This is a great St. Patrick's Day family game for a Saturday.
Materials Needed: (for game board) poster board or large piece of paper, markers, St. Patrick's Day stickers, ruler (or something to help make straight lines).
1. Draw a border around your poster board using a marker and a ruler (we didn't have one close by, so I used our race track).
2. Divide up your poster board into a large grid.
3. Work with your family to decide what activities you want to put inside your grid. Draw a picture in each square (or write a short description) to represent each activity.
Some of our activities: hop around room, shoot hoops, sing ABCs, kisses, play with trains, watch two little blackbirds, give high fives, eat a piece of candy, play with balloons, run a lap around the kitchen, twirl, play rock-a-bye baby, race cars down race track, jump up and down, etc.
These were all activities we knew my son liked (and that we didn't mind doing either).
4. Decorate your pitch poster with St. Patrick's Day stickers.
5. Talk about what each of the squares means.
Now onto the game....
1. Find some coins (my little guy's FAVORITE part) and give each player a coin or two.
2. Put your pitch game board somewhere where there is some space. Tape your board to the floor with painter's tape so that it doesn't move around.
3. Designate a place for the players to stand when they throw their money.
4. Have the first player stand and throw their coin onto the pitch game board.
5. Check out the board. The square that the money is in tells you what you're next activity will be (in this case, we'll be hopping around the room first).
Most of the activities on our board are pretty simple and take up a short time frame because our son has a limited attention span. You could also fill up your board with longer activities and this pitch game could last all day. Some St. Patrick's Day activities you could add in would be potato stamping, shamrock collages, shamrock shadows, a pot o' gold hunt, and maybe some sort of sensory tub activity. You can also easily change the activities on your board by covering over squares with a piece of paper and putting a new activity on it. Other activities we'll be adding today will be floor hockey, building a fort, going on a walk outside, slide bowling, and playing Rock Band.
Here are a few pics of some of the activities we did yesterday.
Watching Cullen's ABCs- Two Little Blackbirds
Playing with balloons- we still have a full ballroom full of balloons leftover from my son's birthday party
Racing cars down the track
Watch out for cheaters! My little guy kept trying to place the money on the candy icon (he figured that out pretty quickly) so that he could get more and more candy!!
M&M eggs are a current favorite
This would also be a fun way to get your Saturday chores done. Put a chore on each square and throw in a few fun activities and treats on other squares. Cross out the squares when you complete each task. This is bound to make working together as a family a little more fun.
Deciding on activities to put on your pitch game board is a great language activity. You may need to prompt your child to remember some of their favorite activities if they can't verbalize them right away. I drew a few pictures to get my son's ideas coming. Once I drew the picture, he would tell me what he wanted to do... usually in 1-2 words. I tried to expand on his ideas by adding a verb into his statements and then I tried to get him to repeat the short sentences I said. Verbs we talked about were play, listen, throw, shoot, hit (balloons), eat, watch, sing, and run. Once we threw the coins onto the pitch, we would talk about the activity we were going to do. As we did each activity, we had little conversations about what we were doing. For example, when we were racing cars on the track we talked about each car- the gold shiny car, the tiny red car- and then we talked about how the cars moved- fast, slow, crashed, turned right, spun around, etc. Every activity can foster a lot of conversation. If you are playing as a family you and your spouse can also talk with one another and model conversational skills for your children. Kids are always listening and learn best from your example.
We got this idea from The Wiggle & Giggle Busy Book by Trish Kuffner.