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Thursday, May 20, 2010

$1 Learning Games - Tutorial

Okay, I've got one for you...What do you do when you see some really cool, funky, kiddy placemats at the Dollarama? Why, make them into a learning game, of course!



What You Need:

2 of the same plastic placemats (2/$1 at Dollarama)
Scissors

This is the style of placemat you're looking for - something with individual sections.

Really, that's all you need to make a game!


What You Do:

1) Cut out the individual sections of your dollar store placemats.


If you don't have a toddler who likes to flail things about (making corners a serious blinding hazard) that could be the end. However, in our house, we move on to step 2...

2) Round off the edges of each section!


This is also a good time to make all of the cards a uniform size. On these particular mats, the end pictures are a tad smaller than the rest. Take one of those, round off it's corners first, and then sit it on top of the others as a template while you cut.

We stop here but if you want to use this as an upside-down flip-the-tile style classic memory game, you won't be able to - you can see the graphic through the back. So, if you have older children and want to use them in this way, or if you just want your cards to be cool and pretty, please proceed to step three...

3) Use one of the cards as a template to cut out enough pieces of felt to cover the back of each card.


In this house, we don't discriminate based on geometrical shape, so feel free to choose circles for your game!



Now, so things you could do with these cards:

1) Play a beginner visual discrimination game - Choose a card. Lay out two more cards (one being the match) and ask your little one to find the matching card. As they master this level, work up to three or more cards for them to choose from.

2) Play the classic tile flipping memory match. You can start with only four cards for we ones and work up the size of your grid from there.

3) Talk about the colours on the different cards.

4) Talk about the animals on the different cards.

5) Use them for following instructions ("Billy, bring me the blue card with the green frog, please.").

6) Use four placemats and use them for a go fish style game.

What else? It's your turn! Give me some great, creative ideas on how these cards could be used!


Now, for the mandatory baby-showing of the day. After a wonderful visit today with our six awesome cousins and an Auntie we love very much:


Little L concentrating very hard on drawing with her sidewalk chalk. She is sporting a hat that is perched precariously on her head because it no longer actually fits...

Little V ready for a day out on the town!

Don't forget to leave a comment and tell me, how would you use these cards? If you can give me a really cool idea, and you don't have a good dollar store in your area, I might even be incline to mail one lucky person a set!

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