Education Category: Games, Math
Ages: 4-8, 8-12, 12-16
In this leap frog game your child will use muscles to jump from lily pad
to lily pad and use some math skills to count as she hops along.
This is a great way to help your child build essential math skills and stay active while having fun.
What You Need:
Blue plastic tarp or a large tablecloth
Green butcher paper or poster board
Construction paper or poster board
Large open space
5-10 large hula hoops (optional)
1. Spread out the blue tarp (the 'pond') on the ground in an open space indoors or outdoors.
2. Place green circles of paper on the pond. Put the lily pads close enough so the child can jump safely from one to the next.
3. Cut out numbers and place one on each lily pad. Be sure to tape everything safely.
4. Decorate the rest of the pond with stuffed frogs, ducks and so on.
5. For an extra fun touch, you can place a hula hoop around each numbered lily pad. This will help your child to really use muscles as the hula hoops create larger spaces in between the lily pads. For some added fun, when your child lands on a lily pad inside a hula hoop she can call out the number she has landed on and try to make the hula hoop
go around her waist that number of times! or she can try to 'jump rope' with the hula hoop as many times as she can up to the number she landed on.
What to Do:
1. This activity works best with at least two kids so that the children can hop over one another like in the game of leap frog. But you can also do this activity with one child.
2. Gather the kids around the pond.
3. Call attention to the numbers on the lily pads and ask the children if they can name the numbers.
4. Tell the children that they are going to take turns being frogs. They are going to jump from lily pad to lily pad (and over each other if possible!) and count while jumping, starting with number one.
5. Call on a child to start. He can jump to the lily pad with the number one and count or say, “One!”
Other children can call the numbers and count as they jump too. You can do this with several 'frogs' at once or you can let each child go in turns, hopping around to different numbers.
It is important that your child understands which number is being called out and act consequently. She will then get a chance to pronounce the number either by counting or by repeating the number.
6. Keep things fun but make mental notes as you're watching the kids play. Can each child count and say the numbers as they jump? When do they hesitate? Which numbers cause them a little trouble and which are a breeze?
This is a great game to play to help with number recognition skills and build a strong math foundation for your preschooler's future learning. Not to mention it's a silly and fun way to exercise, keep those minds and bodies active!
Adapted with permission from 'Learn Every Day About Numbers.'
Copyright 2009 by Kathy Charner (Editor).
Used by Permission of Gryphon House, Inc., Maryland. All Rights Reserved.
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