Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

Coolest Manipulatives Ever!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I’m not a huge fan of licensed characters.  I don’t forbid the kids from watching cartoon movies and shows, but I won’t be decking out their entire rooms with a character or buying all of the accompanying toys.  Still, when I saw Toy Story KerPlunk! on sale for $4.25, I thought it would make a good investment.  KerPlunk! (the classic game or otherwise) provides opportunities to practice early math skills like matching and counting.  The concept is pretty simple: you poke 30 little sticks through a canister (in this case, a rocket) and pour in marbles (or aliens) on top of that.  Then, you role a die with colored sides.  Whatever color you roll, you remove one stick of the same color.  If any aliens fall out when you remove your stick, you keep them.  Whoever ends up with the fewest aliens wins.

The boys weren’t into the traditional rules.  They preferred to shake the daylights out of the rocket until all of the aliens fell out.  That was OK.  We still counted the aliens, which are pretty cool manipulatives if you ask me.  The space theme would make a great tie-in for some science activities.  As a bonus, we got to do some subtraction to figure out just how many of the little guys had gone missing (11, as it turns out).

Levi was pretty excited to “do school” today.  He chose a shirt and “tie” for the occasion.  He wouldn’t let me tuck the top of the tie (or mismatched old sock) into his collar, so he was forced to hold it up to his neck.  When he tired of that, he discarded it on the table.  This explains the stray sock in the picture.