Before starting the games, you need to brainstorm language which the children will need in order to instruct each other and manage the game. Some possibilities are:
- My turn
- Your turn
- Let's go
- You / I won
- You're out
- Play again…
Tickum - tackum
This game is from Iran and is for two players.
- The children stand about three metres apart from each other.
- They then take turns to shout 'tickum' and 'tackum', one shouting 'tickum' and the other replying 'tackum'.
- As they respond to each other they place their feet, heel to toe and advance forward towards their opponent.
- The child who is the last to fill the gap with their foot is the winner.
- The chant can be changed with days of the week, months of the year, sequence of numbers, etc.
Ram, ram, rip
This is a game from Indonesia and Malaysia. It can be played by up to four or five children. It is a finger catching game!
- One child holds out their hand, palm up and the others place their first finger to rest on the palm.
- She then chants the rhyme. On 'rip' she closes her hand attempting to catch the fingers.
- Those who are caught are out of the game. The last remaining player is the winner.
The words of the rhyme can be changed to prepositions:
Match my feet
This game is from Zaire. It can be played in small or large groups of children and is fun for working on rhyme and movement.
- All the children stand in a circle.
- The first child claps a rhyme which all the others copy.
- The child then dances to the rhyme and chooses a child to copy her.
- If that chosen child can then repeat the dance to the rhyme, they become the 'star'.
- The game continues in this way with a new dance movement each time.
- The chant can be changed with new chants made up by the children.
Match my feet
Copy what I do
Just like me
North, south, east and west
Four children are given a card each to hold (with four different sounds that you want them to practise) and they go to stand in north, east, south and west labelled corners of the classroom.
- The rest of the children are given a flashcard with a word which has been pre- taught. Children go to the corner containing the sound of their word.
- Check the groups.
Give all the children a card with a sound that you want them to practise, and ask the children to read and then hide it behind their backs.
- All the children stand and continuously make the sound of the phoneme represented by the letters on the card.
- They then walk around the classroom and group together with other children who are saying the same phoneme.
- The children then turn over their cards and check together that they have the same written sound.