Sunday, December 1, 2013

Whole Hearted Holidays - Over the River ... a Rest Stop Game

We just finished reading "Over the River and Through the Wood" illustrated by David Catrow (the poem is by Lydia Maria Child). As we were talking about the poem/book we kept saying "over" and "through" and "to" which are all great prepostions. My initial thought was to do some kind of prepositional phrase based language activity (and I may create one, one of these days), but I knew that we would be traveling this holiday weekend and I needed to find something to do at a rest stop to stretch our legs.

So I created an active game based on the poem. There are a few ways to play. 

The first way is the way we played at home and would be great for anyone who is stuck at home and can't get outside. Print the location pages (here and here and here) as well as the calling cards (here) and color or decorate them as you'd like. 

We did curling ribbon for the river, Christmas Tree branches for the woods and left Grandma's house just the way it is. 

We placed the location pages on the floor and piled up the calling cards. We turned a calling card over and traveled to the different locations acting like the card told us to. My favorite was the "horse" calling card so I could gallop from location to location. Big Sister's was the "excited" calling card where she could act like a crazy person waving her arms around over her head and sing/scream all around the room.

A second way to play is what we did next.  After a few rounds of the caliling cards, we found a YouTube video of the song. We played the song as we ran around to the different locations trying to change how we were moving based on what was being said in the song. It was hilarious, exhausting and a ton of fun!

The final way to play is to just wing it at a rest stop. This turned out to be our favorite way to play!

We were at a rest stop on our drive and it was time to stretch our legs. We did not have the location pages or the calling cards so we just made it up. We decided that the branch was the river, the small cluster of trees was the woods and the pavilion was grandmother's house. Then while I sang (shouted), she ran to the different locations. It was good exercise and a lot of fun!

I hope that the next time you go traveling and need to take a break to stretch your legs that you consider a little game of Over the River with your kids :) 

We had such a good time on the ride up, Big Sister requested it on the way home, too!

We used pine needles for the river. A line of trees was the woods.

 And she grabbed a few "flowers" (weeds) as a bouquet to bring to grandmother. 

Here are all of the links to the print outs that you'll need for the first versions of the game:
Over the River Location Page (here)
Through the Wood Location Page (here)
To Grandmother's House Location Page (here)
The Horse Knows the Way Calling Cards (here

This will be our new rest stop game! It was so much fun. Do you have any rest stop games that you like to play?

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