Movement Games for Preschool

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Preschool children love playing games. Games that involve music allow children to strengthen their large motor skills, get some exercise and learn to socialize with others. There are several movement games that are appropriate for preschool children. Playing a mixture of the games throughout each week will keep it fun for the preschoolers.

Duck Duck Goose

This age-old favorite delights the young and encourages physical exercise. It starts by having the children sit in a circle on the ground. The child who is “it” walks around the outside of the circle touching each child lightly on the head. Each time he touches another child, he says the word “duck.” When he decides whom he wants to chase him, he will touch that child’s head and say “goose” and start running around the circle. The child who has been tagged “goose” jumps up and chases the other child around the circle. If he tags the “it” child before the child gets to the empty spot the “goose” left in the circle, the first child must again be it. If the child reaches the empty spot and sits down before the “goose” can tag him, the “goose” becomes it and begins going around the outside of the circle touching heads and saying “duck, duck, duck, goose.”

Simon Says

Simon Says promotes an exercise in following directions as well as large motor skills. The children are asked to stand in a group about an arm’s length apart from each other. The teacher stands at the front, facing the group. She then calls out commands such as “Simon says touch your head.” If the command is not prefaced with “Simon says,” the children should ignore it. If the child follows the command without it being started with “Simon Says,” that child is out of the game. If the command begins with “Simon Says,” the children should do what it instructs them to do. Typically there are several successive “Simon Says” commands before a non-Simon Says directive is given. This gets the children moving and doing what the command says to do, and if they are not listening closely they will immediately do the non-Simon Says command as well. The game helps them strengthen their listening skills as they have to quickly decide whether to follow the command. As they watch their peers, they learn to trust their own listening skills because if they just automatically do what the child next to them does and that child makes a mistake they will be out of the game. The last child in the game is declared the winner.

Mother May I?

Children stand in a single line side by side about an arm’s length apart from each other. The teacher faces the group and calls out one child at a time with instructions such as “Tommy, you may tap your head three times.” Tommy must ask “Mother May I?” and wait for the teacher to say “yes, you may” or” no, you may not.” He must then follow her directive by doing it or not doing it. If Tommy forgets to ask, he is out of the game. If he is told he may not do the command and starts to do it anyway, he is out of the game. The winner is declared when there is only one child left.

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