January 2015
Just for Fun

Silent Touch
This is a great game to quiet children and build memory skills. The first child gets up and touches an object and then sits down. The second child gets up, touches the first object, then touches an additional object. The third child touches the first object, second object, and adds a third object. The game continues as classmates touch what the previous children have touched in sequential order and then add a new item. When a child forgets, simply begin the game all over again.

Four Corners
(Every year this was my class’ favorite game!)
Number each of the corners in the room ~ 1, 2, 3, 4. Choose one person to be “it.” “It” hides her eyes and slowly counts from one to ten as the rest of the class tiptoes to a corner in the room. When “it” says “freeze,” everyone must be in a corner. “It” then calls out a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and the children in that corner are out of the game. They sit down in the “stew pot” in the middle of the room. “It” counts to ten again as everyone moves to a new corner. The game continues until there is one person left. That person becomes the new “it.”

Hint! Shorten the game by having “it” call out two corners at a time. If there is no one in the corner, ask “it” to call out another number.

One child is the “detective.” The detective describes a “missing child” (classmate), giving their eye color, hair color, description of clothing, likes, etc. The first person to identify the missing child gets to be the new detective.

Hint! Here is another variation of this game. Send the detective out in the hall. Select one child and hide him or her under your desk or behind a shelf. The detective returns to the classroom and tries to identify the missing child. (You can also let two children exchange seats and see if the detective can spot the switch.)

Tower Topple
Every child will need one block from the block center for this game. The first child places her block on the floor. The second child places his block on top of the first block. The game continues as each child adds their block to the tower. When the “tower topples,” children get a block and the game begins all over again.

Hint! Have children count the blocks and see if they can beat their previous record.

Silent Ball
You will need a small, soft ball for this game. Explain that the object of the game is to see how many times you can toss the ball without talking. Look at the person you are throwing the ball to so they will be ready. Silently count how many times the class can throw the ball without talking or dropping it. If someone talks or drops the ball, then the game begins all over again.

Hint! Wad up a scrap piece of paper and use it in lieu of a ball.

Who’s Got the Penny?
One person is “it.” “It” chooses three friends to leave the classroom. While the three are out of the room, “it” walks around the room and places a penny in one child’s hands. All the children cup their hands as if they are holding the penny. The three children are then called back in the classroom. The three walk around the room opening hands until one finds the penny and says, “Penny, penny, I found the penny!” That child then becomes “it” and the game continues.

Hint! Let children hide a seasonal toy, such as a bunny, pumpkin, etc.

Paper Plate Party
Give each child 2 paper plates. Put on some music and:
              •  Clap the plates like cymbals.           •  Shuffle them to the beat.           •  Tap on the hips, shoulders, and other body parts.           •  Clap high, low, in front of you, behind.               •  Play “follow the leader” as children take turns doing something with their plates as peers follow along.           •  Place on the floor. Put one foot on each plate and skate around.           •  Skate backwards. Skate on one foot. Skate with a friend.

Seat Square Dancing
Children sit on the floor or in a chair in a circle. Put on some country music and have the children follow along:

          •  Get the beat – Children clap hands or slap thighs.
          •  Honor your partner – Children bow to friends on either side of them.
          •  Say “howdy” – Shake hands with friends.
          •  Give high five – High five to friends.
          •  Dosie doe – Fold arms and clasp elbows as you nod.
          •  Say “yee haw” – Finger in the air and twirl as you say,“Yee haw!”
          •  Begin again clapping and slapping to the beat.

Hint! Let children make up other dance motions they can do as they sit.

Imaginary Pet Parade
Cut string or yarn into 18”-24” pieces. Pass a string out to each child. Have children hold the string with one hand and drag the other end on the floor. Explain that on the end of their string they have an imaginary pet. Ask children, “What is your pet? What is it’s name? What does it eat? What do you and your pet like to do together?”

          •  Let them draw pictures or write stories about their imaginary pet.

Going on a Trip
The teacher begins by saying, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking names an object. First child says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking names teacher’s object and names a second object. Next child says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking teacher’s object, first child’s object, and names a third object. The game continues as each child tries to remember previous objects. When a child forgets, begin the game all over again.

Hint! Name objects in alphabetical order. For example, first person says something that begins with an A, second person names something that begins with a B, and so on.

“Pack a picnic” basket with food and play in a similar way.

Children will have fun “performing” and “stumping” their classmates with this game. One child at a time gets up in front of the room. The child acts out a nursery rhyme as their friends try and guess which one it might be. The first child to guess correctly gets to act out the next rhyme. (You might need to suggest rhymes to children.)

Hint! Children could also act out books, songs, feelings, animals, or other categories.

You can let children make sounds or simply “pantomime.”

Children will need a partner for this game. Children face their partner and decide who will be the leader and who will follow. The “leader” makes motions with their face and body as the “follower” mimics everything they do. Switch places after several minutes.

What games did you enjoy playing inside when you were a child? Did you like “Doggie, Doggie”, “Gossip,” or “Simon Says”? Pass on those games and memories to your students.

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