It’s important to remember that it takes several times before children “get” how to play a game. Introduce the game, play a few rounds, and then try it again the
following day. Never drag out a game, but “quit while you are ahead” so they will want to play it again. In addition to reinforcing skills, these games will also develop the executive function (self-regulation) and 21st Century Skills (cooperation, collaboration, critical thinking).
FYI – When making flashcards, teachers generally use rectangles or squares. The corners on these shapes tend to pull the eyes to the edges. If you make flashcards on circles, then the eyes focus to the figure in the middle.
Hint! Paper plates are cheap, durable, and perfect for flashcards.
Skills: shapes, letters, sight words, numerals, vocabulary, etc.
Materials: 4 sheets of paper, markers, tape
Directions: Draw a shape, word, letter, (whatever) on the paper and tape each to a corner in the room. 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 shape (triangle, rectangle, hexagon, square) 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 shapes at a time.
If there is no one in the corner, ask “it” to call out another shape.
Skills: words, letters, math facts, colors, shapes, etc.
Materials: paper plate flashcards with information you want to practice
Directions: Do you remember the old game where you placed chairs in a circle and walked around until the music stopped? If you didn’t find a chair you were OUT! This is a similar game that can reinforce letters, words, colors, math facts, etc. Scatter the paper plates on the floor. Play some catchy music for the children to dance to. When the music stops each child finds a paper plate and picks it up. The teacher randomly points to various children to identify the information on their plates. Have the children place the plates back on the floor and continue dancing.
*If the child is unsure about what is on their plate invite them to “ask the audience.”
HEADS UP - SEVEN UP
Skills: words, letters, numerals, shapes, etc.
Directions: Seven children come to the front of the room and are given a flashcard. The rest of the class places their heads down. The seven tiptoe around and place a flashcard by a friend before returning to the front of the room. The seven join in and say, “Heads up! Seven up!” Children who received a flashcard stand up and identify the information on their card. They then get three guesses to determine who gave them the card. If they guess correctly they get to switch places that person.
RED ROVER, RED ROVER
Skills: words, letters, shapes, colors, etc.
Directions: Divide the class into two teams and have them stand on opposite sides of the room facing each other. Give each player a flashcard to hold in front of them. The teacher goes to one team and asks, “Who do you want to call over?” The children select someone from the opposite side and say, “Red rover, red rover, send word right over.” The child holding that word walks, hops, tiptoes, or jumps to the opposite side. The game continues as sides take turns calling words over.
Come back tomorrow and we'll “play it again!”