A very simple game in that is actually two activities in one. One activity to make the game and one to play it. The bonus is, despite it’s simplicity, it is actually beneficial for the whole family and develops a vast number of skills for our child.
You will need:
- Four blobs of paint in different colours
- Some different shape blocks
- Plain card cut into size of a playing card
To make the game, I gave J a blank card and asked him to make a pattern on it. He decided to use one of the blocks available and printed some paint on. Next I showed him how to carefully place another plain piece of card on top to make a symmetrical print.
J loved revealing the printed symmetrical pattern and I used the word ‘symmetry’ as J painted. Introducing words to our children as they play and have fun is by far more successful than learning lists of words. If they don’t hear these words from adults through play, how will they learn what they mean in a purposeful way?
Of course by manipulating the blocks, J gets a fine motor workout too. As he printed, he talked about the colours, shapes and mixing colours too.
J soon ditched the blocks and began dotting with his finger counting the dots as he did so … This is a classic example of a child initiated learning opportunity and such a powerful learning experience.
J also created his own 2D shapes by drawing them out with his finger. Again, completely his own idea and own learning. Your child will develop their own learning opportunities as they play, they may not be the same ones J comes up with but if you watch them play, there will be learning going on.
We then left the cards to dry! Having already gained so many learning experiences naturally through play, you could leave it there but the game is fun for all the family and great for developing concentration.
If you have a younger child, you can mix the cards up and lay them face up.
Take it in turns with your child to spot the matching symmetrical cards. This will naturally lead to using words related to colour, shape, number of blobs/dots, pairs, matching, same and so on.
For older children, mix the cards up and lay them face down. The aim is to turn over two cards and if they match you win that pair. If, they don’t match, you turn them back over to face down. By watching and concentrating through the game, the player can use their memory to remember where the patterns were.
As well as naturally using all the vocab as used in the simplified version, it is also LOTS of competitive fun for all the family. Last night, after a very busy weekend, we wound down by playing. Unfortunately, both Daddy and J are ultra competitive and we did have a few tears when J lost!! A learning curve though, you can’t win them all!
When J did win, he made me photograph all his matching pairs. This is an amazing game for developing concentration and memory, therefore it is a VALUABLE game for the whole family. J was so proud that he’d made a game that the whole family enjoyed so much; so it’s great for self-esteem too! A family who play together, stay together!