Wednesday, September 25, 2013

11 Learning Activities with a Connect Four Game


1. Build Fine Motor Skills in toddlers

2. Support Counting skills and Develop one-to-one correspondence understandings
3. Practice Patterning skills - With 2 colors, students can make and name a variety of patterns (AB, AABB, ABB, AAB, etc…)
4. Build Spatial Sequencing skills - Place different colored circles in a design of your choosing in one row. In the next row, have your child copy the design. In the row after that, have your child copy the design backwards. In the row after that, have the child copy the design that was made in the third row.

5. Letter Naming and/or Sound practice – Write the letters of the alphabet on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the circle.

  • Place the upper case on one side and the lower case letters on the other side. Place all the circles in the board game with all the lower case letters facing the same direction. Start at the top and move across the board having your child name the letter name and/or sound.
  • You could practice matching upper case and lower case letters by placing the same letter on different circles. In the far left column, place 5 lower case letters. In the far right column, place 5 corresponding upper case letters. Have your child use wiki sticks to match the upper case letters to the lower case letters.

6. Shape Creations – Students can create basic shapes like squares, rectangles, and triangles. Challenge them to create 5 different triangles or make a rectangle using 10 circle pieces. Ask them if there is more than one way to make a rectangle with more than 10 circle pieces. Encourage children to transpose their work from the game board to a piece of paper or their math journal.
Download the Freebie below for more Shape Creation activities!
7.Number recognition – In similar fashion to learning letter names, write the numbers 0 – 29 on a piece of masking tape and stick each number to a circle piece. Have your child place all the numbers in the game board in random fashion. Point to the number at the top left and have your child name the numbers moving across and down the board.
  • You could also lay all the game pieces out on a table face up. Say a number aloud and have your child pick it up and place it in the board.
8.Number Order – This works great for counting forwards or backwards!
9.Graphing – Have children display the data they have collected by stacking the circles to represent the number for each source.
10.Math Manipulatives
Addition – (4 + 7 =) Students can place circles in the board representing each addend and count the up to figure out how many are all together.
Subtraction – (10 – 3 =) Students can place (purple) circles in the board representing the number they started with. Then, have students use the second color (yellow) to show what was taken away to determine how many are left.
Multiplication – (5 X 6 =) Connect Four makes great arrays!
Division – (9 ÷ 3 = ) Have students place circles in the board by 3s until they get 9 circles. This is a great way to show the connection between Multiplication and Division!
Oh! I just thought of another one… I guess that makes eleven!
11. Practice encoding skills for spelling basic words – With the letters taped to the circle pieces, provide picture cards for the students to use of basic words that they need practice with. Have the child select the correct letter circles and drop them down into the game board.
You can also do this to have your child practice beginning, medial, and ending sounds.
This would also be a fun way to practice spelling sight words!

As you can see the possibilities are endless! Be creative in your play and learning. If you try this activity, I’d love to hear how it went and if you came up with any other ideas! Please share!

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