Look at these pictures my friend Jane Bond sent from her school in Rwanda.
The children were learning letters and we divided into two teams-the teachers vs. children. Each team had to guess what letter the other team was forming with their bodies. They were howling with laughter over the guessing.
What's Up Cup?
You'll need small cups and a little toy for this game. (You can vary the toy for seasons or units of study.) Write skills you want to reinforce (letters, words, numbers, etc.) on the cups. Children close their eyes as you hide the toy under one of the cups. They open their eyes and take turns saying information on the cups and then looking under for the toy. If they find the toy then then get to hide it the next round.
Color Game (Maureen Goonan)
You will need a box of 8 crayons for this game. Spread the crayons on the floor (or use a document camera). Review the colors and then have the children close their eyes as you take one away. Can they tell what color is missing?
*Add more colors to challenge children.
Ice Cream Surprise Game (Bobbie Blevins)
Use ice cream cone cut outs (available at the Dollar Tree) for this activity. Write “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Why?” on the back of the cones. Hold these up in a fan shape so children can pick one and tell that part of the story. You can also write “verb,” “noun,” “adjective” on the ice cream cones. Children pick a page in the book and identify that part of speech in a sentence.
Scooby-Doo Game (Mary Marsionis)
On index cards write letters, shapes, word wall words, etc. Put Scooby-Doo stickers on some of the cards. Students pick a card and say the letter, word, etc. If a student gets Scoopy-Doo everyone says, “Rut row!” At the end roll a die and the kids with that many cards are “winners!”
Mrs. Buck Says (Donna Marie Buck)
Play the game of “Simon Says” using the teacher’s name. During the game there is no talking. If you don’t follow directions or if you make a sound you are out. If you are out of the game and make noise you won’t get to play the next game either.
What’s Up Your Sleeve? (Brenda Olivares)
Cut the sleeve off an old shirt. Stuff name cards up the sleeve and pull out one letter at a time as children predict what the name is. You can also pull sight words out of the sleeve.
Paper Plate Name Game (Hillary Warren)
Put each child’s name on a paper plate. Sing, “If your name is on the plate pick it up. If your name is on the plate, pick it up. If your name is on the plate, then you’re doing really great. If your name is on the plate, pick it up.” Put down one plate at a time. At the end when you pick up the plates you can ask each child to spell their name, say their birthday, tell you their address, or whatever you’re working on.
*You could use the same paper plates when playing this game!
Who Let the Letter Out? (Whitney Rhyne)
Have the class squat down as you begin they song. They get to “pop up” when the letter that their name begins with comes up in the song. This is great for beginning sounds and teaches the kids what letters their friends’ names begin with.
Pass the Stomp (Sarah Poole)
Six or more children join hands in a ring. Child one lifts right leg and neighbor on their left lifts her left leg at the same time, stomping together. Continue passing the stomp around the circle.