Thursday, July 2, 2015


*Do you remember playing games at school or in your neighborhood when you were a kid? You never wanted to go inside because you were having so much fun with your friends. The world keeps changing, but children still want to play games.  In addition to creating summer memories, games develop friendship, fitness, and a sense of well-being. 

This week I’ll share some games I’ve collected through the years. Yep, some of them are “dumb,” but the kids always liked them. As with anything else, YOU can add the magic to these games with your enthusiasm and encouragement. Here are a few hints to make these games a “winner”:
         *Adapt games for the level and interest of your children.
         *Keep the rules few and simple.
         *Play on soft surfaces and keep it SAFE!
         *Emphasize cooperation and the joy of playing, rather than
         competition and scores.
         *Encourage children to problem solve and work out their own differences.

Circle Soccer
Materials: playground ball
Stand in a circle and hold hands. Place the ball inside the circle. Children try to kick the ball and keep it inside the circle. If the ball goes out of the circle between two people, then both people are out of the game. If a player kicks the ball too high and it goes over someone’s head, then the player who kicked the ball is out of the game. The game continues until there are just one or two players left.

Hot Potato
Materials: ball, whistle
Children stand in a circle and pass around the ball (hot potato). When you blow the whistle, the child holding the ball must leave the circle. The game is played until there is just one child left standing.
*This game can be adapted easily to play inside. Have the children sit in a circle and pass a beanbag while you play music. When the music stops, the one holding the beanbag is out of the game.
Name Ball
Materials: playground ball
Have the children stand in a circle. “It” stands in the middle of the circle with the ball. “It” throws the ball in the air and calls out a child’s name.  That child tries to run forward and catch the ball after one bounce. The game continues as “it” calls out different children’s names.

Call Ball
Materials: playground ball
Divide the class into two teams and have them form two lines about 30 feet apart. Give each child a number by having them count off. (Two players on opposing teams will have the same number.) The teacher/adult stands between the two teams, calls out a number, and throws the ball in the air. The first child with that number to catch the ball wins a point for their team.

Silent Ball
Materials: koosh ball or other soft ball
Have the children form a circle. Give one child the ball. He or she throws it to another child without calling the child’s name or saying anything. If a child fails to catch the ball or drops the ball, the child is out of the game. Continue throwing the ball silently until there are just two players left.

Ground Basketball

Materials: playground ball, large box or laundry basket
Have the children form a circle with the basket or box placed in the middle. First, let the children take turns trying to throw the ball into the basket. Next, divide the children into two teams and let them try to make points for their team by throwing the ball into the basket.