Kid Activities
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Games for Pre-K to Grade 2 Children

October 23, 2009 03:32 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

The following is a compilation of games for Pre-K to Grade 2 that have been included in other categories of this site. Hope this makes your search a little easier! There are also some Holiday and Seasonal Theme Games at the botom of this page...See Game Category selection to left side for games for K thru middle school. ALL CHECK OUT THEMES. THEY ALL HAVE GAMES SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN!

 OUTDOOR AND ACTIVE PRE-SCHOOL AND ECH GAMES don't need to be complicated.

• Children this age enjoy simple games like TAG or RUNNING. Another all time favorite is HIDE AND SEEK!

Make a simple OBSTACLE COURSE for a creative game. This also reinforces the concept of sequences and directions.

Have a NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT to find different types of flowers, rocks, and leaves.

SPORTS GAMES such as KICKBALL and ROLLING AND CATCH are GOOD STARTERS, and preschoolers usually catch on quickly to the dynamics of a sport.

TAG
So simple!!! Choose a player to be ‘‘It’’, then choose a tree, step, rock or anything you can think of to be ‘‘base.’’ The idea of the game is for the person who is "It" to touch the other players before they reach the base. If the person who is ‘It’’ tags you, then you are now ‘‘It’’. 
 

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OTHER SIMPLE GAMES...

I SPY...
(We all know this game; it’s been posted as a reminder to use with your kids! It’s a good transition game)
One person says “I spy with my little eye, something that is _______ (name a color)". Then others try to guess what the object is and the one who guesses it takes the next turn.

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ANIMAL ZOO

Place hula-hoops on the floor. Have one child stand in each hoop.

  • "It", who is in the center … does not have a hoop.
  • When "It" calls “change”--- all children run to find a new hoop.
  • The player without a hoop is the new "It".
    Variations:
    Have children walk like lions. 'It" is the lion tamer and the lions must find new cages.
    Seals - Find a new iceberg.
    Frogs - Find a new lily pad.

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SEASONAL TREASURE HUNTS
Young children love hunting for treasure. Occasionally bury small objects in the sand or snow for the children to find.
Shells in the Summer…
Acorns in the Fall…
Shamrocks for Spring…
Small hearts for Winter

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TRAFFIC LIGHT DRAMA GAME

With colored construction paper or cardstock--cut out a red circle, a green circle and a yellow circle. You can also color it in on white paper.

  • With music playing in the background, have children start "driving" around the room. They should make beeping and engine noises while doing so. They can pretend to be buses, cars, trucks or bikes - whatever they like.
  • Every couple minutes, hold up a colored circle and call out either...
    "Stop - the lights are Red!"” or
    "Slow down - the lights are Yellow!" or
    "Go, go, go - the lights are Green!"
  • If the lights are red, the children must stand absolutely still.
  • If they are yellow they must slow down.
  • On green they move around normally.
  • When ending the game ask all the "vehicles" to neatly park. 

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TEACHING JUMPING JACKS
Saw this quite awhile back ...don't remember where...but it works!

  • When the kids' legs are out and hands clapped above the head, this is called "teepee".
  • When the kids' legs are together and hands at their sides, it's a "pencil."
  • They can learn this skill slowly as they shout "teepee...pencil...teepee...pencil.

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TEACHING JUMP ROPE

YOUNG CHILDREN can also enjoy jump rope games.
Starting at age 4, children can begin to learn. Start by having them jump over a stationary rope on the ground--- or an adult or another child can wiggle the rope and they can hop over the wiggling snake!

Move on to swinging the rope back and forth slowly while they learn to jump over it; then once they get the hang of things, move on to swinging it overhead. If you don't have another adult or older child to help you swing the rope, you can hold one end of the rope and tie the other to a fence, chair, or play-scape.

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NATURE SCAVENGET HUNT USING PICTURES: This is for young children who can't read.
Need: Small bag and pre-made papers

  • Make a scavenger hunt list with pictures you have drawn on a sheet of paper.
  • Some ideas: A feather, small stone, acorn, various leaves in your area, small twig or stick, dead bug (draw him with legs up) pine cone, flower (only if they can pick one), worm, pieces of grass, clover leaf …and any other ideas you can come up with.
  • Make sure that you go over the list with the children just in case you’re not a good artist.

WORD VERSION OF ABOVE GAME...
For a mixed-age program-- you can do the same thing using words--both ages groups will then be able to participate together.

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LIMBO
Two players hold a soft rope or stick 3' to 4' long. Players take turns leaning backward and shuffling under the rope. Lower the rope after each round. (Be sure to play Limbo music!)
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CAT AND MOUSE
Have all players join hands in a circle. Choose a 'Cat' and a 'Mouse'.
The cat chases the mouse around and through the circle.
Players help the mouse but not the cat. When Mouse is caught a new Cat and Mouse are chosen.

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BALL TAG
Children form a circle and throw/roll a soft ball to each other within the circle. "It" is outside the circle and tries to tag the one of the players while they have the ball. Once the player is tagged-they become the new "It". 

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ROLLER BALL
Have children join hands in a circle. 'It' is in the center. 'It' tries to roll a ball out of the circle. Palyers use their feet to keep the ball within the circle. When the ball goes out--a new 'It' is chosen.

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BEAN BAG PASS IT DOWN Relay Games

For age 4 and all the way up!
Divide the children into teams and line them up in rows. Give the child at the front of each row a beanbag.
How to play: The children pass the beanbag from one to the next and back again, in a particular style, which you can decide as appropriate for the age of the children. Example:

  • Pass it down the row with the right hand only
  • Pass it up the row with left hand only
  • Pass it down the row with both hands
  • Pass it up the row with right hand over left shoulder
  • Pass it down the row with left hand over right shoulder
  • Pass it up the row under the right leg 
  • Pass it down the row under the left leg, and so on.

TIPS:
1.
  For younger children, it might be a good idea to practice the game movements first!
2.  If a beanbag is dropped, have the children start again from the front of the row.
3.  Also consider writing the order of steps in passing the bean bags on a white board or chart paper (to cue youth)
Adapted from Activityvillage.co.uk

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TEDDY BEAR HUNT

(A version of ‘Hot and Cold”)

Hide a small teddy bear in your program room- or  a section of your outdoor area. (Make sure children know what they are looking for.) You can use any small toy if you don't have a bear.

  • Have children come into the room and search for the teddy bear.
  • As they get closer call out "Warmer, warmer" until you get to "Hot!" As they get further away call out "Cooler, cooler" until you get to "Cold".
  • The first person to find the bear then gets to go and hide it for the next round.

Looking for Teddy Bear Ideas? Visit the Teddy Bear Theme page!

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WRAPPING PAPER Matching Game (A Craft & Game Activity!)
Materials:
Clear contact paper
Wrapping paper with MANY DESIGNS and small patterns on it
Scissors
Cardboard or tag board
Directions:

  • Cut out a piece of the wrapping paper to make the game board.
  • Glue it to the cardboard/tag board a then cover it with clear contact paper.
  • Next, cut out objects from another sheet of the SAME wrapping paper; also cover these with contact paper.
    To Play:
  • The children match the cut-out pieces to the designs on the game board; they put the cut-out on the board when they find a match.
  • Laminating the board and pieces will give you a game that lasts quite awhile!

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MUSICAL NUMBERS 

Played like Musical chairs
Age: 3-6
Preparation:

Cut a circle of paper, old sheeting or old plastic tablecloth for each child that will play. Draw large bright numbers on each sheet.

  • Pre-number small treats/prizes (one for each round you are going to play) with corresponding numbers.
    Example: If you have 20 children and hope to play 5 rounds, you would have 20 pieces of paper marked 1 to 20, and 5 prizes marked 4, 9, 12, 15 and 20.
    Play:
  • Scatter the papers around the room and the children dance and move about the room.
  • When the music stops, the children must sit down on a piece of paper. With a ta-daaaaa, announce the winning number.
  • When the game is over---make sure that each child receives something!
    The focus with games should ALWAYS be on the fun!

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MUSICAL STATUES
This simple game is similar to musical chairs - except you need no chairs! Children dance to the music until it stops. When the music stops, they freeze completely in the dancing position they were in. Anybody moving is out. Start the music again fairly quickly and keep repeating until you have a winner. The non-players can help you spot any statue movements.

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DOGGIE, DOGGIE, WHERE'S YOUR BONE?

  A child is picked to play the part of the dog. He or she sits on a chair with an object under it (to represent the bone) with their back to the group. While the dog is turned around with his or her eyes closed, someone steals the bone and hides it somewhere on his person.

Then everyone sings: Doggy, Doggy, where's your bone? Somebody's stole it from your home. Guess who it might be. Then the dog has three chances to guess who took it. If the dog guesses right, he gets to do it again. If he guesses wrong, then the child who has the bone gets a turn as the dog.

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OBSTACLE COURSE:

You can boost children’s agility by turning your environment into an obstacle course. Your course could include the following challenges:

  • Crawling under or over, Sliding, slithering, Stepping, Jumping, Hopping, Tightrope walking, Dodging or rolling, The possibilities are endless!

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GUESS THAT SOUND
Tape some common sounds and ask the children to guess what they're hearing.
Examples:
Bells, washing machine, car starting, foot steps, clock ticking, washing machine, dishwasher, animal sounds, baby crying, toilet flushing, drawer or door opening and shutting, human noises, door slamming, etc.

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WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
Materials:
Cotton Balls
Small empty film containers with lids
A variety of liquid extracts

  • Put one cotton ball in each empty film container and poke a hole through the lid of each tube so you can easily smell the scent inside.
  • For each cotton ball choose one scent to be added to the cotton ball.
  •  You can place numbered tags on the bottom of the tubes that correspond with a master list.
  • Some ideas of scents to add to cotton: Coffee, lemon, garlic, peppermint, vanilla, orange, bacon, cherry, coconut, etc.  The child that correctly identifies the most scents is the winner.

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INDOOR SANDBOX (When you don't have a sensory table)
Materials: Cardboard box or plastic baby bathtub, Puffed wheat or rice cereal, Sandbox toys

  • Create an indoor sandbox by filling a container with inexpensive cereal (buy at bulk stores if possible).
  • Uncooked rice is also possible if purchased cheaply in bulk.
  • Have kids use pails, shovels, dump trucks, measuring spoons, cups and bowls.
  • This is a lot easier to clean up than sand --- as long as you don't add water!

Visit the Indoor and Outdoor Sand Category for more ideas with sand!

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DIFFERENT WAYS TO WALK

Try to walk in a variety of ways:  On heels, On toes, Forward, Backward, Quickly, Slowly, Left, Right, Standing tall, Bent over, Arms in front, Arms behind, Hands on head, Hands on toes, With a partner, Alone In a line, In a curved line... Add music.

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FROZEN BEAN BAG
Ages 3-7
1.  The children begin by moving about the area balancing a bean bag on their heads.
2.  The leader changes the pace with music or direction.
3.  If a player's bean bag falls they are frozen until another player picks up the bean bag without losing their bean bag to free the frozen player.
4.  The idea is to help your friends.
5.  For younger children try putting the bag on the shoulder.
6.  At the end ask how many helped a friend?

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HUMAN HURDLE...for Kindergarten and up (Must have at least 10 players)

1. Divide players into 2 teams...with each team laying in a circle.(Be sure there is a wide space between each player and heads are towards the center of the circle.

2. Assign each team member a number. (If there are 6 players on each team, each team player will be number 1 through 6) #1 on each team, gets up and runs over the bodies in the group--until they get back to their own spot.

3. #2 gets up and does the same. The first team to have all runners 'hurdle'--is the winner!

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'SILENT' FOLLOW THE LEADER
    • Tiptoe along a crack... 
    • Crawl very slowly under the table... 
    • Walk while clapping softly over your heads (shhh!)... 
    • Slide along the floor with hands over your mouths...Etc.

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FIND THE CLOTHES PIN!

 

Have all children sit down with closed eyes. Attach a clothespin to someone's shirt or pants (Have it show as little as possible) Children get up and walk around. As soon as they spot the clothespin, they sit down. Children need to be reminded not to sit down right next to the person with the clothespin; they should wait a couple of seconds and move away so not to make it so obvious.

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RIBBIT, RIBBIT, JUMP! (Or Frog, Frog, Tadpole)
Here is a different version of "Duck, Duck, Goose".
The player is tapped on the head when the word "jump" is said.
They must hop and try to catch the other player who must also hop around and get back to the empty spot.

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SQUAT, SQUAT, SCAT!
This is "another version" of Duck, Duck, Goose.

  • While young children think "Duck, Duck, Goose" is fun---those over grade 2 may take offense with playing a "Baby" Game...that's when you try the game with a "Themed" title or this type of game name!
  • It's still Duck, Duck, Goose---but with a different name!
  • Have children sit in a circle...
    Method:
  • One person is "It".
  • This person runs around the circle touching the players on the back saying: "Squat, squat, squat"

When "It" touches a player and says "Scat", that person must chase "It" around the circle.
"Scat" tries to tag "It" before he/she gets home.

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HOW ABOUT A GAME OF  'HOT AND COLD' ?

1. Hide an item.   
2. Have a child to try to find the item. 
3. When they get close to the item they are getting hotter. 
4. When they get farther away from the item they are cold. The farther they get away the colder they get.  The closer they get the hotter they get...This is a good activity with a smaller group and when there is time before a transition.

HOT AND COLD with prizes... 

  • Need: Small toys or edible treats
  • With "It" keeping eyes closed, hide a small toy or edible treat somewhere in the room.
  • Take turns asking a child to find it. When they are nearer to the object, have the entire group say "hot" --- when they get away from the object say "cold". (Go from warm, warmer, hot, hotter, cool, cold, colder, etc.)
  • When it is found--start with a new "It".
  • Make sure all children get something.

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GAMES THAT MAY BE NEW TO YOU…

PAPER PLATE SHADOW

  • Each child has a paper plate.
  • The facilitator instructs the children to shadow (do exactly that he/she does) with the paper plate.
  • First practice with the children to ensure that they understand…
  • Movements can be around head, behind back, between legs, up and down, turn around in a circle holding it, etc.

VARIATION:
Make a circle of paper plates on the floor--- one for each child. Children stand behind their plate facing the inside the circle. Decorate or color one plate so it stands out and looks different. Whoever stands at "that plate spot" is the person that is “shadowed”. Play music, when the music stops, every one moves clockwise to the next plate. The “new person” at this special plate---is now the person to be followed. This is a great introduction for younger children to the “Drama Game of Mirroring.

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ROBOTS

 

1.  Take children outside or to an area with lots of room.
2.  Have them pretend to be robots.
3.  Program the "robots" to go STRAIGHT when they hear ONE BEEP, TURN AROUND when they hear TWO BEEPS and   STOP when they hear THREE BEEPS.
4.  Beep once to start your robots.
5.  Have them continue walking straight until they hear two or three beeps.
6.  Instruct them to simply walk in place (stay where they are) if they are in danger of colliding with someone or something.
7.  Beep twice to have them turn around or three times to stop.
8.  Encourage them to listen carefully for the beeps.

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STORMY WATERS

  •  Get enough cushions (or pillows or squares of paper) so there is one per person. Play some background music.
  • Tell the children that they are in the sea and to start "swimming" around to the music.
  • When you stop the music shout out "There's a storm coming - dash to an island!” Everyone must jump onto a cushion so no part of their body is touching the sea (the floor).
  • Start the music again and the game resumes with a new variation.
  • Variation: Ask them to be fishes, swimming in the sea. When you stop the music tell them there is a big shark coming to eat them.
  • You can try other ideas such as: Crocodiles, Pirates or Jellyfish coming to get them.
    The children would then be:
    Dolphins,Boats, Crabs, Mermaids, mermen, etc. They could also be surfing!

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PIGS FLY

 

Preparation for this game is dependent on the age of the children playing. Younger children may need to be taught how to make complete flying movements. You may also need to discuss which animals can and cannot fly. As the adult, it is best for you to be the first leader of the game. Afterward, let the children have turns being the leader.
Directions:

  •  The children stand in a group facing the leader. Make sure each child has enough room to flap their arms in a flying motion.
  • The leader faces the group and calls out "Ducks Fly!" "Owls Fly!" "Pigs Fly!" and so on.
  • When an animal is named which DOES FLY the children should be flapping their arms, when an animal is named which doesn’t fly, they should NOT be "flying".
  • (This game is played with a point system and elimination--but I like the idea of just playing for fun! It is also good for a dramatic play activity))
    Adapted from game at: liveandlearn.com

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MUSICAL DRESS-UP
Age: 3-7
Preparation:
Fill a large bag or basket with dressing up clothes, old hats and scarves, odd socks and boots, etc. If you can include some joke items such as fake ears and plastic spectacles the children will enjoy the game even more.
Play:

  • Children get into a circle.
  • Give the bag to the start-up child. Put some cheerful music on.
  • While the music plays, the children pass the bag around the circle.
  • When the music stops, who ever is holding the bag must reach in and pull out one article of clothing (make sure they choose quickly without looking!) and put it on.
  • If you have a large number of children, or younger children, you will enjoy the game more with two bags circulating simultaneously (and they will be lighter for the children to manage).

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ANIMAL PARADE...(for ages 3-6)

  • Children form a circle.
  • One person is chosen to be the leader.
  • The leader calls the name of a child and names an animal.
  • The child does an imitation on the movements of the animal named.
    After everyone has had a chance to imitate an animal, all players form a line for an " Animal Parade" led by the leader.
  • The group moves around the room, each imitating the animal he/she represents.
  • Variations: Play a round with sound imitations only---or a combination of sounds and movements...

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THE OCEAN IS CALM (A listening game)

  • Children sit scattered about the play area on geometric shapes.
  • Without telling the others, each child is assigned a creature that lives in the ocean on the back of their mat.
  • One player is chosen as the fisherman.
  • The teacher/caregiver calls out, "The ocean is calm".
  • Moving about the play space, the fisherman calls out names of various fish or sea creatures such as:
    Shark, eels, star fish, sting ray, clams, squid, etc.
  • When a player hears the name of the creature they have been given---they get up and walk behind the fisherman.
  • When most of the players have been called out, the facilitator calls out, " The ocean is stormy".
  • At this, all the children already caught-- must find new seats.
  • The child without a seat becomes the next fisherman.

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TARGET THROWING

Paint a target on the sheet and tie or sew bells to it; hang the sheet in a safe place. Have children throw balls or safe beanbags at the target. Encourage children to make the bells ring. If there is a visually impaired child, have one child give verbal directions in throwing. Allow a child with poor motor control to get very close to the target.

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WIGGLE, WIGGLE
Required: Large dark, room *FOR SAFETY--Still have window light or small lamp on--turning off the light is only a signal...

  • Have the children stand in a room with preferably a lot of space.
  • Turn out the lights and yell, “Wiggle, Wiggle”. 
  • Children move about all they want, but when you turn on the lights, yell “Freeze!” They then have to freeze where they are and wait until the lights go out again.
  • You can vary this game by having children act like animals (if you’re teaching an animal theme) cars, etc.
  • It’s fun & easy and can be done almost anywhere.
    Source:  Kim Mariano funattic.com

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STICKY POPCORN

 

The children begin by " popping " around the play area as pieces of sticky popcorn, searching for other pieces of popcorn. When two pieces of popcorn meet, they stick together. Once stuck together, they continue to pop around together, sticking to even more pieces, until they end up in a big popcorn ball.

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I'M TALL---I'M SMALL
I'm tall, very tall
I'm small, very small
Sometimes I am tall
Sometimes I am small
Guess what I am now.

1.  One player standing in front of the group is the LEADER.
2.  Another person is chosen to be the GUESSER and shuts his/her eyes very tightly.
3.  ALL THE PLAYERS RECITE THE VERSES.
4.  When the verse tells children to be tall, all stand on tip toes. When the verse says small, they crouch very low.
5.  At the last verse, the players remain tall or small as indicated by the leader who stands tall or small.
6.  The GUESSER tries to guess how all are positioned. If he/she guesses correctly, a new leader and guesser are named

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HANGMAN FOR KIDS WHO CAN'T SPELL...

 

 

Most people know how to play the traditional version of Hangman. This is for children who can’t yet spell! Play it like 20 Questions. Think of something (like you would for 20 questions) and have the children think of “yes-or-no questions” to guess what it is. Each time there is a no answer-- add another part to the Hangman. You may find the older kids also like this version!!!

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 BEHAVIORAL GAMES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

#1.  Have kids take a piece of tape when they come in every day and put it on their chairs. That's their "spot." If you have the need to calm things down during the session or transition from one activity to another, tell everyone,
"Let's sit on our spots!" When they get there say, "Let's freeze on our spots."

#2.  Have everyone stand up. Give each child two pieces of easily removable tape about 8" long to put on the floor in an X shape. Tell them, "This is your spot. Can you stand on it please?"

  • Now--- ask them to DO VARIOUS MOTIONS, such as, "CAN YOU STAND ON ONE LEG ON YOUR SPOT?"... Or…
  • "Can you touch your spot with three parts of your body?" Or...
  • "Can you hold hands with somebody on another spot while still touching yours?" Do four or five variations.
  • When finished, be sure to say, "Let's all clean up our spots" and have them remove the tape from the floor and throw it away.

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Looking for more games?

Some other categories on this site may work for you! Just click on the following links!

Back to top of page 

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SEASONAL GAMES taken from about the site...

Be sure to check the game, seasonal and theme categories. As written above...they all have games in them for mixed ages!

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Spring and Summer~WALL PAPER KITES MATCH GAME: Cut kite shapes out of different patterned wallpapers; cut the kites in half. Have children match the kite halves by the design.

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 This is fun for outside Warm weather and Summer Programs! Instead of 'Duck-Duck-Goose', play 'Dry-Dry-Wet'! When the child going around the circle says,
"Dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, WET! A small cup of water is pored on the person’s head. Play continues just as in Duck, Duck, Goose!

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TOY WASH
Required: Children in swim suits, washable toys, water, small buckets, sponge and bubbles...
Instead of a car wash..have a toy wash!
On a hot day take all washable toys outside. Let the children have fun washing them.
*Toys get clean...
*Children cool off...and
*YOU get clean toys!!! 

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SEASONAL OR HOLIDAY MEMORY GAME
Use a small basket or box and put in about 8 small SEASONAL items. (The amount depends on the age of the children) Show the items in the box to the children---and then play What's Missing?
Remove one or more items out of the box (without children seeing you). Have the children guess what items are missing.
Adapt activity to different seasons, themes, and holidays!

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HALLOWEEN FUN (For Theme Ideas - visit the Halloween Category pages)

*These are fun to do Halloween week  for a gym warm up--or as a "Pumpkin Says" (The Halloween version of Simon Says)
Also consider these before doing any fine motor or craft activities. Have the children do "warm ups" to get their hands and minds ready to work!

  • Pumpkin Fists.....Make tight fists.
  • Boo Hands.....Have the children stretch their hands as far as they can saying "boo!!"
  • Spiders.....Tapping fingers on the table/floor.
  • Smashing Spiders.....Smash "spiders" with flat hands onto table or floor.
  • Witches hats.....Use pincer fingers to make a triangle, place it on your head and make witch noises.
  • Two Ghost Flying.....Have children take their hands and press the palms together and "fly" with their arms.
  • Frankenstein Sitting.....Sit on a chair or floor and do sit ups with flat palms.
  • Shake the Scaries out.....Shake your whole arms and hands.
    Source: perpetualpreschool.com by Cathy
  • HALLOWEEN WALK Good for Pre-K to Gr. 1 as Drama Game or exercises... 
    Form line on one side of room. Cross the room in following ways:

    • Fly... like a bat
    • Gallop... like a cowboy on a horse
    • Hop... like a bunny
    • Roll... like a pumpkin
    • Dance... like a princess
    • Creep... like a cat
    • Walk... like a skeleton
    • Float... like a ghost
    • Stomp... like a monster

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     SPIDER WALK
    H
    ave children do a spider walk, by placing their hands and feet on the floor and lifting their bottom off the floor.

    SPIDER WALK RACE...
    Have the children race each other while walking like a spider. Or try a relay race.

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    THANKSGIVING GAMES (For Theme Ideas visit Thanksgiving Category)

    TURKEY WALK

    Play music of your choice and encourage the children to move like:
    BIG turkeys, little turkeys, tired turkeys, happy turkeys, scared turkeys, etc.
    Make it more interesting by choosing music based on the movement you'd like to elicit.

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    TURKEY STRUT (For young children)
    Use pieces of masking tape to make turkey footprints all over the floor. Start playing music. Have children pretend to be turkeys and strut around the room. When you stop the music, have the turkeys find footprints to stand on (one turkey to a footprint). When you start the music again, have the turkeys continue strutting about the room.

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    TURKEY CALLING CONTEST Great for all ages!
    Host a turkey calling contest, complete with squawking, flapping, wattle shaking, and pecking. Give participants a prize with fun distinctions:
         •Loudest turkey-Most quiet turkey
         •Most authentic-Most unique 
         •Most likely to be spared
         •Biggest-Smallest-Etc.
          Source: reasontoparty.com

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    Instead of the Hokey Pokey Dance---Do THE TURKEY JERKY
    You put your right wing in; you put your right wing out,
    You put your right wing in, and you gobble all about.
    You do the turkey jerky and you turn yourself around,
    That's what it's all about.
    Next would be:
    Left wing
    Drumsticks
    Head
    Tail feathers
    Turkey body

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    ***Idea: Instead of Duck, Duck, Goose...Play DUCK, DUCK, TURKEY!

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    WHERE IS MR. TURKEY?
    Instead of saying "warmer or cooler"…you gobble!
    One player is the hunter and the others are helpers. The hunter leaves the room. The helpers hide a small toy turkey or a turkey cut-out or laminated drawing, etc. The hunter returns with a mission to find the turkey. Helpers give clues by "gobbling" like turkeys. If the hunter is not close, the helpers gobble very quietly. As the hunter gets closer, the helpers gobble more and more loudly until Mr. Turkey is found!

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    CHRISTMAS/WINTER

     THE REINDEER POKEY - to tune of “Hokey-Pokey”
    You put your reindeer hoof in,
    You take your reindeer hoof out.
    You put your reindeer hoof in,
    And you turn yourself about.
    You do the Reindeer Pokey,
    And you turn yourself around.
    That’s what it’s all about.

    Next verses:
    You put your reindeer tail in...
    You put your reindeer nose in...
    You put your reindeer body in, etc...

    You can make up own verses...

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    MARSHMALLOW SNOWBALL FIGHT

    During the winter months when children can’t get outside or if you live in a warm climate and want to have a snowball fight-- use large marshmallows. The children stand across from each other and start throwing. Put the marshmallows in containers. The side that makes them all disappear first wins. After they all hit the floor you can use again to throw some more. Remind the children they can't eat them after they hit the floor or ground… This is a fun activity for ages 3 and up. (My grandchildren love to do this all year round when they visit—they bombard Grandpa! Barb)

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    PARACHUTE SNOWFALL (For younger children)
    Place cotton ball "snow" on the parachute. Put on some music and gently let the snow fall.

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    A clever idea from perpetualpreschool.com
    Living in Florida the children do not get to see snow
    . In the pre-k class though, snow arrives in January via potato flakes. A tarp is suspended from the ceiling filled will potato flakes (25 pounds ) As the teacher is telling the snowman story, which is drawn on the chalkboard, the tarp is sliced at the appropriate time and it snows on the children. They each receive their own pail & shovel. Each child is dressed like a snowman by wearing white Glad garbage bags with the red draw string. The kids wear their gloves & hats and the air conditioning is turned on as low as it will go. They have a ball!

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    ***Idea: PLAY COLD BALL using a large white Styrofoam ball…the same way you would play “Hot Potato”.

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    PASS THE ICE (Young kids)
    Play just like hot potato only with an ice cube. When the music stops clap for the person with the ice.

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    Pass the Snowball Circle Game (For younger kids)

    • When you have snow--make a couple snowballs and freeze them until they are very hard.
    • Have the children put on their mittens. and play the "Wonder-ball game".
    • While passing the snowball around the circle have children memorize and say,

     
    "The wonder ball goes round and round. To pass it quickly, you are bound. If you're the one to hold it last. The game for you has quickly passed. Out goes Y-O-U!"

    • The children sit out the rest of that round (or you can have them stay in--it's your choice how you play this part)
    • The kids will think it's fun wearing their mittens during inside time--to play this game.

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    INSIDE SKATING RINK 
    There have been several games in here describing games that simulate "indoor ice-skating". This is what we do with out kinder-program.
    We make a skating rink on the carpet by placing tape on the floor as an outline and then put wax paper on the children's shoes. They really like to do this---and it's also good for indoor large motor skills. (Sarah/Oakbrook)

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    Back to top of page

    EASTER GAMES & MOVEMENT!

     EASTER BUNNY TAG
    Played the same way as tag except that everyone must hop (if you do anything but hop then you're automatically it.)

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    NOSY EGG ROLL
    The kids roll the eggs (PLASTIC OR REAL) using only their noses. The first one over the finish line wins...

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    EGG AND SPOON RACES
    Eggs (real or plastic), spoons and an area to run are all you need for this game. Variations could include relays and obstacle courses. To make it easy for younger kids, place something on the spoon to make the egg stick.
    YOU CAN ALSO USE MARSHMALLOW CHICKS...

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    BUNNY HOP
    Play follow the leader with an Easter theme...
    Start hopping and then add other movements as well.

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    DUCK WALK RACE
    Have the kids line up at the Start Line, squat down and grasp their ankles with each hand from behind. On GO, they waddle to a designated Finish Line. They can't let go of their ankles or they’re disqualified. The first child over the Finish Line is the winner...(This would be fun to add "waddle music.")

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    FLUFFY NEEDS A TAIL
    Make/Draw a Rabbit on poster board without a tail. (Make a Rabbit turned sideways)
    The children will take turns "Pinning the Tail" on the bunny, using Large Cotton balls and tape.

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    HOPPING!!!
    Give children a variety of "hopping" commands such as:

    • Hop in one place
    • Hop and turn in circles at same time
    • Hop on left/right foot
    • Hop backwards, sideways, make a square or circle
    • Hop over a line
    • Hop with a partner
    • Hop to different rhythms (clap hands, use drum, music, etc...)
      ......Be sure children are told to take their time hopping; hold the hand of younger children if necessary.

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    THE EGG IS OUT!
    Play hot potato with a plastic Easter egg

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    SPOON & EGG OBSTACLE COURSE
    Gather a spoon for each child and plastic or hard boiled egg. Set up a course throughout the classroom or outdoors. Once a child is part way through the course allow another child to start.

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    EASTER EGG BLOW
    Divide the children into two teams. Place each team on one side of a table opposite of each other. Place a colored cotton ball on the table and pretend it is a Easter egg. The object of the game is to blow the egg off the opposing teams side of table. Players can not use their hands in any way.

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    SWINGING BASKET
    Use a piece of rope to hang a basket from the branch of a tree. Fill plastic Easter eggs with popcorn kernels for weight--and tape them shut. Have the children line up behind the basket and practice throwing eggs into the basket.

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    ...DO THE BUNNY POKEY!

    Sung to: "Hokey Pokey"
    You put your bunny ears in
    (Place hands on head to make ears)
    You put your bunny ears out.
    You put your bunny ears in.
    And you shake them all about.
    You do the Bunny Pokey
    And hop yourself around,
    That's what it's all about!

    Additional verses:
    "You put your bunny nose in
    You put your bunny tail in
    You put your bunny paws in"

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     SAINT PATRICK'S DAY GAMES YOUNG KIDS!

    IRISH HOT POTAO:  A traditional game of hot potato using a real potato.
    Play a CD of Irish music while the kids pass the potato around the circle. The player holding the potato when the music stops, will be in charge of the CD player for the next round.
    Variation: Play the same game using a "Blarney Stone" ( A regular rock).

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    LEPRECHAUN, LEPRECHAUN WHERE'S YOUR SHAMROCK?
    (A version of Doggy, Doggy where's your Bone?)Pre-K to grade 1)


    One child, who is the leprechaun, sits in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed. One of the children in the circle hides a paper shamrock shape behind their back -
    the group together says, "Leprechaun, Leprechaun where's your shamrock? Somebody has it in their Pocket! Guess who? Maybe you--Maybe a monkey from the zoo. Come on Leprechaun where's your shamrock?"
    The Leprechaun opens his/her eyes and has three guesses to who is holding the shamrock behind their back.
    Whether a right or wrong guess...the child with the shamrock is the next leprechaun.

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    TOP OF THE MORNIN!

    • Children stand in a circle around a blind-folded child, who is the "leprechaun".
    • The leprechaun holds a paper-towel tube (That can be previously covered in green construction paper) and SLOWY turns.
    • The tube is in a stretched out arm pointing to the circle of children around him/her.
    • You can play Irish music and when the music stops the leprechaun stops.
    • The child standing opposite the pointed tube goes to the leprechaun and says, "A Top of the morning to you," INTO the TUBE. Have children change their voices if they are able to.
    • The leprechaun has 3 chances to guess who the voice belongs to.
    • If the leprechaun is correct--the child saying "Top of the Mornin" is the new leprechaun.

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    SHAMROCK BOUNCE
    Paint an old tennis ball green. Set five pie tins numbered 1 to 5 on the floor. Give each child five bounces to land in the pie tins. Add up the total numbers to see who wins.

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    Good to Remember:

    The object of playing games is for everyone to have fun! 

    The facilitator is all-powerful. You may at any time change the rules or boundaries for challenged players to help balance out the wide spectrum of abilities.
    We want the tentative athlete and the super athlete to play together at the best of their abilities. Just make sure the children know and understand the rules before play begins.

     Back to top of page

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    Parachute Games

    October 21, 2009 02:26 by Barbara Shelby

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    Most think parachute games are only for very young children--not so! Some of the games below-- especially those that use a ball, are fun for kids 5 to 11 years old! Games using balls, cotton balls, jump ropes, pom poms, balloons and bean bags are towards page bottom... 

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    MUSHROOM--A GOOD WAY TO INTRODUCE THE PARACHUTE!

    1. Children evenly spread out in a circle --while holding the edge.
    2. Pull the parachute taut and then lower it between knee level
    and the ground.
    3. On a signal-all raise the chute upwards; it will fill with air and
    rise up like a giant mushroom (In the winter-call it an "IGLOO")

    Tip #1: to get it as high as possible, all participants take a couple steps towards the center as the chute rises.
    Tip #2: Practice together so the children can learn cooperation and
    working together as a group.


    VARIATION OF MUSHROOM: Once the basic play is mastered, experiment!

    1. Mushroom and then all children runs to the center while still holding the chute.

    2. Mushroom and then have all chidren let go of the chute at exactly the same time.
    If there isn't any wind, the chute will retain its perfect puff shape
    and rise straight up into the air.

    This is especially fun outdoors on a windy day. Indoors it may go up to the ceiling.

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    WAVES
    While  holding  the parachute tightly, participants move their arms
    up and down to make small and large waves.

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    TREASURE UNDER THE SEA
    Place a variety of 'treasures' (anything you want) into a treasure box under the parachute. Make waves (above) as if in a Sea Storm. Send divers to retrieve called out items one by one from the box.

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    CATHEDRAL or CIRCUS TENT
    1. With the parachute lowered, players raise their arms (and the chute) as high as possible.
    2. Once the chute is high, on a signal-all take  3-4 big steps towards the center.
    3. Still holding the chute tightly,
    children sit down at the edge of the chute-under what should appear to be a cathedral

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    THUNDERSTORM
    1. Start off on the floor with all children sitting calmly and
    grasping the parachute-this is a gentle breeze.
    2. Pretend that it starts raining. As it rains have the children
    stand.
    3. Oh-oh...the rain is now turning into a THUNDERSTORM! All children
    start shaking the chute as hard as they can to simulate the storm.

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    PARACHUTE TAG
    Lift the parachute high overhead.
    Call one child's name and have him/her run  to the other side before
    the parachute comes down and tags them.

    Variation: You can alter the game by having children skip, crawl or twirl to the other side.
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    ONE HAND RUN
    1. Have each child hold the parachute with one hand-with the opposite
    arm extended straight out for balance.
    2. Run clockwise in one direction and then change to counter clock .
    Tip: Use music to cue children for changing direction; every time the
    music stops, direction is changed.
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    NUMBER SWITCH
    You need a large chute for this activity.
    Depending on the amount of children playing, going around the circle,
    number the children. Example: 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5, etc.
    Call a number such as "3" and all the "3's" switch places by running
    under the chute. Loud with running excitement but fun!

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    MERRY-GO-ROUND
    Turn the body so that the chute is held with only one hand.
    Walk, hop, jump, or skip around holding the chute.
    It looks like a merry-go-round!

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    SHOE SHUFFLE
    Number around the circle 1 or 6 (or adapt numbers according to group size). 
    All the number one children remove a shoe and throw it under the parachute.
    On the third lift--all those missing a shoe go into the middle, retrieve their shoe and return to their place.
    Continue with the other numbers!

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    SHAKE HANDS
    Have all the players hold the parachute way up high above their heads. Call out two names and have these two players run underneath the parachute, shake hands, then run back out before the parachute comes down. Continue doing this until all the players have had a chance to run under the parachute.

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    CAT AND MOUSE
    Everyone holds the chute stretched out at about waist height. Someone becomes a mouse and goes underneath. Someone else becomes a cat and goes on top. The rest of the group try to hide the mouse by moving the chute up and down.

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    THE FLYING PARACHUTE
    Swing the parachute upwards and let it go~ 
    Try to keep the parachute floating as long as possible.

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    FRUIT SALAD
    Each player is given the name of a fruit such as pear, apple, or strawberry.
    When the facilitator calls out the name of a fruit, everyone with that fruit name  changes places by running under the parachute. When fruit salad is called out, everyone must swap places with the players on the other side.

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    GOING TO THE HAIR STYLIST (This can also be a science demonstration of static electricity!)

    1. Have children hold the edtges of the parachute-with one child sitting under it.
    2. On signal, the children pull back and forth on the parachute as if they are washing  hair.
    3. The child's hair beneath the parachute becomes statically charged because of the rubbing.
    4. On signal, swing the parachute up so the child's hair goes up and stays up!(Static charge)
    5. The more often the hair is "washed"--the more 'charged' the head of hair becomes.

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    USING VARIETY...

    PARACHUTE WITH POEMS OR SONGS


    THERE WAS A MAN!

    Holding onto the parachute, children walk around in a circle.
    As they walk they say-

    There was a man in our town
    Who went for a WALK one day
    But the wind blew so hard
    He turned around
    And WALKED the other way.

    Variation: Add to the fun and change the action words to-skip,hop, run, etc.

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    WHEN THE PARACHUTE GOES UP SONG

    Sung to: "If your happy and you know it"
     
    When the parachute goes up
    Stomp your feet-
    When the parachute goes up
    Stomp your feet-

    When the parachute is high
    And floats up in the sky
    When the parachute goes up
    Stomp your feet.

    Additional verses:

    Lift one leg...
    Shout hooray!...
    Bend your knees...
    Wiggle your bottom...
    Shake your head-and so on...

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    NAME GAME

    As the song is sung, have children raise the parachute above their heads.
    When a child's name is called--- they run under the parachute. The parachute is slowly lowered in an attempt to trap the child.Play  until all children that would like to try-- have had a turn.
    Sung to: Row Row Row your Boat


    Up, up, up it goes
    Down, down, down it comes
    If your name is------- (put in a child's name)
    Now's your turn to run

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    PARACHUTE GAMES USING BALLS, COTTON BALLS, BALLOONS, JUMP ROPES, BEAN BAGS OR POM-POMS Most games using balls are good for children from 5 to 11...


    POPCORN #1

    Start with all players holding the chute stretched out. Throw as many soft balls as you have  onto the chute-the  more the better!
    Holding the chute tightly, have children bounce the popcorn (balls)
    as quickly as they can off of the chute.
    Variation: Play this game in two teams. One side of children try to
    bounce the balls off the chute, while the other side works at keeping the balls on the chute!

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    POPCORN #2
    Place a number of beanbags or cotton balls on the chute. Shake the chute to make them rise like popcorn.

    Variation:  IN THE WINTER USE COTTON BALL AND CALL IT 'FALLING SNOW".

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    BALL ROLL
    Have the children try to roll balls into the hole in the center of
    the parachute.
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    DON'T DROP THE BALL (Team Play)
    Place a soft ball of any size in the center. The object of the game
    is for each team NOT to let the ball fall off on their side.

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    ROLLER BALL
     
    Have all players holds the chute stretched tightly.
    Place a large ball near the edge.
    The object of this game is to try to make the ball roll around the edge of the chute.

     To do this someone starts the ball rolling. As it comes towards you, you lower the edge you are holding, and as it goes past you raise your edge.

    When all the players do this smoothly, a wave is created that goes round the edge, pushing the ball in a steady circle. It can not be done without concentration and co-operation!
     
    Tip:This game also need practice and co-operation. When mastered it can be a lot of fun! Hyou've done this try speeding up - or change direction.

    Variation: Roll the ball at different speeds or change direction.
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    ROLL A BALL TO A FRIEND
    Place a ball on top of the parachute and have the players roll the ball back and forth to each other. For example, you could tell a specific person to roll the ball to someone that you name. This game encourages cooperation, as the players will have to work together for the first player to get the ball to their friend.

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    THE CATAPULT
    Place a ball on the parachute and catapult it as high as possible!

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    BALLOON FLOAT
    While the players are holding onto the parachute, place several balloons on top of the parachute. Count to 3 and then say "up". On the word "up", all the players raise the parachute up over their heads as fast as they can and then bring the parachute down as quickly as possible. Where are the balloons? Keep repeating this game to see how high you can get the balloons to go, or how far you can get them to travel.

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    PARACHUTE GOLF
    While the players are holding onto the parachute, toss a plastic golf ball onto the parachute. Have the players manuever the parachute to try to get the ball through the hole. When the ball is in the hole, have a caddy go under the parachute to retrieve it and start over. Count the number of waves (golf strokes) it takes the players to get the ball into the hole. Keep track on a scoreboard.

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    FLEAS
    Need several small balls  such as plastic balls, tennis balls,or table tennis balls...
    Put the fleas (balls) on the parachute and challenge players try to get the fleas to jump higher and higher.

    The fleas are successfully taken care of at the end of the game-- when they land outside the parachute!

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    POM POMS

    Put various sized pompoms in the top of the parachute and try to get them into the middle pocket.
     
    Variety: form teams with different colors of pom-poms and challenge
    them to see which team can get the most of their color into the middle pocket in an alloted time.
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    SNAKES (OR WORMS)
    Place four to six skipping ropes on the chute. By shaking the chute, the children try to shake them off.

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    PARCHUTE PLAY AND SAFETY...

     

    Always be sure to check the ground underneath the chute.Outdoors, dry grass is the best play surface. Wet grass can be slippery.
     
    Space children and adults evenly around the edge of the chute.
     
    Before play review parachute rules. Remind children to play safely-- to listen to instructions-- and not bump heads or run into each other.
     
    When facilitating play, a second adult is helpful in fielding children and balls, etc.

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    FYI: STORAGE OF THE CHUTE...
    A parachute is best stored by taking hold of the center in one hand and then twisting the chute loosely into a rope. Roll it up and stuff it into a bag/sack. The thin nylon sacks sold for the storage of sleeping bags work well.

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