December 16, 2013

Let's Have a Snowball Fight!

It all started with a bucket of snowballs...


I saw this online a couple of weeks ago and just had to get them!  It's a bucket of six, soft, fluffy snowballs whose sole purpose in life is to be thrown.  I mean, come on, who doesn't want that???
So of course I've found MULTIPLE ways to use them.

I've got several little preschoolers who struggle with following simple directions, so my first thought was to use this with them.  Here's what I did:



I made a set of cards for following simple directions that include snowmen throwing snowballs and Christmas vocabulary.  I also made matching vocabulary cards that were a little larger, which I taped to some cardboard blocks to use as targets.  I set up two blocks at a time at the edge of the table, and separated the cards into two stacks and placed them face down on the table.  Next, we turned over the top card of each pile and read the direction together.  In the example above, we said, "Throw a snowball at the elf."  I gave the child one snowball and she threw it at the corresponding block until she knocked it down.  Then we repeated the steps with the remaining cards and blocks.  This game was a big hit (pardon the pun!)!!!

I was thinking you could do this, too, even if you don't own a set of snowballs like these.  You could roll up white socks to make your own snowballs, or you could use Styrofoam balls that you can find at a craft store.   You could use tissue boxes instead of cardboard blocks.  And you could use these, too:


Just a little freebie for you to have a little fun with this last week before Christmas.


You can find it right here,  at my TpT store.

So of course, I couldn't just leave it at keeping this activity for Christmas.  I want to use it all winter long!  And I wanted it to be useful for a wider variety of preschoolers.  So, I made another set, this one for working on following directions that include size concepts, prepositions and winter vocabulary.

Now we have six choices for actions.  The basic set...


...and at the request of faithful reader, Maria, a second set for more complex directions.



We also have...


...two sizes of snowballs to throw ( I added a bucket of cotton balls to the mix)...


...twelve winter vocabulary words on object cards...


...and 12 vocabulary cards to be used as targets.  This is what it looks like when we play:



Of course, the target blocks are not really this close to the picture cards when we play.  I just had to move them together for the picture.  Sometimes I even move the target blocks to various places in the room for bigger throws.  It just depends on the age and ability of the child.

I also decided to add preposition cards to this set.  There are five different prepositions in all and 4 blank snowball cards for you to customize according to your needs.


When using the preposition cards, I remove the action cards from play, because in this version, the child does NOT throw a snowball.  The child puts the snowball in the correct location as described by the action and object cards.  Like this:




You can increase the level of difficulty by adding the size cards, or by adding a second object, and by combining cards in a variety of other ways.

Do you like this one, too?  Find it here.

Here's another idea for your toddlers:  



Sorting snowballs by size!  With a little bit of throwing them thrown in for fun.


December 6, 2013

Early Speech Sounds Spinner Christmas Freebie

I'm so excited to share this Freebie with you!  I call it the Santa Sound Spinner -Final K edition.  It is part of a complete set of spinners and lotto boards that I'm almost ready to publish, but I just couldn't wait to share just this one piece with you!  My kids and I have been playing with it all week and loving it.



So what's it all about?  It's a spinning disk with 10 target words that fastens to the back of the Santa page.  Kids get to "open a present" and look inside to see a picture that goes with their target sound.  Here's what the disk looks like:


And here's the Santa page:



See those dotted lines around the green present?  You cut along each side and the bottom to create a peek-a-boo flap that the kids lift to see a picture.  Kids spin the disk by pushing the picture to the left or right to reveal the next picture.

You can play this game two ways.  If you're playing with more than one person, give each person a lotto board, and as the pictures are revealed, players cover the matching picture on their board.


Single players can spin the disk, say the word and then cover the dot on this Santa page using a dot marker or a chip (or maybe even a cotton ball, which might be really fun...you could have a "snowball fight" with the cotton balls after the game is finished!)  (I'm trying this TODAY!)

This freebie includes four lotto boards and spinner for the final /k/ sound.  If you like this one, be sure to check back soon for additional sound sets, because I've got a Princess and Superhero set that includes P, B, T, D, K and G in the initial and final position almost completed, and I might even make a few more Christmas sets.

Newsflash!!!  I had some extra time this afternoon and pulled together a Christmas Set for P and B sounds.  This set contains 4 lotto boards for each sound in the initial and final position...16 boards in all!  It is available in my TpT store.

If you'd like a copy of the freebie, visit my TpT site here and please be sure to leave feedback!

Merry Christmas!