Tuesday, January 12, 2016


O.K. Here are some indoor games that take advantage of “instructional time” and can twist “fun” and “rigor” together. (Smile and wink!) They can be adapted from something as simple as shapes or colors to letters, numbers, words, vocabulary, math facts...whatever skill your students need to practice and master.
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).
Hint! Paper plates are cheap, durable, and make perfect flashcards for these games.

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.”

Skills: words, letters, shapes, colors, etc.
Materials: flashcards
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.


Skills: words, letters, math facts, etc.
Materials: flashcards
Directions:  Have the children close their eyes as you hide the flashcards around the room.  Children open their eyes and hunt for the words.  When they find one they bring it to the teacher and read it.  Then they hide it again and look for another word.  The game continues as long as the children are interested.
Skills: words, letters, numerals, shapes, etc.
Materials: flashcards
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.