Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Hallway Duplo Game

<-  Nina jumps her duplo bricks down the hallway while Luke slithers his.
 How can you mix gross motor skills, fine motor skills, manners, following directions, using descriptive language, feeding the sensory diet and encouraging creativity, all while redirecting “wired” post-dinner behavior?

The Hallway Duplo Game!

We made this up the other night when the kids’ evening craziness was demanding some directed, ye full-of-movement play.  Here’s how to play:

  • Sit at one end of the hallway with a container of Duplo blocks.  Have the kids bring empty trays down the other end.
Nina shows off her trays
  • Then, have the kids come to you to request a specific color, size, number or shape block, using good manners.  For example,  “May I have a yellow one, please?”  Or, “May I have three long ones, please?”
  • Reply in the affirmative, but with a gross motor challenge as a stipulation.  For example “Yes, you may, but you must crawl/run/hop/slither/turn/jump/skip.”
  • Then, the kids move in that way up the hallway in order to add the Duplo’s they requested to their trays.
    Luke drives part of his share down the hall.
    • For extra fun, make the number of directions equal to the number of bricks they request.  For example, the request, “May I have a red one?” gets a single command response, such as, “Sure, please jump it back down the hall.”   But, a double request such as, “May I have a blue one and a yellow one?”, gets a double-command response, such as, “Of course!  Hold them in the bottom of your shirt and hop like a kangaroo.” And, a triple request, such as, “May I have a person, a long one and a black trailer one?”, gets a triple-command reply, such as, “Absolutely!  Hold them high up towards the sky, take two giant steps and, then, jump then spin the rest of the way down the hall.”
    • When all the Duplo’s have been requested, observe the creations on the trays at the end of the hallway and continue with some free play.
    Nina's Ship
    Luke's Farm
    This game proved very successful for us!  The kids focused their energy with giggles and smiles, while working age-appropriate skills, practicing habits (how to ask for things politely and how to listen and obey Mommy's words) and getting sensory input (particularly proprioceptive through all the different ways they moved and vestibular through lots of spinning commands).  Meanwhile Mommy and Daddy benefited from the the kids' transition from wild behavior to directed movement to calm, but creative, free play.

    Focused and having fun.
    And, with the way Nina and Luke chose to play the game independently after playing it with Mommy, we know the game is a keeper!

    "Nina,may I have a...?"
    Success!  Calm, kind play together...
    We hope you enjoy it, too, and look forward to hearing about your own post-dinner focus-and-fun activities.  Please share in a comment.

    works for me wednesday at we are that family(We're sharing this at Works for Me Wednesday.  Please check the lins there for lots of wonderful ideas.)


    Alison @ Educational Creations said...

    I am all to famillar with that "wired" up energy after dinner. So often I schedule in the children's learning to the morning/afternoon and everything turns into chaos in the evening .. there truely are learning opportunities 24/7!

    Martianne said...

    Thanks for the comment. Good to know I am not alone in facing the wired-after-dinner syndrome. And, I think your idea of scheduling learning activities in the morning and afternoon makes total sense - that's when the brains seem most alert. I am slowly realizing though that after dinner is a great time for reinforcement with a movement twist. When I take the time to direct an activity that has lots of movement and a bit of skills review or learning challenge, the kids then transition better into wind down time. Ahhhh. A blessing for we moms.


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