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Bunny aged 40 months
Bunny learnt to jump a couple of days before her 3rd birthday, so she still has quite a bit to learn. This week she showed us that she could actually jump forward over a rope (with lots of excited giggling!) so I decided to harness that to help her learn some numbers. You could use this equally well to learn letters, shapes or just pictures if your child can jump before they are ready to learn the other things.
We went out to our driveway with some chalk (I would recommend pavement chalk affiliate or jumbo/thick chalks so it is easier to write big numbers/letters/shapes and they are a little stronger if dropped). We used IKEA MALA chalk which worked well, and is £1 for 10 (2 each of 5 colours).
Bunny already recognises the numbers up to 10 and counts almost to 20 so I started with drawing the numbers to 20 in a line along the ground and let her start at 0 and jump all the way to 20, calling out the numbers as she went. This is great for kinesthetic learners, visual learners and auditory learners!
As you can see, she had fun! I think it would have been more successful if she already knew more of the teen numbers. She was able to point to a couple of them when I asked where e.g. 16 was, but only a couple. I wrote the numbers close together on purpose, each one was about the size of her foot with a one-inch gap, but now I know she can jump further I would do bigger gaps.
Then I drew out the numbers 11-20 in a part of our brick drive which has a pattern, I used the pattern as a grid and when I asked her to jump to numbers when I called them out to her.
This turned out to be too difficult for her so I dropped down to only the numbers 1-6. She thought this was great fun and loved using her new jumping skills. I added a 1 in front of the number 1 and called out 11 to her. She worked out that “11” must be eleven and jumped to it. After a few more calls I added a 1 in front of the 2 and we worked a bit on number 12 too.
After a bit Bunny decided to cross out the 11 and 12 (pink chalk)! We didn’t do much more number work after that!
Finally she started to do some bigger jumps, so we did a bit of long-jumping from a standing start. I marked where the back of her feet were (pink chalk) and she was able to do some improvements and was thrilled to see how much it changed (and I had some turns too!)
Since we did this activity she has been asking if it has rained yet, as she knows this will wash the chalk away, and she has also asked to go out and play on them again. It has been a great gross motor activity for her which we will definitely do again. I will use this for reviewing concepts she knows and extending slowly to a couple of new ideas, not too many at once. It was a great way to get outside and have some fun together too!