Beanie Boy’s favourite game at the moment is his Smart Toss from Learning Resources. Quite simply it’s a Bean Bag tossing game with lots of different learning possibilities. I love to have activities around to keep them active during the winter months because my Beans are active little monkeys so they need to have activities which will keep their minds and bodies moving.
Beanie Boy is very eager to learn but I’m apprehensive to push him too far before he starts school in September so I have been trying to teach him shape, colour and number recognition, rather than focussing on the alphabet and counting. I don’t want him to be bored when he starts school and to start playing up so games like Smart Toss are ideal because he is learning and building up his motor skills and hand-eye coordination along with shapes, colours and numbers all in the name of fun!
If you have a home with limited storage space Smart Toss is perfect as it all folds flat and could easily be stored under or behind a sofa/bed. When you are ready to play you just secure the vinyl games board into place using the velcro fastenings and pop the board on the floor. Mark out a fair distance for players to take their places and take it in turns at playing the different games together.
Beanie Boy chose the Aliens Game Board for our first game and we would shout out a colour that the other person had to try to throw their Bean Bag into. Each of the Bean Bags are numbered and coloured so you can divide them up whichever way you feel most appropriate. When playing in pairs we have gone for odds and even numbers or one person takes numbers 1-6 and the other has numbers 6-12. The person with the most Bean Bags in the right coloured hole is the winner.
Other games to try include;
- Number Matching – get the right number in the matching numbered hole
- Shape recognition – shout out a shape and throw the bean bag into the correctly shaped hole
- Colour recognition – shout out a colour and throw the bean bag into the correctly coloured hole
- or . . . if their aim isn’t quite perfected yet then you could ask them to throw a bean bag into a hole and then shout out the colour, shape or number of the hole their bean bag landed in. The more you play the more they will begin to recognise them.
What we have loved about this game is that it is something which we can all play together. I have played this with Curly, Beanie Boy and Jelly Bean all together and whilst Jelly Bean doesn’t know shapes and numbers yet he is starting to get a grasp of colours and for Curly it’s just a fun skills game he can play with his younger siblings. It is also great because we will be able to play with it in the garden and even take it with us when we go camping again in the summer.
DISCLAIMER: We were sent the Smart Toss game as part of our role as Learning Resources ambassadors. All words, opinions and images are my own and may not be copied without my permission.