The right games played in a kids club can be the difference between success and failure. Groups of children become bored and restless when left to their own devices. Organising games to suit the age level and nature of the program keeps their attention focused. Always choose games suitable for all involved. Take precautionary measures when needed and provide the necessary supervision.
My Name Is
At the beginning of a new club or of a new season, many students will be strangers to one another. The use of introductory games eases the uncomfortable feeling often felt by those without friends in the group. Play the game "My Name is..." to break the ice. Write each child's name in large letters at the top of the page and give each a small pencil or crayon to write with. Each child must find someone with a name beginning with each letter of their own name. For example, Amy must find other children who's names begin with "A", "M" and "Y". The person then writes their name downward from the original name letter. Some letters may not be available. Check your list carefully before passing out the name sheets and write "Free" under the letter. Allow ample time for the kids to introduce themselves to one another in search of all their needed letters.
Pseudo Square Dance
Cooperation and following instructions are essential parts of a smooth running kids club. Incorporate the concepts into a game to teach these elements. Square dancing is an old American folk tradition. The groups are made of four couples forming a circles and performing moves when told by the caller. Divide up your group into sets of four pairs. Instead of using traditional square dance music, use a plain beat. Call out for partners to perform tasks such as join hands to form a circle and move to the left. Switch the command to move to the right and then up to the centre. Have them kick forward then back and put one arm inside the circle then the other. The game teaches listening skills. Also, the students learn to work together to move the circles in the right directions.
Hot off the Presses
In a kids club, sharing and building bonds of friendship based on commonality is a goal. For the shy participant, this is not always an easy task. Play a game similar to the old fashion "Hot Potato" to assist in getting the children out of their protective shells and sharing with the group. Use a tennis ball or beanbag for the activity Place all the children in a large seated circle. Start a piece of music at a regular tempo and speed up and slow down during the duration. As the music plays, the beanbag or ball is passed around the circle to the beat of the music. When the music stops, the participant holding the ball must reveal 'news" about themselves. The item can be as simple as "Red is my favourite colour" or "I have a dog named Boo". The music starts again. When it ends, the person holding the bean bag must repeat the first piece of given information and add something about themselves. The game continues until everyone gets a chance to participate.
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