Learning with Musical Chairs

Are you trying to teach an energetic child? Do you need some ideas for making learning a little more fun? Wondering how to incorporate learning with multiple ages? Why not move and learn at the same time with Musical Chairs?!

Learning with Musical Chairs, JanelleKnutson.com

Getting Things Ready to Play:

  • Set out one chair per child
  • Get some music ready
  • Make cards (in different colors) with either or all of the following: letters/phonograms, numbers, spelling words, math facts

How to Play:

Put one card on each chair. You will have one chair per child for the entire game (no removing a chair) as the goal is to have them practicing & learning (not sitting out and watching).

Start the music and have the kids walk around the chairs (just like normal Musical Chairs). When the music stops, each child finds a chair to sit in and reads his or her card.

Collect the used cards and set a new card on each chair. Start the music and begin again!

learning with musical chairs, math facts, JanelleKnutson.com

Do you have multiple ages?

I wanted to do this activity with my elementary age girls to practice their addition and subtraction facts. Of course, the toddler and preschooler wanted to join in as well but they are not able to compute math facts yet. So here is what I came up with so that everyone could participate using one set of cards.

I write the math facts in different colors. The older kids have to answer the math problem on the card. My preschooler tells me what numbers he sees on the card. And the toddler tells me what color the math problem is written in. That way everyone gets to participate and learn at their own level and I only have to use one set of cards!

(Same idea works for spelling words. Older kids read the word. Preschoolers name the letters or sounds of letters that they see in the word. Toddler tells you the color the word is written in.)

Need a little competition?

Perhaps your kids are motivated by competition. Instead of removing a chair each round (so that some kids aren’t getting as much practice with their facts or spelling words), have a competition to see who can collect the most cards. Cards are collected when they get the math fact (or read the spelling word, letter name/sound etc) correct. If they get it wrong then the card is given to you and reused in the game. Determine the number of rounds you will play ahead of time and at the end of those rounds the person who collected the most cards is a winner!

Only have one child?

No problem! You can play this with one child as well. Just set out two chairs and place a card on each chair. When the music stops, your child will sit in one of the chairs and read the word on the card or answer the math problem. If they get it correct they get to keep the card. Place a new card on the empty chair and start again. See how many cards your child can collect in a designated number of rounds.

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