School Games for 4 to 8 Year Olds

A picture of 4 kids in the woods crouching next to a tree with text that reads school games for 4 to 8 year olds.

The following is a compilation of school games for 4 to 8 year olds. These fun games and activities are sure to lead to hours of fun and laughter.

The games are great as school activities but can be played at home or parties. There are also some Holiday and Seasonal Theme Games at the bottom of this page. See Game Category selection to left side for games for K thru middle school. 

Outdoor and active pre-school and each games don’t need to be complicated.

  • Children this age enjoy simple games like TAG or RUNNING. Another all time favorite is hide and seek.
  • Make a simple obstacle course for a creative game. This also reinforces the concept of sequences and directions.
  • Have a nature scavenger hunt to find different types of flowers, rocks, and leaves.
  • Sports games such as kickball and rolling and catch are good starters, and preschoolers usually catch on quickly to the dynamics of a sport.
  •  Tag – So simple. Choose a player to be ‘‘It’’, then choose a tree, step, rock or anything you can think of to be ‘‘base.’’ The idea of the game is for the person who is “It” to touch the other players before they reach the base. If the person who is ‘It’’ tags you, then you are now ‘‘It’’.

Other simple games

I spy with my little eye

We all know this game, it’s been posted as a reminder to use with your kids. It’s a good transition game.

One person says “I spy with my little eye, something that is _______ (name a color)”. Then others try to guess what the object is and the one who guesses it takes the next turn.

Animal zoo

Place hula-hoops on the floor. Have one child stand in each hoop.

  • “It”, who is in the center, does not have a hoop.
  • When “It” calls “change” – all children run to find a new hoop.
  • The player without a hoop is the new “It”.
    Have children walk like lions. ‘It” is the lion tamer and the lions must find new cages.
    Seals – Find a new iceberg.
    Frogs – Find a new lily pad.

Seasonal treasure hunts

Young children love hunting for treasure. Occasionally bury small objects in the sand or snow for the children to find.

Shells in the Summer.
Acorns in the Fall.
Shamrocks for Spring.
Small hearts for Winter.

Traffic light drama game

With colored construction paper or card stock – cut out a red circle, a green circle and a yellow circle. You can also color it in on white paper.

  • With music playing in the background, have children start “driving” around the room. They should make beeping and engine noises while doing so. They can pretend to be buses, cars, trucks or bikes – whatever they like.
  • Every couple minutes, hold up a colored circle and call out either.
    “Stop – the lights are Red!”” or
    “Slow down – the lights are Yellow!” or
    “Go, go, go – the lights are Green!”
  • If the lights are red, the children must stand absolutely still.
  • If they are yellow they must slow down.
  • On green they move around normally.
  • When ending the game ask all the “vehicles” to neatly park.

Teaching jumping jacks

Saw this quite awhile back, don’t remember where, but it works!

  • When the kids’ legs are out and hands clapped above the head, this is called “teepee”.
  • When the kids’ legs are together and hands at their sides, it’s a “pencil.”
  • They can learn this skill slowly as they shout “teepee…pencil…teepee…pencil.

Teaching jump rope

Young children can also enjoy jump rope games.
Starting at age 4, children can begin to learn. Start by having them jump over a stationary rope on the ground or an adult or another child can wiggle the rope and they can hop over the wiggling snake!

Move on to swinging the rope back and forth slowly while they learn to jump over it; then once they get the hang of things, move on to swinging it overhead. If you don’t have another adult or older child to help you swing the rope, you can hold one end of the rope and tie the other to a fence, chair, or play-scape.

Nature scavenger hunt using pictures

This is for young children who can’t read.

Need: Small bag and pre-made papers

A feathersmall stone
acornvarious leaves in your area
small twig or stickdead bug (draw him with legs up) pine cone
flower (only if they can pick one)worm
pieces of grass, clover leaf

Make sure that you go over the list with the children just in case you’re not a good artist.

Word version of above game

For a mixed-age program you can do the same thing using words both ages groups will then be able to participate together.


Two players hold a soft rope or stick 3′ to 4′ long. Players take turns leaning backward and shuffling under the rope. Lower the rope after each round. (Be sure to play Limbo music!)

Cat and mouse

Have all players join hands in a circle. Choose a ‘Cat’ and a ‘Mouse’.
The cat chases the mouse around and through the circle.
Players help the mouse but not the cat. When Mouse is caught a new Cat and Mouse are chosen.

Ball tag

Children form a circle and throw/roll a soft ball to each other within the circle. “It” is outside the circle and tries to tag the one of the players while they have the ball. Once the player is tagged-they become the new “It”.

Roller ball

Have children join hands in a circle. ‘It’ is in the center. ‘It’ tries to roll a ball out of the circle. Players use their feet to keep the ball within the circle. When the ball goes out a new ‘It’ is chosen.

Bean bag pass it down Relay Games

For age 4 and all the way up.

Divide the children into teams and line them up in rows. Give the child at the front of each row a beanbag.

How to play: The children pass the beanbag from one to the next and back again, in a particular style, which you can decide as appropriate for the age of the children. Example:

  • Pass it down the row with the right hand only
  • Pass it up the row with left hand only
  • Pass it down the row with both hands
  • Pass it up the row with right hand over left shoulder
  • Pass it down the row with left hand over right shoulder
  • Pass it up the row under the right leg
  • Pass it down the row under the left leg, and so on.


  1. For younger children, it might be a good idea to practice the game movements first.
  2. If a beanbag is dropped, have the children start again from the front of the row.
  3. Also consider writing the order of steps in passing the bean bags on a white board or chart paper (to cue youth)
    Adapted from

Teddy bear hunt

(A version of ‘Hot and Cold”)

Hide a small teddy bear in your program room- or  a section of your outdoor area. (Make sure children know what they are looking for.) You can use any small toy if you don’t have a bear.

  • Have children come into the room and search for the teddy bear.
  • As they get closer call out “Warmer, warmer” until you get to “Hot!” As they get further away call out “Cooler, cooler” until you get to “Cold”.
  • The first person to find the bear then gets to go and hide it for the next round.

Looking for Teddy Bear Ideas? Visit the Teddy Bear Theme page!

Wrapping paper matching game

(A Craft & Game Activity.)


Clear contact paperWrapping paper with many designs and small patterns on it
ScissorsCardboard or tag board


  • Cut out a piece of the wrapping paper to make the game board.
  • Glue it to the cardboard/tag board a then cover it with clear contact paper.
  • Next, cut out objects from another sheet of the SAME wrapping paper; also cover these with contact paper.
    To Play:
  • The children match the cut-out pieces to the designs on the game board; they put the cut-out on the board when they find a match.
  • Laminating the board and pieces will give you a game that lasts quite awhile!

Musical numbers

Played like Musical chairs
Age: 3-6

Cut a circle of paper, old sheeting or old plastic tablecloth for each child that will play. Draw large bright numbers on each sheet.

  • Pre-number small treats/prizes (one for each round you are going to play) with corresponding numbers.
    Example: If you have 20 children and hope to play 5 rounds, you would have 20 pieces of paper marked 1 to 20, and 5 prizes marked 4, 9, 12, 15 and 20.


  • Scatter the papers around the room and the children dance and move about the room.
  • When the music stops, the children must sit down on a piece of paper. With a ta-daaaaa, announce the winning number.
  • When the game is over make sure that each child receives something!
    The focus with games should always be on the fun!

Musical statues

This simple game is similar to musical chairs – except you need no chairs! Children dance to the music until it stops. When the music stops, they freeze completely in the dancing position they were in.

Anybody moving is out. Start the music again fairly quickly and keep repeating until you have a winner. The non-players can help you spot any statue movements.

Doggie, doggie, where’s your bone?

An animated picture of a dog hugging a bone.

A child is picked to play the part of the dog. He or she sits on a chair with an object under it (to represent the bone) with their back to the group. While the dog is turned around with his or her eyes closed, someone steals the bone and hides it somewhere on his person.

Then everyone sings: Doggy, Doggy, where’s your bone? Somebody’s stole it from your home. Guess who it might be. Then the dog has three chances to guess who took it. If the dog guesses right, he gets to do it again. If he guesses wrong, then the child who has the bone gets a turn as the dog.

Obstacle course

A picture of a young child ducking his head and walking through a hulahoop being held by an adult.

You can boost children’s agility by turning your environment into an obstacle course. Your course could include the following challenges:

  • Crawling under or over, Sliding, slithering, Stepping, Jumping, Hopping, Tightrope walking, Dodging or rolling, The possibilities are endless!

Guess that sound

Tape some common sounds and ask the children to guess what they’re hearing.


Bells, washing machine, car starting, foot steps, clock ticking, washing machine, dishwasher, animal sounds, baby crying, toilet flushing, drawer or door opening and shutting, human noises, door slamming, etc.

What’s that smell?


  • Cotton Balls
  • Small empty film containers with lids
  • A variety of liquid extracts
  • Put one cotton ball in each empty film container and poke a hole through the lid of each tube so you can easily smell the scent inside.
  • For each cotton ball choose one scent to be added to the cotton ball.
  •  You can place numbered tags on the bottom of the tubes that correspond with a master list.
  • Some ideas of scents to add to cotton: Coffee, lemon, garlic, peppermint, vanilla, orange, bacon, cherry, coconut, etc.  The child that correctly identifies the most scents is the winner.

Indoor sandbox

(This makes a great sensory play activity)

Materials: Cardboard box or plastic baby bathtub, Puffed wheat or rice cereal, Sandbox toys

  • Create an indoor sandbox by filling a container with inexpensive cereal (buy at bulk stores if possible).
  • Uncooked rice is also possible if purchased cheaply in bulk.
  • Have kids use pails, shovels, dump trucks, measuring spoons, cups and bowls.
  • This is a lot easier to clean up than sand as long as you don’t add water!

Visit the summer activities post for more ideas with sand!

Different ways to walk

Try to walk in a variety of ways: On heels, on toes, forward, backward, quickly, slowly, left, right, standing tall, bent over, arms in front, arms behind, hands on head, hands on toes, with a partner, alone In a line, in a curved line and more.

Frozen bean bag

Ages 3-7

  1. The children begin by moving about the area balancing a bean bag on their heads.
  2. The leader changes the pace with music or direction.
  3. If a player’s bean bag falls they are frozen until another player picks up the bean bag without losing their bean bag to free the frozen player.
  4. The idea is to help your friends.
  5. For younger children try putting the bag on the shoulder.
  6. At the end ask how many helped a friend?

Human hurdle

For Kindergarten and up (Must have at least 10 players)

1. Divide players into 2 teams with each team laying in a circle.(Be sure there is a wide space between each player and heads are towards the center of the circle.

2. Assign each team member a number. (If there are 6 players on each team, each team player will be number 1 through 6) #1 on each team, gets up and runs over the bodies in the group until they get back to their own spot.

3. #2 gets up and does the same. The first team to have all runners ‘hurdle’ is the winner!

‘Silent’ follow the leader

  • Tiptoe along a crack.
  • Crawl very slowly under the table.
  • Walk while clapping softly over your heads (shhh!)
  • Slide along the floor with hands over your mouths.

Find the clothes pin

Have all children sit down with closed eyes. Attach a clothespin to someone’s shirt or pants (Have it show as little as possible) Children get up and walk around. As soon as they spot the clothespin, they sit down.

Children need to be reminded not to sit down right next to the person with the clothespin; they should wait a couple of seconds and move away so not to make it so obvious.

Ribbit, ribbit, jump! (Or Frog, Frog, Tadpole)

Here is a different version of “Duck, Duck, Goose”.
The player is tapped on the head when the word “jump” is said.
They must hop and try to catch the other player who must also hop around and get back to the empty spot.

Squat, squat, scat

This is “another version” of Duck, Duck, Goose.

  • While young children think “Duck, Duck, Goose” is fun those over grade 2 may take offense with playing a “Baby” Game, that’s when you try the game with a “Themed” title or this type of game name.
  • It’s still Duck, Duck, Goose – but with a different name!
  • Have children sit in a circle.


  • One person is “It”.
  • This person runs around the circle touching the players on the back saying: “Squat, squat, squat”

When “It” touches a player and says “Scat”, that person must chase “It” around the circle.
“Scat” tries to tag “It” before he/she gets home.

How about a game of  ‘hot and cold’?

  1. Hide an item.
  2. Have a child to try to find the item.
  3. When they get close to the item they are getting hotter.
  4. When they get farther away from the item they are cold. The farther they get away the colder they get.  The closer they get the hotter they get.

This is a good activity with a smaller group and when there is time before a transition.

Hot and cold with prizes.

  • Need: Small toys or edible treats
  • With “It” keeping eyes closed, hide a small toy or edible treat somewhere in the room.
  • Take turns asking a child to find it. When they are nearer to the object, have the entire group say “hot” when they get away from the object say “cold”. (Go from warm, warmer, hot, hotter, cool, cold, colder, etc.)
  • When it is found start with a new “It”.
  • Make sure all children get something.

Games that may be new to you

Paper plate shadow

  • Each child has a paper plate.
  • The facilitator instructs the children to shadow (do exactly that he/she does) with the paper plate.
  • First practice with the children to ensure that they understand.
  • Movements can be around head, behind back, between legs, up and down, turn around in a circle holding it, etc.


Make a circle of paper plates on the floor one for each child. Children stand behind their plate facing the inside the circle. Decorate or color one plate so it stands out and looks different. Whoever stands at “that plate spot” is the person that is “shadowed”. Play music, when the music stops, every one moves clockwise to the next plate. The “new person” at this special plate is now the person to be followed. This is a great introduction for younger children to the “Drama Game of Mirroring.


A picture of a toy robot.
  1. Take children outside or to an area with lots of room.
  2. Have them pretend to be robots.
  3. Program the “robots” to go straight when they hear one beep, turn around when they hear two beeps and stop when they hear three beeps.
  4. Beep once to start your robots.
  5. Have them continue walking straight until they hear two or three beeps.
  6. Instruct them to simply walk in place (stay where they are) if they are in danger of colliding with someone or something.
  7. Beep twice to have them turn around or three times to stop.
  8. Encourage them to listen carefully for the beeps.

Stormy waters

A picture of stormy waters. You can see the beach and the waves with lots of whitecaps.
  •  Get enough cushions (or pillows or squares of paper) so there is one per person. Play some background music.
  • Tell the children that they are in the sea and to start “swimming” around to the music.
  • When you stop the music shout out “There’s a storm coming – dash to an island!” Everyone must jump onto a cushion so no part of their body is touching the sea (the floor).
  • Start the music again and the game resumes with a new variation.
  • Variation: Ask them to be fishes, swimming in the sea. When you stop the music tell them there is a big shark coming to eat them.
  • You can try other ideas such as: Crocodiles, Pirates or Jellyfish coming to get them.
    The children would then be:
    Dolphins,Boats, Crabs, Mermaids, mermen, etc. They could also be surfing!

Pigs fly

An animated picture of pigs with wings flying.

Preparation for this game is dependent on the age of the children playing. Younger children may need to be taught how to make complete flying movements. You may also need to discuss which animals can and cannot fly. As the adult, it is best for you to be the first leader of the game. Afterward, let the children have turns being the leader.


  • The children stand in a group facing the leader. Make sure each child has enough room to flap their arms in a flying motion.
  • The leader faces the group and calls out “Ducks Fly!” “Owls Fly!” “Pigs Fly!” and so on.
  • When an animal is named which DOES FLY the children should be flapping their arms, when an animal is named which doesn’t fly, they should not be “flying”.
  • (This game is played with a point system and elimination but I like the idea of just playing for fun! It is also good for a dramatic play activity)
    Adapted from game at:

Musical dress-up

Age: 3-7


Fill a large bag or basket with dressing up clothes, old hats and scarves, odd socks and boots, etc. If you can include some joke items such as fake ears and plastic spectacles the children will enjoy the game even more.


  • Children get into a circle.
  • Give the bag to the start-up child. Put some cheerful music on.
  • While the music plays, the children pass the bag around the circle.
  • When the music stops, who ever is holding the bag must reach in and pull out one article of clothing (make sure they choose quickly without looking!) and put it on.
  • If you have a large number of children, or younger children, you will enjoy the game more with two bags circulating simultaneously (and they will be lighter for the children to manage).

Animal parade (for ages 3-6)

  • Children form a circle.
  • One person is chosen to be the leader.
  • The leader calls the name of a child and names an animal.
  • The child does an imitation on the movements of the animal named.
    After everyone has had a chance to imitate an animal, all players form a line for an ” Animal Parade” led by the leader.
  • The group moves around the room, each imitating the animal he/she represents.
  • Variations: Play a round with sound imitations only or a combination of sounds and movements.

The ocean is calm

(A listening game)

  • Children sit scattered about the play area on geometric shapes.
  • Without telling the others, each child is assigned a creature that lives in the ocean on the back of their mat.
  • One player is chosen as the fisherman.
  • The teacher/caregiver calls out, “The ocean is calm”.
  • Moving about the play space, the fisherman calls out names of various fish or sea creatures such as:
    Shark, eels, star fish, sting ray, clams, squid, etc.
  • When a player hears the name of the creature they have been given they get up and walk behind the fisherman.
  • When most of the players have been called out, the facilitator calls out, ” The ocean is stormy”.
  • At this, all the children already caught must find new seats.
  • The child without a seat becomes the next fisherman.

Target throwing

Paint a target on the sheet and tie or sew bells to it; hang the sheet in a safe place. Have children throw balls or safe beanbags at the target.

Encourage children to make the bells ring. If there is a visually impaired child, have one child give verbal directions in throwing. Allow a child with poor motor control to get very close to the target.

Wiggle, wiggle

Required: Large dark, room *for safety – Still have window light or small lamp on turning off the light is only a signal

  • Have the children stand in a room with preferably a lot of space.
  • Turn out the lights and yell, “Wiggle, Wiggle”.
  • Children move about all they want, but when you turn on the lights, yell “Freeze!” They then have to freeze where they are and wait until the lights go out again.
  • You can vary this game by having children act like animals (if you’re teaching an animal theme) cars, etc.
  • It’s fun & easy and can be done almost anywhere.
    Source:  Kim Mariano

Sticky popcorn

The children begin by ” popping ” around the play area as pieces of sticky popcorn, searching for other pieces of popcorn. When two pieces of popcorn meet, they stick together. Once stuck together, they continue to pop around together, sticking to even more pieces, until they end up in a big popcorn ball.

I’m tall – I’m small

I’m tall, very tall
I’m small, very small
Sometimes I am tall
Sometimes I am small
Guess what I am now.

  1. One player standing in front of the group is the leader.
  2. Another person is chosen to be the guesser and shuts his/her eyes very tightly.
  3. All the players recite the verses.
  4. When the verse tells children to be tall, all stand on tip toes. When the verse says small, they crouch very low.
  5. At the last verse, the players remain tall or small as indicated by the leader who stands tall or small.
  6. The guesser tries to guess how all are positioned. If he/she guesses correctly, a new leader and guesser are named

Hangman for kids who can’t spell

A line drawing of the game hangman. White background with blank lines.

Most people know how to play the traditional version of Hangman. This is for children who can’t yet spell. Play it like 20 Questions. Think of something (like you would for 20 questions) and have the children think of “yes-or-no questions” to guess what it is. Each time there is a no answer add another part to the Hangman. You may find the older kids also like this version.

Behavioral games for young children

#1. Have kids take a piece of tape when they come in every day and put it on their chairs. That’s their “spot.” If you have the need to calm things down during the session or transition from one activity to another, tell everyone,
“Let’s sit on our spots!” When they get there say, “Let’s freeze on our spots.”

#2. Have everyone stand up. Give each child two pieces of easily removable tape about 8″ long to put on the floor in an X shape. Tell them, “This is your spot. Can you stand on it please?”

  • Now – ask them to do various motions, such as, “Can you stand on one leg on your spot?” Or,
  • “Can you touch your spot with three parts of your body?” Or,
  • “Can you hold hands with somebody on another spot while still touching yours?” Do four or five variations.
  • When finished, be sure to say, “Let’s all clean up our spots” and have them remove the tape from the floor and throw it away.

Looking for more games?

Some other categories on this site may work for you:

Seasonal games taken from about the site.

Be sure to check the game, seasonal and theme categories. As written above they all have games in them for mixed ages.

Spring and Summer – Wall paper kites match game

An animated picture of a purple kite.

Cut kite shapes out of different patterned wallpapers; cut the kites in half. Have children match the kite halves by the design.

This is fun for outside Warm weather and Summer Programs! Instead of ‘Duck-Duck-Goose’, play ‘Dry-Dry-Wet’! When the child going around the circle says,
“Dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, wet! A small cup of water is pored on the person’s head. Play continues just as in Duck, Duck, Goose!

Toy wash

Required: Children in swim suits, washable toys, water, small buckets, sponge and bubbles.
Instead of a car wash, have a toy wash.
On a hot day take all washable toys outside. Let the children have fun washing them.
*Toys get clean.
*Children cool off and you get clean toys.

Seasonal or holiday memory game

Use a small basket or box and put in about 8 small seasonal items. (The amount depends on the age of the children) Show the items in the box to the children and then play What’s Missing?

Remove one or more items out of the box (without children seeing you). Have the children guess what items are missing.
Adapt activity to different seasons, themes, and holidays.

Halloween fun (For Theme Ideas – visit the Halloween Category pages)

*These are fun to do Halloween week  for a gym warm up or as a “Pumpkin Says” (The Halloween version of Simon Says)
Also consider these before doing any fine motor or craft activities. Have the children do “warm ups” to get their hands and minds ready to work!

  • Pumpkin Fists – Make tight fists.
  • Boo Hands – Have the children stretch their hands as far as they can saying “boo!”
  • Spiders – Tapping fingers on the table/floor.
  • Smashing Spiders – Smash “spiders” with flat hands onto table or floor.
  • Witches hats – Use pincer fingers to make a triangle, place it on your head and make witch noises.
  • Two Ghost Flying – Have children take their hands and press the palms together and “fly” with their arms.
  • Frankenstein Sitting – Sit on a chair or floor and do sit ups with flat palms.
  • Shake the Scariest out – Shake your whole arms and hands.
    Source: by Cathy

Halloween walk – Good for Pre-K to Gr. 1 as Drama Game or exercises

Form line on one side of room. Cross the room in following ways:

  • Fly – like a bat
  • Gallop – like a cowboy on a horse
  • Hop – like a bunny
  • Roll – like a pumpkin
  • Dance – like a princess
  • Creep – like a cat
  • Walk – like a skeleton
  • Float – like a ghost
  • Stomp – like a monster

Spider walk

Have children do a spider walk, by placing their hands and feet on the floor and lifting their bottom off the floor.

Spider walk race

Have the children race each other while walking like a spider. Or try a relay race.

Thanksgiving games

An animated picture of a turkey wearing a pilgrims hat.

(For Theme Ideas visit Thanksgiving Category)

Turkey walk

Play music of your choice and encourage the children to move like:
big turkeys, little turkeys, tired turkeys, happy turkeys, scared turkeys, etc.
Make it more interesting by choosing music based on the movement you’d like to elicit.

Turkey strut

(For young children)

Use pieces of masking tape to make turkey footprints all over the floor. Start playing music. Have children pretend to be turkeys and strut around the room. When you stop the music, have the turkeys find footprints to stand on (one turkey to a footprint). When you start the music again, have the turkeys continue strutting about the room.

Turkey calling contest

Great for all ages

Host a turkey calling contest, complete with squawking, flapping, wattle shaking, and pecking. Give participants a prize with fun distinctions:

  • Loudest turkey – Most quiet turkey
  • Most authentic – Most unique
  • Most likely to be spared
  • Biggest – Smallest-Etc

Instead of the Hokey Pokey Dance Do the turkey jerry

You put your right wing in; you put your right wing out,
You put your right wing in, and you gobble all about.
You do the turkey jerky and you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about.
Next would be:
Left wing
Tail feathers
Turkey body

Fun Idea: Instead of Duck, Duck, Goose – Play duck, duck, turkey.

Where is mr turkey?

Instead of saying “warmer or cooler’ you gobble!
One player is the hunter and the others are helpers. The hunter leaves the room. The helpers hide a small toy turkey or a turkey cut-out or laminated drawing, etc.

The hunter returns with a mission to find the turkey. Helpers give clues by “gobbling” like turkeys. If the hunter is not close, the helpers gobble very quietly. As the hunter gets closer, the helpers gobble more and more loudly until Mr. Turkey is found!


An animated picture of blue snowflakes.

The reindeer pokey – to tune of “Hokey-Pokey”

You put your reindeer hoof in,
You take your reindeer hoof out.
You put your reindeer hoof in,
And you turn yourself about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.

Next verses:
You put your reindeer tail in,
You put your reindeer nose in,
You put your reindeer body in, etc,

You can make up own verses,

Marshmallow snowball fight

During the winter months when children can’t get outside or if you live in a warm climate and want to have a snowball fight use large marshmallows. The children stand across from each other and start throwing. Put the marshmallows in containers.

The side that makes them all disappear first wins. After they all hit the floor you can use again to throw some more. Remind the children they can’t eat them after they hit the floor or ground.

This is a fun activity for ages 3 and up.

Parachute snowfall

(For younger children)
Place cotton ball “snow” on the parachute. Put on some music and gently let the snow fall.

Living in Florida the children do not get to see snow. In the pre-k class though, snow arrives in January via potato flakes. A tarp is suspended from the ceiling filled will potato flakes (25 pounds ) As the teacher is telling the snowman story, which is drawn on the chalkboard, the tarp is sliced at the appropriate time and it snows on the children.

They each receive their own pail & shovel. Each child is dressed like a snowman by wearing white Glad garbage bags with the red draw string. The kids wear their gloves & hats and the air conditioning is turned on as low as it will go. They have a ball.

Fun Idea: Play cold ball – Using a large white Styrofoam ball, the same way you would play “Hot Potato”.

Pass the ice

(Young kids)
Play just like hot potato only with an ice cube. When the music stops clap for the person with the ice.

Pass the Snowball Circle Game

(For younger kids)

  • When you have snow make a couple snowballs and freeze them until they are very hard.
  • Have the children put on their mittens. and play the “Wonder-ball game”.
  • While passing the snowball around the circle have children memorize and say,

The wonder ball goes round and round. To pass it quickly, you are bound. If you’re the one to hold it last. The game for you has quickly passed. Out goes you”

  • The children sit out the rest of that round (or you can have them stay in it’s your choice how you play this part)
  • The kids will think it’s fun wearing their mittens during inside time to play this game.

Inside skating rink

There have been several games in here describing games that simulate “indoor ice-skating”. This is what we do with out kinder-program.
We make a skating rink on the carpet by placing tape on the floor as an outline and then put wax paper on the children’s shoes. They really like to do this and it’s also good for indoor large motor skills.

Easter games & movement – Easter bunny tag

An animated picture of a bunny carrying a basket.

Played the same way as tag except that everyone must hop (if you do anything but hop then you’re automatically it.)

Nosy egg roll

The kids roll the eggs (plastic or real) using only their noses. The first one over the finish line wins.

Egg and spoon races

Eggs (real or plastic), spoons and an area to run are all you need for this game. Variations could relays and obstacle courses. To make it easy for younger kids, place something on the spoon to make the egg stick.

Bunny hop

Play follow the leader with an Easter theme.
Start hopping and then add other movements as well.

Duck walk race

Have the kids line up at the Start Line, squat down and grasp their ankles with each hand from behind. On go, they waddle to a designated Finish Line. They can’t let go of their ankles or they’re disqualified. The first child over the Finish Line is the winner. (This would be fun to add “waddle music.”)

Fluffy needs a tail

Make/Draw a Rabbit on poster board without a tail. (Make a Rabbit turned sideways)
The children will take turns “Pinning the Tail” on the bunny, using Large Cotton balls and tape.


Give children a variety of “hopping” commands such as:

  • Hop in one place
  • Hop and turn in circles at same time
  • Hop on left/right foot
  • Hop backwards, sideways, make a square or circle
  • Hop over a line
  • Hop with a partner
  • Hop to different rhythms (clap hands, use drum, music, etc )
    Be sure children are told to take their time hopping; hold the hand of younger children if necessary.

The egg is out

Play hot potato with a plastic Easter egg

Spoon & egg obstacle course

Gather a spoon for each child and plastic or hard boiled egg. Set up a course throughout the classroom or outdoors. Once a child is part way through the course allow another child to start.

Easter egg elbow

Divide the children into two teams. Place each team on one side of a table opposite of each other. Place a colored cotton ball on the table and pretend it is a Easter egg.

The object of the game is to blow the egg off the opposing teams side of table. Players can not use their hands in any way.

Swinging basket

Use a piece of rope to hang a basket from the branch of a tree. Fill plastic Easter eggs with popcorn kernels for weight and tape them shut. Have the children line up behind the basket and practice throwing eggs into the basket.

Do the bunny pokey

Sung to: “Hokey Pokey”
You put your bunny ears in
(Place hands on head to make ears)
You put your bunny ears out.
You put your bunny ears in.
And you shake them all about.
You do the Bunny Pokey
And hop yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about!

Additional verses:
“You put your bunny nose in
You put your bunny tail in
You put your bunny paws in”

Saint Patrick’s day games for young kids!

An animated neon green clover.

Irish hot potato

A traditional game of hot potato using a real potato.
Play a CD of Irish music while the kids pass the potato around the circle. The player holding the potato when the music stops, will be in charge of the CD player for the next round.

Variation: Play the same game using a “Blarney Stone” ( A regular rock).

Leprechaun, Leprechaun where’s your shamrock?

(A version of Doggy, Doggy where’s your Bone?) Pre-K to grade 1)

One child, who is the leprechaun, sits in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed. One of the children in the circle hides a paper shamrock shape behind their back – the group together says, “Leprechaun, Leprechaun where’s your shamrock? Somebody has it in their Pocket! Guess who? Maybe you Maybe a monkey from the zoo. Come on Leprechaun where’s your shamrock?”
The Leprechaun opens his/her eyes and has three guesses to who is holding the shamrock behind their back.
Whether a right or wrong guess, the child with the shamrock is the next leprechaun.

Top of the mornin

  • Children stand in a circle around a blind-folded child, who is the “leprechaun”.
  • The leprechaun holds a paper-towel tube (That can be previously covered in green construction paper) and slowy turns.
  • The tube is in a stretched out arm pointing to the circle of children around him/her.
  • You can play Irish music and when the music stops the leprechaun stops.
  • The child standing opposite the pointed tube goes to the leprechaun and says, “A Top of the morning to you,” into the TUBE. Have children change their voices if they are able to.
  • The leprechaun has 3 chances to guess who the voice belongs to.
  • If the leprechaun is correct the child saying “Top of the Mornin” is the new leprechaun.

Shamrock bounce

Paint an old tennis ball green. Set five pie tins numbered 1 to 5 on the floor. Give each child five bounces to land in the pie tins. Add up the total numbers to see who wins.

Good to Remember:

The object of playing games is for everyone to have fun.

The facilitator is all-powerful. You may at any time change the rules or boundaries for challenged players to help balance out the wide spectrum of abilities.

We want the tentative athlete and the super athlete to play together at the best of their abilities. Just make sure the children know and understand the rules before play begins.