Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Bowling for Toddlers

This is a pretty straightforward, simple activity. Use a smaller sized pumpkin for little hands, and set up three empty plastic bottles (e.g. 2L Soda Pop bottles). Have the children sit down and take turns rolling the pumpkin to knock over the bottles.
Now, although this is a simple activity in theory, I found that it was a big lesson for them in taking turns. In order to ensure that all 5 children got their turn for each round, and that each one of them was 'successful' I needed to:

  • make sure all the children were sitting
  • constantly move the bottles over from little grabbing hands
  • have the child who's turn it was sitting extremely close to the bottles
  • give an extra turn here or there so they could get at least one bottle down
  • knock bottles down with my hands when the bowler was unsuccessful
  • cheer and clap for each child
It was interesting to see how the children reacted to taking turns. A few of the children were a little upset when it was not their turn. One was downright livid. But after a few rounds, when they began to understand that they were going to get another turn soon, a calm fell over the group, and they were able to enjoy the activity even when it wasn't their turn. Also amusing was the tactic that Aidas developed. When it was his turn, he sat calmly and quietly, holding onto the pumpkin. I told him it was his turn, and sang our Pumpkin Bowling song, which was to the tune of "Roly Poly":

Roll the pumpkin, roll the pumpkin
Knock them down, knock them down
Roll the, roll the pumpkin
Roll the, roll the pumpkin
Knock them down, knock them down

He wasn't openly defiant. He just smiled sweetly, kind of like he thought we wouldn't notice he was holding the pumpkin. If I finished the song and he hadn't bowled, I called that his turn, and passed it onto someone else. He tried this tactic every time it was his turn, and cried injustice every time I passed it on to someone else. What a sweetie. I will try to work more turn-taking into our day-to-day activities. I think they are at an age where they can really grasp this concept (and tolerate it).

No comments:

Post a Comment