You don’t need to buy new games to play new games. The games you have around the house can be played with new rules.
Changing up checkers. Bashni is a crazy Russian variation of checkers that involves moving ever growing stacks of checkers around the board.
Scrambling Scrabble. If you have a set of Scrabble tiles at home, there’s almost no limit to the different kinds of games you can play with those tiles.
Monopoly Not Monotony. Ever notice the rules you play by don’t seem the same as the instructions? Ever play with a friend who has rules you never heard of? There are all sorts of ways to vary Monopoly. Maybe you can come up with some new ideas of your own.
These are only a few ideas. Look at the game you have at home and type the name of a game plus the word “variations” and you may get some helpful hits.
Neighborhood Bridge Walk. Take a walk around your neighborhood and look for bridges. You may see some bridges that have a lot of meaning to our community, like Beta Bridge, Belmont Bridge, and Free Bridge. You will surely find small bridges as well, maybe so small you never even really noticed them before. Look closely. How are they made? How old do you think they are? Do people use them in other ways besides crossing to the other side? How do they create and support communities? Take pictures, draw, or describe the bridges you see. If your bridge crosses water, play Pooh Sticks.
Now that you’ve visited neighborhood bridges, you’re nearly ready to build some bridges of your own. First, you need to figure out how to make your bridge strong.
Let’s try at least three kinds of bridges and test each with weight to see if it holds up.
Bridge #1: Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise (hot dog style). Place two cups upside down on a table about three inches apart, so that the paper “bridges” the space between the cups. Place pennies onto your bridge until it collapses. How many pennies did it hold?
Bridge #2: Cut a second piece of construction paper in half
lengthwise. Fold each strip on the long
sides. Tape the strips together. Place the paper on the cups as before and put
pennies on it until it collapses. How
many pennies would it hold this time?
Bridge #3: With your final piece of paper, fold it like an
accordion. Balance the folded paper
between the cups and place the pennies on it as before. How many pennies did it hold?
Which bridge held the most weight? Why do you think that was? Do you have any other ideas? Different folds? Different materials? Can you make a bridge strong AND beautiful? Google famous bridges and look at some of the world’s most amazing and important structures.
Video Version. Here’s a video of a very similar activity if you are the kind of person who learns by watching.
Art and Literature
Here are two stories about bridges and neighbors:
The Bridge, This is a story about two brothers who still fought, even though they were now grown. One of the brothers hired a carpenter, who solved their problem in a surprising way. Suited for all readers.
The Bridge to Terabithia. Two children, from very different backgrounds, build a bridge…and an imaginative new world. Some emotionally difficult material which some children may find upsetting.
Due to a power outage, this post was delayed and will cover the 10th and 11th.
Drawing Room Games.
Today’s activities link you to games that involve drawing. You don’t have to be a great artist to play, in fact, a lot of the hilarity happens when the drawings are less than perfect. We have adapted one activity for players who are non-verbal or unable to hold a pencil. We also have additional suggestions for modifying these activities. All of these games can be played using apps like Zoom or FaceTime. Please tag us at enrichmentalliance when you share your fun.
Draw my picture. Two players back to back, each is drawing the same thing. Or are they?
Drawception. A personal favorite, this hilarious game is a little like “Telephone” but with a delightful twist that makes it ten times the fun.
And the list goes on. We gave you links to two great examples. Want to keep going? Here are 15 more! But why stop there? Invent your own drawing games. Find Enrichment Alliance of Virginia on Facebook and share your rules with us.
Adapting Drawception. For non-verbal players and participants with fine motor differences, fill a basket with objects, especially small figurines, matchbox cars, and other representative items. Set up a barrier such as a trifolded piece of cardboard large enough to conceal the scenes created by the players. Put the basket behind the barrier. For this modified game, begin with the image, not the caption, Have the player pick a small number of objects and arrange them behind the barrier. They may take a picture of the scene to share later or, if playing remotely, to send to a friend.
A second player looks behind the barrier and writes down or dictates a caption on a piece of paper which is then folded in half. The figures are returned to the basket and put out in view of other players. The caption is passed to the next player, who tries to illustrate the caption either by drawing or through same method of creating a scene behind the barrier. Proceed with the above rules for Drawception using these modifications.
Other Adaptations for Differing Abilities. Here are a few more ideas for adapting these games for people with fine motor challenges:
Engage gross motor skills instead by drawing with large chalk on a sidewalk or driveway,
Or using paint and cotton-balls, draw on chart paper or other large paper.
Work in pairs drawing side-by-side, step-by-step. (Team Member One draws a circle; team member two draws the circle, etc).
Work in pairs, taking term. Team Member One draws a circle; Team Member Two draws eyes in the circle.
Work in teams and let one person dictate while the other draws.
Tape Mazes and other cool gross motor activities. Who knew a roll of tape could be so much fun? No painters tape on hand? Try masking tape, string, or yard. Or go outside and create with sticks.
Science and Math
Tangrams offer intriguing activities for people of all ages and abilities.
Tangram patterns provide mind-stretching puzzles that develop spatial relationships and problem solving skills, but the most important thing: they are super fun. Tangram pieces can also be used to create freestyle artworks while developing the same skills. We’ve linked one set of printable patterns, but it will be simple to find your own, suited to your children’s skill levels, simply by entering “tangram patterns” in your search engine.
As we continue to enjoy National Poetry Month, let’s look at out how poets and lyricists express the feeling of being uplifted.
Happy. “If you feel like a room without a roof.” Wow! What a powerful way to describe happiness. Listen to the lyrics of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and you can’t feel anything but joy. That’s the power of writing.
“Hope is the Thing With Feathers.” Spoken.ASL With Captions. Emily Dickinson uses the same theme of being lifted up in her famous poem about hope. How do you feel when you know something wonderful is just about to happen? Like something is about to soar inside you?
Try one of these opening phrases and write your own song or poem: “Joy is_____”, “Sadness is _____”, “Anger is _____”, “Love is _____,” “Excitement is _______,” “Relief is ______.”
If you would like to further explore this pairing of “Happy” and “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers,” download our lesson plans. These plans included adaptable materials for writers in need of frameworks and visual aides.
Jump for Joy: Here are a couple of videos to inspire you.
Okay, did they inspire you? Or more like intimidate you? Here are two videos to help you get those jump rope moves down.
Home Safari at 3:00 Daily. Come on a Safari! The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a daily tours highlighting different animals and sharing activities to do at home.
Art and Literature
The Art of Autism. Go on a gallery tour. During Autism Awareness month, Apple is offering a gallery of art works created on iPads by people with autism. These beautiful works will probably inspire you to create some art of your own.
Virtual Jam Session. And the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is offering a jam session today. Visit their website anytime for this and more daily virtual activities.
What could be a better time than to dig into the Harry Potter series, whether for the first time, the second, or the 30th? This series is especially suitable for older readers. For younger readers, see below.
Painted Rocks Hunt. Join the painted rocks craze. Paint a rock (if you celebrate Easter, it could be fun to paint it like an Easter Egg.)
Now hide your rock somewhere in the community, and post a clue on Cville Rocks. If you don’t live in Cville, you might have a similar group in your community. While you’re on the page, look for posts about other hidden rocks, and see if you can find them. PLEASE, DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING, TAKE PICTURES BUT DON’T TOUCH THE ROCKS YOU FIND! And when you take the pictures, don’t forget to tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram.
Science and Math
Make your own rock. Even after you find your own rocks, it’ll still be fun to make one yourself. Don’t forget to tag us at enrichmentalliance.
Access Arts Virtual Art Show. It was a huge disappointment to miss the annual opening of the Access Arts Show at Carver Recreation Center. This show features the works of artist with differing abilities, and is one of the highlights of our year. View the show remotely through our link, but come back as soon as Carver reopens and see these beautiful works in person.
The Beauty of Science. Among these intriguing science experiments are several that would actually make gorgeous works of art. Maybe you have a place you can display them outside your house for the Art Apart exhibit. Or take pictures of your experiments and share the pictures.
Gallery At A Distance. Now go back to to the Art Apart page and you will find a map showing all the art work entered in the exhibit. Take a walk to enjoy the beautiful spring day and the beautiful creations. Take pictures and tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram.
It’s National Poetry Month! Many of our posts this month will begin with poems or poem prompts and continue with themes suggested by the poems or prompts.
Art and Literature
This young poet presents a delightful poem, but we wanted to give math a chance to answer back, so his lament to mathematics is followed up with some awesome activities around a geometric theme. Spoken word poetry is heavily influenced by hip hop and rap and is much more likely to have rhymes and strong meter than most contemporary poems. Watch this video and try reading a poem aloud. It can be your own poem or a poem you’ve read.
So, maybe the poet doesn’t know just how cool geometry actually can be. This guy does.
Science and Math
Now that you have PROOF that geometry is cool, see what you can do with geometric shapes.
Geometric Art Pinterest Board. This board will provide lots of inspiration for artists who like to get a few ideas and then let their own imaginations run.
Geometric Sunburst. (Adapted activity) But some people prefer to watch someone model drawing before they draw. If that’s you, this very soothing video will show you how to create a sunburst. Check out some of their other videos too, It may be helpful to pause the video, copy their action, and then start the video again, continuing until you complete your work.
Our director, MaryAnna, learned this mind-blowing card trick from her mother as a child and reports that no one she knows has ever been able to figure out how it works. It will work every time, but YOU MUST COUNT CAREFULLY. Practice counting smoothly, too, so that your friend won’t understand how you got to your answer. You can try this at home with your family, or use a phone app. Look up card tricks and mathematical card trips for more jaw dropping tricks.
Magic tricks using a any pen you have on hand. (Until you don’t). As they say, it’s all a slight of hand. Practice these tricks in front of a mirror, or video tape yourself. Then put on a magic show.
Art and Literature
Older children and teens, download a trickster tale in the library and record or illustrate it for a young friend or sibling. If you don’t have a library card, you can download a temporary one. If you want to share your story publicly, you will need to to retell it in your own words or you may get into copy right issues. Here’s a link to the JMRL catalog, filtered by “trickster tales ebooks.” Look for books with “J” in the call number.
Here are two traditional trickster tales read aloud. One of them is signed in a combination of American and British Sign Language. The stories are suitable as stand-alones for younger children.