Focus games for Adults
Play is the work of children! Games with rules or a little structure have the added bonus of helping children practice such as, , and . Children need to listen and remember instructions, pay attention to the adult leading the game and, in some games, resist the natural inclinations to stop/go/run or shout out. is to start the games in a simple way and then gradually build in complexity with rules, variations or extra challenges.
All of these games have a and can be adapted for a classroom, a gymnasium or be played outside.
1. Red Light - Green Light
- An adult is the “traffic light” and stands at the opposite end of the room or field from the children.
- Hold up different colors to represent stop and go. Start with with known cues of red and green but then – to challenge thinking –try different colors, such as purple for “go” and orange for “stop”. Try the opposite (red means go) or switch to using shapes or sounds to represent the actions.
- When someone “goes” when they should stop, simply have them go back to the starting line.
- Give children a turn being the traffic light.
- Everybody dance and when the music stops - freeze!
- Use a selection of both slow and fast songs and have children dance slowly to slow songs and quickly to fast songs.
- Challenge children by having them dance to opposite cues: dance quickly to the slow songs and slowly to the fast songs.
3. Conducting an Orchestra.
- Every child uses a musical instrument (real or improvised) and the “orchestra leader” uses a conducting baton. When the baton is up and waving, the children play their instruments. When the conductor puts the baton down, children stop.
- Increase the complexity and attention required by having children play their instruments quickly when the baton moves quickly and slowly when the baton moves slowly. Try the opposite cues too.
4. Elephant Stampede
- The teacher puts a hand to their ear and says "What's that I hear?" The children responds by saying "Elephant Stampede!" The teacher then says where are the elephants? I can barely hear them!" The class responds with "Far away!" and begins quietly stamping their feet on the floor to mimic the sound of elephants in the distance.
- The teacher repeats the process, adjusting for how close the elephants are, until the herd "arrives" in the classroom. Students now make elephant trumpeting sounds and stamp their feet as hard as they can until the teacher begins to quiet them down by saying "Oh good, they're going away!" The children respond by stamping their feet more softly. They continue to respond to the teacher until the elephant herd has left the building.
- Embrace a more complex cacophony by giving groups of students different animal sounds to make and giving different instructions to different animals at the same time. “The elephants are getting closer but the monkeys are going away.”