Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Perfect Board Game Pieces!!

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Have you noticed more and more FREE teacher materials on Pinterest?  Some of my favorite Pinterest freebies are teacher created board games I can play with my preschooler.  Once I print a game I scramble around the house to find something to use for game pieces.  I usually use small candies, foam squares, old board game pieces or any little trinkets I find lying around the house.  Well now I have a new item to add to my game piece list...SQUINKIES!!!

My preschooler received her first set of Squinkies in October for her birthday.  It was the first time I saw these mini squished up toys.  My preschooler found them adorable.  I could not agree with her less!  All I saw when I looked at these toys were a terrifying choking hazard!  I couldn't imagine why my preschooler would choose to play with them.  They are less than an inch tall, the only accessory they came with were a couple of tiny plastic containers and she owns so many other toys that (in my opinion) are much better for imaginary play.  But play with them she did.  She enjoyed her first set of Squinkies so much that when Christmas rolled around, Disney Princess Squinkies made their way to the top of her Christmas list.

It wasn't until last week, when I figured out an education purpose for Squinkies, that I finally gave in and became a fan of these collectible toys.  Squinkies make the perfect game pieces for all those teacher created games I've pinned and printed from Pinterest!!  They are the perfect size for game boards, they stand up and they come in a wide variety...pets, babies, sports players and cars just to name a few.   

Last week while I prepared for my faith formation class (I teach a 1st grade religion class once a week), I gathered up a collection of my preschooler's Squinkies.  My preschooler graciously offered me use of any of her Squinkies, "expect her favorite princess ones!"

Before the lesson began, I told the class they would each get to choose a Squinkie at the end of the lesson to play a quick board game.  I used good behavior as an incentive for choosing the Squinkies (those students who were attentive and participated would get to choose their Squinkie first).  The class loved it!  It was great motivation and added a little extra fun to the game!

I didn't have my camera with me in class, but when I got home I played the game with my preschooler and took a few pictures.

Now my head is spinning with ideas for all the different preschool games I could create using different Squinkie sets!  And not only do Squinkies make the perfect game board pieces, they will also be a great math manipulative for my preschooler to use for counting, addition, subtraction, measurement, geometry and so much more!

I might just have to start collecting Squinkies right along with my preschooler!

What educational ways will you use Squinkies???



  1. HI Lisa,
    I am not familiar with Sqinkies, but I may need to be. Those Cars ones look like they may be a hit in my house. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm sure your boys would enjoy Squinkies! Now my preschooler is asking for Hello Kitty Squinkies!

  2. Hi Lisa, this is great you have so many great ideas, I hope you would not mind a linkback from my blog, I would love it if you would follow me as well

    1. Thanks! I'm off to check out your blog right now!

  3. That's being resourceful. Pinterest is the best. I find so many fun things on there for my kids. Isn't this a wonder time?

    1. I'm totally addicted to Pinterest! It's the a great place to share ideas and "collaborate" with other parents and teachers!

  4. Squinkies! How cool--I've never seen them, but they look like a lot of fun! I also love Pinterest! ;) Thank you so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday -- I hope we see you again today!

  5. Keeping your students occupied with board games was very agreeable. Through this kind of recreation, they can develop their thinking and social skills. It must be hard handling preschoolers. But with your overwhelming passion, I’m certain you’ll last in this profession. That was also heartwarming giving your celebrant of a student a set of Squinkies. She must’ve been so excited to share it with her classmates. :D

    Esmeralda Tabarez


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