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Kindergarten games 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:21 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Gunma, Japan
Ok... no idea about the name of this game, but it is super fun for little kids in a decent sized room.

The kids have to hold my fingers or pants (I make sure I have a belt). I give them a magic word. Then begin the round by saying "3, 2, 1". I spout off random words for a bit and then say the magic word. When I say the magic word the children have to let go of my hand or leg and run away. I start running after them and try to tag one of them. If I tag one of them, that kid has to help me for the next round.

Example: We are studying colors and the magic word is "yellow". The kids hold onto my fingers and I say "3, 2, 1, green, blue, red, purple, red, orange, blue, yellow!". The kids start to run when I say yellow and I hold back for a few seconds. Then I bound in on any kid I want and tag them (I usually aim for the kid that hesitated).

Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:17 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:35 pm
Posts: 36
@dona Annette

I think the RACE game board would look something like this:

Start 1 _a_|___|___|___|___|___|___|___Finish
Start 2 _b_|___|___|___|___|___|___|___Finish
Start 3 _c_|___|___|___|___|___|___|___Finish
Start 4 _d_|___|___|___|___|___|___|___Finish

When the dice is rolled, the number on the dice selects the vocab. item and that item moves right one space along their lane. The students would take turns rolling the dice and repeating the vocab until an item reaches the finish line.

Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:16 pm

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:57 pm
Posts: 36
With the race game you could make the Ss the owners of each item being raced, kind of like crab racing.

Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:41 am

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 28
Location: Taiwan
Post Kindergarten Games
Hi, thanks to everyone that has shared their ideas in this post. Someone asked what games I would play. At the moment, the kindergarten class I'm teaching is first year kindergarten (they call it small class out here) so they're 3-4 years old. I vary my games a lot but some games that I use a lot are:
1) Red light, green light ( can be used to practice listening, ie when you say hop they continue to do that until you hold up the red light at which point they must stand dead still). Who is caught moving is out - or if you don't want to upset them - is told that they were moving. You can use it for present continuous, say walk and they say 'We are walking!'
2)Phonics grid: I place a large sheet of paper on the floor with flaps that open and place letters under each flap (about 6 in total- for older you could use more) and show them a picture (depending on what you're working on) with my kiddies its the beginning sound so they say the word and look under the flap for the letter of the beginning sound. If they're right they get a point. I also added a variation using Mark's spiders and candy by placing a spider, candy or a treasure chest under the letters so that they get a pleasant (or unpleasant) surprise when they turn it around (the spiders can be left out).

If anyone is interested please reply I'm keen to share ideas!

Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:27 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Tohoku Japan
Here is a game I made up but it’s heavily based another game (can't remember the name?)

Make 4 teams (if over 20 kids) and get them to sit in their rows。
Let’s say you are teaching animals. Tell the 1st students of each team that they are a lion (etc). And put the lion flashcard down beside each student (might need 2 of each card?). So, if there are 4 teams have the same flashcard (F1) next to the 1st student of all the teams, and the same flashcard (F2) next to the 2nd student in the teams etc.

Each student should know what animal they are. (If a few teams have an extra student assign 2 animals to one student from a team with less students)

The Game.

Put 3 soft toys (pref different animals) on the floor well away from the students (ie the other end of the room). And spread them out a bit so its not too easy to get more an one at a time.
When you call an animal, those kids (who are that animal) must rush and try to get as many toys as they can. (ie it is possible to get all 3 if they are quick) and they get 1 point per toy.


You could assign 2 pts to one toy (to make it more fun)
You could get the students to 1st touch something, then try to get the toys. Ie if a previous lesson was about colors, you could say “blue cat” and all the students that are cats have to touch something blue and then get the toys. (Of course flashcards could be used here too)
I hope I have explained it well enough?

Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:31 am

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 28
Location: Taiwan
Post Kindergarten Games
Thanks, I will give it a try.

Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:05 pm

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:10 pm
Posts: 6
I have a lot of games for kindergarden who wants it only leave me a message

Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:57 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2125
Location: Nagano, Japan
barry358 wrote:
I have a lot of games for kindergarden who wants it only leave me a message

Barry358 - If you get a chance, just post a few of the games that you really like or that work best for you, and then everyone will be able to read about the game and try it in their classes. :D

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:26 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:25 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: Kindergarten games

I know this is a very old thread but I found it and thought I would add to it seeing as it has some helpful information on it. I teach a difficult class because it is mixed 2-6 years old, about 20-25 kids. I would like to split the class and teach it but the kindergarten (Japanese Hoikuen) is only one room. Before we had the smaller ones separated in the back but the teachers decided to combine them all because they werent involved. This has taught me to be very simple in my lessons with games and activities.

Basically, the best thing I have found to keep the kids attention are running away games. I have several versions but their favourite is the "ghost game." It makes it more fun if you have a ghost you can attach on your head or something. Basically I play stop and go. If I say "go," they move closer to me. In between stop and go I give them other actions we have covered in songs etc. I also assign gestures to ALL vocab so I can review them as well. Finally, once I feel we have practiced enough, I will let them completely approach me and if they touch me, they run away back to the starting position. Make sure you get the kids to speak as well. So if you say "JUMP," get them to jump and say jump too.

Lottery games work too. This is what I do when I am doing trial lessons so I can start in a new kindergarten to expand my business. Buy a box with a lid (or you could just use any decorated box) and cut a hole in the top. Buy a whole lot of different coloured balls or whatever you are trying to teach. Print out an evil character (the kids here in Japan are familiar with "Baikinman" [bacteria man]) and attach it to a ball or 2. One by one, a kid pulls out a ball and you say what it is. So if it's a yellow ball, they all yell out "YELLOW!" Also assign gestures. So yellow I extend my arms out and close them like a lion mouth (alligator gesture). If they pull out your character they all yell out "OH NO!" with the OH NO gesture. I fortunately have the good guy in a plush doll so I have him fly in and punch up the baikinman ball back into the box. They love this! This idea is perfect for a first lesson.

Another simple activity I do when I am teaching "Yes, I do/No, I don't" is having them all line up in the middle of the class. I put one of each on each sides of the room and I ask the question, "Do you like...." and they run over to the side that corresponds to what they think. You can also practice random gestures in between and have them run/walk/hop etc to other side of the room. I know, it sounds lame but with young kids they really enjoy it. Even if the 2-3 year olds still dont understand, they can at least follow everyone else and do something.

Routine and familiar games are very important. At the start of every class I do the same. I do a hello song, followed by a couple of songs they really like that we already have done. I then have them all hold hands and do gestures together. I don't know why but they go APE over this. Kids fight each other to be my partner, lol. You can do gestures like upupupupupup, DOWN! hold hands, let go,hold hands, let go, around, around around, shake shake shake, touch, swing swing swing and lastly, TICKLE! I try to add something every week. I then bring out a plastic microphone and ask some questions that we have done before. For example ARE YOU HUNGRY? or WHATS YOUR NAME?. I get them to yell out MEMEMEMEME and ask a question to ones that want to be asked. Now and then I might try and ask a shy one. I will then try teach some new vocab, do a relevant song, play a game or activity based on the vocab, do the ABC song, a fun action song and finally end on the good-bye song.

Another game they like doing is the erase game. I simply write a few letters on a small white board and the erase the letter I say. However, this game everyone isnt involved at once so I try not to do it too often. The other kids who are waiting lose focus a little.

Also, use story books! Story books are great to review colors, shapes and vocab you are teaching. Try to make it interesting throughout to keep their attention.

I hope that helps someone. I am too looking for simple ideas for my classes. Good luck everyone!

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:08 pm
Post Re: Kindergarten games
The Memo game (aka find pairs, Memory, Concentration) - 2 players

It encourages even the youngest kids to practice the vocabulary they just learned.

You need two sets of cards - one with pictures and another one with the corresponding words.

Put all the cards on the table in rows (not a stack), face down. The players take turns and pick 2 cards. They have to say the English word on the card. If they find a math (picture-word), they keep the 2 cards. Otherwise they put the cards back where they took them from.

For younger kids (who can not read), you can use two sets of pictures and no words.

Whoever collects the most cards - wins.


Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:41 pm

Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 8:37 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Kindergarten games
I feel the best way to teach kindergarten kids about the animal kingdom, plants, kingdom and everything science is to introduce them to an interesting mix of all these concepts together, for instance in the form of science games like these; the best part about these is that the kids learn unknowingly, all the while having fun! What do fish eat? How do they survive? Who eats fish in turn in order to survive? You could easily introduce 4-5 year-old kids to games like these to introduce them to the food chain.

You could also make them carry out some interesting activities like these: Make them write a secret message using liquid washing detergent and a mirror to demonstrate the concept of molecules adhering to the mirror's surface because of surface tension. A simple physics lesson could be collecting a variety of metal objects, placing them in a plastic container, handing the kids a magnet and letting him experiment with lifting the objects in the container without touching them - this way you can explain to them that magnets are objects that produce an invisible magnetic field.

Fri May 15, 2015 6:59 pm
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