For the last three years, I have tutored the youngest class on our CC campus. I wanted to share some of my favorite memory work review activities since they might be useful to others. Some of my classes of 4 year olds really couldn’t handle games with real competition. Believe it or not, some of my non-game activities were such a hit that they called them games. You really can do a lot of these activities at home as well. (NEW IDEA ADDED BELOW.)
Here are some of our favorite games and non-games:
Fishing. My husband made me a magnetic fishing pole out of a piece of bamboo, some string, and a magnet. Then I made laminated fish with each fish having a subject written on it and a paper clip. Kids took turns fishing, and I would ask a question based on the subject. Sometimes I would have the whole class answer. Other times, I’d pick a volunteer (and then we’d all help). If someone volunteered to answer, they often would be the next one to fish. Once all the fish were caught, I’d put them back in, and we’d fish again.
Popsicle Sticks. I have 3 colors of popsicle sticks. One color has the names of the students. A second color has all the subjects. The last color has different activities on it like knee lifts, crawl around the table, flap like a chicken, or say like a robot. You can be as creative as you want, but you should be willing to to the activities with the class. In class, I pulled out a name and then let that person pull out the subject and activity sticks. The whole class said the memory work using the activity. (I also used the name popsicle sticks for other times to pick who went first.)
Musical Chairs. We played musical chairs using the Timeline song. After my first attempt with many tears, I learned to make it fun for the person who “got out”. The last person out is the one who gets to hit pause on the song for the next round. In fact, I think it got so fun to be the pausing person that some students wanted to get out. In the meantime, we just had fun singing the song as a class.
The Cup Game. I made a pyramid of 10 plastic cups on a small table with the class in two teams. After a team answered a questions, one teammate threw 2 or 3 bean bags at the cups. Only those completely knocked off the table scored points. If a team could answer the question with no hints from me, they got 3 bean bags to throw. If I gave a hint, I took away 1 bean bag. Especially toward the end, this was a favorite in my last class. The winning team got a sticker from my sticker bag.
A Review Version of Cranium Hullabaloo. If you have the game or have played it, you know that the “announcer” device will tell people to move to an animal, food, color, shape, instrument, and so on. It might say “hop over to” something red. Instead of using the announcer device, I would just say things like “Tip-toe over to a new space” or “Flap like a chicken to a new location” or other ideas like that. If students were being slow to pick a new space, I might you say, “you should be there in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” to get them to pick up the pace. Then, when everyone was on a new location, I say something like if you are on an instrument, something you eat, a square, or a particular color, please tell me a particular piece of memory work. In actuality, so many of the memory work songs are so catchy that more than just the kids selected would answer. Then I’d give a new way to travel to another location and repeat the process. We had lots of fun with this higher action “game” and could get a lot of memory work reviewed. After a while, I let students pick how we moved or who answered.
NEW: Simple Obstacle Course. I had a funny moment a few weeks ago. Someone on facebook referenced the idea of having a simple obstacle course in class. I think they were actually referring to a post my husband wrote back in the spring and something we do at home fairly often. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to do it in class, but I used it last Monday with great results. Students stood in a line. I would ask 1-3 students to answer a question (with everyone else helping if need be). Then the kids would go in/in the tent (a sheet thrown over a table), per/through a hula-hoop held up by a 3-year old and his mom. After the hula-hoop, kids would walk apud/with a bean bag on their head around a chair sine/without using their hands. As each child went through the course, the rest of us with recite the instructions getting Latin review in while the questions I asked covered the rest. This was a really fun way to get some activity in without having to be all elaborate.
These are the activities we used the most often. Do you have any games or activities you like to use for reviewing with young children?
(By the way, if anyone is interested, I did write about how I did new grammar with my young classes here.)
This post contains affiliate links.