Monday, February 16, 2009

What To Do With Leftover Valentine's Candy Boxes

If you have a preschooler in the house, use those leftover V-Day candy boxes to make Valentine's Themed "Table Games". Its a good way to start any kind of structured day (if you have kids to babysit, any kind of structured learning time, homeschool older kids, that kind of thing).

In our case, I had kids to babysit, so I created these games last night, after dinner. Use your imagination, any on-hand materials (I had a VERY skimpy assortment of construction paper scraps that I used til I just couldn't use them anymore), and just keep in mind your preschooler's interests and skillset, and it's a snap to do!

Here's what I used:

Construction paper scraps
Elmer's glue
Sharpie marker
Regular markers
Valentines Boxes
The paper liner which came in our larger V-Day candy boxes that we haven't finished yet
Some on-hand "game markers" (well, I used these teeeeny tiny little manipulatives called "Pixel Blocks"). You could use bingo or "tiddlywinks" type chips, dried beans, or anything else you happen to have lying around. For color-specific games, such as one of those I created below, you'd probably want to use color-coordinating game markers of some kind (ie., color some dried lima beans with permanant markers to coordinate with your gameboard).

For color games, you could cut out coordinating color construction paper shapes and instruct your child to put his colored game pieces on the matching color on his gameboard. For the games I made out of the V-Day candy heart paper liners, I just drew medium sized circles and colored them in with regular markers (outlining with a Sharpie to make it stand out, and easier to delineate from the rest of the board). I wrote the name of the each color below it. Then I put a handful of those tiny pixel blocks in front of Charlie and suggested he find red ones to put on the red space; blue ones on the blue space, pink on the pink space, etc. etc.

For the money game, I just drew spaces of different sizes (to represent different coins and a bill) - smallest circle represented a dime, a brown circle to represent a penny, a rectangle to represent a dollar bill, etc. Then Charlie had a good time emptying his "money box" out on the table and matching up coins to coin-spaces and bills to bill-spaces.

And then you can pat yourself on the back for reducing, reusing and recycling!

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