We are all in this together (Insert High School Musical)! Across the nation, many school systems have started to send kids back to school. This isn’t an easy task for many childcare workers as there are restrictions and guidelines we must follow from the CDC. Since March I have done several posts and also included a section in my Resource Zone that gives you social distancing game ideas. Some are just games we have played before, but just added in some changes to keep safe and follow CDC protocols. Our YMCA has done programming since March, so we have started compiling games and making it as easy as we can for each other. My goal for this post and my website is to give you more time to focus on building relationships, and less time flipping through game books or getting lost trying to find that “perfect” idea. This is a one stop shop that has free ideas for you to use in any program working with kids, not just the YMCA. I have several friends who work in church programs, work in school systems, or smaller programs with limited resources. Many of these ideas don’ t involve lots of supplies or having to have tons of money to purchase supplies. I also have a deep appreciation for how resilient our childcare staff across the country are as they deal with changes, less staff to help, and smaller budgets. Keep up the great work. Now here are some games that I hope will help…
1. Time Capsule – One school year is a pretty big percentage of an elementary student’s life and a lot can change from September to June without your boys and girls even noticing. Creating a time capsule the first week of school is a great way to reflect on the changes when it gets revisited during the last week of school. You can create one big time capsule or individual student time capsules that you store. Potato chip canisters
work particularly well for individual time capsules. Here is what I plan to put inside this year first day of school picture biography that includes current height, favorites, and three goals for the school year a letter each student writes to their future (end of-the-school-year) self. Any trinkets students want to put in that represent themselves at the current point in time. This often includes pictures of best friends and boy bands, sport medals, little toys, etc (Supplies Needed – Markers, Paper, Scissors, Tape)
2. D-Ice Breakers – Roll a dice to see what question you have to answer. Questions are on my Resource Zone attached to this activity or make your own questions for 1-6 on the dice. (Supplies Needed – Dice)
3. Make Your Own Cartoon – Using the cartoon templates, create a cartoon full of characters, text bubbles, and action! Attached cartoon template to the activity in the Resource Zone. You can find these many places online too. (Supplies Needed – Print Comic Template, Pencil, Markers, etc..)
4. Pac Man – This game is for camps with basketball courts with lines. (Supplies – Pool Noodles)
- Spread out group of people around the lines on the gym floor.
- Pick one or three (depending on size of group) of people to be the “ghosts.” They stand on the lines in
the middle of the court.
- The “ghosts” chase down the other “Pac Man” players.
- Everyone must stay on the lines, no jumping from line to line.
- When a player gets tagged, they must sit down on the line where they are tagged. They become a
road block for all of the Pac Man players. Only ghosts can walk around a road block.
- The last 2-3 players left standing become the ghosts for the next game.
5. Loose Parts Art – You might have just a few random things in your supply closet – some feather, some google eyes, a few random paper bags. Don’t dictate what the kids have to make (you might give some ideas of what you’ve made), but allow them to fully express their own creativity! (Supplies – Brushes, Markers, Paper, Scissors, Glue)
6.Atlas – This is essentially four corners, but with running. Campers will be assigned a corner to start, and then will be instructed to go to get to different corners without being tagged. (ex. Corner number one, go to four).Counselor picks 2-4 taggers who stand in the middle until the counselor yells “GO!” if people are tagged, they become a tagger. (Supplies Needed – Pool Noodles, Cones)
7. The Maze – Players line up standing 6 feet away from each other. The facilitator will set up cones in a square grid. The cones have a secret maze, and the facilitator knows the pathway through. The first player in line has to make his or her way from the start cone to the end cone. If the player makes a wrong move, he or she needs to do five jumping jacks and go to the end of the line. Then, the next person in line goes. Continue until someone makes it to the end cone, then start a new round with a new maze. (Supplies Needed – Cones)
8. Trick Shot – Have some fun and come up with creative ways to make a basket or goal! Use your imagination and if you have an iPad try to capture it on video! (Supplies Needed – Soccer Ball, Basketballs, Ipad)
9. Slow Race – Line the children up facing forward and make a finish line. The winner is the child that reaches the line last without stopping their movement. If a child is seen to stop moving, they are out and must move to the side. Then they become a judge, looking out for other people that are not moving. No bumping or pushing allowed. Great cool down activity.
10. Musical Hula Hoops – Just like musical chairs, but with spaced hula hoops on the floor. Children can stand in the circles, they don’t have to touch them. (Supplies Needed: Hula Hoops, Music)
11. Waaa Master – Everyone stands in a circle, hands out stretched and no contact with one another. The Waaa Master is chosen by the game leader. Then the Waaa Master will explain that they will do 1 of 3 different actions, an alligator (make jaws with your hand), a snake (put one elbow in the palm of the other hand like a cobra standing up), or a dragon (put hands on your sides like wings). After everyone understands, tell them the Waaa Master will bow to them and say “Waaa”. Everyone else will then bow back and say “Waaa”. Then the Waaa Master says 1,2,3 Waaa and everyone does one of the actions. If someone in the circle does the same action of the “Waaa Master” they are out and play continues until there is a winner.
12. Fire On The Mountain – Have the group lay flat on their back. When you say fire on the mountain, the group is to stand up as fast as possible. The last one out can sit out to the end or do situps, pushups, jumping jacks, etc. When the group is on their back, they must lie perfectly still. If you say something other than mountain like fire on the mickey, mazda, montana, and they flinch or begin to get up they are out.
13. Shoot The Moon – Using dodgeballs, have kids gloved. Line up kids on opposite side of the gym. Big yoga ball is in the middle and is the Moon! The dodgeballs are the rockets. that sends to knock the Moon to the other planet. If the yoga ball crosses their planetary line, KABOOM! (Supplies Needed: Yoga Ball, Dodgeballs, Gloves, Cones)
14. Helicopter – Set the cones up in 4 sections around the playing area. Those are the helipads. The kids are the helicopters flying from helipad to helipad trying to avoid taggers with pool noodles. You cannot stay in a helipad for more than 10 seconds. If you are tagged, you sit where you are tagged and become an obstacle. (Supplies Needed: Pool Noodles, Cones)
15. Grump’s Distanced Island – Modified cross the ocean type game. Counselor is Grump and has pool noodle for tagging. The gym circle or middle of the gym is your island and the dodgeballs are your coconuts. If kids are gloved, balls are ok to share. If kids are not gloved, they can use a color ball only they are allowed to steal. Kids must steal the coconuts without being tagged. (Supplies Needed: Dodgeballs, Pool Noodles)
I hope you enjoy these games that help keep your children socially distanced from one another while still having fun. Check out the Resource Zone on my website for more ideas to help during this crazy time. Thanks for visiting and share your ideas with others. We are all trying our best and we need to help each other.