Even the stealthiest of teachers like to sit down and play a game every now and then. Of course there’s no reason why making a fun game for your kids has to be a lengthy and time consuming process.
That’s why I give you: Table Top Games!
One of my favorite things about these quick, simple games is how easy it is to transform them into a “new game”. I quote this mainly because to an adult, it might seem like the same game, but to a child it’s a whole new experience.
I wanted to give you a little update on the original post, to show you just how easy it is to switch up a game and get more bang for your buck!
We started off with some circles for sorting letters by case, and a basic set of alphabet magnets. This provides good practice in visual discrimination (fancy teacher talk for noticing the difference between letters) and letter identification.
I usually leave a game like this set up for a few days to a week, and encourage the kiddos to play at least a few times.
Of course lets face it, while it might be fun for a bit, most kids will probably only play this once or twice before moving on to greener pastures. Thank goodness we didn’t spend much time prepping it!
Here comes the stealth again….
Here we have the same set up, but I’ve replaced the magnets with letter stickers. What can be more fun than stickers?? Now that same little sweetie who couldn’t possibly sort any more letters is flying back in the room desperate to play with STICKERS!
I just so happened to have upper case and lower case letter stickers (They were printed together on one sticker, and I had to cut them apart for this) so I was glad that I didn’t have to use two sets. They didn’t photograph the best, but they sure were fun!
Now something to think about when you’re planning multi-use activities like this is how much play you can get out of a set up. With the magnets, we could play the game a hundred times. With stickers, it’s more of a one and done game. You could try a second round with different stickers, but it’s never quite the same.
This sticker round won’t last as long as the magnets, but depending on the age and ability level of your child, they may only be able to place a few at a time. I leave this one out until all of the stickers are placed. That could be a few days.
So there you have another round of practice with those letters, and another excited kiddo who had a ton of fun with your 5 minute game.
But wait, there’s more! I say, why stop there?
Here comes round 3! This time the letters are already there, so we’ll have to change the game a little bit.
This time I added some letter cards, and flat marbles to play a little cover up. Draw a card, cover the matching letter.
I used apple cards just for a little variety because I already had some, but if you don’t have an endless supply of ABC’s, just pull those magnets back out from round 1 and toss those in the bucket. The change in format and the cover up doo-dads should be plenty enough to keep them interested.
I would again leave this round out for a few days to a week until you feel like you’ve gotten your use out of it.
You don’t have to stop here either! If you have more great ideas for extending the game, keep going, and share it with us!
So hopefully this gave you some good ideas on how to get some extra use out of your table top games. As always, these are meant as guidelines so don’t feel that you have to use all the same parts and pieces. Stealthy Teachers use what they have, so rummage through your drawers, get creative, and keep learning!