Eggs in a Nest
Program nests with a specific concept. Program eggs to correlate. Have children race to match eggs to the correct nests. For example ...
Numbers -- Write numbers 0-9 on nests. Write number words (or dots) 0-9 on eggs.
Alphabet -- Write capital letters on nests. Write lowercase letters on eggs.
Initial sounds -- Write letters on nests. Paste corresponding pictures on eggs.
Rhyming words -- Write words or paste pictures on nests. Write rhyming words or paste pictures on nests.
Before children arrive, scatter flowers (real or paper cut-outs) around the classroom.
After children arrive, give each child a small bag. Ask children to search the room for flowers. Tell children to try to remember the places they found flowers. Give them about five minutes (depending on age) to search.
Ask children to take the flowers they've found and return to their seats. Have them count the number of flowers they found. Who found the most? How many flowers total did the children find? What was the average number of flowers each child collected?
How many children found a flower under something? beside something? on top of something? next to something? (With older children, you might create a bar graph.)
Program kites with a specific concept. Program bows to correlate. Have children race to match bows to the correct kites. For example ...
Basic match facts -- Program kites with numbers. Program bows with basic addition and subtraction problems. Have students match bow problems to kite solutions.
Fractions -- Program kites with a fraction or drawing. Program bows with equivalent fractions or drawings. For more advanced students, program kites with a fraction and program bows with decimal and percentage equivalents. Have students match the two.
Word families -- Progam kites with ending phonograms. Program bows with initial letters or blends. Have students match initial letters or blends with ending phonograms to create a "family" of words.
Synonyms -- Program kites with basic words. Program bows with more descriptive synonyms. Have students match the two.
Program flower centers with a specific concept. Program flower petals to correlate. Have children race to match petals to the correct flower centers. For example ...
Shapes -- Draw a shape in the center of the flower. Program petals with pictures of objects that correspond to that shape (i.e. circle -- doughnut, orange, ball, ring, hula hoop). Let children match petal objects to their basic shape.
Vowel sounds -- Write a vowel sound in the center of a flower. Program petals with words or pictures that correspond to that sound (i.e. short /a/ -- hand, mask, cat, man, bag).
Cut puddle shapes out of light blue construction paper or colored paper. Laminate. Use a permanent marker to program puddles with a concept to be reviewed -- letters, sounds, numbers, vocabulary words, etc. Spread puddles over the largest playing area possible and have children stand on the edge of the playing area.
Explain that you will give a direction (i.e. "Find the letter Dd," "I'm the first sound in 'cat," "4-1," or "I help people who are sick.") and three or four children at a time will have the opportunity to jump to the correct puddle while avoiding incorrect puddles.
For more competitive play, offer a small reward to the first person to reach the correct puddle OR disqualify everyone except the first person in each group to reach the puddle and play until only one winner remains.
Searching for Seeds ...
Fill two tubs with chemical-free potting soil. Stir a cup of large seeds (such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or dried beans) into each.
Divide children into two teams, and have them line up behind the tubs. On the count of three, the child at the front of each line must run forward and dig through the soil until he or she finds a seed. The first player to find a seed earns a point for his or her team. Continue until all children have had a turn.
Relay: Set up as described above. On the count of three, the child at the front of each line must run forward and dig through the soil until he or she finds a seed. That child then runs back, tags the next child in line, and proceeds to the back of the line. The first team to go all the way through its line wins.
Non-competitive play: Fill one or more large tubs with chemical-free potting soil and stir in assorted seeds. Let children take turns digging for seeds. You may wish to provide a seed identification guide and let children try to match the seeds they find to pictures of seeds (along with pictures of the plants they will produce).
Introduce six or more (depending on students' ages) spring-related objects to the class. Teach the name of each object and give children a couple of minutes to examine them and review them. Isolate two students from the group and allow a third student to remove one of the objects. Bring back the students who were removed from the group and see which one of them will be first to identify the missing object.
Wiggle Worm Relay
Divide students into two teams. Have both teams line up, then sit down on the floor. Each student must wrap his/her legs around the waist of the person in front of him/her. On the count of three, both teams begin wiggling their way (still seated) through a pre-determined course. Students may use their hands to help pull themselves along, but they must keep their bottoms on the floor and their legs wrapped around the person in front of them. (We'd usually have both teams start behind a line, wiggle toward fixed objects 15-20 feet away, wiggle around the object, and wiggle their way back to the starting line. The first team to get their entire line back across the starting line won.)