Motivation has been a huge problem with my 4-year-old lately, especially when it comes to learning writing skills. She has the tendency to use the words "I can't" too much without even trying. After a few weeks of wanting to bash my head against a wall, I came up with a solution. Turn learning into a game! Two pieces of paper and a Sharpie later and I had the "Lizzie Learns her Numbers" game. Yep, it did the trick.
I drew a board game form and started filling in the squares with the skills I wanted her to work on - writing her numbers. I also included fun games and activities designed to help her with her numbers. Most of the activities on the game were pulled from Math Play! by Diane McGowan and Mark Schrooten. (This is a wonderful resource for fun math activities for ages 2 to 6.) She has to complete a square to earn a sticker and move on to the next. Every 4 to 5 squares also has a special prize that she'll earn. When she completes the entire board, she will earn a grand prize.
In order to make the flip up squares, I cut around 3 sides of one of the squares. I then glued an extra piece of paper to the back of the game, that way, when she flipped up the square, I had room to write underneath it. Simple!
I'm sure you're wondering what sort of prizes she's earning through this game. I've filled it with fun activities such as making cookies, a trip to the park and finger painting. I tried to come up with things that would be a treat, yet wouldn't cost me money. The grand prize will be a trip to a nature center.
So far, the game is working to motivate her. Her "I can't's" are gone and she's actually eager to learn to write. So, if you're having a problem motivating your little one, turn it into a game!