Follow the Leader
One of the themes at school is Follow the Leader, with games and activities that use body movements while children pay attention to and follow directions. There are lots of games you can play at home that help build on these skills.
You may remember Simon Says from your own childhood. You can play a simple version, depending on the ability of your child, having the leader say: Put a finger on your nose/toe and so forth, or Raise one foot/hand/finger. This will elminiate the frustration of having to make the movement only when “Simon says.” Your child can be the leader sometimes.
Play a “mirror” game. There are no words said while playing. The players simply mirror the actions of the leader.
Either outside or inside, play a game that snakes around the area. The leader shouts a movement—Skip! Jump! Hop like a bunny! Wave! Run! Be an airplane! Walk! Walk backwards!—and all the players make the same movement as the line moves along. Feel free to make silly movements, too!
Play a similar game using various position words whenever possible, such as: Walk up the hill. Walk down the hill. Skip around the tree. Stand on the rock. Step over the ball. You can even play while going on a walk.
Add music and dancing to some of these same activities. You can also use toy drums and other musical instruments—or pans, oatmeal containers, and other household items—to play similar games. The leader makes a certain number of sounds or a pattern of beats, and then the players must make the same number of sounds or pattern of beats on their “instruments.”
You and your child may think of many more activities that incorporate body movements, following directions, and just having fun together!