To create Shamrock Slap:
- Make a table in a word processing program with three columns and three rows.
- Size it to take up the entire page, you will end up with nine boxes.
- Add a letter to each box or program the boxes with whatever skill you are working on.
- I used the letters in ER's first name and printed out the page five times.
- Add a shamrock clip art to one page and print out 1-2 copies.
- Cut pages into cards. I rounded the edges, just because I thought they'd look cuter.
- Shuffle the cards to combine.
- Note: Use cardstock to print the cards are sturdier. Cards can also be made by writing on index cards and using shamrock stickers.
To play Shamrock Slap:
- Stack the cards face down, into the play pile.
- Player one picks up a card and says the name of the letter on it.
- If it's correctly identified, the card goes in a pile face up next to the play pile.
- An incorrectly identified card gets placed on the bottom of the play pile.
- Play continues until a shamrock card is picked up and placed into second pile.
- The first place to slap the card wins the entire pile.
- Play continues until all the cards are gone or no shamrock cards are left in the play pile.
- The player with the most cards wins.
This game is very simplistic and my daughter really likes it. She giggles a lot and loves slapping the pile. Yes, the player putting down the shamrock card usually gets to slap it, but that's okay with me. I just wanted something quick and easy to play. Plus she's usually successful and enjoys playing. For me, that's the whole point, to make repetitious learning fun. St. Patrick's Day Themed Patterning: Since I was already making shamrock clip art cards I decided to make a few more stacks using additional seasonal icons. Mine are all part of my word processing program, but an image search online should yield many similar clip arts you can use. Right now we've been practicing extending patterns. I begin it and then ER continues until the cards run out. We've made ABAB patterns and ABCABC patterns (above) and AABBAABB patterns (below). The next step is to have her make her own patterns independently, she's pretty good at ABAB. Using 3D manipulatives would be preferable but this is a nice and inexpensive way to change up the activity for a wide range of thematic units. It's also another simple way to make another connection with new vocabulary, like leprechaun, that are also a part of the seasonal books we are reading. After St. Patrick's Day I can remove the leprechaun and pot of gold and replace them with flowers and bunnies and use them longer.