Tag Archives: game

Repurposed for Fun: Bowling with Cups

Last week, I wanted to try a new game for Try Something New Thursday. I grabbed a stack of cups that were leftover from our last party and a medium sized ball. I made a pyramid with the cups, and we were ready to bowl. 

Buddy was excited as soon as he saw the bowling game. He initially tried to throw the ball at the cups. Then I showed him how to roll the ball. Buddy tried to roll it right next to the cups, but I told him you have to go far for bowling. He thought that was really funny, and he now says “go far!” all the time. It didn’t take long, though, for him to understand how to bowl.

Buddy and I took turns bowling. We didn’t keep score; we just tried to knock down as many cups as we could. It was a lot of fun showing him how to take turns to play a game. If we didn’t knock down all of the cups, Buddy kicked over the rest of them. That was a lot of fun too. 

We played for about 15 minutes, then Buddy took a break. He decided to put his trains in a cup and pour them into a box. (Buddy still loves pouring!) Once all the trains were in the box, we got back to bowling.

We both had a lot of fun! I’m happy to have an easy game we can play with a family, and I’m sure we will play it again soon.

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Move Like the Animals: A Gross Motor Skills Game

Buddy was a very late walker, and he works with a physical therapist once a week. As a result, I’m always looking for fun ways to build his gross motor skills at home. Last week, Buddy’s physical therapist mentioned that they had been imitating different animals in their session. I thought that sounded like an idea that would be fun to do at home as well.

Buddy received a set of Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Animals (affiliate link) for Easter. I thought they would be fun to incorporate into our animal movement game. To play the game, Buddy chose an animal from the tub. Then, we would try to move like that animal. Some of the animals were easier to think of movements for than others, but it was fun trying to make up movements for all of them.

When we first started, Buddy spent a lot of time looking through the animals and deciding which one to pick.

Once he picked an animal, we both got up and moved like it. For the zebra, we did high marching kicks. For the panda, we pretended to climb up bamboo. We swung around like a monkey, waddled like a penguin, hopped like a kangaroo, and snapped our arms like an alligator’s mouth. We crouched and crawled and roared for both the lion and the tiger. The seal was the weirdest one movement wise; we just waddled around and barked like a seal. Both of us had so much fun!

Marching like a zebra

Climbing bamboo like a panda

Moving like animals is so much fun!

After a little while, Buddy wanted to just play with the animals and the container, which was fine. He had a lot of fun just lining up all of the animals and then saying their names.

It was a really fun activity for both of us, and it was great for practicing some of his gross motor skills. We have played this game several times so far, and I’m sure we’ll play it again soon. If you have any other ideas for fun gross motor activities, please share in the comments.

Find That Shape: A Sidewalk Chalk Game

I’m so excited that spring break is here! As the weather is getting warmer, Buddy is extra eager to go outside to play. A friend and colleague of mine told me about a shape sidewalk chalk game she plays with her granddaughter. She draws different colored shapes in chalk and tells her granddaughter to find different colors and shapes. Since Buddy is working on colors and shapes, I knew it’d be a perfect game for him.

To make this game easy for Buddy, I only did one of each shape and color. I also picked shapes and colors that Buddy knows. 

I told Buddy to find a specific color/shape combination and jump on the shape. He had a lot of fun finding each shape. Buddy can’t jump yet, but he enjoyed stomping on each shape as he found it.

Buddy took some breaks from the game to draw on our driveway with the chalk. We’ve never played with chalk before, so that was fun and exciting for Buddy. Then we’d go back to playing our game again.

We also played a variation where he told me which shape and color to jump on. Buddy thought that was lots of fun too.

Once Buddy becomes more confident with his colors and shapes, I will make this game more difficult by making shapes in more than one different color. So far, we’ve played it twice this week, and it’s quickly becoming one of Buddy’s favorite activities.

Buddy and I have some extra time together this week due to spring break, so I’m looking for more things to try with him. If you have any ideas, please share!

Pom Pom Transfer Activities and Toss Game

Buddy loves playing with pom poms.  (You can read about some of our other pom pom activities here and here.)  However, I had to put them away for awhile because Buddy wanted to put them in his mouth. Last week, I saw some new pom poms ideas on Busy Toddler, and thought it might be time to pull them out again.

One of the ideas on Busy Toddler’s blog was to use a multi-sectioned container and kid tweezers with poms. I bought a pair of kid tweezers at the dollar store this summer, but Buddy hasn’t been able to use them yet. I set out a multi-sectioned container, a snack cup, tweezers, and the poms for Buddy to explore.

Buddy was so excited to see the poms! He immediately poured them from the cup into one of the sections. Then he started taking them and putting them into different sections.

I showed Buddy that he could use the tweezers to pick up and move the pom poms. Buddy was very curious about the tweezers after he saw me use them. He tried a couple of times, but he wasn’t able to make them work.

After we gave up on the tweezers, Buddy just poured the poms from the cup into different sections. He also picked up poms and put them into different sections. He really enjoyed transferring the poms from one section to another. From time to time, he’d dump the whole container over and start again.

Next, we used the different sections of the container to sort the poms by color. Buddy is 21 months now, and he’s just starting to understand the idea of a color sort. We pulled out a few different colors and put them into different sections.

Buddy wasn’t all that interested in sorting the pom poms. He decided it would be a lot more fun to throw them around the room. Since Buddy wanted to throw the poms, I quickly made up a toss game. I said that we get a point for getting a pom in the container and five points if the pom gets in the center section. Buddy loved this game!

When we got a couple in the center part, I made a big deal about getting five points. Buddy decided he wanted to win the game, and he came up with his own plan. He put all of the poms in the cup and poured them directly into the center part. He was so proud that he was able to get so many in there! (I guess I wasn’t clear enough about the throw them in to get the points part of the rules.)

Buddy had a great time playing with his pom poms. He was entertained for more than a half hour, which I would call a success. (Eventually he did want to try eating them, so we had to put them away. If you do pom poms with a toddler, please supervise carefully!)  I’m sure we’ll try our game and sort activities again when Buddy is a little older.

I’d love to hear if you have any ideas on playing with pom poms or other materials in a creative way. I’m always looking for new ideas for our next play time together.