With my oldest child in kindergarten and my middle child of preschool age, I wanted to come up with a fun, fast, all-in-one game that would encourage them to learn without realizing that they were. Tricky mama, I know. I figured a board game would be able to cover several different aspects of learning all at once so I came up with an easy to play (either alone or with me) board game that teaches sight words, rhyming, counting, patterns, and opposites. An easy play option would be to simply play by whatever color they spin on spinner.
So here's a look at my ingenious creation:
The entire board game has 30 spaces from start to school house.
These are free rhyming cards I found at http://www.prekinders.com/2008/01/rhyming-cards/. I even colored them in myself (because I was out of ink and I made this game around midnight last night!)
I cut or punched shapes out of different colored card stock for the pattern part of the game. For the 'opposites' portion, I planned to call out adjectives and have the kids tell me their opposites.
This picture shows the incomplete board game but it's the only one I have depicting the sight words. I bought these at the dollar store and cut them to be the same size then hole-punched them and stuck a small book ring through them. Very handy for keeping the sight words together!
I used a lovely DiGiorno pizza box. It works great! I have two more pizzas in the freezer and I'm excited to see what I can come up with for those two boxes! =)
I used black construction paper for the background and it turned out very neat because the white crayon showed up on there like chalk on a black board!
The die is great for helping kids to count. I may add another die later but felt they would move too fast through the board using two. Once we start playing, I'll figure it out!
The turtles are ready to roll!
To begin play, the spinner is spun first to see if they can pass the challenge of opposites, rhymes, sight words or pattern-making. If they do, they get to roll the die to move their game pieces forward.
Another simplified way to play, which would be great for 3-year olds and under, is to simply spin a color and move the game piece to that particular spot. Or just roll the die and move forward. I, personally, prefer all the learning challenges because that was the whole point of the game but depending on the age of your child, it can be played whichever way they like.
I used a spinner from an old game that the kids didn't play with anymore. I simply traced the circle onto card stock, folded it into four equal parts, cut along the folds, traced each slice onto the colored card stock, then pasted the pieces onto the spinner.
Lastly, I used velcro to fasten the box closed when not in use. I will probably create a better cover for the game but this is just to illustrate what the game is all about: learning! I can't wait to play it with the kiddos when they get back from gramma's house!