Thinking back to your childhood, what games did you use to play? For me, it was hopscotch, musical chairs, Chinese whispers, tag, jump rope with elaborate routines, red light green light, hide and seek and many more. On top of all these wonderful childhood games, throw an impromptu game of The Floor is Lava and we literally did not sit still for hours!
Where on Earth did we get all that energy and where did all the energy go since now I get tired just by blinking too energetically, lol. Anyway, I want to introduce my kids to some of these games because I feel like they’re missing out by not playing them.
A few days ago we played a variation of the floor is lava, called Coloured Stepping Stones Game. It’s actually a combination of the floor is lava and stepping stones, the resulting game however was a complete success.
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What skills do they get to refine?
Not only is this game fun but you can also use it as a teaching tool for various topics not to mention that the simple, basic game practices some important skills.
By playing the Stepping Stones Game your little one will get to:
- refine the all-important gross motor skills
- practice balance
- improve foot-eye coordination
- help with visual-spatial awareness
- improve their listening skills
In addition to these skills, you can tweak the game here and there so that the children can learn and practice topics like colours, numbers, spelling or vocabulary to name just a few.
Materials needed for Stepping Stones Game
For this game you’ll need the following:
Any type of coloured paper will do. I like the one from Astrobrights because it is vibrant and thicker than regular paper which means that it will last longer. This particular pack contains 150 sheets with 6 sheets of each colour.
– Spinner (optional)
You can download a free template for a spinner from here.
– A treasure
This is optional depending on which version of the game you want to play. It can be anything, from a toy (I use toys that he already has, I don’t buy new ones but you can if you want) to a sweetie. To make things more exciting you can put the treasure in a box so that the child can’t see it.
How to play
Version 1- free play
For this version of the game simply make a path with the coloured sheets of paper on the floor. Secure the sheets with tape. This is the simplest version in which the little explorer just has to get from point A to point B where s/he will find the treasure. Of course, since the floor is lava, if s/he steps outside the paper, s/he will have to go back to the beginning.
This version is perfect for very young players and a great opportunity for them to learn colours. Each time they step on a sheet, name the colour until they learn them.
Version 2- Shout the colour/number
Scatter the coloured sheets of paper on the floor and secure them with tape.
One player will say a colour and the other player will have to step on it. To make things more interesting, the player who shouts out the colours can be blindfolded or turned around.
The purpose of the game is for the player to reach the treasure while avoiding stepping on the floor.
Instead of colours, you can write numbers on the sheets of paper and follow the same game instructions.
Version 3- Extract a coloured card
This version is pretty much the same as the one above, except for the player shouting out a colour or number, in this version, s/he extracts a card that contains one of the colours/numbers on the floor.
This means that in addition to the sheets of paper on the floor, you will also need to prepare a deck of mini cards.
The goal is to step on the paper while avoiding stepping on the floor until the player gets to the treasure.
Version 4- Use a spinner
One player will spin the arrow while the “explorer” will have to step on the sheets of paper shown by the spinner until s/he gets to the treasure.
Ideas of how to use this game in a classroom or homeschool setting
The beauty of the Stepping Stones Game is that it can be very versatile. You can use the freer versions in which you just let the kids hop on the sheets of paper or you can direct the game towards a more educational approach in which kids can learn or revise certain topics.
Here are a few examples of such topics that I’ve used in the classroom.
Irregular verbs– write various verbs (either the infinitive, the past tense or the past participle form of the verb- your choice) on the sheets of paper on the floor. When you shout out a verb, the student(s) will have to race and jump on the paper that contains the right past tense.
Animal and their sounds– the sheets of paper on the floor have images of animals. You can either ask the students to name the animal when they step on a certain image or make the sound. Alternatively, you can make an animal sound and the student will quickly have to jump on the image.
For practising vocabulary of a second language– the Stepping Stones Game is perfect in an ESL classroom as you can practice new words in a fun way.
Practice Letters/Numbers– I used this game with my young learners to practice letter and number recognition. For the absolute beginners, I would show them a letter/number and they would have to hop on the paper containing that letter/number. Later on, when they were somewhat familiar with the letters/numbers, I would shout out a letter/number and they had to quickly jump on the corresponding paper.
Another variation is for the kids to name the letters/numbers as they hop on the “stepping stones”.
Practice CVC words and spelling– make spelling fun and exciting using the Stepping Stones Game. Write down the words that you want to practice on the Stepping Stones.
You can play the game with slight variations, for example, you spell the word and the student(s) has to hop on the correct paper. Or, you show them an image, let’s say a cat, and the student has to jump on the paper that says “cat” and spell it.
Regardless of which version of the Stepping Stones Game you choose to play, whether it is the free version in which they just hop on the paper or a more educational version, I can guarantee that this game will bring about giggles and heaps of fun.
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Mom of two wonderful children, dedicated teacher and book lover.