Crafty Learning games for young children…
“NO! Not flashcards, mom! They’re BORING!”…
You know what? My daughter was RIGHT! Being more along the artistic and music side myself, flashcards did nothing more than frustrate and bore me as a kid too and I have to admit, they’re not any more interesting as an adult! While they do still have their place in education, we have stumbled across some wonderful activities that can not only be fun, but of equal educational benefit. And even better, YOU can make these at home! And in most cases, for less than a dollar!
The first is a number game. Take a rope of about two feet and knot it at one end. Insert this knotted end into a whiffle ball. Take a couple of pool noodles of varying colors (ours were blue, yellow, white and pink) and cut from the end 2 three inch cylinders from each color plus one extra from the color of your choice. Write a number on each cylinder, 1-9. Now you can create any number of combinations of colors or numbers for your child to try to duplicate. Your child can then string the appropriate color or number in order onto the string that you attached to the whiffle ball. This not only works on dexterity but on color and number recognition as well as pattern association…and itâ€™s lots of fun!
The second activity we have for you is called a Tangram. For those of you unfamiliar with Tangrams, they are a puzzle brought out of China. Using several predetermined shapes (click here to check out a site devoted to Tangram printouts), your child can move the shapes around until they create a recognizable shape. They can either try to duplicate shapes already created, or make up their own. The catch is that all the shapes must be used and none of them can overlap! Itâ€™s quite a challenge!
Now we donâ€™t want to leave out those early readers! So hereâ€™s one more activity thatâ€™s great to help them with their phonograms as they start to learn how to blend sounds and recognize letter combinations. Take a plastic easter egg. On one side of the seam where the egg comes together, write the letter combination â€śatâ€ť. One the other side of the seam write â€śhâ€ť, â€śrâ€ť, â€ścâ€ť and â€śbâ€ť…one above the other along the seam. Now when you twist the egg, the â€śatâ€ť will align with one of the other letters to form a word. You can print small pictures of a â€śhatâ€ť, a â€śratâ€ť, a â€ścatâ€ť and a â€śbatâ€ť and cut them out to fit inside the egg. As your child twists the egg and discovers the new letter combinations, they can try to guess whatâ€™s inside the egg!
We hope you enjoy some of these learning crafts with your children! Happy â€śback-to-schoolâ€ť month! If you have any fun learning crafts that you have found helpful, please share them in the comments! We’d love to hear what has worked for you and your family!