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10 fun games with the animal stones (or other items)

10 fun games with the animal stones (or other items)

 

Ten indoor game ideas to play with your child / children or with a group of children at home, in a classroom, a playdate or any occasion. These ideas are perfect for both indoor and outdoor play. I have designed these games with the Yellow Door Footprint stones in mind but you can use any other items that you already have at home. There are lots of different types of play involved with these activities (physical play, messy play, creative play..) so you can find the one that’s most suitable for your child and the situation you will be using it for. Have fun!

 

  1. FIND AND RUN!

Place the stones around the room. You can start with 2 stones and keep adding one more at a time. A person in the middle calls out one of the animals and everyone else has to run to that animal. It can be played with just one child or as a group game.

More complicated: say something about the animal instead of the name of the animal. For example, instead of saying lion you can say “an animal that starts with L”, or “the king of the jungle”… Children will have to guess which animal it is before they run.

Learning:

  • Memory
  • Coordination
  • Vocabulary
  • Gross motor skills

 

  1. MUSICAL STONES.

Put the stones on the floor around the room. Play music and ask children to dance. When the music stops you call out one of the animals and they all have to run towards it and sit down around it. If there is just one child playing you can ask him to put his hand on the stone when he sits down. If there is a group of children playing you can tell them that they are not allowed to touch the stone (otherwise they will all want to take it).

Learning:

  • Sense of hearing
  • Work under pressure
  • Movement
  • Gross motor skills
  • Coordination
  • Memory

 

  1. EYES CLOSED GUESSING.

Look at all the rocks and identify all the different animals, name them and talk about them and their features. Hide them in a bag. Children will have to put their hands inside the bag with their eyes closed / covered and grab one of the stones. They will have to feel the stone and try to guess what animal it is.

Learning:

  • Vocabulary
  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Sense of touch
  • Critical thinking

 

  1. PLAYDOUGH PRINTS.

Stamp them on playdough and feel the different shapes. Compare different animals and footprints. Which one is bigger / smaller? Which animal it is?

More complicated: Print all the footprints on playdough. Put the animals facing up and try to match the playdough footprints with the correspondent animal stones.

Learning:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Communication
  • Self-regulation (sensory paydough)
  • Creativity

 

  1. COVER IN GLOOP.

Mix cornflour and water in a container (add cornflour first and a small amount of water and mix. Keep adding water until you get a gloopy -thick but runny- texture. If it’s too liquid just add more cornflour). Cover the stones with the gloop. Use spoons, a whisker, a drainer, a spade, and other tools to collect the gloop and watch it flow and cover the stones.

Learning:

  • Cause-effect
  • Vocabulary
  • Basic science concepts
  • Problem-solving

 

  1. MUD EXCAVATIONS.

Bury the stones in mud (you can use real mud or make your own mixing flour + chocolate powder + vegetable oil). Add some brushes, magnifiers, sponges, tweezers… so kids can pretend they are looking for fossils. They can find the stones hidden in the mud and play with them and the mud.

EXTEND THE ACTIVITY: Add another container with water and let them wash the stones in water after rescuing them from the mud. You could also make that water soapy and add sponges for them to wash the stones in it.

Learning:

  • Observation
  • Fine motor skills
  • Role play – the job of a paleontologist
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Vocabulary

 

  1. ROCK HUNT.

Make up a list with all the animals that appear on the stones (you can write the names or draw them or print pictures). Hide the stones around the room or around the house. The kids have to find them and bring them to the list to mark off the one they found. Once they find all of them, they can get a prize (optional).

OPTIONAL: you can make it more competitive by having whoever finds the most stones as a winner, or more about team work, so they all win whenever all the stones are found (no matter who finds them). You can also tell them they can only find one stone at a time (they can’t come back to base with two stones).

OPTIONAL: to add an extra team work element and avoid fights, you can tell them that they will only win if EVERY MEMBER OF THE GROUP finds at least one stone (so if there is one person finding them all, that person will help the others to find them too rather than just taking them all).

Learning:

  • Observation
  • Team work
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Following instructions
  • Vocabulary
  • Gross motor skills

 

  1. BLIND WALK TO FIND THE ROCK.

Place the rock on the floor. The child stands a few metres away from the stone. The child can look at the stone and then cover his eyes. They have to walk towards the stone with their eyes covered and try to find it. You or other children can shout out clues like RIGHT/LEFT or hot (getting closer) / cold (getting further).

Learning:

  • Spatial awareness
  • Sense of hearing
  • Perception
  • Observation
  • Memory

 

  1. ANIMAL OUTLINES.

Can you draw the animals or footprints from the rocks on paper? You can have them in front of you to look at them. Add any extras you like and colour them after. If you are drawing the animals, you can add clothes, faces, objects, etc.

MAGIC OUTLINES: put paper over the stones and colour over it. The outline of the stone will show up on the paper. Try it with different colours.

Learning:

  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Fine motor skills
  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Hand-eye coordination

 

  1. ACTION GUESSING GAME.

Put all the rocks on the table with the animals facing up. One child secretly picks one animal with his mind and imitates its actions / sounds. You / other children will have to guess which one it is. The person who guesses the animal does the next one (or you can do it in clockwise order, so everyone gets a turn).

Learning:

  • Vocabulary
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Turn taking

 

You can find the footprint rocks and many other sensory stones on this link here for the complete Yellow Door range. We have different themes available on these stones (dinosaurs, safari, bugs, farmyard and polar animals).

 

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