Parent-Child Club – Part A

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These activities are also available in Romanian ro_ro

Activities for parents and children to do together. Very young children learn skills like sitting still, concentrating, taking turns. Parents practice interacting with children and teaching them.

Goals: encourage parent-child interaction; empower parents to teach their own children; increase pre-reading/pre-writing skills; develop local languages.

Language: The leader may use the national language. The parents and children should feel free to do the activities together in the language they use at home (“mother tongue”).
Note to leaders: Several activities are listed with each topic. Choose one or two. If you are not a member of the parents’ culture, always make sure ahead of time that activities and (especially) gestures are culturally appropriate. The topics can be used in any order.

Download “Parent-Child Club – Part A” in pdf format


1. ON

This teaches:

  • courage to take a clear stand; courage to speak up;
  • language development and awareness;
  • child becomes more aware of their body by focusing on how to stand and sit;
  • correct breathing (use of lungs, breathing from the diaphragm or abdomen) will result in a better voice.
Activities: Choose one or more

1. Put the written word ON somewhere in the room where everyone can see it.zingen

2. Everyone sits in a circle on a chair. The leader stands on a stool. (Stool is a short, stable
thing to sit on. Use a bench or a strong box if there are no stools.) Sing a song. Where is it easier to sing? (Sitting) on the chair or (standing) on the stool? Yes, ON the stool, because there you stand up.
Everyone takes turns standing ON the stool and singing a song in their own language

how-many-children-on-lap3. Children are now allowed to sit ON their mother’s /caregiver’s lap. How many children fit
ON the lap of ______? Guess beforehand how many kids will fit. For example, two ON one leg and three ON the other. That will total five kids.
Let the people count for themselves in their own language.

4. ‘Can you keep this blue ball ON your lap?’ ‘And ON the table?’ Which is more difficult?
Why? The ball is round! Let everyone feel the ball.

5. Have the whole group describe 5 ordinary objects (for example, bucket, chair, box,toren paper, pencil). Divide into smaller groups of 4-6. For a very small class, divide into pairs of parents and children. Give each group the same items. Which group can build the highest tower using these objects?
+Name the objects in the children’s mother tongue.

Story time & singing or Bible story/singing/prayer

Why do this + how to do this: Prepare for this time by having the children and parents sit down somewhere in a respectful way. Make a clear distinction between this and other activities. For instance, if you are going to tell a Bible story, say something like “Now we are going to talk about God.” Or say, “Now we are going to hear/read a story. We want to be quiet so everyone can hear.”

Begin each time with the same song; that gives structure and recognition.
Have this part last only as long as the youngest children can concentrate. This means that you might have only 7 minutes for the story.

Suggestions for non-faith-based gatherings:
Read from a picture book. If none is available in the children’s mother tongue, invite a parent to retell the story in their own language.
OR invite someone from the children’s community to tell an appropriate story. Screen the story first.
OR tell a story that fits the children’s local situation. (First think of your goal. Is it to bring attention to something specific, such as knowing how to behave in the family when visitors come? Then make up a story which connects with the local culture.)

Activities: choose one or more

6. Needed: paper, pencils or crayons. Draw an object with something ON it (example: head tekeningen-opwith a hat ON it, branch with a bird ON it, chair with a child ON it) Talk about it while they work on it. When they have finished with one paper they may take another one. Write their names on the paper.
Everyone may explain their own drawing in their mother language.

7. Make a (paper) hat with the children

8. Sing a song with “on” in it , if you know of one. If possible, have the parents also sing this in the mother tongue. English example: “The wise man built his house ON a rock.”
Closing
Everyone sits in the circle ON their chair to sing the closing song.
Put something in front of the door ON which the children can not stand or walk. Everyone walks nicely around it when they go outside.

 


2. IN

This teaches: When you hold an object in your hand, it makes it easier to remember the name of the object. Finding words to describe an object helps build the child’s vocabulary. This also helps the child to think about how to share meaning with someone else. They have to think about what the most important characteristics of the object are.
They also have to speak clearly. They have to read the look on other people’s faces to see whether their own description was clear.

Activities: Choose to do one or more:

1. Everyone gets a small object that they are not allowed to show others (bead, pencil, erasor, stone, feather, ball of paper)
Explain that they are hiding it IN their hands. Let everyone say two things about the object in their hands (for example: its color, what it feels like, what is it made of, what it might be used for, where it came from). Try to guess what each person is holding. The parents and children may use their own language to do this.

2. Needed: box, each side painted a different color or covered with different color of paper; box has a hole in bottom so you can put your hand into a handpuppet inside the box; hand puppet inside box. Explain that the puppet is IN the box. The puppet will only come OUT once the children have named each of the colors on the box. Have the children name them first in their own language, then in the national language.

doosje3. What’s in the box. Needed: Small box with an object in it.
a. Have a mother show the contents of the box. The children are not allowed to say
outloud what they see IN it.
b. Puppet tries to guess what’s in the box by asking “yes” and “no” questions. Children can only answer the questions with “yes” orhandpop1 “no” until puppet has guesses what is in the box. For example:
Puppet: What a nice box we have here. Do you know what is in it?

Children: Yes.
Puppet: Don’t tell me! Let me guess! Is it as big as this chair?
Children: No
Puppet: Can you eat it? (etcetera, until the puppet has guessed what the object is).

Story time & singing or Bible story/singing/prayer

Choose one or more activity:

tekeninen-in-doorgeven4. Everyone draws an object IN which you can put something or someone (house, bucket, box, cage, car). However, do not draw anything IN it yet.
Once that drawing is finished, pass it on to someone else. Everyone gets another piece of paper to make a second drawing. This time, draw what could be put IN the object on the first drawing (possible examples: car–people, cage–animal, house–chair, bucket–water, box–frog).

0125. Mix up all the drawings. Have a child hold up the first two in the pile. Ask the class whether the thing in one drawing could go IN the thing on the other drawing. Make this a fun game. Silly “matches” are encouraged!

hut6. Provide material for building a hut or tent (blanket, sheet, big boxes, chairs or
table . . . ). Children should be able to go IN the hut.

7. Something to try: can you hold your thumb IN your hand?

Closing: Before going outdoors the children get a sweet or some other small
treat to eat. They have to put it IN their mouths.

 


3.WAVES (moving up and down)

This teaches: use your senses while learning to write; practice hand and finger movements which are used in writing; drawing shapes also used in writing is another good way to practice.

Choose to do one or more:

lied-golven1. Sing a song. Point out that the voice goes UP and DOWN while you sing. Hum a tune going up and down. Move your finger up and down like a wave as notes in the tune go up and down.

2. Drop a cloth on the floor.013
Point out how the wrinkles in the cloth go UP and DOWN. Ask for a volunteer to lay it out smoothly.

3. Ask how a snake moves. Talk about how a snake slithers in a wave motion. Ask who can make those beautiful waves with their hands. Practice having hands and arms move like a snake.
As always, check ahead of time that these motions and activities are culturally appropriate.

Story time & singing or Bible story/singing/prayer

Choose one or more activity:

5. Bake waves.
Needed: bread dough, cookie dough, or clay.
Everyone gets a piece of dough. Show how to roll the dough into a long, thin log. Show how to make wave patterns out of the roll of dough. Put it on a baking tray to bake at home or to let dry and harden until next lesson.

6. Make waves.
Needed: piece of string or yarn; paper; glue.
Give everyone a piece of string. Have them lay it on the shave of waves on the paper. Glue it down. Carefully feel the wave shape with a finger.
If desired, glue the waves from one side of the paper to the other. Draw fish or other sea creatures below the wave shape and boats above it.Put it into the shape of a waves onto the paper and glue it. Follow the string with your finger and feel it carefully.

tekeningen-golven-begin7. Wave patterns.
Needed: paper and something to draw with.
Make patterns of waves on the paper. Then have everyone turn the wave into a drawing (a snake, water, flag, cloth).

8. Finger drawing.
Needed: nothing.
Work in groups of two. One person “draws” on their partner’s back with their finger. The other person guesses what the pattern is.

Sing a closing song.

Closing: The group makes a long line by holding hands or by putting their hands on one another’s shoulders. The line moves in a waving pattern around the room and then goes outside.

 


4. STRAIGHT LINE

Choose one or more activity:

1. Draw two straight lines parallel to each other on the floor with chalk (may also use tape or lay down rope or . . .). Make sure there is enough space between the lines for several children to stand. Pretend the lines are the banks of a small stream. Children have to follow directions: “Stand IN the stream. Stand NEXT TO the stream. Stand ON the edge of the stream.”
NOTE: may also pretend this is a sidewalk, a path, a rug . . ..

2. Have enough strings for everyone. (Ribbons, shoe laces, or yarn may also be used.) Show how a string can make a straight line if you pull on each end. Give everyone a string. Ask this question: When you straighten the strings and put them one after another so that they form a long line, how far will they go? From the table to the door (for example)? Try it out.

3. Divide the class into groups of four. Give everyone has a string. Have the people in each group stand in order—from the person with the longest string to the person with the shortest string. Ask the students how they might measure the length of their strings. Then have everyone stretch his or her string out into a straight line in front of him/her so that eveyone else can see it.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

4. Ask everyone to draw a house or other building. Which lines are straight ones? Then ask everyone to draw a tree. Does it have any straight lines? If so, which ones? *Which letters have straight lines? H, i, l, v. Other letters have a straight line as well. R, n, p. Write the letters with straight lines on the board or have students write them on their papers.

5. Rhyming words. Sit or stand in a circle. Have one mother say a word in her own language. The person next to her has to say a word which rhymes. Go on around the circle, with each person saying a word that rhymes with the first one. (English example: can, man.)
Variation: Have one parent say a word in her own language. The person next to her has to say a word which starts with the same sound. Continue around the circle. (English example: man, mat.)

Closing: Have the class stand in four straight lines. At a certain signal, they may go outside, but they must keep walking in a straight line.

 


5. AROUND

Choose one or more activity:

1. Give everyone a string (ribbons, shoe laces, or yarn may also be used.) Tell them to tie it AROUND their wrist.

2. Stick out one finger and have it go around and around in circles. Turn on a song or sing a song. Have everyone wave their fingers around in circles to the beat of the song. (First make sure that this is not an impolite gesture.)
May also have everyone hold a pencil in one hand and move the pencil around their other hand to the beat of a song. Do this as long as the song lasts.

3. Talk about a mosquito flying AROUND your head. Make mosquito noises. Choose a partner. Have your partner make the mosquito sound, too, but at a slightly higher or lower pitch. Have the group listen. Do the mosquitos harmonize? Or not?
Then have 3-7 members of the group stand in front of the others. Have everyone else close their eyes. Secretly choose several members the group standing in front to be mosquitos. Once the mosquitos begin to sing, the people with their eyes closed listen carefully. They try to guess how many mosquitoes there are (auditive analysis).

4. Play a game that has something to do with “around.” Examples in English would be “Ring Around a Rosy,” “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,” or “Duck, duck, goose.”
If there is no such game in the local culture, you may want to have everyone stand in a circle and hold hands. The group walks or skips around in a circle, still holding hands, while they sing a simple song.

Story time or Bible story/singing/prayer

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Give everyone a sheet of paper with 5 dots on it. The dots should be spaced far apart. Everyone draws a circle AROUND each dot. Then they draw a second circle AROUND each dot in a different colour. Keep drawing new circles so that the dots become bigger and bigger around.

2. Have strips of paper long enough to fit around each person’s head. Everyone decorates their strip of paper (stickers, crayons, colored pencils . . .). Fasten the ends of the strip so that the strip fits AROUND the person’s head.

3. Choose an object that looks different on each side. For example, a box with something different drawn on each side. Everyone walks AROUND the box. They take a good look at the box. Then one person walks AROUND the box and describes what he sees (visual analysis, perspective).

Closing: Everyone forms a circle using their thumb and index finger and puts it AROUND their nose. Line up and walk outside like this. (Check first that this is NOT an impolite gesture. If it is, make up something else. For instance, put a box in front of the door. Everyone must walk AROUND the box before going out the door.)

 


6. IN BETWEEN/In the middle

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Sit in a circle. Everyone is sitting IN BETWEEN two other people. Go around the circle and have each person name who they are sitting in between.

2. Put many small items on the floor. They are not in any particular order. Everyone takes a good look. Everybody takes a turn choosing one object and telling where it is: ‘It lies IN BETWEEN the (red can) and the (gray stone).” The others guess which object he had in mind. Anyone who knows, raises their hand. The leader calls on that person. If s/he guessed correctly it is her or his turn. Do make sure everyone gets a turn at describing an object. Also make sure the children learn to wait until they are called on to speak.

3. Put two cardboard boxes on top of each other. Put a piece of paper IN BETWEEN. How many pieces of paper fit IN BETWEEN?

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

4. Everybody gets a piece of paper with a few three-letter words written on it (consonant, vowel, consonant; English examples: cup, dog, cat). Talk about the words. Have everyone puts a circle around the letter IN BETWEEN.
Now say the whole word. The participants say the vowel, the sound written IN BETWEEN.
If appropriate, choose words in the mother tongue.

5. If no words in either the national or the mother tongue follow this sound pattern, use different sounds. For example, clap-stomp-clap. Have everyone do this together. Then ask them all to do the sound in the middle. Repeat with different combinations; possible sounds include: clap someone else’s hand, slap your own thighs or arms, tap the chair or the ground, snap fingers (tricky), hoot like an owl, whistle like a bird . . . .
A parent may also take a turn at leading.

6. Everyone gets a small piece of paper with a word written on it. Try to hold the piece of paper in a creative way IN BETWEEN fingers or hands (IN BETWEEN the wrists, the back of the hands, the fingers).
Participants may take turns leading. One child or parent shows a creative way to hold the paper, and everyone else has to try to copy. This can get really crazy if the parent-and-child pair up and try to hold the paper in between themselves — in between their foreheads; in between their elbows; in between their shoulders.
Scarves, other small pieces of cloth, or large leaves can also be used instead of pieces of paper.

Closing: The leader names two participants. The person sitting IN BETWEEN those two can leave. Continue until everyone is outside.

 


7. ON/TO/Together

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Write the word on/to somewhere, clearly visible, in mother tongue.

2. Everyone gets a string (piece of yarn, ribbon . . .). They tie it to the leg of their chair.

3. Set out at least 4 things that have something attached to them (a bucket with a handle, a cup with an ear, a bicycle pump with a pipe, a pan with a handle, a comb with teeth . . .).
Talk about the objects. Ask the participants describe each the object: What is it? What is attached to it.
Have a parent explain this in the mother tongue. Then the parent holds up the things one at a time. Each time, the children describe the thing and what is attached to it in whatever language they use at home. The mothers listen and gently correct as needed.

4. Each set of parent-and-child gets a connecting toy to play with like Legos/Duplos; toy train; snap beads. Have a time limit on this play time.

5. Give each set of parent and child a length of string or safe, flexible wire (pipe cleaner). Have them make a new invention by finding two things (that don’t belong together) and attaching them to each other. Then have them take turns showing and describing their creations to the group. The crazier the better!

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

6. Needed: A straight strip of cardboard and a circle of cardboard (or paper) for everyone. Write a letter or number on the board which is made by attaching the circle to the strip (p, o, d, b, q, O). The participants copy the letter by putting down the strip and circle in the proper way.
If the local/national language uses a script without these shapes, consider making musical notes.

7. Give everyone or every parent and child a piece of paper with many letters printed on it. The participants circle the words that are put together with a strip/line and a circle attached TO it. Adapt to the local script if it uses letters without these shapes.

8. Play “train.” One person is the engine. The “engineer” hooks different cars onto the engine. The engineer may ask each person what kind of car they are—passenger? Dining? Freight? or what kind of freight they carry—automobiles? Grain? Cattle? Each person hooks on to the car ahead of them by putting their hands on their shoulders or around their waist. When all of the cars have been hooked to the engine, the engineer blows a whistle and the “train” chugs around the room. “Engine” and “cars” may make appropriate train noises.

9. Each pair or set of parent and child ties themselves to each other at the ankle. Have short three-legged races.

10. Make a nice pendant for a necklace (use beads, nuts, any other art-and-craft). Or make a necklace/bracelet with things that are attached to each other—beads, hollow pasta, short lengths of plastic straws . . . . Or have the parents show the children how to braid three pieces of colored yarn, ribbon, cord. The children can tie the finished braid to their wrist or ankle.
Closing: The participants take someone by the hand and walk outside hand in hand. *Walk TO something outside. Put your hand ON someone else’s shoulder. Walk outside.

 


8. HIGH

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Everyone shows how HIGH they can reach.

2. Play “I spy with my eye . . . something that is HIGH.” I see something HIGH. The person who guesses what you see can then take a turn seeing something HIGH up. (Make sure that there are items HIGH up).

3. When you stand on something you are HIGHER. Who can show that? When somebody sits on your shoulders that person is HIGHER. Who can show that?

4. Pantomime doing things HIGH up. Examples might be window washing, picking cherries, roofer, maintenance of streetlights, pruning trees, putting up decorations, paste advertisements on billboards, climbing a ladder, etc.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

5. Rhymes. Name 3 words that rhyme. Who can think of a word that rhymes with . . .? Start with the word for HIGH or for something that is HIGH.

6. Draw something that is HIGH (airplane, sun, moon and stars, birds, clouds).

7. Have everyone cut out a nice shape or make a drawing on a circle of paper. Attach a string to each piece of art and hang them up HIGH in the classroom.

8. Make HIGHER-UP toys (stilts) for each child. Needed: two tin cans of the same size for each child (or 2 blocks of wood or 2 very strong plastic containers); strong cord or rope; a hammer and large nail to punch two holes into each tin can; markers or paper & glue for decoration, if desired (see https://babbledabbledo.com/tin-can-stilts/ for example). Children practice walking HIGH.

9. Tell a story which includes HIGH activities. Participants act out the HIGH activities as the story is being told. Example: Joe had to bring a message to his father. First Joe had to climb a high mountain, up, up, up, higher, higher, higher, above the clouds. Then he had to jump high over a deep ditch/river. Next he had to take a trip high up in an airplane. Where was his father? He heard his father calling to him, from way up high. Joe shaded his eyes with his hand while he looked up high. He looked all around. Finally, he found his father sitting in a tree (on top of a building). He had to climb a ladder (climb the tree), higher and higher, to get to his father. Whew! He was glad he could finally lay down!
Have a parent retell the story in whatever language the parent chooses. Everyone repeats the activities.

Closing: Everyone picks up his or her ‘pretend ladder’ and takes it with them while going outside. OR, if the children made stilts, they use these to walk outside.

 


9. TOUCH

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Have everyone try to TOUCH the tip of their nose with their index finger.
Then try to do this with eyes closed.

2. The leader calls out part of the body. Everybody TOUCHES that part of their own body. Begin with easy (hand, ear) and increase the difficulty both in reaching and in vocabulary (heel, collar bone, shoulder blade).
When the group knows the game one of the mothers can lead; she calls a body part in the mother tongue. Make it a competition: call out the words faster; who are the ones that keep TOUCHING the body parts correctly?

3. If it is inappropriate to touch body parts, play the game with some other object—like the parts of a chair (leg, seat, back), parts of clothes (sleeves, button, pocket), or something else with several parts (trees?).
OR call out colors. When the leader says, “Touch green,” everyone must touch something green. “Touch blue; touch black; etc.” Parents can take turns being the leaders. They may lead the game in whatever language they choose.
OR call out types of surfaces. “Touch stone.” “Touch wood.” “Touch glass.” “Touch plastic.” “Touch ground.”

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story-telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Ballgame (perhaps do this outdoors). Make a goal (basket, rug on the ground, cardboard box). One by one the participants try to TOUCH/ hit the goal by throwing a ball, a beanbag, or a Frisbee-like item (paper plate).

2. Everyone gets a piece of paper. Draw circles on a paper. Exchange papers with someone next to you. The next person tries to put a dot right in the middle of the circle. Together, make a flower out of the circle.

3. Good touch/bad touch. Show the outline of a human being or hold up a doll. Discuss what parts of a child are okay to touch and what parts are not. For example, in America it is okay for a stranger to shake someone’s hand, but it is not okay for them to touch someone’s knees. However, a doctor may touch someone’s knees to examine them. What parts are almost never okay to touch? What should you do if someone tries to touch you that way?
You may wish to give each parent a piece of paper with the outline of a human form on it. Together the parent and child might circle the parts that are okay to touch. Or they may color the parts that are not okay to touch one color and the parts that are okay another.

4. Sing a song that involves touching. English example: “Head-and-shoulders, knees-and-toes, knees and toes.”

Closing: Tag. One person is “it.” They try to TOUCH someone with their hand. Whoever is touched is ‘OUT’ and goes outside.

 


10. UNDER

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Secretly write a letter on a piece of paper. Begin the game by stepping on the paper. Say, “UNDER my foot is a (red) piece of paper. It has a letter written on it.” Name a number of objects that begin with the same sound as the letter. Everyone guesses which letter it is.

2. Give everybody a piece of paper with a letter written on it. Make sure that everybody knows which letter he/she has, and which words begin with that letter too. Try to do this exercise in the mother tongue too. Everyone takes a turn at being the leader.

3. What is UNDER? Have everyone sit in a circle. Go around the circle, saying something that is UNDER another thing. For example, “My foot is UNDER the chair” or “my nose is UNDER my mouth.”
This can also be played more actively. If someone says, “My hand is UNDER my chin,” everyone must put their hands under their chins.
Or people can take turns being the leader. The others in the group watch carefully. Is what the leader says true? Are the leader’s eyes really UNDER their mouth? Is the leader’s right hand really UNDER their left elbow?

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

4. Place it under. Give everyone a coloring sheet with a pond or lake drawn on it and another sheet with fish, a boat, ducks, etc., drawn on it. Have them cut out these things and glue them on the first one. First discuss–Is the boat UNDER the water or is the water UNDER the boat?
OR give everyone a sheet of paper. Have them draw a pond on it. Then have them draw at least two things that are UNDER water and two things that are ABOVE water.
The same can be done with the ground or with the roof of a house. (Have people draw a line across the page for the ground. Then draw at least two things that are above the ground [clouds, cars, children, trees] and two things that are below [worms, pipes, roots, basements].)

5. Give everyone a sheet of paper with two boxes on it, one above the other. Have everyone draw an object in the top box. Exchange papers. Have everyone name the object in their top box. Then have them draw something in the bottom box that rhymes with the item above.

6. Tell the story of a seed. Everyone receives a small box with soil in it and a seed to plant UNDER the soil. Take care of it.

7. Which letters go UNDER the line. Give everyone a sheet of lined paper with letters printed on it. Draw examples of letters that go UNDER the line on the school board. Some have loops (g) and some have straight lines (p). Draw a red circle around the letters with loops and a blue circle around the letters with lines. (Note: this may not work with all writing systems.)
OR give everyone a bit of paper with printing on it; it does not all have to be the same (newspaper, advertisement, paper menu . . .). Have the children draw a colored circle at least 4 letters that go UNDER the line of printing. See if they can find even more than 4.

8. Closing: Place a table in front of the door. Everyone who wants to may go outside by creeping UNDER the table first and then going on through the door.
OR have two tall children/parents hold hands to make an arch over the door. Everyone walks outside UNDER the arch.


11. TWO

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Count out loud. Count all people present in the national language as well as the mother tongue. Next count the children. Ask everyone to remember this number. Then count the parents. Ask everyone to remember this number. Add the two numbers. Children discover that the sum of the two numbers is the same as the number of all those who are present. Write the sum on the board. That’s all that is needed at this point. Further explanation is above the level of such young children.

2. Show the number TWO. Ask everyone to find something that they have TWO of (socks, shoes). Have them wave with their TWO hands, stamp with their TWO feet, feel their TWO ears so that they all feel number TWO. Have a parent name TWO hands, feet, etc. using the mother tongue.

3. Everyone sits in a circle. Put a doll (or child) in the centre of the circle. The children place TWO little dolls behind it.
Game can be expanded by having them take turns putting TWO of the same thing in the middle of the circle (two books, two sticks, two mothers . . .).

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

4. Make TWO. Hand everyone a coloring sheet with a simple drawing on it. For example, a lake with a duck on the water, a fish in the water, a deer that comes to drink, and a cloud in the air. Have everyone draw a second one of each animal so that there are TWO of each.
OR give everyone a piece of paper and ask them to draw a simple scene on it like the forest, the garden, the street, a house. Have them exchange papers with the person next to them. That person draws a second one of each item on the paper.

5. Music for TWO. People stand two on two, hold each other’s hands, and move their hands together to the music. (Long description: Everyone pairs up in groups of TWO. The pairs stand opposite each other holding each other’s hands. Play music or sing a song. Everyone swings their clasped hands around and around in time to the music.) Look for music with a two-four-or-eight beat. Try to choose music in the mother tongue or music that suits the culture.

6. Rhyming TWO. Make a set of cards. Everyone gets a card with the drawing of a different object. Someone else has a picture with an item on it that rhymes with the object on your card. Try to find who belongs to you by matching the rhyming cards. In the end you have pairs of TWO. The pictures may have been drawn at a previous session.

7. Give everyone a small card with a different word written on each side. Make sure one of the words has TWO of THE SAME letters. Only that side can be decorated.

8. Closing: line up in twos, perhaps boy-girl, boy-girl or trousers, skirt or sweater, shirt, etc. Leave two by two.

 


12. THE SAME

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Sing a song together. Make different words using THE SAME melody. Put cards with pictures on the table which inspire the participants to think of a text or idea to develop the song. OR choose a song which already has two different sets of words to THE SAME melody.

2. Copy me. A leader stands in front of the group. Whatever the leader does, everyone else must do THE SAME (yawning, pretending to comb hair, drive a car, cook, dress a baby, or any other common activity). The person who raises his hand first may guess what the leader is pretending to do. Take turns being the leader.

3. Follow me. Pair up. Have all the pairs go from one side of the classroom to the other. One person in each pair is the leader. He walks, jumps, hops, swings his arms wildly, etc. The follower does exactly THE SAME. At the other side of the room switch. The follower now becomes the leader.

4. Follow the leader. Or have everyone stand in a line. Everyone must follow the leader and do exactly what the leader does. Take turns being the leader.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

5. Draw the same. Give everyone a sheet of paper. Have them draw a picture exactly the same as the example shown them.

6. Different and same. Choose three participants with distinctly different clothes. Discuss the differences together, name the different pieces of clothes, and name the colors. Then have everyone may make a drawing of someone else in the group. When the drawings are finished, the group looks at each drawing and tries to guess who has been drawn.

7. Distribute a worksheet with different letters/words on it. Write a letter/word on the board and have everybody point at the same letter/word on their worksheet.

8. Closing: Dressed the same. Say, “Everyone with the SAME kind of socks as ____ may go out first;” “Everyone with a hair band the SAME as _____ may go out next.” “Everyone without socks . . .,” etc.

 


13. GONE/MISSING

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Have a box of small items. Hide one under a cloth. No one can see it. It is GONE. The participants guess what it is. Help them by giving small clues.

2. Take turns choosing an item from the box and hiding it under the cloth.

3. Put six small objects on a plate. When no-one looks the leader takes away one of the items. Show the plate again. What has disappeared?

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

Activities (choose one or more)

4. Write everyone’s name on a separate card or piece of paper. Lay these out and have everyone find his/her own name. Then give everyone another card with their name on it with one letter missing. Instead there is a dot or ____ in its place. They can write (or ask someone else to add in) the missing letter.

5. Make a coloring sheet with part of the drawing missing. Talk about what is GONE. Finish the picture by drawing the missing part.

6. Play Hide & Seek.

7. Everyone closes the eyes. The leader touches a person who quietly goes outside (or two people, a mother and child). When the leader says so, everyone opens their eyes again. Who has GONE? Those who are outside will, of course stay close to the door, so they can hear if their names are guessed. When it becomes too simple, everyone has to change places after someone has GONE. Repeat the game several times.
Closing: If the children are old enough to be losing their baby teeth, let the children who are a missing one or more teeth because of this leave first. If the children are not old enough, do not do anything with missing teeth.

 


14. WHERE?

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Write directions connected to WHERE on cards (stand behind the chair, sit under a table, put something on the windowsill, go and stand in between two people, go and sit in the hallway, go and sit on the chair, etc.). One person comes forward and chooses one card. The leader helps to quietly read to the participant. The person follows the direction. Others guess what was written on the card.

Option 1: Use simple line drawings to draw “where” on the cards instead of writing the directions.

Option 2: First hand out cards or pieces of paper to everyone in the club. They draw or write WHERE on a card. Then play the game as described.

2. WHERE does it go? Together make a drawing on a very large sheet of paper or use a school board. One person is the lead artist. This person tells the others WHERE to draw what shape. The others take turns drawing the shape on the board. When it’s finished, it should be the drawing of a person. Directions for drawing: One person draws a big circle. The next person draws a smaller circle on top. Draw lines above the small circle (hair), a triangle in the small circle (nose), a line underneath it (mouth), two lines straight down underneath the big circle (legs), down below the big lines attach small squares (feet), a line on the left ending on the big circle, the same line from the right ending on the right side of the circle (arms), small circles are attached to these lines on the left and the right (hands). Isn’t this clever?
The group gets divided; in each group someone speaking the mother tongue well will be asked to lead. They play the game in the mother tongue.

Option 1: Only the leader knows what the drawing will be.

Option 2: Draw something else. A car? A house? A cat?

3. WHERE does the sound come from? All eyes are closed. The leader touches one person. That person walks somewhere and says: ‘beep’. With eyes still closed, everyone else points to where the noise came from. Then everyone opens their eyes and checks whether they are pointing in the right direction.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

1. Story Picture/ Colouring Sheet. Show a picture with many things someWHERE (on the cupboard, beside the door, on the roof, in the tree, etc.). Talk about it together. What do the children see in the picture? Where are these things in the picture? Have a mother repeat this in the mother tongue. Then give everyone their own copy of the picture to color.

2. Where are the birds? Everyone or every set of parent-and-child gets a sheet of paper. Give everyone 3 trees to cut out and glue on the paper. Glue only the trunks on the paper. Leave the leaves free. Then give everyone 10-20 birds to cut out. The leader tells WHERE to glue each bird. For example: in a nest; on a big branch of one of the trees, behind a leaf, in the thinner branches of the tree, in the tree at the back, etc.

Variation: participants take turns telling where to place a bird.
Variation: make the same activity as an entire class. Put the trees on a big poster or sheet of paper. Everyone gets a bird. Everyone takes a turn putting the bird someWHERE. The class looks to see whether the bird has been placed correctly.

3. Closing: Everyone finds a different place someWHERE in the classroom to stand, sit, or lie down (on the table, behind a chair, under the blanket, in between the windows). Say: the one standing in between the windows can go outside, the person on the chair can go now, the person who sits in the corner may go now, etc.

 


15. TO THE LINE

1. Line Game. Draw a long line on the floor. Stand on the line, say ‘ON’. Stand in front of the line, say ‘IN FRONT OF’. Stand behind the line, say ‘BEHIND’. One person says: in front of…, behind….., on…. All quickly follow the instruction and stand in the right place.
Then just the mothers play. Say the words faster. The person who gets confused and makes a mistake has to sit down. Next just the children may play the game.
Variation: Play the game again in the mother tongue.

2. Change at the lines. Make a line through the middle of the classroom (draw with chalk, lay down a long rope, put down tape . . .). Ask who is good at imitating an animal. Have a volunteer (A) stand on one side of the line. Everyone moves to that side of the line and imitates an animal just like “A”. Then choose another volunteer (B) to imitate a different animal. “B” stands on the other side of the line. Everyone moves to the other side of the line and copies “B.” Explain that we are going to move all around the classroom, wherever we want. But whenever we are on the “A” side of the line, we have to imitate animal “A” and whenever we are on “B” side of the line, we have to imitate animal B. For example, on one side of the line, we are all frogs. On the other side of the line we suddenly are birds. Write the names of the animals on the board with a small sketch of them.
Variation: have the group move around the classroom in a big circle or following a leader who moves all around the room. Whenever they cross the line, they change what animal they imitate.

Variation: if it is not acceptable to imitate animals, be something else—cars and airplanes; swimmers and dancers; babies (crawling) and old people (walking with a cane).

3. Draw 3 short lines fairly far apart on the floor. Line up and follow the leader over the three lines. Every time the leader crosses a line, the leader has to change the way they move. For example, first march with knees high up, then hop, then on tip-toe, etc.

4. Play tag. You may only run up to the line. When you are ‘tagged’ you stand outside the line.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

5. Writing exercise.

6. Coloring sheet. Everyone gets a coloring sheet with a line drawn through the middle. Color things on one side of the line one color and things on the other side a different color. Variation: everyone gets a sheet of paper with a line drawn down the middle. They make their own drawing, with everything on one side of the line one color and things on the other side a different color.

7. Handwork with lines. Make lines on sheets of paper, empty paper towel rolls, whatever is handy and inexpensive. Everyone glues thread, string, or yarn along each line.

8. Closing: The door opening is a line. We walk outside. Up to that line we must be very quiet. Once we go over that line (outside the classroom), we can make as much noise as we want.

 


16. LOOKS LIKE / ALIKE

1. The leader puts on a hat that does not match who he/she is. If the leader is a woman, she might put on a man’s hat. Now she LOOKS LIKE a man, but she isn’t. (Or a fireman’s helmet or a chef’s apron or . . . Now he LOOKS LIKE a fireman, but he isn’t.) Have a box with lots of different things in it. The participants take turns choosing something out of the box. They mimic using the item or being the person who would wear the item. The others name the item and guess who the person LOOKS LIKE. Possible items: toy microphone, farm or gardening tool, laundry things, cooking things, tool for building, car key, different hats.

2. Sounds alike. The participants are divided into two groups. Turn by turn someone stands in front. He says a word loudly and clearly. The next person says a word that sounds LIKE the first one, but which is slightly different, a rhyming word. He walks to the front and says it loudly and clearly. Which group can keep doing it the longest?

3. Looks alike? Someone sits/stands in a particular position. E.g. Arms up and mouth open or sits on chair with legs stretched straight forwards. Someone else copies this, but makes a slight difference: arms up and mouth closed, or sits on chair with legs stretched straight forwards but also and pulls his own ear. The one who sees the difference first can have the next turn.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

4. Give everyone a piece of paper with many letters on it. Discuss the fact that some of the letters look ALIKE. Indicate the differences. Circle the letters that look ALIKE with the same colour. (m, n, r ; o, p, b, d; l, i ; c, o ; v, w)

5. Worksheet with two drawings on it that seem the same but have 5-10 differences. Give everyone a copy. Have them circle the 10 differences.

6. Every small group gets a pile of small papers. They have different shapes and colours. The group sorts them in colour and shape into piles that are ALIKE. They look ALIKE but they are not (circles, ovals; rectangles, squares; triangles, right angled triangles; red/ orange; lightblue/darkblue). Discuss the differences.

7. Closing: Sing two songs that sound ALIKE. Everyone walks outside to the beat of the last song.

 


17. STEP

1. Everyone has their eyes closed. Make the sound of a several different kinds of footsteps. Have the people guess who is making the footsteps. (Heavy –bear, light- child, very small– mouse, with a limp – neighbour, etc.)

2. The group is divided in pairs. One person stands behind the other. The person behind follows exactly the STEPS of the person in front. Be careful with your friend!

3. Two people have four legs. Again, divide into pairs. The person behind holds on to the middle of the friend in front. This time the pairs step (walk, hop, run) together a horse.

Bible Story, Song, Prayer or Story telling time

4. Make steps. Dip the tips of your index and middle finger in the paint. Rub them over a long piece of paper. You leave a trace. Someone else does the same with another colour and leaves another trace. Draw now where the traces are leading to.

5. Give everyone the letters of the word STEP. People put the letters in the right order.

6. Give everyone a piece of paper with one set of footprints on it. Prepare the papers ahead of time. Use several different kinds of footprints–little children’s bare feet, muddy male boots, delicate lady’s slippers, etc.). Have the people their picture by drawing a person that goes with the footprints. Have the group talk about what sort of person goes with what sort of footprint.

7. Closing: Sing a song and step to the beat. (A drummer beats the beat on a drum). After a little practice we STEP to the beat outside.

 


Developed by Marleen Schönthaler, 2015
gjschonthaler@nullcs.com