Monday, September 14, 2015


One potato, two potato, three potato, four…

Yesterday I suggested ways to adapt the traditional game of "Freeze" because it's a good way to help children develop self-regulation.  Today I'm going to suggest different ways to play "Hot Potato" because it also requires children to use impulse control as they start and stop passing the hot potato.  You can play this game inside, outside, or adapt it to different skills.

Materials:  sponge ball, small toy, seasonal object (such as a little pumpkin)

                music or whistle  (music for inside and a whistle for outside)
Hint!  I made a hot potato from an old pair of panty hose.

Traditional Hot Potato
Children stand or sit in a circle. The potato (or other object) is passed around the circle until the music stops or the teacher blows a whistle. The child holding the potato when the music stops is out of the game and must sit down or move away from the group. If a child drops the potato they are out of the game.  If a child throws the potato so it can’t be caught they are also out of the game. Continue passing the potato until one child is left.
*Instead of making children leave the game, ask them to do an exercise, say a rhyme, tell a joke, etc.

Shapes and Letters
The child caught holding the potato has to identify a shape, letter, or other information on a flash card.

Pass the potato and each child says a number as they receive the potato. Every time you get to a multiple of ten, that child is out.
*Start counting from a random number. “We’ll start with 17…”

Say a word. Each child says a letter in the word. When the word is spelled the next child is out. Continue passing the potato and spelling words.

After you’ve read an informative book ask the child holding the potato to tell you one new thing they learned.