House of Cards - Fun, cheap, easy way to learn more about your kids
Here's a fun/easy/cheap/educational activity for all you parents, caregivers and teachers out there! Give your kiddos a stack of playing cards and a roll of masking tape and tell them that the "best" castle wins. That's it. They can't use anything other than the cards and the tape and they have to build a castle. "Best", of course, is relative, so you can judge the winners based on cooperation, design, strength, aesthetics, or give a prize in each category. Gauge your kids to see what will be best for them.
If you're a teacher, use this as a team-building activity for your cooperative groups. If you're a parent, use it at a birthday party to keep the kids engaged, or just use it with your own kids and see how creative they can truly be. The kids can work independently, in small groups, or in large groups. You'll be amazed what life skills start shining through during this oh-so-simple activity. If the kids are working in a group, you'll immediately be able to pinpoint "the leaders". They're the ones who take the masking tape and the stack of cards and demand their teammates listen to their plan before anyone does anything. You'll soon find your creative cats, too. They're the ones who quietly and artfully create a architectural masterpiece that has multiple levels, staircases, spindles. and use alternating diamond/spade patterns The peace-makers will emerge, well, as the ones who keep the peace and keep everyone involved.
The great thing is that clean up is easy, the cards can be re-used and this activity can be done repeatedly since no two castles will be the same.
Try it out and share what you find -- we'd love to hear what you discovered about your Aces!