Boys. And weapons. Particularly guns. Hmmm...
What really happens when you tell a group of boys "no guns allowed" ?
They use lego, unifix, kitchen roll tubes, practically anything they can get their hands on to make something that "definitely is not a gun - I promise!" Basically their 'play', their critical thinking skills, their creativity goes underground - a secret operation and you don't get to observe any of it...not what's really happening anyway!
So how can you allow such a controversial play prop in your setting or home, but make it purposeful and definitely not violent? ( And pretty please can you get the boys interested in number??)
Here is how: Build a maths target area.
My maths target area consisted of the following:-
- a wall target (different colours) with numbers 1-20 fixed on with a mini target next to each ( younger children start with 1-10)
- A nerf gun (attached to the wall with a spiral keyring) to shoot at the target
- Number bean bags with a corresponding number target with holes for the beanbags to be thrown into
- Velcro beanbags as an alternative to the nerf gun to throw onto the target
- A helmet to wear in the target area
- camouflage leaves and material
- Recording sheets with space to write down which numbers were 'hit'
So here are the rules:
Each child has 5 goes at hitting the target. After every go, they write down on their sheet which number they hit, plus their name at the top of the sheet (LITERACY - MARK MAKING)
- Challenge 1 is to tell an adult which numbers they hit/wrote down (NUMBER RECOGNITION)
- Challenge 2 is to COUNT OUT the right number of cubes for each number they hit
- Challenge 3 is to find a TOTAL by combining the cubes
At the end of the day we discussed who had the winning score by talking about which number was the largest. We always crowned a winner ( boys especially love competition).