The start of the school year is quickly approaching. Here are a few ideas for helping the children in your class get to know one another, as well as encourage positive relationships and cooperation throughout your classroom!
Candy Talk – Pass around a bag of candy to all of the children. Tell them they can choose as many pieces as they want between 1 and 5, but they can’t eat them yet. Once each child has had a chance to choose their candy, tell the children that they must share one thing about themselves with the class for every piece of candy they took. This is a great way to encourage even shy children to share information about themselves, since everyone loves candy! (Just be aware of allergies and dietary needs).
My Favorite Book – Ask each child to bring in their favorite book to share for story time. You can even ask them to dress as their favorite character and have a storybook themed day!
The Shoe Game – Ask the children to sit in a circle. Have all of the children remove one of their shoes and place them in a pile in the middle of the circle. Choose a student to go and pick a shoe from the pile. The student whose shoe is chosen gets to ask the chooser one question about him or herself. Keep playing until every child has had a chance to choose one of their classmates’ shoes.
A Bowl of Friendship Snack – Ask each child to bring in one cup of their favorite cereal. At the beginning of snack, each child can add their favorite cereal to a large mixing bowl one at a time. (This is a great way to find something in common with another child who may share the same favorite cereal) Mix all the cereals together and serve as a snack, either with or without milk.
Cooperative Games – Try playing games that encourage the children to work together for a common goal. This helps create a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, as there are no winners or losers. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Cooperative Musical Chairs – played the same was a regular musical chairs, except as chairs are removed, no one gets out – the children must find ways to make everyone fit by sharing their chairs.
- Parachute Play – have the children work together to make the parachute go up and down. You can even add balls or stuffed animals to the chute and have the children work together to bounce them up and down within the chute.
- Balloon Bounce – have the children work together to keep the balloons up in the air.
Create a Story Web – This uses a ball of yarn while children are sitting in a circle. Have a child start making up a few lines of a story. That child then rolls the ball of yarn to another student in the circle who continues with the story, while holding onto the end of the yarn. As each child adds to the story, holding onto their portion of the yarn, a visual “story web” is created.
Friendship Bracelets – Have the children create friendship bracelets out of beads and pipe cleaners. Then have them randomly share their bracelet with a classmate. (You can have the children choose names from a hat, etc.).
Student Match Game – to help the children learn the names of their classmates, you can create a match game where the students need to match the child’s picture with their name and use this as a table activity.
Making Friendship and Cooperation key values in your classroom from the first day of school will help to encourage the children to form positive relationships with one another. Please share your ideas with us below!