It can be difficult to keep a group of energetic children entertained and paying attention. Parents or teachers can use several sitting games to gather children together quietly and focus their attention on an activity while still having fun. Sitting games will keep children amused, and many kids will ask to play these games over and over again.
Mumball is a silent, sitting version of dodgeball. In Mumball, children sit on their desks or in chairs. If they speak or get up to move, they are out. Use a soft, foam ball that children throw to each other. If a child catches the ball, the thrower is out. If the ball hits someone and he doesn't catch it, he's out. Play until there is one person left -- the winner.
Another quiet game, Seven-Up has been popular for decades. Seven children are chosen to be "it." The remaining children put their heads down and close their eyes. They make their hands into a fist with the thumb up. Each child who is "it" quietly walks around the room and pushes one person's thumb down. Then the children who had their thumbs pushed down try to guess who did it. Anyone who guesses right gets to be "it" for the next round.
Gather children, an object and some music to play Hot Potato. Pass the object quickly from person to person until the music stops. Whoever is left holding the object when the music stops is out. Keep playing until there is only one person left -- the winner.
Education World suggests playing Pass the Chicken for fun or to review material. The teacher states a challenge, such as "Name five reptiles." The child who is "it" must complete the task before the toy chicken gets passed around the circle and back to him. If he succeeds, whoever is holding the chicken when he is done becomes "it."
In Hangman, a child thinks of a word or phrase and writes spaces for each letter. Children take turns guessing letters. If they guess right, the person who is "it" fills in the appropriate spaces. If they are wrong, the person draws a part of a person (head, body, arms, legs). If the whole person is completed before they guess the answer, then the person who was "it" wins the game.
Dot Boxes is a game for only a few children. Cover an entire sheet of paper with dots in a grid. Children take turns drawing a line from one dot to another, trying to close a box. When a child closes a box, she puts her initial in the box. Whoever has the most boxes at the end wins.
To play a drawing guessing game, write words on small pieces of paper. A child picks a paper and tries to draw a picture representing the word on a piece of paper or chalkboard. The other children try to guess the word in a specified amount of time. (Divide into teams for group play).
According to Game Ideas for Kids in "Classroom Games," children also enjoy playing a guessing game that uses no materials. A child is picked to think of an object in the room. The other children ask "yes" or "no" questions to try to guess the object.
- Photo Credit group of kids playing image by Cristina Cazan from Fotolia.com yellow balls and a blue ball image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com thumbs up image by rrruss from Fotolia.com CD player image by barv from Fotolia.com pencil image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com question mark image by Georgios Kollidas from Fotolia.com
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