My mom used to do this with me when I was 4 or 5 years old. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with a brown construction paper mitt in my hands. Mom would draw on a piece of paper the things she was teaching me at the time: usually alphabet letters and numbers. Then she would call out a number like six and I would catch it with my mitt so that “6” was showing in the opening. Mom would look at my mitt and give me a high-five and an enthusiastic cheer if I got it right or she would correct me if I got it wrong. Then off we would go again with Mom lobbing a number and me attempting to catch the right one. This is still my all-time favorite activity for the repetitive practice that children need to learn their shapes, colors, alphabet letters and numbers. It is so simple but so fun.
Instructions: Simply print off the free downloadable mitt and the placemat of your choice. Start with the colors and shapes first. I would recommend printing off the mitt on cardstock or laminating it for durability. You can print it in full color, print it on brown paper or even color it yourself. Then just cut out the center circle so the items can be "caught" in the middle.
How to Play: Hand your child the mitt and put the placemat on the table in front of him or her. Tell her which letter, number, shape or color to catch. Then show your child how to place the mitt over the correct item so that it is showing through the hole. Keep the practice sessions short and fun. Don’t play longer than about 5 minutes and cheer excitedly for each right answer. Let’s play ball!
Click the items below to download and get playing!
*If the item does not automatically download, click on the gray box that says, "Download This File"