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Potato Hop: Cut ten large potato shapes out of brown construction paper and number them from 1 to 10. Tape the shapes to the floor in the proper sequence. Then let the children take turns hopping from one potato to the other as everyone recites the rhyme below.

One potato, two potato,

Three potato, four,

Five potato, six potato,

Seven potato, more.

Eight potato, nine potato,

Here is ten.

Now let's start all over again.


(Warren, Jean. Theme-A-Saurus. Warren Publishing, 1989.)


Decatur Games Session

The following games come from the Decatur SRP kickoff.


Treats Memory Game

Ages: 4+



Preparation for the party version:

You will need 28 Styrofoam or paper cups (not transparent) and two each of the fourteen different pairs of treats to hide such as sweets (candy), treat-sized chocolate bars, or tiny gifts. When nobody is looking put the treats in a rectangular grid pattern (7x4) on a table and cover witht the cups to make a "concentration" game.



The children take turns, turning over a pair of cups. If the treats underneath match, they move the cups off the board, and take the matching treats. If the treats do not match, they must replace the cups and play passes to the next player.


Chocolate Lovers Game

Age: 6+

Supplies: Wrapped bar of chocolate, plate, plastic fork and knife (one set per child), dressing up items (at least a hat, scarf, and gloves), two dice


Put the bar of chocolate on the plate. Give each child a knife and fork. Sit children in a circle around the chocolate bar. Throw the pile of dressing up clothes into the circle. Give one child the dice.


Children take turns rolling the dice on the floor in front of them, passing them around the circle to their left. If a child rolls a double, they leap into the center of the circle, put on the clothes, and start to unwrap, then eat the bar of chocolate - but only using the knife and fork. That child keeps going until another child rolls a double and then takes the place of the child eating the chocolate.


This game can get very rowdy as doubles sometimes come thick and fast! Be prepared to change the rules if nobody is getting a chance to eat any chocolate, perhaps using only double 3, 4, or 5. If you have a particularly large group of children, you might be better off having two sets of dice going round the circle (starting opposite each other) at the same time. If you do, you might want to limit "winning" doubles to double 5 or 6.


Have a spare bar of chocolate or two on hand in case you have some proficient party-goers!


Variation: Use smartees or M&M's with chopsticks.


Two Minute Tens

Players take turns challenging the rest of the group to name ten things in any category: Cookie varieties, ice cream flavors, vegetables, etc. The group has two minutes to complete the list.



Gather a bag of large and small accessories - jewelry, wigs, scarves, ties, ribbons, watches, mittens, sunglasses, sports equipment. Divide the group into two teams. The first team chooses two or three players to do as many accessories as they can in 30 seconds, in front of the whole group. The dressed-up players then immediately go into another room to trade some of their gear. When they return, their teams members have two minutes to identify the switches, earning a point for each correct guess. When time is up, the other team can earn points for any switches they catch that the first team missed, before picking two or three players from their team to be the new costume swappers.


Say Cheese

Set up a photo-shoot station with a digital camera and a festive background (restaurant or kitchen). Later, email patrons their snapshots as an electronic favor.


Unfreeze a Friend

Pick a leader, then have each player balance a beanbag on his or her head. When the leaders calls out an action - walk, hop, and the like - every player must move as directed while keeping the beanbag on her head (no hands please!) If a beanbag falls, that player must "freeze" until another person picks it up from them (players can hold their beanbag in place while they are helping others). If all players are frozen at once, pick a new leader and start again. Periodically change leaders until everyone gets a turn.


Veggie Hangman

Kids write their letter guesses on crackers with squeezable cheese and create a hangman with vegetables. After each round, players eat their words.


The Great Egg Drop

Construct protective covering for raw eggs, then stand on a ladder and drop the padded eggs onto a target below. Goal is to hit the bull's eye without breaking egg racking up point in the process.

Give each child the following materials: 1 sheet of newspaper, 2 sheets of notebook or printer paper (81/2" X 11"),  2 paper plates, 6 drinking straws (paper or plastic), Tape (two feet or less), String (two feet or less), Glue (for gluing things together only), 1 plastic or Styrofoam cup (32 oz. or smaller), 10 toothpicks (or less), 10 popsicle sticks (or less), 1 balloon (8" diameter or smaller), Air (78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% other gasses), Plastic spoons, forks, and/or knives (limit of 2 total), One 24 oz. or smaller water bottle (no water).


Food Pictionary

Give kids various fruits to draw on a white board or large tablet and have them guess what each other are drawing. Play in teams and alternate turns. Team with most correct guesses wins.


Fruit Reactions

Have the children sit in a circle. Each child is given the name of a fruit. One person is chosen to stand in the center of the circle and repeats the name of one of the gruits three times e.g. orange, orange, orange.

The person around the outside of the circle who is the orange, must interrupt by shouting the word orange, before the other person has managed to say it three times.

If they interupt successfully the person in the middle chooses another fruit. If they are not quick enough they replace the person in the middle.

It is a really fun game and encourages the children to concentrate and tests their reactions. It can be used as a time filler or a warm up to a circle time session.


I'm Going on a Picnic

The first person starts the game by saying, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking . . . ." naming a food that start with the letter "A". The second person repeats the first part of the sentence, repeats what the first person is bringing and then adds something that starts with the letter "B".


This continues around with everyone starting with the first part of the sentence and repeating what the previous people brought and adding the next letter of the alphabet. 

To add a little more fun, make every letter into a tongue twister. "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing Aunt Annie's absolutetly awesome apples!"


Pass the Banana 

Form a circle with all players sitting on the floor. It is important for the palyer to sit close together with their knees up and their hands tucked under their legs. The person in the middle has to figure out where the banana is as people in the circle are secretly passing the banana under their legs.



Everyone sits in a circle. The person who is "it" stands in the center of the circle. Each person asks the person who is "it" an appropriate question.

The only answer to every question can be "sausage". The first person to make the center person laugh wins a try in the middle.

Ex: What color is your hair? Sausage. What do you brush your teeth with? Sausage. (Other words can be used for variety.)


Smelly Onions

Have everyone sit in a circle. Give every child a name alternating between: ketchup, mustard, or relish. The leader calls out one of those items and those people stand up and run around the circle, trying to get back to their starting spots. The last two people to get to there spots go to the center of the circle and become smelly onions. Play this game until they are more smelly onions than anyone else.



The group chooses a person to be a "guesser" and they must leave the group. The group then has to pick a one word verb, like: run, write, sing, etc... Once they have chosen a verb the person comes back in the room. The guesser then has to try and figure out what the verb is by asking questions replacing the verb by the work 'teapot'. Example: Do you teapot everyday? or Do you need your arms to teapot?


The player gets two guesses at the word, but unlimited number of questions.


Rice Model Competition

Cook rice for 40 mins until really gluggy and stickey. Let it cool. Divide group into teams and have a modeling competition using the rice as clay. The most creative piece wins.


State the Cheese

For this game, outlines of the states are projected on a screen. Then contestants race to recreate the shapes of the states out their slices of cheese. Their teeth are their only tools. The group can be broken up in to teams with one person per team participating in a round. The winning team is the one that wins the most rounds.


Baby Rattle

Two contestants compete to transfer gumballs from 2 two-litter botles to the empty sides of 2 attached two-liter bottles.

1. Prior to the start of the game, player stands with hands at side.

2. When the clock starts, player picks up each set of bottles by grabbing the section connecting the bottles.

3. Player may not switch which hands are holding the bottles during the game.

4. Player may not break apart the bottles or hit them against the table, each other, or the body.

5. To complete the game, player must transfer all gumballs fromthe beginning bottles to the final bottles with both sets resting on the table and hands free within the 60 second time limit.


Face the Cookie

Using only the face, move cookies from the forehead to the mouth. (Oreos work best.)

Each child is given a cookie. When the time starts, they place the cookie onto their forehead and begin to move it toward their mouth. The cookie must remain in contact with the face. (i.e. player may not toss the cookie from the forehead and catch in their mouth & NO HANDS)

If the cookie falls the child is out.


Marshmallow Head

Separate kids into small teams (no more than six is best). One member of each team will sit holding a bucket on their head. The remaining team members will be given marshmallows. Standing behind a designated line, the members holding the marshmallows will have 1 minute to get as many marshmallows into their teams bucket as possible. Once they throw the marshmallows in their hands, they may pick up marshmallows from the florr, but they must return behind the designated line to throw. The team with the most marshmallows in their bucket at the end of the minute is the winner.


Egg Tower


Stack paper towel rolls and eggs, alternating between the two.


Supplies: 4 plastic eggs and 4 empty paper towel rolls

When the clock starts, teams must stack four levels of paper towel rolls and eggs. Each layer consists of standing paper towel roll with egg on top. First team to stack all four layers in 60 seconds wints.

Variation: Use toliet paper rolls or less rolls and eggs for younger children.


Tortilla Head

Use swim flippers (on hands) to put tortillas onto the plate on top of a teammate's head.

1. Get into teams of two. One partner puts swim flippers onto their hands, the other balances a plate on top of their head.

2. Each team is give 3 tortillas (depending on the size of the group, you can adjust the number of tortillas). Place the tortillas on the ground.

3. The team member with the flippers on their hands must attempt to put the tortillas onto the plate one at a time. The team member with the plate balanced on their head must not use their hands in any way to keep the plate from falling. If the plate falls, you can determine whether they must restart or not.

4. First team to get all of the tortillas onto the plate without it falling off wins. To make it more challenging, add a time limit.


Breakfast Scramble

Supplies: Empty cereal boxes.


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