Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Low Energy, Table and Circle Games!

May 24, 2009 19:43 by Barbara Shelby

NEED TO QUIET THE KIDS DOWN--but you still want to have fun! We have lots (about 50) of wonderful school-age games that use low energy... Play them on a table, the floor or in a circle. A Bonus! Most are extremely cost efficient-as in they cost nothing!

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 1. PLAY "SILENT BALL"
Need: Ball or stuffed animal
1. The children stand by their desks or chairs. (Or they stand about an area)
2. A ball is thrown from one person to another in complete silence.
3. If a child throws the ball wildly, that student must sit down in his/her chair, desk or on the floor.
4. If the student makes a good throw and the receiver missed it, the receiver is out and must sit down.
5. If the receiver throws it back to the person who threw to him, he is out.
The student who is left wins and gets to start the next round of play. A variation is to allow only 5 seconds to throw the ball.

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2. TWO PING PONG TABLE GAMES
     #1 AIR PONG

Form two teams each at opposite ends of a table with hands held behind their backs.
A ping pong ball is placed in the middle and the teams will try to blow the ball off of the other team’s side of the table.
If the ball falls off the side of the table it gets placed back in the middle and play resumes.
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     #2 PING-PONG PUFF
YOU NEED: Straws and ping pong balls
1. Establish two goal lines at opposite ends of a table, floor or carpet. If a carpet, you may be able to use part of the pattern or certain rows in the weave. If not, apply strips of masking tape.
2. Place a Ping-Pong ball in the center of the surface and hand each player a drinking straw.
3. On cue, both players try to blow the ball past the opponent's goal line.

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3. BIRD, BEAST, OR FISH

You have to think fast for this game.
1. Everyone sits facing the leader.
2. The leader points to one of the players and says either "BIRD," "BEAST," or "FISH."
3. The chosen player must come up with the name of an animal that fits the category before the leader counts to ten.
4.  No repeating!
5. If the player does not respond in time, he/she is out.
6. The game continues until only one player remains.

After a few rounds it can be hard to think of an animal that has not already been mentioned!

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4. GRANDMA’S UNDERPANTS
Have the group sit in a circle.
One person is "it" and stands in the middle of the circle.
The people on the outside of the circle ask the "it" questions.
The only thing the "it" can say is "My grandma's under pants."
The object is to try to make the "it" laugh.
When someone makes the "it" laugh, they become "it".

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5. TABLE PUSH THE PEANUT GAME
Give each racer a toothpick and a peanut (in the shell).
Their job is to use the toothpick to push and roll the peanut from the starting line to the finish line.
This can be played on the floor or on a table. On the floor or carpet, you can mark the starting and finish lines with masking tape.
On a table--- just go from one end to the other.
Note: With younger children, you may want to use a cocktail straw instead of the toothpick to avoid any possible injuries during all the excitement

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6. MARBLE RACE
You need an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube for each child and a marble or small bouncing ball for each.
Create a finish line with some masking tape on the floor or table, and position the kids on the other end with their cardboard tubes and marbles.
Send the marble or ball through the tube launcher and see who crosses the finish line first.

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7. PENNY-CUP GAME
Get a cup filled with water.
Put a napkin over the cup.
Place a rubber band around the cup to hold the napkin.
Put a penny in the middle of the napkin.
2 players take turns poking holes into the napkin with a sharp pencil... The entire tip of the pencil must go through the napkin.
The person who doesn't make the penny fall wins.

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8. PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY
Everyone looks at the same photograph for 30 seconds.
Remove the photo and write down as much as you can remember about it.
The person with the longest list of items that are really in the photo wins!

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9. CARD TOWERS
Get out a deck or cards (or several) and use them to build a tower. Lean one card against another, creating a triangle with the table top or floor.
Create a second triangle a couple inches to the left or right of your first one, and connect the two with a card laying flat over top.
See how tall you can make your tower.  This can be done as an individual. a team or as a competition.

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10. GROUP ART
Give everyone a pencil and paper and describe an object for them to draw. They are to follow what YOU are drawing. Example:

  • "Draw a square.
  • Now draw an oval in the upper right-hand corner of your paper…" Continue drawing a giving directions.
  • Compare their pictures to yours and see how accurate they were.
  • A variation on this is playing connect-the-dots on the chalkboard.
  • The first person draws two dots and a line connecting them.
  • Each person adds a dot and draws a line from one of the previous dots to his dot to make a design.

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11. SKITTLE (OR M&M's) GAME
Required:
Container
2-3 pkgs. of Skittle candies (depending on number of kids and tables playing)
Score sheet
Paper and pencil.
Players: Small to large groups

  • Find a deep, clean, non-see-through container to pour in several bags of skittles.
  • Make a point chart on paper or blackboard for the different colored Skittles. An example is purple 5 pts, green 10 pts, yellow 20 pts, orange 25 pts, and red 30 pts.
  • Divide into teams and have one person at a time from each team, draw out a Skittle.
  • The team is awarded the points for the color that is pulled out.
    *The drawer gets to eat the Skittle.
  • The first team to reach 500 pts is the winner.
    TIP: You can use any kind of candy that has MANY COLORS...also a great transition activity or to get the group to quiet down!

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12. CHOCOLATE FACE
Place a piece of chocolate candy in your mouth-- and see how long it takes to melt!
No sucking and chewing it!
The one to keep the chocolate IN THEIR MOUTH THE LONGEST is the winner!

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13. PLAY TABLE-TOP SHUFFLE BOARD
Have children SLIDE COINS to see who can get closest to the edge WITHOUT FALLING OFF.

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14. BUZZ (circle/passive)
The players start counting substituting buzz for the number seven and multiples of seven.
If a player makes a mistake he must drop out or the whole group must start again.

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15. CREEPY CLAWS -- PICK UP STRAWS! Table Game
First, cut three or four plastic straws into pieces about an inch long and put the pieces in a pile in the middle of a table.
Put a cup in front of each player.
Now to make your claws, cut a straw in half.
Tape one half to your first finger and other half to your thumb.
When each player has his claws on, the game can begin.
At the count of three everyone starts to pick up straws.
When all the straws are gone, the one with the most in his cup is the winner.

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16. ROCK- PAPER-SCISSORS
Rock"
is a fist...
"Paper" is a flat hand...
"Scissors" are the pointer and middle fingers making snipping motions.
Partners shake their fists three times---and then show their chosen motion on the count of three.

Winning hands are decided as follows:
Rock dulls scissors...
Scissors cuts paper...
Paper covers rock.
Play five or seven times...and see who has the most wins.
This is also a good method to see who goes " first" in games or gym.

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17. THUMB WRESLING

  • Have partners match up with a similar sized person.
  • Reach out with the right hand---fingers bent.
  • Interlock with partner's hand and keep thumbs up.
  • Slowly move thumbs from side to side--saying "1..2..3.., Go!"
  • At that moment---try to overtake the others person's thumb.
    If you can hold it down for a couple seconds, you win!
  • For Variation, try left hands or both hands at the same time.
  • This could also be a good competition to add to the "Quiet Olympics" below...

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18. THE QUIET OLYMPICS
This is NOT a "Table Game"..but uses low energy in comparison to the usual style "Olympic Games"!

DISCUS THROW: Use a paper plate
SHOT-PUT: Use a balloon
TRACK RACE: Each player lines up at the start line and race by placing the heel of one foot against the toe of the next. The first one to the end of the track and back wins.
HIGH JUMP: Each contestant takes a deep breath and whistles. The contestant who holds the note the longest wins.
HIGH DIVE: Each player stands on a chair (or faces the chair back-rest and then kneels chair seat) with ten clothes pins and drops them into an empty bottle. The player that gets the most wins.

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19. HEADS UP...SEVEN UP
All children playing--- sit at a table or desk with their heads down.
They cover their eyes and stick up one thumb.
Seven children who have been chosen--- walk around the tables or desks.
Each of the “Seven” touches ONE child’s thumb. When a child’s thumb is touched--- they put it down.

When all the “Seven” have touched a thumb-- they go to the front of the room, and say in unison, "Heads Up-- Seven Up!"
The seven youth whose thumbs have been touched stand up.
They then have to guess who was the one who touched their thumb.
If they're right, they become one of the “NEW SEVEN”, replacing whoever had touched them.

This is really good for those “transition times”… or if you need to quiet down the group!

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20. PLAY TABLE TOP FOOTBALL!
1. Pregame preparation: First, fold a paper football. Then, grab a friend and a table!
2. Decide how many points you want to play (35 is a good goal), then flip a coin. The winner of the toss can choose to "flick off" or to receive.
3. Next, the flicker sets the football flat in front of him and flicks it with his finger toward his opponent. The receiving player then has four flicks -- or downs -- to slide the ball so that part of it, even a fraction, overhangs the table edge. Touchdown!
4. If the football falls off the table, the defending player takes possession. If it stops short of the end zone on the 4th flick, the defense takes over where the ball came to rest.
5. After a touchdown (worth six points), the scoring player gets to try for the extra point by "kicking" the ball from his end zone through his opponent's goalposts.
6. If a player flicks the ball off the table three times, the defending player can attempt a 3-point field goal the same way, by "kicking" the ball through the goalposts. It's up, and it's good!

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21. 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 your partner think of “yes-or-no questions” to guess what it is.
Each time there is a "no" answer-- add another part to the Hangman. Play it in Teams using a large white board or black board...
You may find the older kids also like this version!!!

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22. LARGE SIZE SEASONAL TIC-TAC-TOE
Adapt tic tac toe to play at different seasons and holidays.
Take a large piece of poster board and draw the tic tac toe lines on it and laminate if possible.
Example: for Halloween cut-out pumpkin and ghosts or witch hat shapes; then simply play tic tac toe.
For fall cut out two different types of leaves.
For winter..mittens and hat, etc.

You can also make your TicTac Toe boards with more spaces to make the game more challenging! Instead of  two lines each way--try three, four or more! Play the game as usual.

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23. MAKE A MANCALA GAME (Recycled Craft & Game in one!)
Mancala is a game that has been around for centuries. Forms of this game were played in ancient Africa and Asia. There are many different names, boards and rules of play for Mancala. . . but most are played on wooden boards with beads, stones or glass game pieces. Children in Africa would play by scooping holes in the dirt to create a game board.

This version is one that you can make with a Styrofoam egg carton, two applesauce (or pudding cups) and dried beans. Of course, you can use anything for game pieces, beads, pennies, or anything small and easy to scoop! You will need 48 dried beans to start the game - 4 in each cup. Two people play at a time.

SET UP:
Place the board between the two players so that the long sides face the players- and the two applesauce cups (Mancala cups) are on the right and left. You will have six cups of beans facing each player. Place 4 beans in each cup. Each player has a Mancala cup - which is the applesauce cup on their LEFT. This cup is where they put the beans they collect.

OBJECT OF THE GAME:
Each player takes a turn and tries to collect as many beans as possible in their Mancala cup before the other player clears their side of the board.

HOW TO PLAY:
One player starts. In his or her turn, they pick up all of the beans from one cup on their side of the board- Then - going clockwise- they place one bean at a time in each cup- including their Mancala (collection cup) until they run out of beans.

FOR EXAMPLE:
If you go first and pick up all the beans in the cup on the far left- you would drop one bean in your Mancala (collection) cup and one bean each in the cups on the other side of the board. You must put one bean in each and every cup you pass over- EXCEPT for the opponent’s Mancala cup. You just skip that cup.
If the last bean a player has drops into their Mancala cup, they get to go again! (Strategy here would tell you to start with the fourth cup from the left. . . which would let you drop your last bean into your Mancala. . . then you get another turn.
Also- in this version of the game, if you drop the last bean into a cup that already contains beans-- you pick up all the beans in that cup and keep going. Your turn ends when you place the last bean into an empty cup! Then, it’s the other players turn.

The game ends when one player has no more beans left in the cups on their side of the board. The player with the most beans in their Mancala cup wins! (There are many versions of the game. In my experience, kids seem to like this one the best.)

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24. GAMES THAT REQUIRE NOTHING BUT A PENCIL & PAPER
Games are a great way to learn math concepts such as strategy, thinking ahead, spatial sense and logical reasoning...

TIC-TAC-TOE: This is one of the most basic, classic strategy games. All know how to play, so here are variations:

EOT-CAT-CIT
The "reverse" of Tic-Tac-- Toe. The player who makes three in a row loses.

4 x 4
This version is played on a 4 x 4 grid until all the spaces are filled. The player with the most three-in-a-row sets wins.

DOTS (Grades 3-5)
Also known as "Boxes" or "Capture the Squares," this game encourages geometric reasoning and visualization.
OBJECT: Capture the most squares. Setup: Draw a rectangular arrangement of dots and decide who goes first. The array of dots may be of any size. Try starting with a 6 x 5 grid.
PLAY: Players take turns drawing one horizontal or vertical line segment to connect adjacent dots. When a line segment completes a square, the player who made the move wins that square and writes his or her initials inside it. That player then takes a bonus move. If the bonus move results in another square, the player takes another bonus move.

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Back to top of page

25. PALMS DOWN
1. Two players face each other.
2. The first player extends his/her hands with palms facing up.
3. The second player places his/her hands on the other person's hands, palms facing down.
4. The bottom pair of hands tries to slap the back of the upper pair of 5. hands before they are taken away.
6. If the player succeeds in slapping one or both hands, continue in the same way.
7. If the player misses, the players reverse roles.
(Remind kids—gentle on the hand slaps!)

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26. NIM
(A game from China)
For ages of 8 and older--two players
You need 21 toothpicks, beans or other small markers.
Arrange the 21 toothpicks (or other objects) in a continuous, straight, horizontal line.
Taking turns- each player picks up 1, 2, or 3 sticks at a time.
The object of the game is to NOT pick up the LAST stick...

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27. COOPERATIVE STAND UP
Have your group get in pairs.
The pairs will sit on the floor, back pressed to back.
They must stand up without using their hands.
It can end here...OR...
After a pair stands up, have them find another pair and all 4 of them must sit down and stand up.
Go on as such until the entire group is together and have everyone try to stand up.
This is a good game to promote friendliness and it is a really fun when you have an exceptionally large group. 

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28. COOPERATIVE DRAWING
#1 VERSION:
Here's a simple, yet fun activity:
Each person uses different colored pen, creates a squiggly line or scribble (the only rule is no intersecting lines) and passes it to the person on the right who makes a drawing out of it.
When a squiggle is received it can be rotated in any direction to get an idea what to make out of it.
The drawings can be wild and imaginative, they are not judged, they're just for fun.
The results usually bring lots of laughter.

#2 VERSION
The first player draws any detail of the future picture on a sheet of paper so that the other players CAN'T guess what is drawn.
Next this sheet of paper is given to the next player.
He/she continues to draw.
Each player has a MARKER of their own color.
The sheet of paper is returned to the first player.
He/she says what he/she intended to draw.

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29. DO THIS--DO THAT!
This is played similar to "Simon Says"...
The group does everything you do when you say "Do this"...but when you say "Do that"...they do NOT follow the direction.
When a player follows the direction of "Do that"... they are out.

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30. INTRODUCE CHESS TO YOUR PROGRAM! Promotes THINKING:
You need a chess set or two with the book of rules. (There are games with directional moves on the bottom of chess pieces-much easier for kids to learn the game!)

  • If Chess is not already a part of your game table...Create a special area for playing the game.
  • Invite two children to examine the game, identify the pieces and read the rules.
  • Guide the two players in learning to play the game. Encourage them to play it weekly.
  • Help them review the rules and remind them that they can start a game one week and continue playing it the next week.
  • After players complete a game, help them TEACH IT to two other players! And so on...
    Before you know it-you have a large group of kids that know how to play chess!

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31. ELEPHANT
The leader gives  each team a large piece of thick paper. Being blindfolded the teams collectively draw an elephant.
1. The first player in each team draws the body...
2. The second draws the head...
3. The third-legs etc...
4. The team which finishes the drawing the first ---and whose drawing is the most accurate becomes the winner.

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32. BALANCING ACT
(
Directions say this is for K-6-however I think more appropriate for K-3 --maybe I'm wrong?)
Need a bean bag, pencil, eraser -or a similar object to place on head.
1. Play music as each child walks around balancing the object on their head.
2. If the object falls off the child is frozen until another comes and places the object back on the head.
3. Everyone stops and resets their object when the music stops.
4.Game starts over when the music again starts.
Good game when you want to actively calm group down!

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33. SILLY SALLY's COOL CLUB! (passive)
Have the players in a circle.
The leader explains that Silly Sally has a really cool club.
The only way that kids can join--- is if they can figure out what Sally likes and doesn't like.

  • Sally only likes things that have double letters in them.
  • Sally likes 'soccer' but she doesn't like 'golf'.
  • Sally likes 'bananas' but she doesn't like 'beans'. Etc.
  • As the children take turns guessing what Sally likes, the leader either lets the child in the club or not-based on the guess and if it contains 'double of a letter'.
    (Obviously, the leader will have to know how to spell!)

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34. CHICKEN PICKS (passive)
Equipment: Rubber Chicken
Players sit in a circle and one player goes into the middle.

  • A topic is chosen and the rubber chicken starts with one person and is passed around the circle.
  • The person in the middle must list as many things as they can from the topic, but they only have however long that the chicken makes it around the circle once.
  • When the chicken gets back to the starting point, the person must stop talking.
  • A designated counter should be in the group to count how many objects they are able to list.
  • The person that is able to list the most objects is the winner.
    Topic example: Chocolate Bars --- Hershey, Crispy Crunch, Mounds, Mars Bar, etc., etc.

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35. CAN ANYONE ________?  It's NOT easy!!!

1. NOSE CHALLENGE
Lie on back on the floor. A coin is placed on the nose. The challenge is to get the coin off by wiggling nose, but without moving head.

 2. MINT CHALLENGE
All you need for this game is one or more boxes of mints (Peppermint Patties, After Eights, etc).
The leader has to get everyone sitting in a circle on chairs with their heads back, and then place an After Eight candy on everyone's forehead. The aim is to get the after eight in your mouth without dropping it or using your hands. (Recently this game has been on a television program using an Oreo cookie--also fun!)

3. SHOULDER CHALLENGE
A potato chip or cracker is placed on shoulder, while standing. The challenge is to remove the chip with tongue.

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36. AUTO TRIP (circle/passive)
Players sit in a circle and are assigned the names of auto parts such as: hood, wheel, door, etc.)
The storyteller tells a story of an auto trip.
As the player tells the story, the parts mentioned get up and follow him/her.
When the storyteller yells "Blowout" ---each player scrambles for a seat. The one left out becomes the next storyteller.

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37. CHANGING BODY GAME
1. Take a full body picture of each child and glue it to a piece of paper.
2. Have the children to go through magazines, newspapers, etc. Have them cut out pictures of animals, people, and characters.
3. Then cut off the heads of all of these pictures --- and they can place them over their picture to see what they would look like in someone else's body!
4. Example: Cut the head off of Bozo the clown and place the rest of the body under the head of your picture --- and you can see what it looks like! How about cutting off the head of a giraffe and having a body like a giraffe...you may be surprised at the silly fun!

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38. ZIP ZAP
It points to a person in the circle repeating the word "zip" or "zap" and counting to five.
If "It" says "zip" the person must reply with the name of the person on his/her right.
if "It" says "zap" they must reply with the name on their left.
If the name is wrong, that person goes into the center of the circle.

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39. CARDS IN A HAT
Simple but popular … it is one of the few card games that requires physical skill!
Need one or two packs of cards and a hat with a brim. If no hat is available, a bowl, or wastebasket can be substituted.
Suggested Ages: 4 and up.
Skills Developed: How to judge distances, and improve accuracy in tossing.
The standard 52-card pack is used.

  • The cards are distributed evenly among the players, either face up or face down.  If there are any cards left over, they are set aside.
    The goal is to land the most cards inside the hat.
  • The hat should be placed with brim up so it can receive the tossed cards. Place the hat on the floor or on a low table. Players sit or stand away from the hat. If very young children are playing, they are allowed to position themselves closer.
  • In the game, each player in turn flips one card toward the hat, and tries to land the card inside it.
  • Each player keeps track of the number of cards that land inside, with one point being scored for each, and half a point if a card lands on the brim.

If another player succeeds in knocking in a card resting on the brim, it counts as a full point for that player.
Solitaire Play. If only one person plays, he keeps score by keeping track of how many cards out of 52 he tossed in the hat. Victory is awarded if the player scores 20 or more points in a round. Thirty points or more scores a double-victory, and 40 or more points score a triple-victory.

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40. RAIN

  • The group sits in a circle.
  • The leader starts by rubbing their hands together.
  • The person to the right does the same, the person to the right, and so on until everyone is doing the action.
  • When all are rubing their hands, the leader starts a new sound, finger snapping, then hand clapping, next slapping thighs, try foot stomping.
  • To END the storm, reverse the actions.
  • At the end, the group, one by one stops rubbing hands and sits and waits for action to be completed by the group.

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41. SAFETY PINS IN THE RICE GAME
Required: Rice, 1” or smaller safety pins, bowl and timer
Players: Small to large groups
Pour one box of rice into a bowl, add one package of 1” safety pins and mix well.
Each player is to try to find the safety pins with their fingers without looking.
They are allowed 30 – 60 seconds to do this.
The person with the most safety pins is the winner.

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42. MOUSE-A TABLE TOP DRAWING GAME
Need: Paper, pencils, a pre-drawn mouse to follow.
The aim of the game is to be the first to complete a Mouse. Each roll of the die enables a particular body part to be drawn as follows:

6 = body
5 =nose
4 = whiskers
3 =
eyes
2 - ears
1 = tail

The body must be drawn before the other body parts are added to it, so players must therefore roll a 6 to start.
Once the body has been drawn, the other parts of the mouse may be added in any order.
If you roll a number which relates to a part you have already added, you miss your go and pass the die on.

TIP: Put a mouse print out or drawing in the middle of the table as a reminder for which body part relates to which number on the die.
I've also played this drawing a body of a man...body, head, arms, legs, etc. Just adapt the body parts to a die throws!

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43. BEAT THAT!...Dice Game for Age: 5 to adult
Need: 2 dice (up to 7
dice for older players)
Paper and pencil for scoring
How to play:

  • Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible.
  • If you roll a 4 and an 6, for example, your best answer would be 64.
  • Using 3 dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give you 532, and so on.
  • Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge the next player to “Beat That!”
  • Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round.
  • For a change, try making the smallest number possible!
  • This is a great game for reinforcing the concept of place value. If you are playing with younger children, explain your reasoning aloud and encourage them to do the same.

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44. WHO'S THE LEADER?
"It" leaves the group while the rest choose an action leader.
When "it" returns all the players in the circle are making the same motion as that started by their leader.
The leader constantly changes the motion and the group does likewise but they never look at the leader in such a way as to "give him away".
"It" gets three guesses to determine who the leader is.

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45. SILENT HANGMAN
Need: Flip Chart or board and marker or pen.
Like original hangman, children guess the mystery word; however, they are not allowed to speak while trying to find out the letters.
This game is a good way to settle children down.
When a child wants to guess a letter they must draw the letter in the air with an invisible pen.
Leader will then write it in if it is correct--- or write it to the side if not. The leader should also not be able to talk.

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46. BODY MIX UP
Stand in front of the first person in line; touch your nose and say, "This is my mouth."
How quickly can the person touch his or her mouth and respond, "This is my nose?"
That person turns to the next person and says, touching his ear, "This is my chin."

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47. WHAT AM I COUNTING?
Have one person start counting aloud an object in everyone's view: Windows, white shirts, tables, etc.
Can your group guess what the person is counting?
As a variation, name an object and challenge the group to count as many as they can find in one minute.

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48. HAVE A PAPER-AIRPLANE DAY!
Nice weather? Have it outside... Bad weather? Hold it inside in a gym or large space!

Create and decorate paper-airplanes. Come up with categories for the fun.
Example:
Who's can go the farthest? Straightest? Highest?
Can anyone fly it through a hula hoop? Do loops?
Make a 'bull's-eye' similar to what you would use for playing darts;
can anyone hit the bulls eye...or the outer circles?
This isn't quite a quiet game-but more low keyed than most!

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49. ***Don't forget about all the card games and board games!

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50. GUESS THE PERSON, ANIMAL OR THING!

1. Using a picture of an animal, children's character or personality, cover the entire picture with puzzle pieces to hide identifying features.
 
2. Take one piece off at a time; children guess who/what is underneath.

3. This can be done as a group game, individual or team play. It could also be set up in a special daily spot--with guesses being made as removed pieces reveal who/what it is!

4. Depending on how you play this-points can be added or subtracted. The most points of course going to the individual or team who correctly guesses with the least amount of puzzle pieces removed!

***TIP:
It's fun to have a daily program or classroom feature where there is a _______ (blank) of the Day!
This could work as well as a riddle, trick question, joke, definition of a word or quote. Brains crave variety and incorporating activities such as this, will certainly go towards some cognitive variety!

Each month or week, change out "What the _____of the Day" will be!  As written above, it could be the puzzle, a word definition, riddle, trick question, or quote. Great for all school ages to high school! Just put the _______on a black board or white board near the room entrance. By the end of the day---discuss guesses and answers.

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51. 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...

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52. WANT TO QUIET THE KIDS DOWN?! PLAY 'GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD'...
This is a good game for unwinding and quieting down the group. 

1. Players lay on the floor in any position they choose.
2. Make sure each player has enough space as NOT to touch each other.
3.When kids are ready- count to three to signal that the game has begun. At "3"  children must remain quiet and not move!
4. If the chosen "crypt-keeper" catches any movement, the child moving becomes the next "crypt-keeper". (you may need to explain what a "cypt" is)

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53. Remember how to play JACKS?! Introduce your kids to this fun game of generations past!

 

Materials:
Set of jacks and ball. Smooth surface to
play on.
Object of Game: Be the first to go from 'Onesie'” to 'Tensies'

1.Begin by throwing your jacks onto the ground in front of you.  Try and make the jacks land not too far apart or too close together. 
2.Next throw the ball into the air and pick up one jack. Catch the ball after it bounces one time. Continue picking up
the jacks one at a time.
3. When you have collected all the jacks, throw
them again and start picking the jacks up two at a time (twosies). When you get to threesies you have to pick up the three sets of three first, then pick up the left over jack. Continue on until you are at tensies. You can then declare the winner as the first one to tens, or go back down again to onesies.

Your turn continues until you either--miss the ball, fail to pick up the jacks, move a jack, or drop a jack that you have picked up. Your turn is then over and the next person goes.

Variations for Jacks: 
NO BOUNCIES
Go from one to tens without letting the ball bounce before you pick up
the jacks.

DOUBLE BOUNCIES
Pick up the jacks and then catch the ball after it bounces twice.

LEFT HANDED
Switch the hand you normally throw the ball with.

CHERRIES IN A BASKET
Cup your hand and throw the ball with the opposite hand. You have to
then place the jacks in your cupped hand - one through tens.

AROUND THE WORLD
After you throw the ball you have to make a circle in the air around
the ball before it bounces - one to tens.

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Also check out the Creative Games using Literacy Based Ideas  (Highly recommended!) and...more than 70 Sponge, Wating and Gathering Games! Most are great when you want more quiet or low energy!!!

Back to top of page

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79 Sponge Fillers, Transition and Line Up for Kids!

May 23, 2009 20:32 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

 

One aspect that many school-age programs and classrooms neglect is the planning of Transition times. We all have them! They're the little bits of time that occur throughout the day. (Throughout our lives...)

Transitions should be built into our schedules-and planning is the Key! If imaginative transition activities are NOT planned in advance, there generally is an impact on programming; they most likely won't happen and kids become disinterested.

I've visited programs in the morning-where children are lined up for 15 to 30 minutes with nothing to do! Consider some of the ideas below-and plan fun gathering and waiting times for the children attending our programs and classrooms...All you need is 5 to 15 minutes and you'll have a time in the day that the kids  look forward to!

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 1. CONTINUE TO READ ALOUD TO CHILDREN… GREAT AT TRANSITION TIMES!
A child's interest level is often much higher than his or her reading level. If children are to grow up loving books and reading, they need to be exposed to the most interesting books available. The SAC morning “Gathering Transition” is a good time to read chapter-books.

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2. A  VERSION OF “I SPY”
Explain that when you say, “I spy,” every child needs to stop what he/she is doing, listen, and respond with, “What do you spy?” Say something like, "I spy children dancing in one place," or “I spy a rock star silently playing a guitar.” The students act out that idea until you again say, "I spy." Then all the students stop what they are doing and respond with, "What do you spy?" The game continues with you suggesting other ideas such as, “I spy children waving their arms.” After playing awhile, say “I spy students lining-up quietly.” Children may be chosen to lead the activity.

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3. OH - AH
Start with everyone in a circle holding hands. One person
gives a quick squeeze to the hand of the person on the RIGHT. The
squeeze is passed from person to person around the circle until it is moving smoothly.
Now add sound. Squeeze and say "ooh"… and watch it go around. Next add "ah", but with a LEFT exchange…some fun as the sounds pass over each other at the same time!

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4. PLAY "SIMON SAYS"

Also... 

PLAY SIMON SAYS WITH 'VISUAL MISCUE'
Play this game just like any "Simon Says" but add visual directions that are totally wrong! Example: Simon Says touch your nose while touching your cheek! This game helps children focus on the spoken word rather than being overly influenced by visual...

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5. SEASONAL “SIMON SAYS”
Play Simon Says according to the season and themes:
   • Winter: Santa Says, Frosty says, The Snowman Says, the Elf Says
   • Valentine’s Day: Cupid Says; St. Patrick’s Day: The Leprechaun Says
   • Easter or Spring: The Bunny Says…also adapt to the themes such as The Frog Says!
   • Red-White & Blue Days: Uncle Sam Says

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6. DO THIS—DO THAT!
This is played similar to "Simon Says"...
The group does everything you do when you say "do this"...but when you say "do that"...they do NOT follow the direction. When a player follows the direction of "do that"... they are out.

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7. ALL IN ONE GAME

  • Stand in a circle holding hands. One person is in the middle.
  • The person in the middle calls in some one--one at a time.
  • The goal is to see how many people you can fit in the middle---without breaking hands.
  • You can create your own Guinness Book of Records!

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8. ODDBALL (Good only for small groups)
All you need is a soft ball-- a crumpled piece of paper will also do. Gather in a circle and give one student the ball; call out an "oddball" number which is a single digit number such as ‘5.’ Start passing the ball from student to student, counting up by ones. When a child gets the ball on an oddball number, they need to pass the ball in the OPPOSITE direction (The oddball number is one ending in your starting number. With the 5--the odd ball numbers would be 5, 15, 25, etc.
Keep counting up and switching directions with the oddball number. Frequently call out a new oddball number and keep going.

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9. STATUES 
As you play music, have the children move in place or if there is space, have them dance around the room. Every minute or so, stop the music and the children have to freeze in whatever pose they were in when the music stopped. If they move, they sit down and lose a turn.

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10. CHICKEN PICKS
Equipment: Rubber Chicken

  • Players sit in a circle and one player goes into the middle.
  • A topic is chosen and the rubber chicken starts with one person--- and is passed around the circle.
  • The person in the middle  lists as many things as they can from the topic, but they only have however long it takes for the chicken to pass around the circle once.
  • When the chicken gets back to the starting point, the person stops talking.
  • A designated counter should be in the group, to count how many objects were listed.
  • The person that is able to list the most objects is the winner.
  • Example: What are all the things that you can think of that start with the letter M? How many candy bars can be named? Or, what are things that you can buy at the hardware store.
  • Pick high-interest topics, such as TV shows.

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11. ZIP ZAP (Good for getting to know each other) “It” points to a person in the circle repeating the word "zip" or "zap" and counting to five. If "It" says "zip" the person must reply with the name of the person on his/her right---if "It" says "zap" they must reply with the name on their left. If the name is wrong, that person goes into the center of the circle.

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12. COOPERATIVE STAND UP
   • Have your group get into pairs. 
   • The pairs will sit on the floor, back pressed to back—and arms interlocked. 
   • They must stand up without using their hands. It can end here...OR... 
   • After a pair stands up, have them find another pair and all 4 must sit down and stand up. 

Go on as such until the entire group is together and have everyone try to stand up. This is a good game to promote friendliness and is fun when you have an exceptionally large group.

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13. ZOOM
Standing in a circle, students orally pass the word "zoom" around from one person to another. The activity moves rapidly to build and sustain community involvement.
…..Variations can include switching directions, multiple zooms at one time, students leading zoom, and USING OTHER WORDS to build vocabulary.
…..The first time, have youth sit in a circle with their legs crossed, sitting up straight with their hands in their laps. Model this posture, and ask the students to have their knees touch their neighbors' knees to form a tight circle.

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14. BUZZ
The players start counting substituting buzz for the number seven and multiples of seven. If a player makes a mistake he must drop out or the whole group must start again.

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15. SILLY SALLY’S COOL CLUB!

  • Have the players in a circle.
  • The leader explains that Silly Sally has a cool club. The only way that kids can join--- is if they can figure out what Sally likes and doesn't like.
  • Sally only likes things that have double letters in them. Sally likes 'soccer' but she doesn't like 'golf'. Sally likes 'bananas' but she doesn't like 'beans'. Etc.
  • As children take turns guessing what Sally likes, the leader either lets the child in the club--or not.
  • This is based on the guess-and if it contains double of a letter. (Obviously, the leader will have to know how to spell!)

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16. Lie on back on the floor. A coin is placed on the nose.
The challenge is to get the coin off by wiggling nose, but without moving the head.

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17. HEADS UP… 7- UP

  • All children playing sit at a table or desk with their heads down. They cover their eyes and stick up one thumb.
  • Seven children who have been chosen--- walk around the tables or desks.
  • Each of the “Seven” touches ONE child’s thumb. When a child’s thumb is touched, they put down their thumb.
  • When all the “Seven” have touched a thumb-- they go to the front of the room, and say in unison, "Heads Up-- Seven Up!"
  • The seven youth whose thumbs have been touched stand up.
  • They then have to guess who the one who touched their thumb was.
  • If they're right, they become one of the “NEW SEVEN”, replacing whoever had touched them.

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18. BALANCING ACT
Need a bean bag, pencil, eraser -- or similar object to place on head. Play music as each child walks around balancing the object on their head. If the object falls off the child is frozen until another comes and places the object back on the head. Everyone stops and resets their object when the music stops. Game starts over when the music again starts.

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19. CHEERLEADING
During program activity time-have groups put together cheers about SAC or school
. At ‘Gathering Time’ have groups perform them for each other.

Also use the same idea with kids putting together a short RAP. When it’s recognized that RAP stands for Rhythm and Poetry—it is much more accepted in some programs. An easy way to start is with nursery rhymes such as ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’.

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20. PUPPET SHOW
The puppets can be made at SAC or purchased. Children can put together a short puppet show and perform during the group “Gathering Time”.

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21. MAGIC
Need magic book, props and tricks…Simple magic tricks are always fun to do. Children love the mystery that revolves around magic. Teach some magic tricks as one of your activities. During ‘Gathering Time’, children can perform tricks for each other. The above Cheerleading, Puppets and Magic can also be performed at family events!

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22. HOPPING CHALLENGE
This can be played in a circle, a line, or as a "Bunny, Kangaroo or Froggie Says____" game.
Give children a variety of "hopping" commands such as:

  • Hop in one place.
  • Hop and turn in a circle at the same time.    
  • Hop on left/right foot.
  • Hop backwards, sideways; make a square or circle.
  • Hop over a line.
  • Hop with a partner.
  • Hop quietly to line up.

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23. What do you do with it? Or… Who uses it?
Have unusual tools, utensils, shoes, hats, uniforms, etc. Ask what or who uses each one? Youth can also bring items to attempt to ‘stump’ the group!

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24. BACK WRITING & DRAWING: One person sits with his back to another. The other person, using their fingers, "draws" a letter on the person's back. At the same time, that person draws on a piece of paper what they think is being drawn on their back.

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25. RAIN:  The group sits in a circle. The leader starts by rubbing their hands together. The person to the right does the same and so on--- until everyone is doing the action.
When all are rubbing their hands, the leader starts a new sound, finger snapping, then hand clapping, next slapping thighs, try foot stomping. To END the storm, reverse the actions. At the end, the group one by one stops rubbing hands and sits and waits for the action to be completed by the group.

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26. CARD NAME GAME: Write each child’s name on a playing card. While seated on the floor, distribute one card to each child –making sure no one has their own name. When their name is called they have to say something positive about the person on the card. This is a great way to help youth to respect and treat others well. Fun-and only takes about five minutes to play! 

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27. Choose a person to leave the room. The rest of the group stands in a circle. Choose a leader who begins and changes all movements. Everyone else should be aware of the leader but not look directly at him. Change movements when the leader does. Once everyone has the idea, call back the person who left the room. Ask him to stand in the middle and try to figure out who the leader is.

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28. A SOUND IDEA
Make a tape of sounds from the environment.  Example: crickets chirping, cell phones ringing, water running, a thunderstorm, and a kitty meowing. When the tape is played the students are asked to identify what the noise is. Keep a numbered list for your own reference so you don't forget what's on it. The younger children especially like this activity.

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29. BIRDS CAN FLY

  • Players are scattered randomly, and face the activity leader who calls out things
    TRUE ABOUT ANIMALS.
  • Example: Birds can fly. Rabbits can hop. Horses can trot.
  • Players follow these directions.
  • When the caller says something that isn’t true such as Cats can bark --- any student who does the action is out.
  • This continues until there is only one player left who becomes the new caller.

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30. GROUP BODY SPELLING
Players start in groups of five (number can vary depending on the size of the
group). Each group stands in a straight line beside one another. The leader
asks them to use their bodies (with each group member involved) to spell the
following words, one at a time, starting with a word with five letters, to a word with
one letter.

  • CANDY, FOUR, YOU, ME and I.
    Stress the use of creativity – for example “I” …everyone could point to their eye;
    For the word ‘You’ everyone in the group forms a large U.

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31. Sit in a circle. One person starts a sound—holding the sound as long as possible. The next person picks it up and it travels around the circle so it becomes A RIBBON OF SOUND. Each person should pick it up and pass it on as quickly as possible. Transform it into another sound-with the person next to the one who started the first sound. 

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32. RUMORS (Similar to telephone game)
Select Teams. The first person on each team goes out of the area and all team captains together make up a message. This same message will be used by all teams.
On the sign to start, the first captain of each team whispers the Rumor to the next person on their team. They will whisper the Rumor to the next - and so on. The last person to receive the Rumor will run to a black board, white board, or flip chart and write the message.
The team that is the closest to the correct Rumor wins.

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33. MY FAVORITE SPORT: Players stand in a circle. The leader starts by going into the middle of the circle and says, “My favorite sport is jogging” and jogs on the spot. Everyone jogs until another player goes into the middle and says their favorite sport and does the body action. This continues till all the players have had an opportunity to lead.

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34. THE SQUEEZE GAME
Equipment: Small random object such as keys, stone, etc.
Have TWO parallel, straight, equal lines of youth, and have them hold each others hand. Have someone at the front and back of the lines watching. Place a small item in the middle of the two front people, and place it just within their reach. The back person (who is watching) says a number to the last child of each line. That is the number of times each child should squeeze the hand of the person in front of them. So if the back person said ‘2’, to the back two people—each person’s hand down the row is squeezed ‘twice’. This becomes a chain reaction, until the front person’s hand is squeezed. Once they feel the squeeze, they reach for the object in front of them. The team to grab the object first wins!

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IDEAS FOR WAITING IN LINE

35. BACKWARDS NAMES...
Each person writes their name backwards on a file card. The cards are put in a pile in the center of the group. In turn, each person picks up a file card from the pile, and reads aloud what it says. The group must guess whose name is backwards. (Pre-make cards to use “whenever”.) Example: If the name is Mary--backwards it would be y-ram!

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36. LEARN TO SING THE ABC'S BACKWARDS!  Why? Just for the fun of it!
Have a poster of the alphabet and point to the letters starting with "Z" and go from there...
Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A

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37. CHOCOLATE FACE
Have the kids place a piece of chocolate candy in their mouth--- and see how long it takes to melt! No sucking and chewing it! The one to keep the chocolate in their mouth the longest is the winner.

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38. RYHME THAT WORD!
Think of words. Children take turns seeing how many “real” rhyming words they can think of. When one word is worn out, choose another word. Remind the kids to use “nice” words only!
…..Example" Rhyme words with “time”:
chime, climb, crime, dime, grime, I’m, lime, mime, prime rhyme, thyme, slime, bedtime, centime, daytime, enzyme, lifetime, mealtime, meantime, nighttime, pastime, ragtime, sometime, springtime, sublime, maritime, overtime, pantomime, paradigm

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39. SHOULDER CHALLENGE
A potato chip or cracker is placed on shoulder, while standing. The challenge is to remove the chip with tongue!

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40. 20 QUESTIONS  
One person picks something to be, such as a famous person or an animal, and then the rest of the children ask ‘yes or no questions’ until someone guesses who the person has chosen to be.

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41. Have students DO TWO THINGS AT ONCE. Examples:

  • Tap their heads and rub their stomachs
  • Clap their hands and stand on one foot
  • Snap their fingers and nod their heads
  • Do jumping jacks, etc.

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42. WRITING IN THE AIR: Have each child turn sideways with their right hand on their right shoulder. (If left-handed-do it on the left) Ask them to WRITE WORDS OR NUMBERS IN THE AIR using their right elbow. You could say, “Write (or print) your name,” “Write the name of your favorite food,” “Write your address,” etc. Then have them turn and put their left elbow on their left shoulder and continue the activity. Ask the students for ideas of what to write or have different students lead the activity.

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43. GROUP STORY: You can do this on paper, or use a recorder to tell the story aloud. Have each person sit in a line or circle and take turns telling a small part of a made-up story. The first person in line starts the story and stops after a specific period of time. The next person in line picks up where the first left off, continuing the story. You can write it down and then read it aloud, or record it with a tape player or digital recorder and listen to it when you're finished. It's sure to get a few laughs!

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44. Version #2—CONTINUEING STORY
Get children in line and begin telling a silly story. Then go down the line and point to people randomly. They continue from where the last person left off-making it up as they go along. If children are younger you can give them a little time to think about it. Move to the next child if they hesitate too long or repeat what the last person says. (With elimination-always be sure to do so in light and fun manner!)

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46. DON’T FORGET ABOUT MAD LIBS. They’re great to do with the kids as a group! Just shout out to them, “Give me a noun---or adjective, etc.” When complete, read the Mad Lib story aloud with much enthusiasm. The children love it! Tip: You can post a chart that has definitions and examples of the various parts of speech.

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47. I’M GOING ON A PICNIC: The leader Ben starts by saying, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing a blanket." Each person in turn responds with an appropriate picnic item. "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing _____." Leader confirms by saying "Yes, you can bring ____" or "No, you can't bring that" or something similar. The Trick: The first letter of the item they bring must match the first letter of their first name. So Sam can also bring sardines or salad. Cara can bring cookies or cake. Note: This is one of the easier trick games to figure out, so be sure to remind players not to tell the secret. Don't give hints. Kids love figuring this stuff out on their own.

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48. While in line, DRAW A PICTURE on your partner’s back; have him/her guess what it is. Switch guessing drawing places.

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49. ROCK PAPER SCISSORS…

"Rock" is a fist..."Paper" is a flat hand...and "Scissors" are the pointer and middle fingers making snipping motions. Partners shake their fists three times---and then show their chosen motion on the count of three. Winning hands are decided as follows: Rock breaks/dulls scissors... Scissors cuts paper... Paper covers rock. Play three or 5 times...and see who has the most wins. This is also a good method to see who goes “first" in games or gym.

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50. I CAN’T STAND _____! (For Older Youth)  Have each player in turn describe a food that they cannot stand to eat. Encourage as much detail as possible so that the other group members are disgusted by the food, too

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51. Play the TELEPHONE/GOSSIP GAME (whisper something in a child’s ear and it goes down the line. The last person announces the message.

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52. Have “WACKY WEDNESDAYS”… Tell jokes, riddles, knock-knocks, brain-teasers, word doodles, Who Can? and tongue twisters.  Share the fun with your SAC kids! Put this into your planning… Keep a supply that is ready to go on a clip-board or in the back of your Parents Info box! Use them waiting in line, with a few ‘bored kids” or while waiting for parents at the end of the day! (FYI: Telling jokes is good for kids! It increases their confidence, helps them to remember a story in order, relate it to others, and stimulates their thinking!)

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53. I SPY: 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. With older kids instead of this I Spy – Play I’M THINKING OF: The leader looks about the area and says, “I’m thinking of something that is the color_________. Say what the color it is. Children guess what they think it may be. Winner is the next leader.

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54. GUESS WHO: The object is to figure out who the person the leader is thinking of. The group asks yes and no questions. Questions are those such as the board game, Guess Who? Is the person a boy? Does he have brown hair? Etc. Winner is next leader.

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55. TAKE THE CHALLENGE:  Post a question of the day, brainteaser, riddle, or word-doodle on a portable chart holder or white board near the door. When youth line up, have them focus on the challenge…  Who can solve it? Also near the line up area put up a Graffiti Wall or Question Wall. The kids can write on it as they wait.

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56. When you have some down time-waiting or standing in line…

  • Start off with what makes you happy ---and then take turns calling out things such as: Sunny days make me happy; Sunshine makes me happy; Warm cookies make me happy; Saturday mornings make me happy; Friday nights makes me happy….. Going to the movies makes me happy…..Pizza…..Going on vacation…..Blue skies…..Summer time, etc.
  • When done in a light-hearted manner, the children will join in and share! You’ll be amazed how the atmosphere can change—as well as realizing it doesn’t have to be a trip to Disney World to do it!
    • I actually did this with my three grandsons (ages 4, 6, 9) while waiting for their Dad in the car not too long ago! Within a few seconds, the atmosphere in the car really lightened up and they were each sharing! Barb

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57. READ MY MIND: STAFF MAGIC
This game will have the kids wondering how the two "mind readers" can read each others minds! You introduce the game as, "Mrs. Smith can read my mind...Would you like to see her do it?"

  • The leader needs a helper who understands how the trick works.
  • The helper leaves the room. While the helper is out of the room, the group decides on an object.
  • The helper then comes back to the group; her/his task is to guess what the object is.
  • The leader asks the helper questions like, "Is it the table?" or "Is it the bench".
  • The helper replies "No".
  • The trick is that the object will be THE FIRST ONE AFTER A BLACK OBJECT.

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58. GUESS THE NUMBER GAME: The leader picks a number within a range and youth try to guess the number. Example: Leader says, “I’m thinking of a number between one and 50”. Leader can say “higher” or “lower” as the children guess. Correct number guess is the next leader.

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59. TRANSTION FUN: WHO CAN? See how many in the group can…

  • Roll their tongue (85% of people can). 
  • Wiggle their ears; wiggle their nose.
  • Show they are double jointed.
  • Touch their ear with their elbow (I don’t think anyone can!).
  • Whistle (can they whistle by blowing both in and out?).
  • Twiddle thumbs (try to do it in both directions at same time!).
  • Rub their stomach and pat head at same time.
  • Make owl hoots with clasped hands.
  • Make a “popping sound with hand tapping their puckered large “O” shaped mouth.
    • Invite children to create their own versions of the transition activities!

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Tip: If a child is starting to become a challenge, put him/her in charge of a game or go first. It often will change the behavior.

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60. GUESS MY RULE: Use this deductive reasoning game when kids are waiting. The object is for students to figure out the rule you are using to sort them into groups. Example: Call out a number of kids all wearing “blue”. When the youth guess they are all wearing blue---call out another similarity—such as all in 5th grade or all having brown hair, etc.

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61. LINE UP

  • By Color: Line up if you’re wearing the color red; line up if you’re wearing blue, etc.
  • By anything: Line up if you have a tooth missing; line up if you have brown hair, etc.
  • By birthday month: Line up if you were born in August; line up if you were born in September, etc.

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62. SELF LINE-UP
Group is asked to line up based on individual factors. Examples:

  • Children line up by their birthday month. They can line up as born from January to December.
  • Have children line up based on height-from shortest to tallest or tallest to shortest.
  • They can line up by hair color: Lightest to darkest or darkest to lightest. Etc.

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63. FOLLOW THE LEADER
While waiting for the group to line up, an adult can lead the children along the room in a game of Follow the Leader. While “Leading” all children join the line and proceed to the line-up point.

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64. Randomly CHOOSE NAMES FROM A BASKET to send a few students at a time to line up. Reverse  the order the next time so that students who were called on last will be called on first the next day.

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65. Pre-K-K: Spell students' names aloud and allow them to line up when they recognize their name.

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66. NUMBERS CALL: Have the group line up and count off—remembering “their” number. The leaders begins by calling a number—such as “two”. Person “2” then calls out a different number, and that person must respond. If someone makes a mistake such as calling out a number that is higher than the number in the group—calls out their own number---or delays, they must move to the end of the line. The goal is to be at the head of the line. Nobody is ever out and there is always the chance of moving up!

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67. A version of “I SPY”--- which is #2 --and also” Hopping Challenge” which is #22---are unique ways to line up!

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68. BODY MIX-UP

  • Stand in front of the first person in line; touch your nose and say, "This is my mouth."
  • How quickly can the person touch his or her mouth and respond, "This is my nose?"
  • That person turns to the next person and says, touching his ear, "This is my chin." And so on...

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69. WHAT AM I COUNTING?
Have one person start counting aloud an object in everyone's view: Windows, white shirts, tables, etc. Can your group guess what the person is counting? As a variation, name an object and challenge the group to count as many as they can find in one minute.

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70. CATEGORIES
Choose a category such as animals, vehicles, countries or food. Each person is to name something that belongs to that group. Challenge group to work in A to Z order: ant, bee, cow. Or, you can name items like hammer, saw, level and the child responds with "tools." One more option is to have each word begin with the last letter of the previous word: Japan, Netherlands, Somalia, etc.

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71. PASS IT ON
Stand up in a line or circle. Have each person trace a simple shape O, X, 1 – on the back of the person standing in front of them. Can each person guess what was drawn?

Also you can draw your own version of a funny face. The person being drawn on- visually imitates the expression drawn on his or her back---and draws a silly face on the next person. How accurate are the faces to those drawn on the back?

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72. GROUP ART

  • Give everyone a pencil and paper and describe an object for them to draw.
  • "Draw a square. Now draw an oval in the upper right-hand corner of your paper…"  Keep adding objects.
  • When complete-compare their pictures to yours and see how accurate they were.
    • A variation on this is playing connect-the-dots on white board/chalkboard. The first person draws two dots and a line connecting them. Each person adds a dot and draws a line from one of the previous dots to his dot to make a design.
    • This activity can also be done by passing a piece of paper and a pencil down the line. Each person adds to the group picture.

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73. BIRD, BEAST, OR FISH

You have to think fast for this game.
1. Everyone sits facing the leader.
2. The leader points to one of the players and says either "BIRD," "BEAST," or "FISH."
3. The chosen player must come up with the name of an animal that fits the category before the leader counts to ten.
4.  No repeating!
5. If the player does not respond in time, he/she is out.
6. The game continues until only one player remains.

After a few rounds it can be hard to think of an animal that has not already been mentioned!

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74. Have a ______(Blank) of the Day--Each Day!

It's fun to have a daily program or classroom feature where there is a "_______ (blank) of the Day! "
This could be a doodle, riddle, trick question, joke, definition of a word or quote.

Brains crave variety and incorporating activities such as this, will certainly go towards some cognitive variety!

Each month or week, change out "What the _____of the Day" will be!  As written above, it could be the puzzle, a word definition, riddle, trick question, or quote. Great for all school ages to high school! Just put the _______on a black board or white board near the room entrance. By the end of the day---discuss guesses and answers.

    ....if you're taking the time to look at the sample board to the left--the answers are: Period in History, Reading between the lines, Long underwear, Eggs over easy, I understand, Down town, Paradise or Pair of dice! . It's fun to see how many more ideas of your own that you and the kids can come  up with! Board by bshelby (Image by KidActivities.net)

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    75. GUESS THE PERSON, ANIMAL OR THING! (This could be  a version of "Have a  ______ of the Day!"

    1. Using a picture of an animal, children's character or personality, cover the entire picture with puzzle pieces to hide identifying features.
     
    2. Take one piece off at a time; children guess who/what is underneath.

    3. This can be done as a group game, individual or team play. It could also be set up in a special daily spot--with guesses being made as removed pieces reveal who/what it is!

    4. Depending on how you play this-points can be added or subtracted. The most points of course going to the individual or team who correctly guesses with the least amount of puzzle pieces removed!

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    76. WANT TO QUIET THE KIDS DOWN?! PLAY 'GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD'...
    This is a good game for unwinding and quieting down the group. 

1. Players lay on the floor in any position they choose.
2. Make sure each player has enough space as NOT to touch each other.
3.When kids are ready- count to three to signal that the game has begun. At "3"  children must remain quiet and not move!
4. If the chosen "crypt-keeper" catches any movement, the child moving becomes the next "crypt-keeper". (you may need to explain what a "cypt" is)

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    77. TAKE A DRAWING BREAK!
    Have 5-10 minutes to kill?
    Have Kids...

    Draw their shoe. Draw their lunch. Draw their teacher. Draw a friend. Draw their hand holding something. Draw a small object big. Draw a car. Draw a dream. Draw a nightmare. Draw a leaf. Draw themself...

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    78. SPOON ON THE NOSE TRICK
    This is one of the all-time great party tricks. Any nose and spoon will do. Breathe heavily on the spoon, or lick it (yuck!).
    Immediately after breathing on or licking the spoon, place it on your nose so that it is up high, but not too high. It can basically be placed anywhere on your nose, as long as it is on the ledge of it. Place it on the edge of your nose. Sounds easier than it really is.

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    79. STARING CONTEST...
    No laughing, no poking, no nodding, noblinking--just staring into the eyes of your opponent to see who flinches first.

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