Parent Made Developmental Toys: Integrating Parenting, Self-Esteem, Literacy & Fun
Spinner and Gameboard Play a game with your older children and let the younger ones do the spinning.
Decide a game plan. Draw it on your track Add colors, pictures, and words.

1. Cut a piece of wood 5 1/2 inches long from the 1x6.
2. Find the center of the wood. It is 2 3/4 inches from each side. Mark it.
3. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the wood about 1/2 inch deep.
4. Cut a piece of 1/4 inch dowel 2 inches long.
5. Glue it into the hole in the square of wood.
6. Cut a piece of lattice board 4 inches long.
7. Mark the center of the board.
8. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the center.
9. Sand all the wood. Sand a point onto one end of the lattice board for the point of the spinner.
10. Make one or two disks for the board game. Use both sides to make different games. Cut an extra piece of cardboard about 1 inch around. Cut a hole in the center. Put it on the dowel to lift the spinner off the disk.
11. Sign your spinner and date it.

Brainstorm different themes for your games. A trip to the library... how I get to school...

Also brainstorm some things you can write on the spinner disks and on the game board spaces. One example is colors.

Developmental information:
Babies can just watch the spinner.

Toddlers do not understand games or rules. They like to play like older brothers and sisters. They like to do the steps. You can help them with my turn, your turn.

3 and 4 year olds have a short attention span but they like to play when mom plays. Expect 5 to 10 minute games. They need help with turns.

5 year olds are learning rules but they feel that they do not need to follow the rules all the time. That is very normal. Listen to their reasons why a rule can be "bent!"

6 year olds develop a longer attention span. They love games.

7 year olds and up like to play games and follow the rules. They do not like it when younger ones don't know rules. That is normal too.

It is hard for older children when they play with children who don't follow rules.

Spinner and Gameboard Materials

Game boards: If you have access to a laminator when the parents have decorated it, it finishes it nicely. Parents can also do some kind of cut and paste decoration as well as drawing their gameboards. The back of the cardboard can be used for a second game-- one that serves younger vs. older children. You can vary the length of the track for the attention span of the child.

Make game pieces from found objects around the house. It might be a key, a coin, a lego, or a hair barrette. Decorate bottle caps, also.

If the spinner doesn't turn well, make small 1" washers out of a plastic lid to space the spinner from the disk. You can also draw the drill up and down in the hole to expand it a bit.

Parents can put homework on a disk (ie, 1 = 1, 4x8, spell a word, what state?).

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