How Well Do You Know Your Partner? Game

How well do you know your partner gameSo we recently have experienced a lot of family time with visits and vacations–one of which was celebrating Colton’s baptism.  My mom, aunt, and sister (the godmother) were all able to come out for the big event.

[If you are looking for a great game that encourages writing and laugher but don’t want my back story, click here.]

Hippity Hop Jousting

Hippity Hop Jousting

The girls loved that it was a “Sissy Weekend” since there were three sister pairs hanging out together (my other aunt who couldn’t come probably didn’t love it as much).  They made signs welcoming everyone to Sissy Land and spent the whole ride to the airport chanting “Sissy day!  Sissy day!” (It was a very long ride.)

With all the hype the girls really wanted to do special sissy activities.  They organized some such as “Dressing like your sister” day (way more fun than we thought) and the “Hippity Hop Jousting” (hilarious but dangerous).

Wearing our matching outfits

Wearing our matching outfits

But my sister organized by far the best activity–The Sissy Game! Or what groups that include more than sisters would call How Well Do you Know Your Partner?

Remember, the old Newlywed Game show?  Well, the Sissy Game is just like it.  And of course, it isn’t limited to sisters, any pairing can work–brothers, parent/child, best friends, etc.

How to Play

Everyone needs a dry erase board and dry erase markers. DSCN1892 Don’t have a board for everyone?  Just laminate a piece of paper and it instantly becomes a dry erase sheet.

Separate each pair to make two teams–one member on Side A and one on Side B.  Be sure they are not sitting near each other.

One person playing the role of “host” asks a question (they can also be a player).  Side A writes their answer and Side B writes the answer for Side A.  For example, “What is your favorite food?”  Side A would write down their favorite food and Side B would write what they think the answer is for their partner.

Then everyone holds up their boards and you see if the answers match.  If they correctly guessed their partner’s answer, their pair gets a point.

Can you tell how much fun they had?

Can you tell how much fun they had?

Alternate between the sides, so for the next question Side B would do their answers and Side A would guess their partner’s response.

Depending on their age, you can use words or pictures to answer the questions.

List of Partner Game Questions

Partner Game Question Cards

I uploaded the questions in two different formats.  You can just use the list if you have only one person playing the role of host.  If you want to spice things up, use the card format to cut up the questions and have people take turns pulling them out of a hat.  And of course, you can make up your own questions.

This was such a great game to play with a wide range of ages.  In a matter of minutes everyone was laughing and having a blast.  My daughters especially loved it.  They were so excited to keep playing.  Mia especially LOVED writing down the answers.  Zoe actually preferred drawing her responses.  And no surprise, the identical twins won the game.

The great part is they can use pictures and/or words

The great part is they can use pictures and/or words

Since I mentioned Colton’s baptism, it’s really only fitting that I include at least one picture from it…

San antonio (2)

 

Homemade Sensory Table

We recently made a sensory table for the girls to use.  Well, when I say “we” I really mean that I draw up a plan and then Ed did the actual building.  Sensory tables are a great place for your little ones to explore with their senses (hence the name) and for messy projects but they can be pretty expensive.  This design was relatively cheap, under $20, and didn’t take too long to make.  A huge thank you to my friend Kendra for the inspiration.

And here’s a picture of the girls enjoying their finished sensory table.  They were exploring volume using measuring cups, jars, and bottles with the rice and beads in the bins.

Another great part about this design is that it can easily be adapted to meet different size needs. You can build it to whatever size bin you purchase. You can also easily add more compartments, creating a square or a row of stations.

Supplies: 2″x2″ baluster (cheaper to buy in 8 ft segments), 1 1/2″ wood screws, lag bolts (heavy gauge screws with a hexagonal head for a ratchet/wrench), plastic bins, drill, sandpaper, spray paint

 

Measure according to the bins and cut the baluster wood to shape.  When measuring, just look at the sides, don’t include the lip of the bins since you want it smaller so that it hangs from the lip.

Use 1 1/2 inch wood screws to connect the pieces.  We made one large rectangle and then inserted the middle piece.  And use a miter box at a 45 degree angle for all four corners.

Choose the height for the table (we went with about 18″ plus the 2″ of the frame) and then cut the leg pieces also from the baluster.  Attach the legs with lag bolts (really what you want are large bolts that have a hex head so you can use a wrench or ratchet on it.  You will need to drill out the holes first so that you don’t split the wood.  Ed used a larger drill bit so that you can sink the bolts so that they are flush with the wood and don’t stick up.  (The center prong will create a guide hole for the hole you drill for the bolt.)

Sand it so that the wood is even and the corners rounded to make it safer/softer.  You can puddy in the gaps but on ours they were so small it wasn’t worth the effort.  Then paint it.

Drop in the buckets.  For the bins, try to get as flat a bottom as possible.

We’ve been having a lot of fun with our table.  Above, they are having water play with water beads.  They are beads used in floral displays that puff up with the water and are squishy.  They come in all kinds of colors, are fun to tough, and can squish into all kinds of bottles, etc.

Just to show how much money you are saving, here are some similar sensory table designs…

What’s a file folder game?

File folder games are a great way to create fun, inexpensive learning activities for your little ones.  If you aren’t familiar with file folder games already, they are educational games that are usually attached or stored in a file folder.  Because they are so compact, they are easy to store and to keep track of all the pieces.  Typically a FFG includes a pocket for the front to hold any loose pieces and a label for the folder tab.

They are also really cheap to make–most just take a folder, paper, ink, glue, and (if you want the pieces to last) laminator.  And since they are so inexpensive, you really have a chance to be creative.  You can make games for any theme or holiday.  While there are sites to buy file folder games, either already made or to download, there are plenty of sites that offer free file folder games.

 

 

But the very best part is that you can use file folder games to teach so many different concepts. Really I’ve seen games for every subject and for such a wide range of ages.

Castle Letter Game

And to kick off your file folder game collection, here is one my husband designed for the girls.  It’s a letter matching game that features both upper- and lowercase letters (uppercase letters are princesses and lowercase letters are dragons).  You can use it to introduce letters, practice letter recognition, or practice letter sounds.

Castle Letters File Folder Game

This morning they found the file folders I was taking pictures of for this post and started playing with them.

The very first file folder game I made for the girls.  They loved matching the dinos.  http://www.filefolderfun.com/Pages/PreschoolColors/DinoEggs.html

From a ladybug math game I made. The spots are velcro for the girls to practice counting and fine motor skills.

 

Feelings Cards

Here are the feelings cards I used for our calendar.  I couldn’t find any free clipart that was appropriate so my husband designed these.  There are cards for happy, sad, embarrassed, surprised, excited, scared, shy, silly, and angry.  Here is the link to the pdf file:

Feelings Cards

In addition to using them on the calendar they could be used on their own to practice identifying different emotions.  Make them as magnets for the refrigerator for children to choose how they are feeling or a matching game or a card they put by their names during the day.  There are lots of options.

There are card sets of both boys and girls and as well as sets with all different skin tones, hair colors, and eye colors.  Our hope was that everyone can find a set they like.  Or you can mix and match to create a multicultural set (great for preschool teachers).

Enjoy!

To make life easier for you, you can take a quick look at the different people and emotions below.  When you download all the Feelings Cards set they will all be uniform in size.

Girls Feeling Cards 2
Girls Feeling Cards 1
Girls Feeling Cards 10
Girls Feeling Cards 9
Girls Feeling Cards 6
Girls Feeling Cards 5
Girls Feeling Cards 12
Girls Feeling Cards 11

Girls Feeling Cards 4
Girls Feeling Cards 3
Girls Feeling Cards 8
Girls Feeling Cards 7
Boy Feeling Cards 2
Boy Feeling Cards 1
Boy Feeling Cards 10
Boy Feeling Cards 9
Boy Feeling Cards 6
Boy Feeling Cards 5
Boy Feeling Cards 12
Boy Feeling Cards 11
Boy Feeling Cards 4
Boy Feeling Cards 3
Boy Feeling Cards 8
Boy Feeling Cards 7

Days, Weather, and Feelings Calendar

We have been continuing to learn the days of the week and how time passes.  To help us, I decided that I wanted a calendar for the girls.

When I looked online for a calendar, I really didn’t like what I found.  I hated how so many included all the months and/or days of the week on the front of the calendar.  To me that was just tempting the girls to tear them off and play with them.  I also felt like having all the options on display made the calendars confusing and wasted a lot of space.  And I didn’t like how big some of the calendars were.  And some were set up to be specific to one child.

When planning out my calendar, I decided to include the day followed by the date.  Then I wanted the weather and feelings included too.  My husband designed all the images and templates for me (and you!) to use:

Days and Months

Weather

I’ve included the emotion cards in this post here.

I wanted to keep the calendar somewhat small and magnetic since that works well with us.  I bought the largest cookie sheet I could find.  To do the permanent lettering I used my cricut and vinyl but you could also buy letters to use.  I then printed out the changeable pieces on magnetic computer paper.  To cut costs you could also skip the magnetic paper and just attach small magnets to the pieces printed on cardstock.

Since I didn’t want the pieces all on display in the front, I decided to store them in the back.  It was one reason that I used a cookie sheet so that both the front and back would be magnetic.  But there are so many pieces trying to stick on the back that I worried they would fall off.  I made a backing using velcro and leftover fabric.  After cutting it to the size of the tray, I hemmed the top.  I then hemmed the sides and sewed the velcro to the sides.  Then I hot glued the opposite velcro pieces to the tray.  I also hot glued the bottom of the fabric to the base of the tray.  This way the fabric makes a pocket protecting the extra pieces that can fold down to allow easy access.

At the start of the day we do calendar time.  At the moment we are singing our Days of the Week song that we first learned when doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Here again are the words courtesy of Homeschool Share and to the tune of the Addam’s Family:

Days of the week (snap, snap), Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday
And then there’s Saturday
Days of the week (snap, snap), Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)

If you don’t want to make your own, here are some of the ones I had looked at:

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