Teacher Prep and Prior Learning
This game to get to know your preschool children is very simple to prepare for and use. Not only will it help you to get to know your students, but it will also help them to develop large motor skills as they throw and catch the ball. You can also add in learning about right and left hands as you use this simple game.
To play this game, children will need to be able to catch and throw a ball. They will also be able to understand that pictures are associated with questions, which will help them to learn about symbols and representation.
To prepare for this game, you will need a beach ball and a variety of colors of magic marker. Simply blow up the beach ball and draw symbols on it to represent questions. Some sample ideas are below. Feel free to add or remove any that you feel necessary.
- A picture of a box of crayons to represent colors.
- A drawing of a television to represent television shows or movies.
- A drawing of a set of dice to represent board games and dice.
- A drawing of different types of balls to represent sports.
- A drawing of a spoon, fork and plate to represent meals.
- A drawing of broccoli to represent vegetables.
- A drawing of an apple to represent fruit.
- A drawing of a tablet and pen to represent drawing.
These are just some of the symbols you can use. It's best to make a list of what you want to know about your preschoolers and base your drawings on those questions. Just remember to keep them simple so that your students will recognize what they represent.
Playing the Game
It's very easy and fun to play this game to get to know your preschoolers. One of the benefits of this game is that it can be played inside or outside and involves physical activity as well as cognitive processing. To begin, have students stand in a circle. Explain to the students that they will be throwing the ball to each other. When they catch the ball, they will look under their right hand to see what the picture is. Then, they answer the question that the picture represents. You can also switch to the left hand to help students practice right from left.
Once the students catch the ball, they answer the question and then throw it to someone else. You can even specify that they throw it to the person on their right or the third person on their right to help with counting skills.
For example, Sue catches the ball and there is a box of crayons under her right hand. She tells the class what her favorite color is. She is then supposed to throw the ball to the first person on her right. Gary is the first person on her right. When he catches the ball, the drawing pad and pencil is under his right hand. Gary tells the class what kinds of things he likes to draw.
Test your students knowledge of each other! When the ball has gone around the circle enough times so that you feel you all have a good set of information about each other, have students throw the ball around in the opposite direction and answer the question for the person on their left. In the case of Gary and Sue, if Gary catches the ball and his hand is on the box of crayons, he will tell the class what Sue's favorite color is.
Use this and other games to get to know your preschool children so that you can fun with your students and have them practicing various skills at the same time! Knowing how your students best process information is a great start to getting them going on this introduction to education!