Family Time Calendar: Get Smart - iVillage

This crazy mixed-up mitten game teaches your kids sorting skills, and at the same time helps them learn their colors, numbers and shapes.

What you'll need:

  • 20 pieces construction paper (as many different colors as possible)
  • Scissors
  • Black marker pen
  • Paper bag

What you'll do:

Trace a left and a right mitten on a piece of construction paper. Try to make them as alike as possible. If it helps, make a pattern of a mitten with another piece of paper and trace that onto the construction paper to ensure similarity.

Pile three or four pieces on top of each other and cut out the mittens. If your scissors are very good, you may be able to make it through five or six pieces. However you do it, you need to end up with 20 pairs of mittens. Make sure you keep the pairs together.

Label each pair of mittens with a number from 1 to 20. For example, if you have a pair of red gloves, number the left mitten 1 and the right mitten 1. Repeat until you have 20 numbered pairs.

Take mittens 1 through 7 and turn them over. Just as you wrote out a matching number on each pair of mittens, now draw a shape on each pair: circle, square, rectangle, diamond, heart, crescent or star.

Put all the mittens into a paper bag, shake it up and let the games begin!

Let your child dump the bag of mittens onto the floor and make a real mess of them. This may be her favorite part of the game...

Tell your child the goal is to match up the mittens as quickly as possible, then give her the first assignment -- choosing a number from 1 to 20, or a shape or color to match up. Remind her it has to be a left and a right mitten (if your kids are just learning left and right, it may help for you to label each mitten with an L or an R.) Repeat until all the pairs have been matched in all their possible incarnations.

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