Pumpkin Patch Steps & Skips

Here’s another simple elementary theory game for Halloween week.   My elementary groups are reviewing steps and skips this month, and I came up with the idea to turn my entire studio floor into a gameboard… with a holiday twist.

I picked up a package of black paper plates from the party aisle at my local store, and taped a pumpkin graphic on each one to create a pumpkin “patch” that wound around the floor of my studio.   Each student selected a beanie baby to use as a game piece, and we determined a playing order.  Students drew a step/skip/repeat card from a deck and moved their gamepiece accordingly: one plate ahead for steps, two plates ahead for skips, and the same plate for repeated notes.   I happened to have a deck of cards in my game closet from Susan Paradis’s Step Skipping Game, so re-used those for this activity instead of reinventing a whole new deck.

The kids had a blast with this activity.  With the upcoming holiday (and plenty of sugar to go around) this week they were extra wiggly, so the large scale of the gameboard gave them a chance to move around a bit more than a stationary game would have.

After we finished the first game, we played a follow-up game where students practiced moving notes by step and skip on a taped floor staff:

Each player placed a pumpkin plate on the middle line of a 5-line staff.  They took turns drawing cards that specified “step” or “skip” and also “up” or “down” and moved the plates accordingly. The first player to pass the top line of the staff won!

The step and skip cards are available for download off my studio site – scroll to the bottom of the games page to find the file.

Just like the Build-A-Skeleton game I posted earlier this week, these games could easily be adapted to use for different holidays just by changing the graphics or using different colored plates.  An easy way to add a little holiday fun to theory!


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