Hands up who loved using chalk as a child! Hands up who has children that also love using chalk! And finally.. hands up those of you who is now a parent and stuck for ideas as to what they can do with chalk and their children! I thought so! As an adult, it seems a lot harder to think of something a bit more exciting to do with our children when they want to use chalk, than when we were children.
As you will have read previously about the chalkboards on our climbing frames, allowing children to be let loose outside with chalk is probably far easier than confining them to using it inside! Allowing little hands to grip the chunky style chalks is not only helping developing the skills to hold pens and pencils as they get older, but there is also the added bonus that they don’t break nor wear away quickly like the traditional sized chalks!
So, who would like to play a game using their climbing frames, and a piece of chalk to help their child learn letters and numbers?
Very simply, all you (or your child) need to do is write letters on the wooden pieces of the frame. If your child is at the early stages of learning letter names and their sounds, I would recommend sticking to the letters that they are learning at school or Nursery, or letters in their name. (Don’t forget to use lower case letters as that is what your child will primarily be taught in the UK) Once your climbing frame has letters all over it, there are a couple of different ways you can play the game. You could shout out a letter and your child(ren) (and you) have to run around trying to find it. Don’t forget to keep a score of who finds the letters first by chalking on the paving slab or on the chalkboard. Alternatively, you can do the same having written the letter on a piece of paper or on a nearby paving slab so that the game becomes a matching game. If your child has a good knowledge of letters and their sounds, you could say a word beginning with a particular letter which they then have to go and find. Children love playing teacher, so why not swap roles and you can become the person trying to find the letters (and pick the wrong letter to see if they notice!)
By the time children finish in their Reception year, the expectation is that they are only required to write numbers up to 5. However, there is no reason whatsoever why children shouldn’t be encouraged to recognise and write number much larger than this! So why not have a go at helping them do this by adapting the letter game and using numbers instead.
Do you have any ideas for games your children can play with chalk that will help develop their letter and number recognition and formation?