Preschool children tend to be energetic little people. When you have a group of them and the weather or other circumstances prevent them from expending some of that energy outside, floor games are a fun alternative. These games are beneficial to development, as well. According to the Indiana University's Resource Center for Autism, cooperative games such as floor games improve children's motor skills and help them learn how to play and work together.
Play "Duck, Duck, Goose." Have the children sit on the floor in a circle facing one another and choose one child to be "It." This child walks around the outside of the circle, gently tapping each sitting child on the head and saying, "Duck." Whenever he chooses, the child who is "It" taps another child on the head and says, "Goose." The child called "Goose" stands up and chases "It" around the perimeter of the circle. If "It" sits down in "Goose's" seat before "Goose" can tap him, "Goose" is now "It." If "Goose" taps "It" before he sits down, the game continues.
Play "Hot Potato." Have the children sit on the floor in a circle facing one another. Hand the first child a ball or balloon to represent the potato and instruct her to pass the "potato" to the person on her left. Turn on some music or sing a song while the children pass the "potato" around the circle. When the music stops or the song ends, the child holding the potato is out and leaves the circle. Play until one child is left on the floor. This child wins the game.
Play "Bug in a Rug." Instruct the children to sit on the floor in a circle facing one another and choose one child to be "It." Have "It" leave the room for a minute while you choose a child to be the "bug." Instruct this child to lie down in the middle of the circle and cover him with a blanket or towel. "It" comes back into the room and rejoins the circle. As a group, chant, "Bug, bug, bug in a rug, who is the bug in a rug?" The child looks around the room and tries to determine who is missing. The child who is the "bug" is "It" for the next game.
Play "Little Sally/Sammy Saucer." Have the children sit on the floor in a circle facing one another. One child sits in the center as "Sally," or "Sammy" for a boy, and close her eyes. The children chant, "Little Sally Saucer, sitting in the water, rise, Sally, rise, Sally, wipe away your tears, Sally, turn to the east, Sally, turn to the west, Sally, turn to the one that you like best, Sally." "Sally" acts out the rhyme, keeping her eyes closed, by holding out her hand and pointing "east" and the "west." When the rhyme is finished, whomever she is pointing to is "Sally" for the next game.
Play "Memory." Place several playing cards upside down in columns and rows on the floor in the center of the circle. These can be any type of playing cards, such as a standard deck or "Old Maid" cards, but make sure there is a pair of each number or picture. Go around the circle allowing each child to flip two cards. If they flip a pair, they get to keep the two cards. The child with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
Things You'll Need:
- Ball or balloon
- Radio, CD or other form of music
- Blanket or towel
- Deck of cards
Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.