Sunday, February 26, 2012

Number Olympics

L and E are 31 months old.  I always like combining physical activity with learning (like jumping over sight words, making an obstacle course in our living room, etc..), and I've had the idea of integrating math skills with Olympic-style activities for quite some time.

So yesterday after I completed my own record-setting endurance event (a 2-hour nap with Baby H!), the twins and I had a little bit of Olympic fun.  It almost turned into a reenactment of the first Greek Olympics (in the nude!), but I managed to keep the girls dressed long enough to take some pictures.

Our first event was the long jump:

This was the first time the girls had used a tape measure.  They helped me read the numbers, and we used ordinal/math words: "L's first jump was 10 inches, and her third jump was 22 inches.  This was her longest jump", etc.. (and yes, my 31 month old can jump almost 2 feet!).

We followed this with the high jump.  We've jumped over the broom before, but this time we added some number concepts to the game by increasing the height by one Duplo block at a time.  The girls counted the blocks and made sure we had the same number on each side.   Then we sang a variation of Barney the Dinosaur's "Number Limbo" song (substituting "limbo" with "high jump", "under" with "over", etc..).

A little more bragging - the girls both jumped over a height of 4 duplo blocks!  When we got to 5, they decided it would be easier to go under, which was a fun challenge too.

Next it was time for some track & field running events.  The girls took turns running around the living room, while the other one operated the timer:

We practiced hitting the correct buttons for Stop and Go, read the numbers on the display, and counted the laps.  I was most impressed by how the twins took turns very nicely with the highly-coveted stopwatch.

The shotput (beanbag) throw provided more number practice:

 The girls read the digits with ease (the only ones they mix up are 6 and 9), and were able to tell me which numbers were greater.

The most creative event I came up with was Weight Lifting.  I put out 24 blocks and asked the girls to put 12  in each pail.  Then we weighed them to see if they were the same:

 After getting both sides to weigh the same, I taped the buckets to the broomstick and the girls did some weight lifting:

Their Dad had taught them to grunt and huff-and-puff while they lift weights (for extra drama), so it was hilarious!

Our Olympic afternoon ended with some rythmic gymnastics:

We had so much fun.  I'm planning on building on this and doing an entire Olympic week this summer for the 2012 Summer Olympics!

UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed early learning games that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!

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1 comment:

  1. Oh you are so wise to combine activity with learning! (I've recently read a great resource called Action Based Learning that is all about that concept.) These are all such fun ideas!

    I'm following you on Pinterest now too!


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