Sitting and waiting is very hard for young children. There are times when you may have the children in a group waiting, for example for lunch or for you to set something up in the room. Here are some quick games to make the transitions a little easier.
- What’s Missing Game- Gather a few household or classroom items together and put them in the middle of the table or circle area. Make it age-appropriate, so maybe five items for 3 year olds and up to ten for 5-6 year olds. This game requires memory and visual skills. Let the children look and memorize the items for a few minutes and then tell them to look away or close their eyes. Remove one item. Have them open their eyes and guess which item you took away. If you have a large group of children, you can play the game by removing a child from the room and having them guess who is missing.
- Shape/Colour Match-Up- This requires some preparation ahead of time. Using construction paper, cut out some different coloured shapes. Circles, squares and triangles are a good start for younger children. Add ovals, diamonds etc. for any school-age children in your care. Pass each child a coloured shape. On your cue, the children go around the room and find an object that corresponds to their shape. For example, a red block for the red square shape or a purple pom pom for the round purple shape. They can bring their object back to the circle or the table for discussion with the group. Once you have your cut-outs made, you can play this game over and over. The children will always find new and exciting objects!
- Letter Match-Up-this game only works for children who have enough reading skills to recognize the alphabet and words that start with certain letters. Take pieces of blank paper and write a letter of the alphabet on each one. Switch up the game by using upper case letters one day and lower case the next time you play. Just make enough for the amount of children you have if you are in a hurry and then you can eventually have the complete set of upper and lower case letters as time permits you to make them. Pass each child a letter and have them hunt for an object that starts with that letter. For example, an apple starts with A, and a block starts with B. Have the children bring back their object for group discussion.
- I Spy – a classic game that we all enjoyed as children. The leader says ” I spy with my little eye…something that is…”. Switch it up by giving more detailed clues like: round and red, ticking, or that makes a barking noise( for a dog outside). The possibilities are endless and the children like a turn being the ones to give the clues!