Calling all Countdown Card Collectors!!!

How to use Countdown Collector Cards in Drama

I am a self confessed Countdown Card collector. I have exchanged many 'I still need...'texts (text recipients you know who you are - I'm not alone), filed and organised, swapped and posted cards and been really nice to check out operators in the hopes they might slide an extra few cards my way! That sense of achievement as I slid the 'last' card into the pocket - so satisfying (I clearly need to get out more!).

With completed albums (out of the reach of little hands), there is still the excess that are regularly strewn around our lounge room floor with the accompanying paraphernalia - projectors, stickers, animal making sound machines and the like.

So here are some suggestions of ways to use these precious little rectangles in other creative and productive ways to engage your children or students!

Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

An adventurous pirate
Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

Parents and caregivers, here's 10 quick ideas to bring out some creativity when you're at the park with your little ones:

1. Use park play space structures to your advantage.

“Ahoy! Where be that treasure? Arrrgh!?” Build stories with your children, role playing your quest to search for buried treasure!

Utilising playground equipment is an easy way to develop gross motor skills.

Climbing and hanging help strengthen muscles, swinging and seesawing support the vestibular system, which is to do with balance.

Playgrounds help children develop their spatial awareness and depth perception, given the many levels that can be found in the construction of playground equipment.

2. Grab your binoculars, magnifying glasses and set off on your expedition! Take an explorers box and gather things of interest from nature or hunt for insects.

You could use these things to take home and create pictures, or make 3D scenes. Leaves, pine cones, stones and bark have lots of artistic potential.

3. It’s a race - explore space! Give instructions, skip to the swings, hop to the slide, balance on the rocks, wiggle like a worm to the see saw and the list continues.

Let your children share their own movement ideas too!

4. Roll!

Literally roll down any grassy slopes you can find! Rolling is a great sensory experience.
It builds strength and coordination and assists with both vestibular and midline development!

5. Cup of tea? Don't mind if I do!

Take Teddy to the park and have a picnic! Let the kids take the reins (with you as the helper) preparing food, packing and setting it out once at the park.

Pretending twigs, leafs etc are delicious foods is another fun option!

6. Take bubble wands and imagine!

Chase them, catch them, run away from them, jump on them!

Turn them into monsters, robots, fairy dust... etc. Bubble play has many educational benefits. It helps develop fine motor, oral and visual tracking skills along with hand/eye coordination.

7. Don’t just feed the ducks, be the ducks!

Quack, waddle, preen your wings! Pretend to dive and swim in the water.

Observe and talk about them, chase and feed them. You could even go home and draw them and write a story about your experience.

8. Get set go! Plan an obstacle course that uses playground equipment.

Up the steps backwards, down the slide, run and touch the swing frame, race around the rubbish bin and then up to the top of the climbing frame.

Super heroes run pretty fast! Are you game to wear your capes?

9. You can’t go wrong with Hide and Go Seek, Tag, Follow the Leader or Eye Spy. Timeless games that all children love to play!

10. Scavenger Hunt!

Kids love to look for things. Give them a bag to collect things from a list or a pencil and paper to check off found items. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as:
  • Find a smooth leaf
  • Find a pointy leaf
  • Find a Brown leaf
  • Find a big leaf

This could be just what you need to keep your little ones busy searching!

Pirate image copyright Jenae Ryan