Outdoor Play: Gruffalo Games & Superworm Olympics

After our visit to the Julia Donaldson exhibition on Saturday, I have been bursting with play ideas to go along with the stories.  I thought I would begin with some gross motor skills and outdoor fun.  I used ‘Superworm’ and ‘Gruffalo’ for enjoyment and enrichment.

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Gruffalo Games: Three games to develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance, body awareness, creativity, vocabulary, rhyme, alliteration and concentration…

Game 1: Gruffalo Twister

You will need:

  • a plastic table cloth (£1 shop)
  • weights to hold in place (I used J’s bean bags at each corner
  • stickers from the Gruffalo activity book

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Like Twister, this can be played indoors or outdoors and is great fun.  I weighted down the corners of the table cloth and stuck four stickers on the top row and the same four stickers, in different positions, on the 2nd row.

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I used this game to develop J’s bodily awareness as well as his gross motor skills.  I used body parts he is aware of as well as ones he needs rehearsal with e.g. elbow, ankle, forehead and so on.

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I kept things simple and just gave instructions myself rather than making a spinner although you could if you wanted.

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J had so much fun with this and I also went one step further using rhyme and alliteration (when words begin with the same sound) in my instructions… e.g. ‘Touch the Gruffalo with your elbow/toe/afro(haha).’  ‘Touch the fox with your finger.’ When using the alliteration I over emphasised the ‘f’ sound – this will help with J’s phonics and understanding of initial sounds in words.

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Game 2: Gruffalo Hunt

You will need:

  • stickers from the Gruffalo activity book

I made J go inside and I hid the stickers around the garden.  J came out and had a blast looking for them…

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Peeling the stickers off developed J’s fine motor skills too…

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When J struggled to see the stickers, I gave him clues… fab for his thinking skills…

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As J found them, he recited words from the Gruffalo naturally (no prompting) ‘Oh help, oh no, it’s the Gruffalo!’  This really made spectator, baby G, giggle!  I just love play! Smile

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Game 3: Gruffalo Crumble

You will need:

  • a plastic bowl
  • spoon
  • stickers from the Gruffalo activity book

I stuck the two stickers (used in previous games) into the ‘kitchen,’ one in the bowl and one on the table.  SO simple but J got excited when he saw it! I wanted this to be as open-ended as possible so the only instructions I gave were, ‘Quick J, I want Gruffalo Crumble!’  That was all that was needed.

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J collected grass (pulling up the grass  and sprinkling it is fine motor practise)…

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J decided to use the spoon to scoop up the stones to add to his crumble…

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J stirred it every time he added a new ‘ingredient’…

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J also gave a running commentary to all his ‘crumble’ making – telling us about the ingredients and giving us instructions about how to make it – in the style of ‘I Can Cook’ from Cbeebies.

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Superworm Olympics: 3 games to develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance, body awareness, creativity, vocabulary and concentration…

Game 1: Superworm Balance Beam

You will need:

  • two worm coloured scarves (£1 shop)

There was a drawing of Superworm on the floor at the exhibition and I just had to recreate this as J was playing there for ages.

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It worked, he played on this for ages too!  To develop balance, children do not need to be off the ground or at a height, just placing this on the floor helped J rehearse his balancing skills. I simply, laid is out on the grass in a wiggly shape and let J move along it however he chose.

This activity is fantastic for gross motor control, balance and coordination and really takes less than 20 seconds to set up! J jumped…

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… and he jumped sideways

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and he balanced using his ‘balancing arms!’

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Game 2: Superworm Toss

You will need:

  • some hoop type objects (I had these plastic ones no idea where from!) e.g. plastic bracelets, empty sticky tape rolls…
  • kitchen roll holder
  • scarf – Superworm

Another easy one to develop gross motor control.  J had to stand inside Superworm and toss the hoops over the kitchen roll holder.  He loved this but cheated as he moved the hoop practically inside the worm! He doesn’t like to ‘lose’ as he saw it!!

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Game 3: Superworm Lasso (like in the story)

You will need:

  • Ribbons on a stick (I got mine from the £1 shop a couple of months ago – still there I checked)

As in the story, Superworm changes into a lasso and helps ‘baby toad who’s the road.’  J had one ribbon in each hand and he waved them around in as big a movement as he could.  Gross motor workout at it’s finest.

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