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This is a bit of an update on our activity, The Learning Toss. If you are interested in the Car Roll skip back to the Learning Toss post to see how to make your own poster. We wanted to extend our play with shapes and numbers by bringing in a new way to play with our poster. Enter the hot wheel cars. Both my girls love playing with cars, a trait their daddy happily passed on to them. So here is a new way to play!
First we made ourselves a very simple and easy car track. If the hot wheels track had been downstairs I would have set up some cushions and a piece of cardboard, Or even taped a couple of pieces of scrapbook paper together to make a quick track. As I said before my girls are a bit obsessed with the cars so the track was upstairs and I didn’t have to resort to being a lazy bumb! This is the set we own and we LOVE it. It is on sale right now and makes a great Christmas gift!
Next we placed our shape/number poster out on the floor at the end of the ramp. Now remember you can use anything you want to focus on INSIDE your shapes. So fill your poster up with shapes and then pick an aspect you want to focus on, color, alphabet, numbers, simple math equations, even sight words.
Now let your racer choose their car and race down their track!
Again I would ask little miss what shape she landed on and what number was in it. We noticed that quite often the car would run past the poster and onto the rug, or even land on a blank spot. This actually added a whole new amazing learning opportunity!
As we noticed that the cars were going to far I helped little miss problem solve. I asked her what should we do to get the cars to land on the paper. She suggested we slow the cars down. We couldn’t think of an easy way to do that so then I asked her if we could move the poster. She jumped on that and immediately got it in the right place.
Next she started picking which shape she wanted to land on. She knew 20 was the biggest number on the poster so she did a lot of trial and error moving the end of the track to get it to land on the right shape. This is an AWESOME learning opportunity! I was so excited to see her attempt a new hypothesis, fail, change her technique and then change it again. Think of all the real world skills your little is learning when they problem solve, set goals, judge distances and angles. I am getting nerdy excited just writing about it. This, my sweet mommies, is why play is essential to learning. Much better than doing some boring worksheet.
After much problem solving she got her GOLDEN RACER to land on the 20 heart. This took a lot of track moving and finding the right car, which she discovered went farther if it went down the track backwards. She was so excited.
Again we took turns racing and score keeping. (Look at those beautiful numbers she wrote!) Note how I have a bunch of giant zeros. She made the aiming look easy, I stunk at it! After 20 minutes I was tired of bending over my 37 week belly to pick up cars and I went to do dishes. Little miss stayed at it and wrote her own scores down. I helped her add them up and she continued to play, unassisted, for another 25 minutes. LOVELY!
We loved the new element the cars brought to the poster! Highly recommend this activity for a bit of learning made fun!