Children love to play with games, store bought or homemade. A manipulative type of game is an object used with one’s hands in a skillful manner. In other words, children can manipulate theses table toys to develop coordination and these same objects encourage thinking skills, visual perception, and problem solving. Explore some of these innovative ideas and watch your children learn skills by using these homemade games for kids.
Shape Treasure Hunt
Parents can precut shapes (squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, etc.) from construction paper. In advance, hide the shapes all around the room making sure to have enough so that each of your children can find at least 8-10 shapes. This is a game plus an art activity after the shapes are found. Direct the children to hunt for the shapes hidden. At the end of the hunt, encourage them to share shapes if one child gets more than the others. Sit down at a table and discuss what the kids have found. Ask, “Who can name the shapes?” “Who can name the colors?” “Did you get two or more of the same shape?” Now, let the children try to manipulate the shapes and create a picture or design. With glue, children can paste these into place on paper.
Set out “fit-together” toys such as Legos, Duplo blocks, or any other construction-type toys. Have two children (or you and your child) sit side-by-side and try to construct the same structure. This activity teaches children to pay attention to color, shape, position, and also give them practice in following someone else’s lead.
Make a Geo-Board
Children can create geometric shapes on this grid-like board with the use of large rubber bands. Hammer nails (with adult supervision) in a grid pattern about one-inch apart all over a plywood square. Give the board to the children along with a variety of rubber bands in different sizes and colors. Invite the kids to stretch the rubber bands around the nails to create geometric shapes like squares, triangles, and rectangles. Who can create an octagon?
Paper Match Game
Collect wallpaper, paint chips, or scrapbook paper samples and make a set of two matching cards. Index cards work well. Glue a large square of the same paper on two cards. After you have made a variety of cards, shuffle the deck and let the children turn over each card and match the pairs. You might want to laminate each card with clear plastic adhesive paper for durability. Kids can practice visual discrimination and attention to detail in this game.
Poker Chip Math Game
Give the children a box containing red, white, and blue poker chips. Let them sort the chips by color and then count them. Next, make patterns with the poker chips for example, two red, one blue, two white, one red, two blue, two white and so on. Let the kids copy the pattern with the remaining chips.
Make creative toys and games from household materials. Your children will love these homemade games for kids that will keep them amused for hours and teach them skills along the way.
Source: Personal Experience