WHY? rhyming words, letter recognition, math concepts, etc.
WHAT? paper plates, rhyming pictures, markers, scissors, zip bag
HOW? Cut paper plates in half using puzzle designs similar to those shown. Glue pictures that rhyme on each half. Mix up the pieces. Children say the words and match up the pieces that rhyme. The game is self-checking because the pieces will fit if they match the correct pictures. Store pieces in a zip bag.
Hint! Start with 4 or 5 puzzlers and add more as children become confident and successful.
MORE! Use puzzlers for matching letters and sounds, numbers and number words, compounds, etc.
Use hearts, kites, pumpkins, or other seasonal shapes to make puzzlers.
Catch and Tell
WHY? rhyming words, recall, oral language, phonics, etc.
WHAT? sponge ball, bean bag, paper ball (wadded up sheet of paper)
HOW? The teacher holds the ball and says, “Who can think of a word that rhymes with _____?” After pausing for a few seconds, the teacher tosses the ball to a quiet child. That child says a word that rhymes, and then throws the ball back to the teacher. The game continues as the teacher says a word and children come up with rhyming words.
MORE? Call out a letter, color, shape, math fact, or other skill you want to reinforce. As children catch the ball, they name an object that fits the category.
Use this strategy to review story elements, science facts, etc.
Hint! This is a good transition game to play while children wait in line, as they clean up the room, or get ready to go home.
WHY? letters, words, math facts, and other skills
WHAT? small can with a smooth edge (such as one from chips, frosting, etc.), large craft sticks, markers, construction paper
HOW? Cover the can with construction paper and write ZAP! on it as shown. On the bottom of sticks print words. On several sticks write “ZAP!” Place all the sticks in the can with the words towards the bottom of the can. Have the children sit in a circle. One at a time, children hold the can and pull out a stick and identify the word on it. When a child chooses a stick with “Zap!” on it, they return all their sticks to the can. Continue passing the can until there is one person left.
Hint! If children can’t identify the information on their stick, let them “phone a friend” for the answer.
MORE? Adapt this game for letters, numerals, math facts, colors, shapes, or other skills you are working on.
For older students, add sticks that say, “You get two turns.” “Take a peek.” “Loose a turn.” “Skip.”
You can change this game for different holidays or units of study. For example, in October you could use skeleton stickers and the children could “shake their bones.” In December use Santa pictures and go “Ho-ho-ho,”etc.
Why? phonics, math facts
What? construction paper, marker
How? Cut construction paper into 5” x 9” rectangles. Fold in half and cut two 1 ½” slits on the center fold. Bend in the tab. Write a math problem on the front. Open and write the answer on the pop up tab. Children can supply the answer and then self check by opening the card.