Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kids' Board Games

Now that the weather has been colder, we're unable to take the kids outside to play at school. I wasn't sure how I was going to like this, since I have a blast with the kiddos outside. We run races (yes, teacher runs too!), I chase the laughing young boys and play soccer with them, and the girls take turns "doing" my hair. I'll be glad when springtime comes and we can spent 1 or more hours a day outside, but for now, we've pulled out the board games! I have always, ALWAYS loved playing games with my family, be it Scattergories, Kings in the Corner, Payday, Monopoly, Go to the Head of the Class, or our newest family favorite, Apples to Apples.

However, the kids at school are between 3-6 so those games are too beyond them right now. One little girl, Alessandra, absolutely loves anything with matching or colors. Every day this past week (except Friday, because I was in court...more about that later!) she would come up and snag me as soon as circle was complete. No other child even had a!

Some of the games we've been enjoying...
Go, Diego, Go- 1,2,3- Ok, to be honest, I haven't played this one yet. But I know we have it on our classroom shelves!! It has some cute animal/matching bingo-like pieces. It's not played nearly as much as some of the other games, though.

Chutes and Ladders- I'm not really enjoying this one, because for some reason I've always kinda hated this game. The The kids all love it, although the concept of going right, and then going left, then right again (because of the way the numbers fall) is confusing to most of the 3-4 year olds. Some of them are getting it, whereas others just start over at 1 every time they spin the dial. ;)

Sorry- There's one little girl who insists that she and her daddy play this together every day...and it may be true, since she's the only 4 year old that seems to get all of the rules. The younger children get so frustrated when everyone else is already moving around the board and they're still stuck in "Start" waiting to draw a card with a 1 or 2 on it. We play this very frequently!

Memory- Alessandra (same girl who loves Sorry and C & L) really enjoys this one as well. She's probably our student who plays games the most. Our Memory game came with something like 100 cards. Alessandra and I started out with about 20 cards. She wanted to add 4 more matches (8 cards), then 4 MORE matches. This girl enjoys the challenge, but 40 cards is extremely hard for some of the other children.

Feed the Kitty- It's kind of confusing for a few students when they're told to take one from the kitty, then put two more pieces in the kitty's dish. They don't like that too much!!

Leaping Lizards- Daley (a 4 y/o girl) and I play this a lot. In the beginning it was too confusing for the kids to move their lizards forwards or backwards (depending on which way the smiley/sad faced token lands) so we took that out and just had them always go forwards. :P Every time Daley moves ahead of me by one or two beads, she exclaims, "I'm winning! Miss S********* is not winning! Daley is winning!!!" It's pretty amusing!

A couple more "works" in our Montessori school classroom currently being used:
(we use a lot of Melissa & Doug items)

T-Rex puzzle- The younger boys love this puzzle! It has large pieces, but is pretty big.

Cutting food & tools- This is used in our "housekeeping" area. I think the school has had it for at least 15+ years, and one of the play knives broke this past week. They're made of wood, though, and very sturdy.

Onto other things...beginning Monday, I will be part of a jury for a case downtown. They expect it to take 5 days, so there won't be any cute kidisms this week :( unless it happens to end early and I get to go back to work! It's my first time on jury duty and so far has been an interesting adventure. Yesterday I headed downtown for jury selection. It was a lot of waiting around. We watched a 20 minute video on the importance of being a juror and how it's the highest form of civic duty, blah, blah, blah. We took a break for lunch but most of us stayed in the selection room, so the woman who was taking care of us put on the movie "Bringing Down the House". We only saw the first 20 minutes but it was pretty funny! We were then ushered into the courtroom, where we sat and waited some more. Once the judge and lawyers began asking questions the two hours proceeded rather quickly. Since I didn't have any issues with questions they were asking, I was silently listening the entire time and was selected for the jury.

I stopped by work last night to give my boss and co-workers the news that I won't be in next week. My poor co-worker...but hey, this is what she gets for leaving me for two weeks last November. ;) Nah, she'll be fine, but it's amazing how well the two of us work together. When one of us is absent, the other one seems to need to work 200% even though we have a helper (usually our boss or another co-worker) in the room helping. I'm going to miss her in the summertime if we don't work at the same place!

kidisms of the week
Vic: I'm a real live fireman. I had to go into our house when it was burning and pull out the fireman since he couldn't breathe. (Btw, I have NO clue where this came from!)
Ami: (hugging me) I love it when you come help in our class. I love you.
Explaining how babies are made to another student
Maxwell: Well, the mom has the baby in her belly. When she says it is time for the baby to come, the Daddy cuts the string and then they go to the hospital. That's how.
And then, we had a sweet little boy who brought in his dad's gallbladder stones to share during morning circle. My poor boss was subbing in our room that morning and I thought she was going to faint of surprise. After close to 20 years of running the school, she turned to me afterwards and just said, "Well, that is a first!!"

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)