Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Cat, Cat, Dog!"

I've had "The Toddler's Busy Book" by Trish Kuffner for a couple years, but I don't use it as much as I should. I always forget I even have it. But today I remembered that it was on my shelf collecting dust, so I thought I'd flip it open and see if I could find something fun for N and I to do. I turned to the Outdoor Adventure section and found a game called "Red, Red, Red" (on page 139 for those of you who own the book). It sounded like something N would enjoy, so I thought I'd give it a whirl, but I modified it a little. I call our version "Cat, Cat, Dog!"

Here's how to play:
  • Have players stand next to each other behind a starting line
  • The leader calls out three animals- If the animals match ("cat, cat, cat") the players stand still like a soldier. If the last animal named is different ("cat, cat, dog"), the players run to a distant designated "safe" spot before the leader tags them.
  • If a player is tagged before they get to the "safe" spot, then that player now has to call out animal names. The original starting line then becomes the new "safe" spot.
  • Variations: instead of animals, you can do body parts or colors or whatever; instead of running to the "safe" spot, you can skip, twirl, hop, or you can pretend to be whatever animal was called out last.

This game is fun because:

  • Every kid LOVES animals
  • It teaches math: Kids have to name one animal three times in a row, then they have to name one animal twice and say a different animal on the third time. I was very impressed that N was able to this because sometimes he has a hard time with numbers.
  • Kids LOVE being chased, and the especially LOVE chasing
  • It's great exercise for you and your kids. You'll both need some quiet time at the end.
  • Parents will enjoy this too!

I had no idea just how much N would like this game. He absolutely LOVED it! He said, "Let's play this game all day!" It really was a lot of fun!

This book really has some great ideas. I made a goal to do at least one a week. Technically, there's one activity for every day of the year, but that's a little overwhelming for me. Maybe someday I'll get to that point, but I'm just going to take it slow for now.

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