Boot Camp Bombers – Gross Motor Activity

army party ideas Even on nice days sometimes it’s hard to get your kids really moving and if your kids are anything like mine the harder they play the harder they sleep which is good for everyone! My son is all into military things right now so when I saw these loot bag parachute toys at the store I grabbed a pack and created this easy gross motor activity . Working on gross motor skills isn’t just about an easy bedtime for everyone, it’s about building confidence, coordination , balance and more.  You could adapt this a million ways by simply changing what is on the parachutes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some parachute toys ( or make one !) , a permanent marker and an eager kiddo.army party ideas
  2. My toys did not come assembled so I had to tie the wee little parachutes on to my brave plastic soldiers. If your child can tie them have them do it, it was amazing fine motor practice for me and will be for them too. If like my son they are still not quite there yet do NOT push them it will frustrate them and may end the activity before it even begins.
  3. Ok time to write some physical tasks. Keep the writing simple enough for them to read if they are starting to and use numbers to sneak in some math too.army  birthday party ideas
  4. Take them outside. My daughter threw one and it didn’t get past the bushes but her bother didn’t care.
  5. He read the message and did jumping jacks on the spot.
  6. Then we took them down to the lawn and I threw them and he caught them after screaming ” Bombs Away!!” And got a great boot camp style work out, did a little reading and some counting too!

 

3 Different Playing Card Holders For Little Hands

by Kim

Card games have become very popular in my house recently. They are a perfect way to stay out of the uncooperative weather and still have fun. Games such as Crazy Eights, Go Fish, War, and Uno are hits. But with three small children I cannot hold everyone’s cards for them. Here are three different playing card holders you can use for those little hands.

CLOTHESPIN METHOD

This is a old favorite of mine because clothespins are so accessible. My mom used this method with me when I was a child. It is very easy for the kids to hold.

CHIP CLIP METHOD

The chip clip allows you to spread the cards out easier than the clothespin method. But if you have quite a few children in your house getting together enough chip clips may be difficult.

EGG CARTON METHOD

Simply cut small slits into the bottom of an egg carton on egg egg holder.

Then your child can stand the cards up in the slits. You can space them out easily. The best part is that you can add or remove cards without messing up the rest of the cards. It is a great way to reuse one of these, too. The con of this method is that it can tip over easily.

What do you use in your house to help the littler ones play cards?

 

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

10 Word Games For Kids

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Sight word knowledge, rhyming, spelling and letter recognition are all skills that kids let slide during the summer. There is not reason all these skills can’t be put into games and fun activities so your child avoids the summer slide and have fun at the same time. All — of these focus on fun and learning!

Pizza Delivery & Reading Game
Word Families
Read & Find
Listen & Find Word Search
Giant 3D Word Search
Spin & Spell
Rhyming Tree
Halloween Word Search
Spelling Puzzles
Rhyming Jars

Santa Themed Math Game

One of the things I love most about blogging is how one post will inspire another and not just on the same blog but from one blogger to another . I wasn’t going to post this yet but when Kristina from Toddler Approved posted this Corn Roll  game that we inspired with our Candy Corn Counting I knew I needed to share this game. Also we have been playing it a lot, and not just because the tv is broken, because it’s fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, markers, marshmallows or even cotton balls, a die and someone to play against.
  2. Start by drawing Santa , I couldn’t find a good printable with a beard big enough for the numbers. Which was good since my printer is out of ink anyway. So I drew the santas.
  3. Add numbers.
  4. I put the sheets on clip board to keep them from blowing around, but you could laminated them or pop them on a cookie sheet with some magnets too.
  5. The objective is simple you want to fill up Santa’s beard first but covering all the numbers with marshmallows. The way you do that is to roll that number on the die.
  6. Roll.
  7. Add the marshmallow… oh and look who is getting a little fine motor practice too. I’m so sneaky.
  8. We ended up playing a few times and by request one was a boys against girls. My daughter even rolled the die for the girls’ team!

I love games like this because they use a few novelties like Santa and marshmallows but are still packed with learning not only math but about sportsmanship and good game play.

Books About Santa

Christmas Morning by Cheryl Ryan Harshman  wasn’t what I expected , it was more. It’s written in the spirit of ” The House That Jack Built” and the text builds and builds starting with snow falling on a house as children sleep and ending with Christmas morning. What I wasn’t expecting is that the author tells the story of The Nutcracker , albeit a very simplistic version, in the rhyming text as well.  The illustrations of the Rat King is a little frightening but nothing that will prevent you from reading it.

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job.  It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty,  develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig!  There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book  jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!

McDuff’s New Friend by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story .

Spider Web Gross Motor Activity

gross motor activity for kids

Finding fun spooky games to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening.  As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were  when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked  into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
  2. Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
  3. Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
  4. Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
  5. Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
  6. It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts!  He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out.  Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch. 
  7. When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again

Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.

Song

You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.

One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.

and so on and so on…