Toddler Games and Exercises
Virtues are fundamental. Cultivating virtues is the surest way to help your child develop a strong and noble character. Using different approaches helps to achieve these goals. Here are a few. Feel free to use them or not. Feel free to use others.
- Hand puppets
- Story Time
- First Letter Naming
- Flag Dancing and Exercises
- Physical Games
We are always looking for new ways to help our children achieve their true needs, goals, and desires in life. If you care to share what works for you, please contact us. We will be happy to add your wisdom and share it with everyone.
Music is the universal language. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you come from or how old you are, everyone loves music. There is a wealth of free music available on the internet. We have posted many. Here are links to some of them:
Some music is instrumental only and serves as a good backdrop for lessons or activities. Other music has singing as well. Music that the children can follow along and sing with is always a hit. Some music relates to specific virtues and those songs are always helpful.
We are always looking for new music to help inspire our children. If you care to share music that inspires you and your child, please contact us
Young children love hand puppets. Any hand puppets will do. Create a skit with the virtue in mind. You can use one puppet and do an interactive monologue with the child. You can use two puppets, one on each hand and act out a skit involving the virtue. You can also give a child a puppet and the two of you interact, illustrating one or more aspect of the virtue.
We are always looking for volunteers to help write hand puppet virtue skits. ?If you are interested, please contact us.
Ideally, short stories should be about the virtue. Picture books are ideal, but online illustrated books also work.
There are not many virtue oriented books for children so we are always looking for volunteers to write new ones. Please contact us if you are interested.
First Letter Naming
Find things that begin with the first letter of the virtue and bring them to class. They may be specific things, pictures, cards, or online images. Small items that the child can hold, touch, and smell are best.
Here are some suggestions but feel free to select others
First Letter of Virtue Item, Photo, Card
A Apple, airplane, ant, antelope, art, arch, avocado, artichoke, aspirin
and black items, baby, boy, balloon, bear, butterfly, bat, ball,
boat, beard, bicycle, bird, bee, box, beans, bath, blanket, broom
car, carrot, coat, cucumber, clouds, cave, climb, cake, clothes,
circle, clock, Cheetah, chalk
D Duck, daytime, dolphin, doll, doctor, dice, desk
E Elephant, ear, eagle, eel, engine
F Fish, fan, face, French fries, fly, float, frame, file, finger
G Green items, gate, goat, glass, grass, gorilla, grasshopper
horse, hamster, house, hail, hat, hamburger, humpback
whale, hummingbird, herb
I Ice, iguana, ice cream, igloo
J Jacket, jack-in-the-box, jump, jackal
K Kangaroo, kettle, king
L Lamp, leaf, lion, lemon, leopard, light, lemur
mouse, milk, music, monkey, mountain, mask, money,
N Nail, needle, nighttime, nightingale, necklace, nurse, narwhal
O Orange items, orange, organ, ocean, orangutan, octopus, octagon
and purple items, plant, pail, eggplant, paw, penguin, paint,
pot, piano, plate, pants, pan
Q Queen, quince, queen bee
items, rose, rain, rock, rocket ship, ruler, ring, rabbit, run,
race, road, rainbow, rice, robin
smile, snake, snail, saw, star, storm, screwdriver, shirt, socks,
snow, square, sheep, sail boat, soap, shower, sparrow, squirrel
table, tie, truck, tooth, tiger, tape, train, train track, triangle,
U Umbrella, sea urchin
V Violet items, violin, vacuum cleaner, vole
W White items, woman, wagon, wall, wrist, whale, water
X Xylophone, X-rays
Y Yellow items, yellow-jack, yack, yarn
Z Zebra, zoo
Children love to play with playdough. It can be incorporate in many lessons. Children can build specific settings under your direction and then act out assigned roles using free-form or spontaneous dialogue and conversations with you or with other students.
Playdough can be utilized in two ways: structured time and free time. Structured time is when you, the teacher, suggest to the students specific ways to use playdough. Be clear, simple, and specific with your instructions.
Ask student to watch you make a shape out of the clay, such as a circle or triangle
Repeat the shape name several times
Ask them to make the same shape
Give them a few minutes to play with the clay. Encourage the use of the molds.
Flag Dancing and Exercising
Flag dancing and exercising with flags can be utilized in two ways: structured time and free time. Structured time is when you, the teacher, suggest to the students specific ways to move the flags. Be clear, simple, and specific with your instructions.
1. Standing in place wave the flag in a specific way: up and down, side to side, round and round, while naming the motion.
Encourage them to do what you are doing.
2. March around the table or the room waving the flag(s).
Encourage them to do the same.
Free Time for Flag Dancing
Let them wave and march around as they will for a minute or two.
Children love to get up and do things. They cannot sit for too long. They cannot focus for too long. They need to get up and move. You can use this as part of your lesson plan.
After sitting for a period doing table-time activities, ask them to get up and direct them to do individual or group activities. These activities, you can call them games, can be cooperative or competitive depending on the learning objective. Here are a few to consider:
- Linking Arms
- Circle Walking
- Simon Says
- Falling Back
There are many variations to these games so feel free to experiment and change them to meet your needs.
Pair up the students. Ask them to stand back to back and lock arms. Then have them squat and stand up. This will force them to cooperation and coordinate their efforts.
Ask the children to form a circle. Make sure it is big enough. Children love to play together. Walking in a circle requires each student to follow instructions, to follow each other and to lead at the same time. Walking in step, hopping, walking while spinning one way and then the other, reversing the direction of the walk are all ways to demonstrate how much fun it can be to work together in harmony. Don’t expect the young ones to follow instructions as well as older children. Don’t expect the young ones to march in sync or walk together for very long. It is enough that the young ones see that cooperating can be a lot of fun.
You are Simon and Simon tells the children what to do. If the young ones don’t follow Simon’s instructions they have to sit down. Keep giving instructions until only one student is left. For older children, preface your commands with “Simon says,” followed by the command. The students who comply continue. Those who don’t comply must sit and watch the others. If you issue a command without the preface, those students who follow instructions must sit down because Simon didn’t say.
This is a game of trust. It is not a game for young students. Line everyone up. The first student falls back into the arms of the next student. The first student must trust that the one behind him or her will catch them. The second student must now fall back into the arms of the third, and so forth. If someone does not catch the person in front of them he or she has to sit out. The whole class wins if everyone is caught.
We are always looking for new games to offer to our teachers, parents, and students. We would be very grateful if you were to contact us and tell us which games work for you and your students.