Need a really fun game to teach a variety of learning skills including letters, reading, math facts, vocab and more? Then “Zap It!” is the game for you. Today was the last day of school, but it doesn’t need to mean the last day of learning. Summer is such a great time to practice school in fun, creative spurts. So much can be lost throughout the summer if we just let learning slide. I’d encourage you to find small ways each day to bring a fun learning activity into your lives. You don’t need to come up with something new every day. You will find your favorites. I have a feeling this game I’m giving you today will quickly become a favorite. I think you would also find my posts about reading games and letter games helpful. There are a few wonderful things about this activity. First, it’s quick. You could play a round in five minutes and be done. However, you may find that your kids enjoy it so much they want to just keep on playing, like my kids did today. Secondly, it’s a game that is adaptable to a variety of school subjects. Today, we were working on site words. If I were focusing on Kenzie, I could do letters, sounds or simple CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. With older kids, you could work on vocabulary – either a foreign language or working on definitions. You could also work on math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. I’m sure you can think of a variety of other ways to do this activity too.
The game is simple. Set your timer for a given amount of time. I found that 5 minutes worked well. Everyone takes a turn, trying to move as quick as they can. The goal is to collect as many popsicle sticks as you can. Pull a stick and read the word, solve the problem, give a definition…whatever route you have decided to go. If you get it right, you keep the stick. Then, it’s the next person’s turn. You keep going around and collecting sticks. The big game changer is the “Zap It!” stick. If you pull the “Zap It!” stick, you must put all of your sticks back in the cup. Keep playing until the timer goes off. After the timer goes off, whoever has the most sticks, wins. It is fast paced. It can be a quick if you only want to do a couple rounds. It is fun. It is a great learning opportunity. Sounds like a winner to me.
I was just going to play with Abby since we were doing sight words, but Kenzie really wanted to play too. So, we had Abby whisper the word to Kenzie too. There is no reason why Kenzie can’t start to memorize sight words as well. Actually, a great IPhone app for that Eggywords. I learned about the app from Jenae at I Can Teach my Child. All my kids have been playing it. The girls just tell Corban what eggs to hit. He sometimes listens to them and at other times like to watch the eggs just splat.
I wish “Zap It!” were my own invention. Like I said, it was the last day of school today. My friend and neighbor was unloading her car of school stuff because she is a teacher. We were chatting, and she was asking me if I wanted a some things from her class – like candy and stickers. I saw this cup of Popsicle sticks sticking up out of her bag and just had to ask about it. I asked to borrow it, and there we had our activity for the day.
What a great fun idea for kids! We would love for you to share at our first Super Summer Saturday party here: http://www.thechirpingmoms.com/2013/06/super-summer-saturday-party.html!
Thank you, Julie!
Thanks for such an adaptable game! I have a five year age gap between my kids and it’s really hard to come up with things we can do together which are within reach of the little one whilst not boring the older. But i’m already thinking of ways in which this game could be suitable for them both, e.g. the three-year-old could be practicing letter recognition whilst the eight-year-old is challenged to come up with foreign language vocab starting with the letter, or number recognition versus times table practice.
I know – I need to make up a cup for all the levels in the group. I’m so glad it was helpful. let me know what they think. I can’t imagine they won’t have fun! Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Hi! I can’t think how I can adapt this to letter recognition for my toddler; would you help me?! I have a newborn, too, so the lack of sleep may be getting to me!! Lol Thank you!!
Hi Karen – I would just write the letters on the end of the stick (one letter per stick). Play the game like usual. I think it would work really well, so you’ll have to let me know how it goes. I know the newborn brain well. I swear half of my brain has fallen out, but I think this was a good question that will really help others too. Thanks for asking.
Thank you! I’ll let you know how it goes!!
Hi, I found your post at one of the weekly link ups.
This is such a great idea, thanks for sharing
Thank you so much. You’ll have to let me know if you end up doing it. It is so fun and easy.
Thanks for sharing this at Mom’s Library! Featuring you this week!
I am a mother of 3 (10, 8 and 6) and a teacher of 26 grade-six students learning English as a second language. I am so happy I have found this simple-to-prepare game. I think I will get my students to play using irregular verbs written in the infinitive. They will have to say the verb in the past correctly to keep the stick. How many “zap it” sticks per game sticks do you think would work? 1-10 ? Thanks for your ideas.
I would do, as you suggested, 1 zap it stick for every 10 normal sticks. I’m so glad you love this idea and will be using it. let me know how it goes. Thanks for commenting!