Monday, March 18, 2013

St Patricks Day Goodies

Although this post is has "St Patricks Day" in the title, the content is totally adaptable to any themed holiday or occasion- as you will soon see!

In NZ, Valentines Day occurs fairly quick into the school year. I usually take the opportunity to pop some Valentines themed board games into the Math group boxes for the children to play as part of their rotation tasks.

Last year I made up a set of 'tic tac toe' for each group box. The sets had a coloured game board (glued onto card) and 6 felt hearts of one colour, 6 of another colour. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I forgot about the games, and they were in the group boxes for the entire year. However, am excited that every set survived! I credit it to the fact that each heart was a double layer of felt blanket stitched together- very durable.
However, this year I was less organised and just cut out single layered felt hearts. My plan is to stitch them together before next Valentines Day. No doubt it will linger in my 'to do' basket until a week before next Valentines.
This year I hope to keep the games new and exciting by changing the theme of the tic tac toe as each theme day arrives. We recently celebrated St Patricks Day, so I crocheted four leaf clovers in two shades of green for each board. Just do a quick You Tube search if you want the instructions. If you are not a crocheter, try cutting them out of felt in shades of green.
Our next event is Easter, and I plan to make some felt Easter eggs as game pieces this time. As you can see, it is easy to adapt the game to suit most themes. The game boards stay the same, and while the game pieces are a bit of work initially, I am hoping to store them for use next year too. The boards are easy to organise, and each group has a different coloured board so its easy to see who left their set out!

I am stoked with the progress so far. The children are loving the revival of one of their favourite games. They are practising their skills in logic and reasoning, co-operation and score keeping. Plus its a great way to get a new game into the group boxes without going through the rigmarole of introducing a new set of rules.

I usually introduce one or two other themed games at the same time. This St Patricks Day we had a roll and cover game available for free from here and a 'make 10' basic facts game from TeachersPayTeachers. This helps to ensure that we are getting new games fed into our group boxes and that we are re-inforcing key knowledge areas.

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