I didn’t know what to call this game because it uses so many skills, but it truly is a gross motor reading game. The player needs to recognize sizes, sound out words for the street names as well as recognize numbers for the house addresses. Also, it incorporates gross motor and balance as they push the car along the streets. Of course, I wouldn’t be posting an activity like this without making adaptations easy. The street names could be turned to letters such as A Street. B Street etc… and the houses could be colors instead of numbers! My son who is almost 5 loves this game, we have played with friends and alone over the past week. The best part is that new street names and house numbers can be added so easily!
- Gather your materials. You will need a patch of floor, painter’s tape, some construction paper ( I used black, brown, orange, and yellow), a glue stick, a marker, white paper, and some scissors. Oh, and a toy car, my son wanted one with space to actually put the pizza in it so ours is huge. Use your favorite.
- Start by choosing the words you want to make into the street names. The player will have to find the right address to deliver the pizza and will have to read all the streets they drive on. I chose to do all sm , sn and sp blends but any words will do. For us my son needed to work on sounding out so I chose words he wouldn’t be as apt to read by sight. Write them on white paper.
- Glue them on black construction paper and cut out.
- Next up make the houses. As you can see my goal is not perfection , it’s fun so as long as my son can tell it’s a house , I am happy.
- Pop some numbers on the houses. Try to make some that are “easy” for your child, ones they will recognize immediately and some that are a challenge.
- Time for pizza. If your child is gaga for crafts have them make the pizza while you do the previous steps. We made 6 total – 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small.
- Don’t forget the pizzeria – ours is elaborate 😉
- Now create the road way with tape on your floor.
- Place the streets and houses with numbers on the roadway.
- Invite your player to come and deliver the pizzas! How to play: Pretend to call the pizza place asking for any combo of the pizza sizes such as one large and two smalls. Give them your address ( which of course is determined by the house on the street… so ours was #77 Smoke street ), then as they deliver the pizza they have to read the streets they use to get there.
- Keep going until all the pizzas are delivered!
- Switch up where each road is and move the houses around for the next round! This was such a hit we played for a long time.
Books About Pizza to read after Playing a Gross Motor Reading Game!
The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane and Herb Auch is really a cute re telling of the classic Princess and the Pea. They have modernized it and made it a little more feminist in the process, exactly my kind of book. The text is a little long for toddlers but my son sat through about half before wanting to go back and look at the illustration of the horse on the first page. The message is sweet, saying that a woman doesn’t need a man or marriage to attain her goals! Beware though it will make you crave pizza!
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philomen Sturges is a great retelling of the classic story. Kids will be able to relate to this hen not getting any help for all her hard work. Luckily her friends realize their mistake and do the dishes after she shares her yummy pizza. Since originally recommending this book it’s made a move from the bookshelf to the dresser pile of books that are in rotation for before nap and bedtime reading. A sure sign it’s kid approved!
Pizza at Sally’s is another great look at a small business owner, and how she does her work everyday and feeds the masses with her yummy pizza! I like how it not only explains how to make pizza but it also looks at the ingredients and how they are grown and processed. Of course, it’s not explained in depth but it is explained enough to start a dialogue with interested preschoolers for further investigation. My son loves the cat in this book, the same cat is in many of the other books but for some reason, he particularly loves its presence in this one. It’s inspired me to make the dough from scratch with my son next time we have pizza! A lovely book!