Jumping While Learning

Recently, Nasko and I have been trying new games while jumping on the trampoline.  He just thinks we are playing and having fun, but in reality, he's learning! Someday he will be older and wiser and he'll catch his mother in her attempts to teach him, but for now, we're going to secretly keep working on skills!  :–) After sharing this specific activity with a client last week, I realized how versatile this game really is; so I'm sharing it with you all!

We (the Newinghams) used our trampoline to play, but this can also be done on your living room carpet (especially if the outside temperature is 99° like it is today!)

Other than your trampoline (or carpet) the only required supply is masking tape.


Oh, and your imagination.

We began playing this game last Monday by making shapes out of the masking tape.  We stuck the tape to the surface of the trampoline mat.  I made a square, triangle, heart, diamond, and circle.  Making the heart was a little tricky, and thankfully the circle is provided in the center of our trampoline, but Nasko was able to get the basic idea of the shapes.

My mom was here that day, and she was then given the task of shouting out directions.  She would say, "Nasko jump on the circle," and Nasko would find the circle and jump on it five times, while counting out loud.  (No one said we couldn't work on two skills at once.)

She even made the game more tricky by giving me a separate set of directions.  Nasko had to listen for HIS name and HIS shape.

At one point, we tried two-step directions (jump on the square and then the circle), but that was a bit too difficult.

Nasko was engaged in this game for almost thirty minutes.  And that, my friends, is a loooooong time for Nasko!

Since he seemed relatively confident in knowing the basic shapes, the next time we played I mixed things up a bit.  I used the masking tape to make the letters of his name.


I laid the letters out in order so that we could hop around the trampoline clockwise (Nasko is also working on his directions!) and spell his name out loud.


We continued working on identifying, so I had him stand in the middle before moving the named letter ("Nasko, where's 'N'?")

Letters were much more difficult for Nasko, so we'll be repeating this activity often (when it's not 99°).  By the end of the evening though, he was pretty proficient at N and O.

As his Aunt Sarah pointed out, he doesn't even realize it, but he can spell the word "No!"

Oh joy.

This game can be used for all sorts of ages and all sorts of skills.  Here are some of the ideas I had, but maybe you can think of more!

1. masking tape numbers 1-9 - give math problem, child jumps on correct response

2. sight words written on tape with marker, child listens to sentence and jumps on the sight words heard

3. words of two-three scriptures written on making tape but jumbled throughout the trampoline.  child jumps from word to word in the correct order while reciting the scripture.

4. use making tape to make shapes and practice direction following and identifying body parts by giving the child specific instructions:  nose to triangle, elbow to circle, etc.

5. make music notes (quarter, whole, etc.) and have child count out beats by jumping on each note.


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