game 2: For another game, take a few steps away from the container. Toss the clothespins in. How many can you get? To make it more challenging, move further away!
- Game 3: Play the above games blindfolded! Yikes!
Cotton Ball Fun
- Package of cotton balls
- Tablespoon (or ladle for very young children)
- Two Bowls
- Large serving spoon (wooden or metal)
- Game 1: Place several balls of cotton on tablespoon. Next try walking across the room without any falling off! Can you do it? This game can also be done as a race for a party game. If you lose your cotton, you go back to start and begin again until someone wins! Small room? That's ok! Just go to the end of the room, turn around and come back!
- Game 2: Fill one bowl with cotton balls. Place second bowl approximately 5 - 10 inches away. With large serving spoon, practice dipping and moving cotton from one bowl to the other. Now, try it again -- only wearing a blindfold!
- Throw pillows
- Game 1: Balance a pillow on top of your head! Now try walking across the room without using any hands! How far can you go?
- Game 2: Place pillows on the floor in either a line or a large circle. Can you walk on them around the pattern without falling off? Next try moving them farther apart!
- Game 3: Pillow stacking! How many pillows can you stack up without them toppling over? Try again, this time sorting from the largest (on the bottom of the pile) to the smallest (on the top). Did that help? What happens if you put the smallest on the bottom?
Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!
Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.