Croquet is a great game for improving hand-eye coordination. You can make your own inexpensive set at home using old boxes. While making his own croquet set, your kid will exercise his math and fine motor skills. Once he's done, your little one will have a blast hitting a sponge ball into the tunnels.
What You Need:
- Construction Paper
- Glue stick
- 10 medium size boxes
- Wrapping paper roll (or three paper towel rolls)
- Toilet paper roll
- Sponge ball
What You Do:
- Trace a tunnel shape on the long side of a box. Make sure the sponge ball fits! Then, carefully cut out with scissors.
- Explain to your child that now you'll need to figure out how many circles he'll need.
- Show him how to use addition to figure out how many circles to cut out from the construction paper. Since there are ten boxes, you will need to add all of the numbers 1-10 together to determine how many circles to make.
- Tell him that some circles can be larger and that these larger circles will go on the boxes that represent the smaller numbers (1-5) while other circles will need to be smaller so that they will all be able to fit on the boxes that represent the larger numbers (6-10).
- Glue one circle above the arch of the first box, two circles above the arch of the second box, and so on until you've assigned circles to all of the boxes.
- To make the mallet, have your child attach the toilet paper roll to the wrapping paper roll using tape. Make sure that the toilet paper roll is perpendicular (or forms an upside down '"T") to the bottom of the wrapping paper roll. If you're using paper towel rolls instead, tape them together so that they form one long roll.
- Put the boxes on the floor, in any arrangement your child wishes.
- Now it's time to play! Encourage your child to use the mallet to hit the sponge ball through the boxes, beginning with the box with one circle and continuing to the other boxes in order.
Now have a croquet party! Buy some extra balls and ask parents to have their child bring some left over cardboard rolls. Children can decorate their croquet mallets with markers and stickers and take them home as party favors.