As it’s our last post of the year, we thought some games and activities for the holidays would be appreciated to help reinforce all the good learning that the children have done this past term. These are simple games that you can use in a variety of situations and contexts, whether you’re out and about walking through fields or with family and friends (fingers crossed!). Also, the links for stories are accessible anytime so feel free to use them as a little ‘break’ for a cup of tea or five minutes peace!
These games can be adapted to use with either a Literacy or Maths focus.
Chinese Whispers – Say a simple sentence and pass it around. Rhyming sentences are great such as The cat is fat but any sentence will do. Adapting it for maths is easy too. You could give them a fact about a number, such as 5 is one more than 4 or 5 is one less than 6. You could use shapes too, which has been our focus this week, and say a square has 4 sides or all the sides of a square are the same. How much do they remember?
What’s in the bag… – Find a bag (any will do as long as it’s not see through) and put some objects in there, again any will do. We have a little tune to go with this game which your child will hopefully remember! The lyrics are simple. What’s in the bag, what’s in the bag, let’s see, let’s see, what’s in the bag?! Describe whatever it is you’ve got in the bag – one of their toys, an object around the house (try describing a spoon or fork leaving it’s use to last), a book, anything at all will work. See if your child can guess what it is. Give them the opportunity to have a go with the bag too and describe the objects to you.
Whose/What’s under the blanket…- Same game just a different way of doing the above but only under a blanket. In class we play this as a group and one child goes under the blanket. The trick is to look around and observe who’s no longer in the circle. It can be surprisingly tricky!
Another way of playing this game is by using some objects (again any random objects). Start with three objects, hide one. Which object is missing? Build up the amounts of objects. We got to six different things and the children recognised which object was missing every time!
You could of course extend the game we’ve been playing recently One of these things… choose some objects which have a similar theme such as rhyming objects or objects of all one size/amount/use, etc. Which one doesn’t belong? Remember to get your child to explain why they know that that’s the object which doesn’t belong. Their answers can be really surprising and it offers up an interesting insight on how their thought processes work.
Simon Says…always a favourite and always fun! When ‘Simon’ says to do something you do it but if you don’t hear the words Simon says – don’t do it! This can work with tidying up too. Simon says pick up 5 blocks, Simon says take a bath/read a story with mummy or daddy. Use it to your advantage!
I went to the zoo/shop/woods and saw/bought…– this is another great game that’s great to play on any journey. Make a list and each person adds to it, but you need to remember all the items on the list from the top (does anyone remember The Generation Game?). If you need to take your child to the supermarket get them to tell you about the shapes of the boxes/objects they see, can they describe what’s in the basket, for instance a juicy, oval pear, a round, crunchy apple?
We hope these ideas are useful, they will certainly help to focus and concentrate your child’s attention and extend their language. Turning anything into a game makes it more fun to learn.
Take care and stay safe,
Mrs Howe, Mrs Ogilvie-Jones, Mrs Mitzman, Mrs Hill and Mrs Bence