Saturday, February 4, 2012

Games we play!

How do I get the kids to practice?  
We do two things that make practice easy. 
  1. Practice is a habit.  Its a habit because of our 100 day practice challenge (and 200 and 300).  
  2. We make practice fun.  Is it always fun?  No.  But we try.
How so we make it fun?  We play games...lots and lots of games.  

What kinds of games? 
All kinds!

Where do we get the games? 
Usually we make them.  I used to spend a lot of time making up games customized with the songs that they are working on, but I've gotten more efficient.  Now to make the games  reusable, I either use numbers and assign the numbers to a particular piece of their practice, or we draw cards.

Gus made this particular game.  We use templates that we find on the internet, like those found on Donna Young's wonderful webpage.
And then either print them out and write on them or, if we're feeling fancy, edit them using Jarnal.  The game pieces are usually lego guys, or precious little bunnies.

I even reuse the game boards for math and reading games.  I keep them in a folder, and rotate them.  We sometimes go weeks without playing one, and some weeks we play one each day.

On particularly tough days, we use a chocolate coin as the game piece, to be eaten when the game is finished.  Its amazing what a little chocolate can accomplish.

Fishing for songs.
Many of the games are very simple.  Just roll 2 dice and the first tells you what song to play and the second tells you how many times to play it.

Some of the games are more involved and take forever, like fishing for paperclipped fish using a magnet on a string.  Fishing is Huck's favorite.  Honestly, it drives me crazy.
But the cat loves it.

The Game gives the assignments, not me!

Monkeys are great for counting songs or repetitions.
 But by far the best way to make practice fun is to play music together.


Tell me about your family band!