Geography Game For Kids

geography lesson

My husband and I traveled a lot internationally before kids and we want to share our love and curiosity for other countries with our kids. Like many with young kids we aren’t up to taking them to all these places just yet. Instead we read lots of books , look at lots of pictures ( our own and others) and play games like this one that GASP uses flash cards . This geography game for kids is so simple and will spark your child’s wanderlust!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a globe or map, and some fun geography flash cards.
  2. Start by having your child pick a card. Ask them by looking at the picture where they think it might be. Wild guesses or close calculations are wqually good, this is all about exploring from your own playroom, not getting facts “right”.
  3. Flip it over and find out where it is.
  4. Next find it on the map.
  5. Keep going as long as it’s fun.
  6. Beware for wee sisters who swipe the landmarks.

Letter Dominoes

by Kim

 

This letter craft  is an activity that you will have to make for your children to play with. Don’t worry, it is very easy.

You will need a piece of foam board (I got mine from the dollar store), marker, scissors, and a pencil.

Draw lines for your domino pieces. I made mine with four rows going long ways and six columns going short ways. I used a piece of scrap I had for the missing two letters. I didn’t measure them out exactly, but this is where type A’s could really have fun.

Use your scissors, craft knife, or steak knife and cut out your pieces.

This is where I drew a line across the middle as a divider. I drew mine in pencil because I always mess up.

Write upper and lower case letters on each side. I drew mine in the same direction to make it easier for my children to look at the dominoes and decide which ones matched up. I didn’t want any upside down.

This is a very good time to pay attention to which letters you write next to each other on the same piece. You want your children to be able to match the letters throughout the alphabet. I just did them in order starting with an upper case Z on top and a lower case a on the bottom of the first. The second domino had an upper case A with a lower case b. And so on.

Now throw the dominoes on the floor and start playing an matching up!

You can alter these with site words and pictures, dots and numbers, or anything you would like some hands on learning and matching. The possibilities really are endless. What are you going to write on yours?

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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.

Masterpiece Memory Game

While browsing through the kid section of the gift shop at The Art Institute of Chicago I saw a fine art memory game that I wanted, what I didn’t want was the price tag, or the extra weight in my suitcase on the trip home. So instead I grabbed a few packs of Art Stickers ( for $1.50 each) and made my own. Memory games like this are great to teach basic game playing etiquette , good sportsmanship as well as an appreciation of the subject matter.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, fine art stickers and scissors.
  2. Start by cutting your card stock into squares. I made 16 ( 8 pairs) which seems to be a great and manageable number of pairs  for my son . Memory games have never been his strong suit so follow your own child’s abilities and you can always add or remove cards as needed.
  3. Pop the stickers on. I made the pairs match up with card color too as an extra hint for my son since I am trying to encourage him to play this game more without it ending in frustration over not getting it right away.
  4. All done.
  5. Flip over .
  6. Time to play.
  7. He made a match!

This game was a bigger hit this time than memory has ever been before, not sure if it was the color hint , subject matter or simply the right game on the right day. All I know is to keep trying lessons, games and activities even if they weren’t hits initially.

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Books About Fine Art

Touch the Art: Brush Mona Lisa’s Hair by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo is the inspiration for this post and my son’s new found love of Renaissance Art. The book is a board book with touch and feel aspects to it. The text is cute but not a story, each page asks the reader to do something with the touch and feel item . The real gem is bringing the art to young eyes. The book includes wonderful masterpieces : Girl with A Pearl Earring , Birth of Venus, The Arnolfini Portrait and more!

Katie Meets The Impressionists by James Mayhew is a art fairytale! Katie goes to the museum with her grandmother and before she knows it she is in the paintings and the world of the painters and their families.  Katie goes from painting to painting gathering flowers for her grandma and exploring a world on the other side of the canvas.  What I enjoy about this book is that it brings the paintings to life for readers and it shares the  back story in a way that children can connect to and imagine the possibilities when they go to museums! Of all these books this one held my son’s attention the least. I like to think it’s because he’s not a fan of impressionism, but I think it was simply a little long for his not quite 3 year old attention span.  Maybe if Renoir had painted garbage trucks… seriously though this is a fabulous book and worth a read!

Here’s Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves (Bob Raczka’s Art Adventures) is devoted to self portraits and the story behind each one in this fascinating book. This is a book for children older than my son who is 4 but I still showed him every painting ( all self portraits) and read highlights of the text which I found fascinating and can’t wait to share it with my kids when they are a little older. I read a lot of art history books for fun and I learned a few things reading this.  I can’t think of a better book to couple with a lesson about self portraits for kids 6-12.

Angry Birds Inspired Water Balloon Game

angry birds gross motor game Blast those darn piggies with water balloon Angry Birds! Inspired by the mega popular video game Angry Birds this takes the game outside into the sun for fun all summer long.
Earlier this year we featured a post by contributing writer Kim about playing Real Life Angry Birds. Well because of that post I finally downloaded the game and have been not so shamefully in love with the game ever since.  When the sun finally came out I knew we needed to adapt Kim’s post into something for outside in the sun. So of course we needed to include water balloons and a little art too!  To say we had fun would be the understatement of the century- this was incredibly awesome.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some water balloons, a permanent marker ( optional) and some washable sidewalk chalk . The washable chalk obviously comes off when hit with a few balloons so it’s great for this activity. You may also want a bag or bowl to rest your balloons in so that they aren’t on the pavement where they may pop.
  2. Start by filling your balloons.
  3. Carefully add angry faces with the permanent marker.
  4. Draw your pigs ( if you aren’t familiar with the game these piggies are your targets). I did the green, he did (some) blue!
  5. Get ready to smash those pigs! This can also be a lesson in sizes .
  6. Aim!
  7. Get those bad pigs!
  8. Keep blasting .  Between balloons I would pretend to tweet a whistle and announce ” Clean Up Crew – Time Out!” then quickly retrieve all the pieces of each water balloon. Please be sure to dispose of them carefully, and keep them out of your children’s reach as deflated balloons are unsafe for kids. We used neon balloons so the bright colors would be easy to spot.
  9. We kept going back to make more “birds”.
  10. At the end of the game I had my son be the final cleaning crew looking for balloon pieces.

Rainy Day Physical Activity

We live outside Seattle and even for us this spring has been rainy. This activity is a perfect example of simple being wonderful. As soon as I told my son about my idea he was eager to start, so this wasn’t our most polished project, but trust me we had a ball. I don’t know about the kids in your house but in ours we need to work up a sweat inside or out to ensure a smooth bedtime and great sleep. So rain or shine we need to move our bodies!

  1. Gather your materials – all you need are some card stock ( index cards would be awesome) , a marker, and scissors if you need to cut the card stock.
  2. Write out different actions, exercises, and physical feats twice.
  3. Cut and make two piles.
  4. To play you need two players ( I played as well- trust me you don’t need to see me do karate kicks in my Pjs…not a pretty sight). Each player gets a pile.  The premise is simple both players put their pile of cards face down,  count out loud to 3 and flip .
  5. Then do the action on the card.
  6. Keep flipping and moving!
  7. Exercise will make you strong!

Book

Like all the books this week this one Strong Stickfiggy is one of the ebooks available on the  free MeMeTales’ Mobile Reader App . We read it on my iPod , under the covers pretending it was the Batcave ( do not tell me that shocks you…).  You don’t have to read it in a Batcave or even at home , you can read it anywhere which is my favorite part of this app.

Strong Stickfiggy
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Strong Stickfiggy

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