Your child is now thinking beyond toys and solo games. With the increased awareness about the environment and people around, they are all set to enhance their communication skills, build relationships with others, make friends, think about others and cooperate by playing group games.
Here are a few group games that can enrich children’s experiences by helping them explore the concept of rules, team work and the fun of playing together. They can be used at home, in school, at birthday parties and during picnics.
Circle game: Animals
You can get the group of children to sit in a circle, and pass on a bowl or bag which has cards with pictures of animals. Cards from game sets and educational kits can be used, or you can paste pictures of animals on plain cards. One of the adult can play music and while the music plays, they pass on the bowl/bag to the player sitting next to them. When the music stops, they must stop passing. The person who is holding the bowl/bag must pick one card which will have one of the animals. Then he/she must come to the centre of the circle, and act like that animal, make its sound, or tell the group two facts about it. The music then continues. It’s a great fun making animal actions and noises while learning new facts about them.
Let all the children make a circle and do the action you do while you ask a question/riddle. For example, you can start scratching your back (and let them do the same) and say, “I love climbing trees and swinging along its branches, I carry my baby on my back wherever I go. My name starts with C. Which animal am I?”
The answer is, of course, the Chimpanzee! You can keep making riddles, and do different actions like jumping, running (in the same place), shaking, dancing, clapping, etc. You can also pick up riddles from educational kits that have riddle cards. If you have children who would like to make up their riddles, give them a chance to be the leader and do the actions while telling their riddle. Pick different themes to help them learn about different things.
Relay fun: Jigsaws
Make three or four groups stand side by side on one side of the room/playground and a bowl of jigsaw pieces on the other side of the room/playground. If there are four children in a group, keep four jigsaw pieces in the bowl, and the rest of the pieces can be placed on the side where the children are. When the whistle is blown, the first child in line runs to the other side, picks up a jigsaw piece and runs back, and touching the next person’s hand to pass the tag. The next person then runs and does the same. Every group member who have finished running must put together the jigsaw pieces. It is a great activity to promote teamwork, cooperation, and running. Choose age-appropriate jigsaws for maximum fun. Applaud for all the teams as and when they finish their jigsaws, even the team that does it last.
Use these games in different ways, and watch children’s social skills and confidence grow!