Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More games

We're having some more off-time over at our little homeschool. I managed to pass that nasty flu-bug to each of the kids, and they've been coughing their heads off for the last two days. Anything that looks even remotely like school is out of the question, unless, of course it's some kind of a game.

Enter Kitty Bill, the tiny mastermind. He has been taken with the Langwister cards and has begun distributing them throughout the house. Both his placement of the cards and the successive attempts to clean up said cards has prompted further game play.

We used this verse from A Child's Seasonal Treasury.
We're stepping over stepping stones, 1, 2, 3
We're stepping over stepping stones, come with me
The river's very fast, and the river's very wide
We'll step across the stepping stones to reach the other side.
Today, the girls pulled themselves together enough to play "Cross the River" with me, and they had a fun time and completely forgot to cough for a few minutes. It was great.

We spaced the cards out like stepping stones across the rug in our main room, and in order to "Cross the River" we had to call out the name of the cards before we could step on them. In German, of course, although I watched Moonshine do it in English and it seemed just as challenging to her in either language. I wonder if that has something to do with her age and general dreaminess. It never occurred to me before that four-year-olds would need to stop and rifle through that filing system in their brains to come up with a word they so obviously know in their native tongue to match it to a picture. It was interesting to observe.

When they're feeling better, I'd like to take this game to a more social, cooperative level with them. Give them the stack of cards and a task (ex. Get from Point A to point B without touching the floor.) And then let them use the cards as they need them. Maybe give Moonshine a couple of "magic" cards (like free spaces) so she can hold her own. It would be great to have more kids to help problem solve, but for now, we'll just have to work with what we have.

I was also thinking that the stepping stones idea would work well for math sums. I like the idea of having a sum on each card, and then they have to announce a problem for it (ex. "16" on the card, and they can say "10+6" or "2x8" or "20-4".) From whole to parts. I bet that would be fun.

The other game, the picking up game, doesn't have much to it. The cards are tired and they want to sleep. So the kids need to collect the cards, "Die Katze ist müde." "Guten Nacht, die kleine Katze." And so on... I'm learning if you say anything with enough enthusiasm it catches like fire.

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