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Family Games
Type: Games   Skills: Play & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
One of the key ingredients to building strong families and establishing positive relationships between parents and children is spending time together. One of the best and most enjoyable ways to do that is to play together. In this activity, you'll learn three simple games - Peek-a-Boo, I Spy, and Memory Cups - you can play together as a family with your child. Family Games
What We Learn
Memory skills
One-to-one correspondence
Compare and contrast skills
Supply List
Cardboard or poster
Images (family photos, animals)

I Spy
Notecards or construction paper
Newspaper or magazine images

Memory Cups
3 large identical cups
Small ball or toy
Take a large piece of cardboard, poster board or construction paper. Cut the board or paper so that there are six or eight squares that are evenly spaced out.

Place images (family photos or pictures of animals cut from magazines) behind the square openings. Glue or tape the images to the back of the cardboard or poster to hold them in place.

Take the cut-out cardboard pieces and cover the openings of each of the squares. Tape the top of the cardboard piece to the cardboard to make a hinge. Place a tab on the lower half of the piece make it a flap that can be easily opened and closed by a child.

Play the Peek-a-Boo game by giving each of your family members a chance to open up the flap and describe what they see under the flap. After all the flaps have been opened, take turns seeing if different family members can remember under which flap a specific image is located.

Peek-a-Boo helps infants and toddlers understand object permanence - that an object will be there even when something is covering it. For older children, this game can help them work on remembering things and where they are.

I Spy
First, cut out pictures of household objects from newspaper advertisements, magazines or catalogues. These objects should be items that can easily be found in your own home.

Glue or tape these images to notecards or pieces of construction paper cut into sheets approximately 3 inches X 5 inches.

Write the name of the item on the card right below the image of the object.

Place the cards around a table and mix them up. Have each family member pick a card and then look for the object around the house. Whenever that person finds the item, he or she can say "I spy a . . . "

The I Spy game can help children with conceptualization. For younger children they are learning to go from an abstract picture to a concrete item and finding it in their home or environment.

Memory Cups
Show your family members a small item, such as a ball or a toy car or dinosaur.

Place one of three identical cups over that item. Ask everyone to continue watching the cup that has that item. On a flat, smooth surface, move all three cups around.

After a few moves of the cups, ask your child if they can remember which cup still has the item underneath it. Take turns so other family members each get a chance to play.

Remember that playing together has lots of benefits for children and parents. Play helps parents and children bond. Parents can influence a child's social development through play. Spending time with kids conveys that they're important and makes kids feel part of the family unit. Finally, playing together also encourages children to talk and develop their verbal skills.
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