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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Best Indoor Games for Kids at Daycare, Kindergarten

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By Grace Chen

Part of having a good day care is making sure that the kids get plenty of activity every day. When the weather is nice, there are plenty of options for games to play– climbing on the playground, playing tag, or simply an active game of basketball can help them to burn off energy and stay fit.

However, when the weather is too cold or wet to go out, it is a lot harder to keep the kids active so that they can settle down for nap time when the time comes. Here are a couple of ideas for fun indoor games that all the kids can enjoy.

Fun Parachute Games: You might remember playing with a KinderChute at your own preschool or elementary school. Parachute games encourage kids to work together – and one of the great benefits of daycare is the ability to play group indoor games, learning cooperation and team building. It can also help to develop the children’s upper body strength, perceptual motor skills, and rhythm. The parachute can be used for many different kinds of games, including:

Kid's Parachute Games
  • Swap – while everyone works to keep the parachute up in the air, the daycare instructor calls out two or more names. The children whose names were called have to run under and swap places.
  • Mushroom/Tent – have the children hold the parachute over their heads, and then pull it down quickly behind them, sitting on the edge. This creates a mushroom or tent with the children inside.
  • Popcorn – place several lightweight balls or beanbags in the middle of the parachute. Have the children “pop” the corn by moving the parachute up and down. Start out slow; as the popcorn is heating up, then go faster, slowing down again once the popcorn has been “popped."

Bean Bag Toss: Bean bag toss, otherwise known as Cornhole, is another great indoor and outdoor game that is active and can help daycare children develop necessary skills. It helps improve hand-eye coordination and aiming, and can also help with teaching about winning, losing, and taking turns. Freestanding bean bag toss games allow you to move the target to an appropriate distance in the classroom. You can even teach colors and numbers by having students throw only the red ones at a certain target or counting the bags as they throw them.

Classic Games: Everyone remembers Hide-and-Seek, Tag and Duck Duck Goose. Bring back other classics, like Hop Scotch, Simon Says, and Ring Around the Rosie. Try Monkey in the Middle, where the children form a circle around one child, the “monkey”, and throw a ball across the circle trying not to let the monkey get it. Once the child does, the person that threw it is now the monkey. Most games can be adapted for indoor use provided you have some space to work with. Try some more great ideas.

Settling In At Nap Time: Of course, having a daycare facility with all of this physical activity will leave the children ready for nap time. The best to do this is with Kindermat Nap Mats. Easy to clean, and coming with an optional pillow section, they then fold up small once naptime is over to make storage easier. You can even add optional covers and blankets to make the mats even more appealing to children. Simply add in a quiet story and their favorite stuffed animal, and you will soon find the children getting the rest that they need to keep playing later on.





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