This week in the Get Ready for K Through PLAY! series we are focusing on activities that develop the social and emotional skills needed for Kindergarten. The ability to follow directions, especially oral, multi-step ones, is an important Kindergarten skill. It can also be a difficult skill for kids to master and often requires a lot of practice. Playing games is a great way to work on listening and Teacher Says! is a family favorite.
How to Play Teacher Says!
1. Gather a bunch of school supplies and set in the middle of the room to use as props.
2. Pick one child to be the first “student” and explain how to play.
3. Have the adult be the “teacher” at first until the kids understand the game. Give the “student” a series of 2-4 commands, such as jump two times, put on the backpack, and touch your nose. Start at whatever stage of following directions you think your child is at. You can even say thing like hold the pencil in your left hand to add another dimension to it.
4. As you play model good listening strategies. Show how to look at the speaker when they are talking, repeat the directions to yourself, don’t start until you hear all of the instructions, and picture what you are going to do in your mind to help you remember.
4. Continue to take turns with all the kids that are playing, the great thing about this game is that you can easily modify the directions for different age and ability levels. Once the kids understand the game more they can take a turn being the “teacher”.
More Ways to Play and Practice Following Directions
Coach Says! Play the same game with sports props. This is a great motivator for sports-loving kids.
Jump in! Play in the pool. Give directions like jump in, swim to the middle and shout Summer!
Build it! Play with blocks or Legos. Tell the kids to build things such as a line with 4 blue pieces.
Pack it! Get out a lunch box and some play food and give kids a short list of foods to pack in their lunches.
Thank you to My Cute Graphics for the use of this superhero kids graphic.
Check out the Kindergarten readiness activities shared by the other Get Ready for K through PLAY! hosts
Top 5 Social Skills for Kindergarten from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Helping the Shy Child Prepare for Kindergarten from Mess for Less
5 Ideas for a Successful Playtime with Friends from Toddler Approved
Social and Emotional Skills for Kids from Mama Smiles
Games to Play at Home to Promote Sharing from Rainy Day Mum
And catch up on last week’s Language Experience Stories post for a FUN way to build language skills!
Next week we’ll all be back sharing activities to develop the independent skills needed for Kindergarten!
In the meantime be sure to follow our Get Ready for K Through PLAY! Pinterest Board for a huge collection of Kindergarten readiness activities!