I laugh when I think of this game we did. It was on a whim, and of course, it was made for George, but ended up making it for Henry because he was more interested in it. [It always seems to go that way…]
This is an activity that takes some movement [Yay! Gross Motor activity! We like energetic activities!] and they get to learn in the process. And guess, what? The learning can be adjusted however it works to suit your child. Whether they’re into numbers, counting, ABCs, spelling, whatever. Make it fun for them.
Here’s what you need to get started on our Punch Game:
- Some recycled plastic jars [the lids are not needed]
- A magazine from the recycle bin
Find a few small toys from around the house to put in the plastic jars.
Rip out a page of the magazine and place over top the plastic jar. And tape into place. [I also tried rubber bands, they did not work.]
Give your child a toy hammer or something to pound through the magazines.
This is where I just let George explore the punch jars. He didn’t get into it as much as I thought he would. I thought he’d get a kick out of punching through the magazines.
Oh well, when Henry joined us, I added a learning element to the activity.
I set out the punch jars on the floor with a foam letter in front of each one. [Any type of letter will do.] If I had planned ahead far enough for this [I never do] I would have put toys in the jars that started with the letters and have him identify what letter they started with.
I had Henry come to the first jar and tell me the letter [simple enough for him].
I then asked him what sound that letter made [something new he’s working on and getting the hang of very quickly!].
To turn it into a game for him, I asked him to hunt around the house for something that started with that letter, or sound.
Once he figured out the sound the letter made, the object came quickly.
B is for Blanket.
T is for Tractor.
F is for Fish.
S is for something…. no really… I can’t remember what he found now!
When he found one letter, he got to punch open the jar and get his prizes inside!
And this can be done over and over with the same letters to reinforce them, or different ones if they’ve got it down.
He didn’t really care for the prizes [because, really, I didn’t take much time to put anything in there of ‘value’ to him, or exciting in any way, I just grabbed small toys for George mostly].
But he did like to punch through the jars, which was the whole point! And a lot of fun!
The scavenger hunt was a fun learning twist too. I think it could be done in many ways to work on whatever he’s interested in at the moment. Colors, numbers, whatever. We’ll be coming back to this one I think.
Henry is almost 4 years old. George is 18 months.