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Educational Aspects of Large Group Games
Group games are designed to foster a sense of cooperation – with just a modicum of healthy competition – that incorporates newly discovered skills and facts with play. Preschoolers hone their hand-eye coordination, develop communication skills with one another, and also work on their social skills while playing. From a physical point of view, this form of game play also hones large motor skills and fosters physical endurance.
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Group Games Classics
Choose a large blanket and seat the children around it. One child is chosen, gets up, and stands with the back to the group. All the other children now begin singing a brief song. During that time you choose one (or two) child(ren) to hide underneath the blanket. The song is being sung so that the child, who is “it," cannot hear who is being chosen. Finally the child may turn around again and must now guess who is underneath the blanket. To make the game harder, have the other children march around the blanket while singing and then take new seats when the song ends. This is a great memory game.
Preschoolers love to sign Old MacDonald, but why not also act out the animals? Depending on the size of the class, group children by twos or fours and have them agree on an animal. Sing “Old Macdonald Had a Farm" and allow each group to name their animal and then also act it out. Offer lavish praise for the most artistic acting out of the animal parts.Of all the large group activities for preschoolers, this one is a hands-down favorite.
Play a variation of “I Spy" that involves the garments the kids are wearing. For example, you would say “I spy someone who is wearing red and yellow" and then have the children guess who is wearing a garment that incorporates these colors. This is a great game to reinforce the knowledge of colors. Make sure you play until each child in the group has been chosen.
There are a number of excellent outdoor games that work well for the preschool setting as well. Check out the information provided in “Preschool Outdoor Games: Ball Games for Young Kids," penned by Bright Hub’s own Keren Perles.
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When Large Group Activities Get Too Loud
Although you know that group games will get loud, there are times when they may threaten to get a bit out of hand. Make sure that you reign in the kids before they reach this point. If children are getting too boisterous, take a break from the scheduled games and instead play running games designed to allow kids to blow off some steam and move around. This is especially true if kids are getting antsy about standing in line or waiting to take their turns.
Large Group Activities for Preschool
Preschool group games are a source of fun and enjoyment. Large group preschool games can also be a source of frustration, tears, and hurt feelings. Read on for some help on how to balance the learning that group games provide with the cooperative nature that preschool play must posses.