Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Games They Play

Do you remember the first game of tag you played?  Do you remember the moment you won your first game of marbles?  Do you remember that game of hopscotch when you made it both ways without loosing your balance? Do you remember how to play Jacks? What feeling did you get the moment you realized you could jump rope without effort? 
For hundreds of years, in countries all over the planet, children have been playing outdoor games.   The Kindergarten years are usually the time we see more structured games of tag, hide&seek, and duck/duck/goose emerging. You may also notice the uncoordinated attempts to get a skipping rope over their heads and the "crane" or "airplane" stance during hopscotch.  With practice, a hint of frustration and much encouragement they master these games and help shape the evolution of many traditional childhood favourites.
Over the next few weeks the blogs focus will be traditional and evolved games of childhood.  But first things first....Who's "IT"???

Deciding who's "it" can evoke a whole range of feelings depending on the age, stage and/or personalities of the children.   For the Kindergarten group I sometimes will be "it" first, as I'm seen as a neutral player, and who ends up being the last player is then "it" for the next game.  If a child chooses to pass and another child doesn't volunteer to be "it", a count out rhyme is then used to fairly decide....I remember to emphisize the word fair so no one feels as though they are being picked on. 

Count Out Rhymes

"Black shoe, black shoe"
Everyone stands in a circle and puts one foot in.  One child points to and taps everyones shoe while saying "black shoe, black shoe, who's it? not you."  Whomever the pointer finger lands on is out.  This continues until one person is left, he/she is "it".

"Bubble gum"
 Everyone stands in a circle and places both fists within the circle.  The child who initiated the game is the rhymer.  He/she uses their fist to (gently) tap the other fists while reciting: "bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?"  Whomever the fist lands at picks a number and the rhymer counts that number out on the fists around the circle.  Whomever the rhymer lands at takes out that hand.  This continues until only one person and his/her fist(s) are left in the circle; that person's "it".   *The Rhymer....counts themselves in by using one fist for the count out and their chin as the substitute fist. 
> you may notice that some children pick random numbers, while others can calculate quickly and use this to their advantage!

"Rock, Paper, Scissors"

THE classic!   Is great when a small number of players are involved.

Shake one closed fist to the count of 3 and then each person makes their hand into the shape of scissors (two fingers pointed outwards), paper (hand lays flat) or rock (hand stays in a fist). 
Scissors "cut" paper and win, Paper "cover" rock to win, Rock "breaks" scissor to win. 
If there's a tie, keep going until someone is "it"!

If you have anymore count out rhymes, please post for sharing! Thanks.
Until You Read Again........

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