Kindergarten children have reached a developmental stage in which they find make believe and silly games vastly entertaining. Their rapidly developing gross and fine motor skills mean they find themselves capable of mastering games they could not have played well in preschool. Use fun games to entertain, educate and animate kindergarten kids.
Circle games, like Duck Duck Goose, and line games, like Red Light Green Light, are classic fun kindergarten games. Chasing and running games, especially tag, help young children build stamina. Singing, music and dance games, like the Hokey Pokey and Freeze Dance, draw upon their dramatic skills.
Most games for kindergarten kids do not focus too strongly on keeping score. Instead, games like Where is Thumbkin and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes teach them vocabulary and rhythm. Cooperative games, like Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar and Follow the Leader, help them make friends and work together as a group. They also enjoy silly games like Baby I Love You, in which a leader tries to make players laugh or smile, and they must respond, “Baby, I love you, but you just cannot make me smile.”
Kindergarten kids receive multiple benefits from games. All play is educational play, especially at this age when many words, skills and strategies are new. Fun games address 5-year-olds’ multiple learning styles, including interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, linguistic, artistic, logical and kinesthetic skills.
In general, kids in kindergarten enjoy games and activities, but they still have a limited attention span. Highly structured activities may hold their attention for 10 minutes, unless you offer variations to keep the game interesting. For example, in Hot Potato, toss in a few balloons while they play to divert them. During Hide and Seek, play a round in which the rules are changed, and everyone must hide together.
Most kindergarten kids still suffer in the face of being out or consistently losing a game. Make games more open and fun by changing some rules and consequences. For example, in tag, the person who is tagged can ask for a volunteer to help in the chase. In charades, restrict the subject matter to animals or cartoon characters to make the game easier.
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