Move & Groove – Gross Motor Alphabet Game

alphabet for startersThis is a super simple alphabet game that gets kids moving and grooving while they learn their letters. This is part 14 of our Alphabet For Starters series, a series of alphabet activities that use play and exploration to introduce and learn letters. We did the game as a lower and uppercase match but you can adjust it for your needs and child’s abilities. To be honest I wasn’t exactly sure if I was at the target level of learning for my daughter , I wanted it to be challenging but attainable so I enlisted her brother to help. He loved being her guide even though she only needed him a couple of times. Soon he had the controls and I went to warm up my coffee. Here is how you can make your own gross motor alphabet game.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper or card stock , a marker, painters tape and some good music your kids will dance to. Ours was Call Me Maybe . alphabet for starters no time for flash cards
  2. Start buy pushing some furniture out of the way and making letters our of the painter’s tape right on the floor. Don’t feel like you have to do all the letters. Every lesson doesn’t need to cover every letter. I admit I did mostly ones that were easier to make with tape. gross motor letter games
  3. Write the lowercase letters on the paper. ** Adaptations ** You can also write the same uppercase letters and simply have your child match them or for even older kids you can write a word and have them find the first letter.alphabet for starters
  4. Invite the kiddos. To have them start I have them find the first letter of their own names- hands on heads, eyes on me.
  5. Music starts and they dance !alphabet for starters
  6. Music stops and I hold up a letter.
  7. They find the match.
  8. Dance again! Match again.
  9. This went on for a long time and after it was apparent that my daughter understood and could do most of the letters herself my son wanted to be what he called the ref. So they played solo.
  10. I went for coffee and popped my head in every now and then. We’d play again but my daughter sneaked into the living room after dinner last night and tore up all the letters. Maybe sometime this week I will put new ones we didn’t have down and we’ll play again. It was a hit and both my 5.5 year old and 2 year old liked it which is not always the case.

50 Alphabet Books

Reading alphabet books has made a world of difference for both my son and my daughter learning their letters and choosing good, interesting and visually awesome books helps. These 50 alphabet books are my favorites . Many have themes and choosing a theme that appeals to your child is a great way to get more reluctant lap sitters or book listeners involved.

Does The Word Fit ? Simple Word Puzzles For Kids

While doing a purge of toys in our playroom I found 3 cheap puzzles I bought years ago that have never once been played with. I popped two into the donate box but kept one to make these  easy word puzzles for my son. The unique thing about these word puzzles is that the shape of pieces help give the players clues to the correct word choice. This goes along with the question that we often ask new readers as they work on reading new words ” Does the word fit?” and this game helps work on those new reader skills.

  1. Gather your materials. Both of these games require almost nothing. Puzzle pieces, markers and paper.

Rhyming Game

  1. Write out a few pages with something along the lines of ” These words rhyme with ____.” Make sure to use words that your child can read for the main word on the paper. For the matching words you write on the puzzle pieces add one or two words that may challenge them a little. Trace the puzzle pieces on the paper for an added clue.
  2. After writing out a few pages and corresponding pieces with rhyming words add a few puzzle pieces that do not rhyme to add into the mix.
  3. Play. I set both games up and presented them to him at the same time – scroll down for the 2nd game instructions.
  4. Hmm does the word fit ? Yes! My son enjoyed this and understood that he could sound the words out to match the rhymes as well as check if he was correct with the shapes matching as well.

Simple stories

This activity was a huge hit. My son was in stitches and learning at the same time.

  1. Write out simple sentences that appeal to your child with some words missing. Leave large spaces.  The ones I wrote for my son included sentences like  ” I forgot to put the milk in the fridge and now it smells so gross.” and ” The enemy place dropped a bomb on the base but no one was injured.” Write what will interest your child, it will make all the difference. Make figuring out the sentence fun and worth it.
  2. Write the missing words on puzzle pieces and trace them on the paper.
  3. Make sure to add words on other puzzle pieces that don’t make sense but are in the same shape as the ones that do. This is what makes it funny. Funny is good, laughing while learning is a fantastic thing.
  4. Play. Start by reading it.
  5. Now find the right missing words.
  6. Read the whole thing when the puzzle is done.
  7. With the next sheet he was laughing so hard I was worried he was going to wake his sleeping sister. It would have been worth it.

 

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