When I saw this sidewalk chalk game over at Your Therapy Source via the special education blog Creative Learning Fun, I knew it was something I wanted to try with Dude. And it fit in perfectly with our Letter Ff activities! I actually tried it 3 different ways trying to find a way that would make it a hit with my little guy. I'll try to briefly show each of those in case you want to change it up a bit as well.
We started off by trying this game exactly as described at Your Therapy Source. I drew a sidewalk chalk ladder with a fire at the top of it. At the bottom of the ladder I placed a bowl full of water and a sponge. Dude dipped the sponge into the water and then hopped up the ladder and squeezed it out over the fire to put it out (wash it away). After he had squeezed all the water out of the sponge he was supposed to hop back down the ladder to fill his sponge again until the fire was completely gone. I really liked all the different things this game was working on: gross motor skills through hopping, the hand muscles by squeezing the sponge, and the sensory aspect of playing with water.
But Dude was bored with this pretty quickly. He really just wanted to dump the water on the fire and be done with it. I can't really blame him.
So trying to stretch a little more out of this game I gave him a scoop and let him scoop water from the bowl into a pitcher. He then used the pitcher to put out the fire quite efficiently.
Since Dude was willing I decided to change up a few things and give this game another go. This time we left out the hopping and the sponge. I drew another ladder and drew a zig-zag pattern of stars on it. We again placed the water bowl at the bottom of the ladder but this time I gave him a scoop to transfer the water to the fire.
This was definitely more fun! Dude seemed to enjoy walking the line while balancing his water cup. And there's a certain satisfaction in dumping the water out that was just missing from the sponge method.
And because I'm me, we tried yet another version of this game on another day with another ladder, this time numbered from 0-10.
This time I gave Dude one of our water squirters to use for transferring the water to the fire. He filled up his squirter then hopped up the ladder while counting out the numbers he was jumping on. I think this was Dude's favorite way to play, probably just because it involved the squirter.
(These squirters are from Walmart and I absolutely love them for small children. They're very simple to operate. You just dip the end in the bucket, pull out the handle to fill the cylinder, then push the handle back in when you want to squirt. They're similar to this, but I think ours are narrower.)
Overall I guess you could say I think the idea of somehow moving up a chalk ladder to wash out a fire is a great one! Dude would probably be happy to repeat either of our last two methods. When Spudder gets a bit bigger I can also see us drawing out two of these and letting the boys race to put out their fires!
However you do it, I'll bet you could find a way to make this game a lot of fun with your kids too!
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