Most children’s games provide children with simple entertainment. Games are an enjoyable way to pass time, and they enhance socialization skills with other players. Games can also enhance learning skills, such as basic letter, number and word recognition, and behavioral skills, such as taking turns and obedience. If your child has problems listening and obeying, certain games can help.
Red Light, Green Light
Red Light, Green Light requires children to obey the "stoplight," a player at the end of the track, throughout the game to win. Designate a start line and finish line, with about 25 feet of distance in between. The stoplight, a volunteer player or adult, stands at the finish line. Have all children line up beside each other at the start line. The stoplight will then say "green light," and players will start walking toward him. Upon his decision to call out "red light," players must stop immediately. Any player who does not stop is disqualified. The stoplight continues calling out commands in any order he chooses until one player has reached him or until all players are disqualified. The winner is the player who reaches the stoplight first; this player then gets to become the stoplight in the next round. If all players are disqualified, the stoplight keeps his position during the next round. This game is an outdoor activity, but you can adjust the track length to play inside.
Simon Says requires children to obey "Simon," an adult or another player. This game can be played outdoors or indoors. Simon stands in front of the other participants, then instructs them to perform a certain action, such as jumping up and down or making certain movements. They players must perform the actions only if Simon precedes them with "Simon says." Any player who does not meet the requirements Simon has laid out, or moves without hearing "Simon says" before the command, is disqualified. The game ends when one player is left or when all players have been disqualified. For added obedience, have an adult present to set guidelines for Simon’s commands.
Musical chairs requires children to obey the music player’s commands to win. It is best performed in a large room or outdoors, and requires one less chair than the number of players. Designate a player or an adult to handle the music player. Start by placing the backs of two chairs against one another, so both chairs are touching but facing the opposite direction. Line other chairs up in a similar fashion, with the one odd chair placed at the end and facing outward. Have children line up around the chairs. When the music player plays the music, children start walking in a single file line around the chairs without stopping. When the music player stops the music, children sit in any available seat close to them. If they cannot find one, they must circle around until they do. The child who does not find a chair is out of the game. At this point, children must remove a chair from the group and push together the remaining chairs in the same formation. The game continues in this manner until there is one child left. If at any time a child stops while the music is playing, he is out.
Sarah Thompson has been a writer since 2006. She has contributed to Ohio-based publications such as "CityScene" and "Dublin Life" magazines, as well as Columbus' top alternative weekly, "The Other Paper." Thompson has also written for several online outlets, including Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, sexuality studies and visual communication design from Ohio State University.