Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tower Games

In my treatment of children at the mental health clinic, one game I always had around was Jenga or Jumbling Tower.  Since my internship days I always had one with me in which I wrote "feeling" words on each of the blocks such as "angry", "happy", "confused", "sad", etc.  I would also leave a few blocks blank.  As we began to play the game the child would have to talk about a time when he/she felt such a feeling and describe it.  If the child pulled out a blank block then he/she would get to ask me a question about anything they wanted.  The same rules applied to me and both the child and I had the chance to decline answering a question.  This was a favorite game of the children and myself.  It occured to me that this game could also be used at home with our own children, as I sometimes had children play with their parents and me, and sometimes parents would comment that they had the game at home and would be adding the "feelings" words to the blocks also because it helped them discover things about their child.  Kids just seem to open up more when they are playing.  So I am definately planning on using this game with my children as they get more verbal and better at understanding the game process.

For now I also decided to make this same game educational.  I went out and bought 2 more sets of the tower game.  On one I wrote a different letter on each block.  This can be used to play a letter recognition game and can also be used with older children as a phonics game.

On the other tower game I wrote numbers 1 through 10 on some blocks and dots for counting on other blocks.  So far we have played with the alphabet one and MD enjoyed identifying the letters as he pulled out a block.  Since he's only three, this game is a little difficult for his coordination so our tower tumbled over pretty early in the game.  But the good thing is you can always start over :)

1 comment:

  1. This is a terrific idea- both the feelings version and the alpha-numeric version. Diego is four now and I think that he would have the coordination to make the game work. Thanks for sharing!