Games A-H

Categories: Games

Games

A-H

Airplane imitation

Children imitate being an airplane with arms spread out and swaying from side to side. If they touch another child whilst doing so, it will indicate they are too close. If they move freely, other children are at an appropriate distance.

Targets

• Appropriate social distance

Balloon tennis

Tape paper plates to a ruler to represent a tennis racket. Blow up a balloon and hit it between players.

Targets

• Encouraging social interaction

• Hand-eye coordination

• Physical coordination

Binoculars

Tape two toilet paper rolls together to represent binoculars. This activity will encourage children to focus on an object or use the binoculars in a social fashion with another person to look at one another.

Targets

• Improving eye contact

• Encouraging social interaction

Bottle bowling

Collect plastic bottles and line them up as in a bowling alley. Take turns knocking them over with a soft ball. Encourage children to wait their turn and to help reset the bottles.

Targets

• Turn taking

• Cooperative play

• Following instructions

• Self-regulation

Bubble blowing

This activity will encourage children to automatically breathe deeply, drawing awareness to posture and trunk movement and challenge their coordination.

Targets

• Vestibular hypersensitivity

• Oral motor sensory input

Card match game

Each child is given a set of picture cards (farm animals, daily objects, clothing, cartoon characters, etc.)

The facilitator calls out the names of the objects, and the children have to hold up the card that matches the spoken word.

This can also be played as picture bingo (for children from the age of four years old).

– Children are each given a random assortment of five cards.

– When all five of the child’s cards are called out, the child yells, “Bingo!”

Targets

• Communication

• Sequencing

Choo-choo train

Line up chairs one behind the other so that they are all facing the front chair in a line.

Pick a “driver” (get the children to take turns being the driver) and ask them to sit in the front chair.

Get all the children to sit in a chair and make a “choo-choo train” movement with their arms (i.e., have arms by their sides, bent at the elbows and circling their arms round and round).

Get the children to sing “choo choo” to a melody of your choice and pretend the train is moving.

Targets

• Learning to take turns

• Incorporating a train fixation into social play

• Developing social skills

• Motor planning and coordination

Directions game

Children sit or stand around in a circle.

Each child has to call out an action, and all others have to complete the instruction.

– Zeke: “Everybody clap your hands!”

All clap their hands.

– Ben: “Everybody stomp your feet.”

All stomp their feet.

The game can also be played by each child giving an instruction to a specific peer.

– Zeke: “Ben, tap your knees!”

– Ben: “Sarah, turn around!”

– Sarah: “Lily, give me a hi-five!”

Adults and children can play this game together. Children can also use gestures to direct others where they feel more comfortable using gestures to communicate.

Targets

• Communication

• Group interaction

Don’t fall in the sea

Pretend a large blue mat or rug is the sea. Children need to cross the sea without touching the water, by using cushions, magazines, paper plates, etc. as stepping stones.

Targets

• Balance and spatial awareness

• Motor planning

Duck, duck, goose (train, train, boat)

Have children sit in a circle and select one child to be “in” (Child A). Child A goes around the circle, gently touching each person’s head as they say “train.”

Child A selects one person (Child B) and says “boat” when she touches Child B’s head.

Child B then chases Child A around the circle trying to tap them before Child A returns to Child B’s spot and sits down. Whether or not Child B tips Child A, allow Child A to sit down and continue playing the game.

Child B then has a turn choosing the next “boat” and so on.

This game can be played using a range of terms the children playing are interested in such as dog, dog, cat; hat, hat, shoe, etc.

Targets

• Developing social skills

• Coordination

• Motor planning

• Incorporating a child’s topic of interest into social play

Emotions bingo 

(suitable for children from four years old)

Children are provided with a blank bingo score card and tokens with images displaying different emotions (e.g., happy, sad, excited and angry). The facilitator will randomly select an emotion token, show it to the group, and individuals with that token will place it on their score card. The child who is first to complete a row wins the game.

Targets

• Interpreting facial expressions

Emotional charades

Children are randomly selected to pick a card displaying an emotion. They then need to act out this emotion to the rest of the group, in silence. The child who guesses correctly is the next to act out an emotion.

Targets

• Identifying the meaning of facial expressions

 

Eyes on the forehead

Place a pair of sticker eyes on your forehead. This will encourage the children to look at the eyes on your forehead, which ensures that they are looking in the direction of your eyes, but may feel less threatened because the sticker “eyes” are not looking back into their eyes directly.

Extension

Dress up in masks, funny glasses, hats and wigs. The aim is to try and get the children to engage with you and look at your face. Masks and wigs can also be used during story time, such as by wearing a bear mask and telling the story of Goldilocks and the three bears.

Targets

• Improving eye contact

• Encouraging social interaction

Feelings fidget balls

Take multiple deflated balloons and draw a face on each one that represents an emotion (e.g., happy, sad). Fill each balloon with rice and tie it to represent a stress ball. Children can squeeze the balls to support self-regulation and can switch between the balls to communicate an emotion they may be feeling.

Targets

• Self-regulation

• Communication and understanding of emotions

Gestures charades

Children are randomly selected to pick a card displaying a gesture (e.g., waving, thumbs up, shaking head). They then need to act out this gesture to the rest of the group in silence. The child who guesses correctly is the next to act out a gesture.

Targets

• Interpretation of gestures

Goal shoot

Take turns throwing a ball into an open box in an open space free of hazards.

Targets

• Group engagement

• Turn taking

• Hand-eye coordination

Hide and seek

One child counts while other group members go and hide. Once the child has counted to the nominated number, they go and seek the hiding children.

Targets

• Group engagement

• Social interaction 

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