Before the summer comes to a close, give your elementary student a few last flings in the sun. All of the outdoor games presented here are kid-tested, and many can be modified for indoor play if the weather turns sour. The links provided here are not exact duplicates of the gameplay we describe, and we encourage you and your children to come up with even more variations.
Pirate’s TreasureHide some treasure and draw a map for treasure hunters to follow. Be sure to include fun activities as part of the map, like “lay down and roll over” and “hop 3 paces on one foot.” Another option is to choose a child to be the pirate, whose job it is to “hide the loot,” which can be anything from a small toy to tasty treats. The first one to find the treasure gets the prize and becomes the pirate for the next round. Dressing up in pirate costumes will make the game even more enjoyable.
Kid CastingFor this game, you’ll need at least one fishing rod & reel. Mark out the “deep holes” with hula hoops or a circle made from yarn at various distances from a chair designated as “the boat.” Inside the holes add “sweet spots” made of a smaller circle or even a large, shallow plastic dish. Instead of a hook, tie a washer or similar object to the end of the line. Not only is this game a lot of fun, it helps elementary students further develop fine motor skills and abstract calculation. If you want to get really fancy, glue a magnet to fish cut out of construction paper so there’s really a catch to be hooked.
Action Figure ParatroopersThis is another educational game for children of all ages. You’ll need squares of thin plastic or cloth, some toy action figures, and some pieces of yarn. Connect the toys to the thin plastic or cloth using 2 or more strips of yarn. Experiment with making the paratroopers until the kids have found a design that works, by wrapping the parachute around the toy so that it will unwind when tossed into the air. When the engineering is complete, the next stage is to let the paratroopers make a landing in a designated place in the yard. The child who gets closest on each round gains a point. Keep in mind that the parachutes do not actually have to work correctly for your children to have fun tossing them. Let them play!
Animal ImitationHave each of the kids draw a few animals on different full-sized sheets of paper. Shuffle the pictures face-down, and let each child have a turn at mimicking the behavior or sounds of the animal on the first sheet on the stack. Before you know it, the whole group will be clucking and growling and prancing around like pets, farm animals, and even jungle beasts.
At the Montessori School of Pleasanton, our teachers guide students to explore and be creative on their own using the Montessori method. To learn more about Montessori education and our elementary program, contact us today to set up a tour.