One of our local drugstores was almost giving coloring books away a few days back, so I picked up a few. This morning before we headed off to open gym, we had a few minutes, so I brought out three. Maddy and Cora got right to coloring, but the The Amazing Spider-man book I picked up for Owen was more of an activity book than a coloring book–it had mazes, word searches, tic-tac-toe boards–all of which were great but were too tough for a 3 year old. So, we made up our own activities, and here’s how we gave Owen’s Spider-man Activity Book a Makeover:
- Word Search: Maybe with some guidance, Owen could have searched for and circled words like “Octavius, Tentacles, Evil Mind, and Criminal (who writes these books??!), but I didn’t have the energy today to explain what these words meant, let alone have my boy find them in a puzzle.
Instead, I wrote OWEN on the side of the page and had Owen go through the letters and circle the letters of his name. I modeled for him: Hey! this looks like an awesome game. Let’s do it. First we’re going to look through each line of letters for the special letters in your name. Look at this line of letters. (I slowly used my marker to go through the line.) O, O, O, where is an O? Here’s one! I’m going to circle it. I went through all the lines, then when I was finished, I put a check by the O in Owen on in the margin. I started with W then handed the marker to him. He circled all of the W’s he could, then put a check next to it. He did the same thing for E and N.
He had such a fun time with this little game, he did another puzzle searching for MADDY and another searching for CORA. Sure, it’s not the correct way of doing it, but it worked for him. Not to mention that he worked on making circles and check marks along the way. This could be done using any word search at all–and any words you choose to write in the margins.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: Thank goodness this was included in the book. We played this one old-school style, just by making x’s and o’s in the boxes. What an easy and great game to get children writing and to have them begin to learn strategy! Thank you, Marvel!
- Squares: I forget the real name for this game, but this book called this game ‘Goblin Squares’ or ‘Electro Squares’. Taking turns, people make a line connecting two dots (or, lightening bolts or pumpkins or whatever) and try to make a square; the person who completes a square puts their initial in that box. The guy with the most boxes wins. So we ditched the said rules, but I challenged Owen to make as many squares as he could. That’s it. And then when he was finished with the square, he had to put a letter O in it to “own” it. The simple connecting of dots and practicing his letters can only be beneficial, and taken a step further, next time he can put letters to words in the boxes he creates, or shade the boxes in to create pictures.
Just a teeny-tiny bit of learning this morning, disguised as Spider-man activity book fun. . .