My little friends got excited about Turtle Steps from the moment they saw the box! They knew just what to do for set up, placing the large and medium sized brightly colored, textured turtle shells strategically along the floor for some challenging steps. They were delightfully entertained before asking me to read the instructions. Hapinest has created a game for siblings and even parents to participate with younger children learning colors as they spin to see what color shell to move to, and all the kids practicing listening, following directions, large motor, and balancing skills. If you fall off the turtle shell? I just heard giggles as they stepped back up for more navigation across the floor, or shall I say river, as they pretended. Kids loved it when I read off the Activity Cards to “switch turtle backs with someone else,” “Balance on one foot while on your turtle,” or their favorite, “Say ‘turtle’ in your turtliest voice.” Turtle Facts” on each card such as “Turtles are dinosaurs” sparked conversation. “Wait, are these real facts?” “How come they aren’t extinct?” “Can we look it up?” My little friends enjoyed playing the suggested games but then starting making up their own. They re-named musical chairs to musical shells and added to the activities with “Move to another stone and say something silly or make up a tongue twister.” I liked the open-ended play scheme of Turtle Steps that allowed parents to adapt the activities to the age of the players and abilities. Kids were on the move while listening and engaging socially. Kindergarten teachers have told me that some of the most important skills to have for entering kindergarten is the ability to listen and follow directions. These turtle stepping stones are loads of fun while strengthening essential skills and stimulating lively social interaction.
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