Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

July 20, 2012

Practicing vocabulary using hangman

Filed under: Learning,Outdoor Activities — by dsuzuki @ 10:20 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been working with my daughter on reading and recognizing sight words.  She gets easily frustrated so I’ve been struggling to find ways to keep her interested in practicing.  With the weather being so nice and the kids wanting to be outside all the time I decided to try a simple game based off of hangman.

I started off with 3 and 4 letter words and she did great.  I didn’t actually limit her guesses and just let her guess as many times as she needed and then she figured out the word I was thinking of.

Then she decided she wanted to think of a word and let me guess.  I was impressed that she was actually able to think of a word, figure out how many letters were in it and then fill them in as I guessed.

Since she was enjoying the activity so much we also worked out some of the combination sounds we have been working on in our reading.

I would love to hear any other suggestions for making learning to recognize words fun.

 

February 19, 2012

Skippyjon Jones Shapes Up by Judy Shachner & the Shape Game

This was the latest Skippyjon Jones book we borrowed from our library.  Silly as usual while playing with shapes like hearts, circles, ovals, etc.  Other than the octagon nothing really new that my 4 year old didn’t know but she just loves watching Skippyjon’s antics.

Since my four year old daughter and I read this book and I am also working my 19 month old on his shapes and colors I decided to try out this game I saw on Pinterest. It was called Escape the Volcano Shape game and my kids loved it!  She provides a downloadable file for all the pieces and dice cut out which is awesome.  I printed them out and used my laminator to make them a little more durable since I knew the kids were going to be rough on them.  I’m so glad I did so especially for the dice.  I laminated it, scored the insides of where you had to make the folds and then taped it together.  Both kids got so excited about rolling the die that it got squashed multiple times but fortunately the laminate allowed the die to pop back into shape.

I initially thought only my daughter was going to get into it but my son  had so much fun watching her jump and sing and do all sorts of crazy things that he really got into it as well.  The shapes and colors were a breeze for my daughter so I would have my son tell me what shape she landed on and what color was it.

Then she would practice her reading to figure out what each piece said.  I was surprised how many sight words she now recognizes and she was able to sound out most of the other words.  There were some longer ones like “compliment” that stumped her but once I explained it I was pleasantly surprised with the things she came up with.  One task was to compliment someone and she said how sweet her “chubby cheeks” Michael was and the second time we played she said she loves how silky my hair is.  One of my favorites was watching her sing her favorite song which surprised me because she chose Rockabye Baby.

One thing I did learn after we played it the first time is definitely have to put the pieces closer together although I was impressed with how far my daughter did manage to jump.

And she also didn’t like that there were only 1s and 2s on the die.  So I used a sharpie to add a 3 side to it.  I think I am also going to create a few more pieces with other shapes like a star, oval and maybe a few other pieces.  I definitely suggest trying out this game.  It got the kids moving, laughing (loved watching her donkey kicks) and had a few surprises (like lollipops are her favorite treat).

November 4, 2011

Sounding out letters

I was fortunate to have scored an awesome deal on a National Geographic Little Kids subscription awhile back for just $5 (these deals seem to come around quite often so I would keep an eye out if you want one) and it was totally worth it.  My 4 year old loves the little magazines and will sit there with me until we have gone through every page.  They are filled with lots of interesting information like her favorite one right now is about glaciers and icebergs.  There are also cards that you can tear out that show a picture of an animal and the flip side has some facts about the animal written on them.  It’s amazing how much of this information they retain.

She’s also been learning her zoophonics and really getting into sounding out words so there’s the perfect activity where they show pictures of various items and write out the word but is missing the first letter.  She has been improving on this activity and mostly has a hard time figuring out what starts with a “k” vs a “c”.

We were sitting in the play room the other night and she starts pulling out random items from the cabinet where I store things I want to use in future craft activities and wanted me to make something for her.  I was exhausted from days of non-stop meetings at work so I threw together this not so impressive egg carton game for her.

I was initially thinking she could find small things that started with each letter and put them in the carton but quickly found that most of the stuff in our play room was much too large to fit in the carton.  Despite that I was surprised by how much she enjoyed this activity. She had so much fun running around trying to find an item that started with each letter like:

Her bean bag chair “L”adybug

A “F”rog toy

A “T”urtle and “N” was a hard one but she finally came up with…

Her “N”ose!

After she found something that started with each letter in the egg carton we went through again and this time tried to find something that was the same color as the letters in the carton.  She found yellow star stickers, green wheels, a blue book, etc.

I’m thinking when I have more time I may print out pictures of animals and have her sort those based on the first letter or take her outside and have her find things out there to match up with the letters.  There is an endless list of possibilities and as long as she’s having fun why not.  At least it’s a free form of entertainment that keeps her away from the TV!