Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Playgroup: Red Light, Green Light!

Who's ready for some on-the-go fun? Our latest playgroup was themed around cars and other things that carry us around! We read 'Bugs On the Go,' which featured about every mode of transportation possible and 'My Car,' which showed how a friendly rabbit made a play car using a cardboard box as the body of the car, paper plates as wheels, and so on. These books set us up for the rest of our activities!

We usually do singing time at the beginning of our playgroup, but a transportation-themed activity calls for a spruced up version of 'The Wheels on the Bus.' We've sang it many times before, but the kids loved sitting in chairs arranged like seats on a bus and acting out the song. We sang it through twice they loved it so much!

There are many verses to The Wheels On the Bus, and here are the ones we used:
  • Wheels on the bus go round and round (roll arms)
  • Driver on the bus says 'move on back!' (gesture over your shoulder)
  • Doors on the bus go open and shut (put hands together and pull them apart)
  • Horn on the bus goes 'beep beep beep' (honk horn with hands)
  • People on the bus go up and down (have children stand up and sit down)
  • Wipers on the bus go 'swoosh swoosh swoosh' (move forearms back and forth like wipers)
  • Babies on the bus go 'wah wah wah' (rub eyes)
  • Mommies on the bus go 'shh shh shh' (put finger to mouth)
I know we're probably missing a couple of verses, but this is at least a start! And always feel free to make more up with your children. Be creative!

For the snack we made stop light treats out of graham cracker fourths, M&M's, and peanut butter. I gave each of the kids a mini package M&M's (you know, the kind you give out at Halloween?) and had them pick out the correct colors. They were free to eat the rest, of course! We talked about what each of the colors meant, and how you react differently to each while you are driving. It was a great opportunity to talk about traffic safety, how to cross a street, and the importance of always wearing a seat belt!

And just when the kids thought the day couldn't get any more exciting, we played a riveting game of Red Light, Green Light--complete with paved road! I used some black batting that was donated to United Way last month as asphalt, and ripped strips of thick masking tape to create dotted road lines. We put one child on one side of the road with a red and green-sided sign, and lined the rest of the kids up on the edge of the opposite side of the road. The kids would race to tag the child holding the sign, and would go on green and stop on red. The kids thought it was loads of fun, and had a great time taking turns being the stoplight. It was a hoot!

Playgroup activities help kids in many areas of development. In addition to the social benefit, the kids used their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to create their stoplight snack, and they used their gross motor skills and communication skills to play Red Light, Green Light. Even the most simple and fun activities can help your kids practice important developmental skills!

Thanks as always for reading! Have you tried any of our activities and had success entertaining your kids and helping them grow? Let us know!

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