Posted by Ellen on 11/13/2014
This Fall has been warm of late so my 2-year-old and I were outside yesterday playing with sidewalk chalk. After we had drawn our umpteenth star, flower and family portrait, I decided to make things a little more educational. So, I took a second to write various letters and numbers all over the sidewalk in no particular order or spacing. Then, her job was to run and jump on whatever letter or number I called out. Simple as it may sound, she absolutely loved this "game". She couldn't get enough of scouting out the 3 or the K or the M. I made sure to only write the letters and numbers that she is familiar with, so it wasn't overwhelming, but rather good practice.
I got to thinking that this could easily be extended to kids of all ages. The youngest kiddos, like mine, should just stick to basic identification. Kids who need a bit more of a challenge, though, could be asked to find sums or differences, or products and quotients. For instance, if you wrote a 6, 10, 12, 16, 18, and 20, you could ask your child to find and jump on:
- the sum of 4 and 2
- the difference between 12 and 2
- the product of 3 times 4
- the quotient of 40 divided by 2, and so on.
You can cater this to kids of all ages and abilities. Again, the possibilities are endless, and kids have a blast because they think it's a game more than anything else. The physical part of running and jumping on the letters and numbers make it more fun than seeing the numbers written on paper and chalkboards. What do you think?