Wednesday, May 11, 2011

All Twisted Up

I've been thinking more about boys...and what happened this week in my classroom.

I put out the game mat with letters H, E, L, P. We're still talking about families and discussing how to help in our families. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in playing this game. Sometimes there's not much interest in this type of activity.

I was wrong. The boys really enjoyed getting all twisted up. In the beginning I pulled slips out of the bag and called out hand or foot and the letter.

After a while, I moved away (to attend to some other things in the room) and the boys continued to play on their own.

They enjoyed it so much and I tried to think about why. Here are some of my ideas.

  • They enjoyed the physical activity that was required. Stretching, bumping, moving.
  • They enjoyed challenge of stretching, reaching, and moving to the "right" place.
  • They enjoyed the problem-solving. (Where is the letter E? How can I get my foot on it?)
  • They enjoyed the loudness of it. We laughed and called out letters. We strained and groaned. 
  • They enjoyed the "unstructure" of it. Yes, the game had some rules. But, when someone fell, he would join back in. If one got too stretched out, he would adjust and start again. 
  • Even though they were thinking and problem solving, they were having fun. Fun is okay even if you are learning or thinking.

Girls were welcome to join us, but not one did. Even when the boys moved to other things, no girl played the game. 

The draw of this game makes me think about other things in my room. How can I include physical activity? How can I create challenges and problems to solve? How can I allow some loudness and unstructure? How can I keep the fun? Hmm. More thinking to come.


  1. You really got me thinking of how to provide opportunities for loud, physical fun in my class of 11 boys and 4 girls. Them seem to like throwing things, at each other, up in the air, wherever. Maybe if I set up a throwing area with things to knock down like at a carnival. Hmmm supervised chaos, I like it. Thanks for getting me thinking...

  2. Oh - my boys would LOVE this!

  3. Where did you get this cool game mat?

  4. Here's the link to the game mat:

    It comes with a spinner and beanbag - and a booklet with game ideas. (Most of the games are a little too advanced for early childhood.)

  5. "Even though they were thinking and problem solving, they were having fun. Fun is okay even if you are learning or thinking." ... Actually Scott, fun is essential when you are learning and thinking and clearly your boys were having fun! LOVE it!
    Donna :) :)

  6. i want to do more of this. fantastic idea.

    and i think i want one of those game mats!