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Friday, December 13, 2013
A KINETIC CHRISTMAS: Santa Claus Way
Santa Claus Way
FROM JUMPING TO SKIPPING (Approximately 3+ years)
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Today's activity is great for developing sequential memory -- the ability to remember a series of things in the order in which they are presented -- an essential tool for learning not only in early childhood, but for life.
Sequential memory is reliant on short-term memory, which of course, is just beginning to develop in early childhood. While games like this can be packed with developmental richness for little ones, they can be frustrating if we forget the natural limits to their memory capacity. That's why I like to try to engage as much of the brain in these games as possible -- a "see it - hear it - do it - feel it" approach.
I realize that sounds like a lot, but in fact, it's easy to do at home or in the classroom. Here's a great example of what I'm talking about...
SANTA CLAUS WAY
Santa Claus is coming to town! Can you help Santa find his way?
To set up this activity, have the child draw or color in their favorite holiday icons (e.g. stockings, candles, elves, reindeer, wreaths, etc.)
Next, lay the pictures out on the floor to form a pathway. Tape them to the floor to prevent slipping for the next part of the game. (Note: this can also be done outside on the driveway or sidewalk with chalk if your weather permits.)
Begin by calling out one picture at a time. Encourage the child to step on the picture.
Next, call out two pictures. Have him repeat the words of the pictures out loud – this helps him to hold the sequence in his short-term memory. Next have him step from one to the next in the order in which you called them out.
Repeat the game, adding one picture at a time. Create patterns that require him to look up and down the path to see where he has to step next.
And to add extra challenge, have the child jump or hop to the next picture.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and active holiday season!
A KINETIC CHRISTMAS
24 DAYS OF ACTIVE HOLIDAY PLAY!