Wrapping Paper Game
Wrapping Paper Game
Picture this: Everyone has opened their presents and played with their toys. The living room is strewn with wrapping paper and ribbons, you’ve already eaten, it’s too cold or wet to go outside right now and the natives are restless.
What can you do? Play the Wrapping Paper game!
You can make this game sort of mysterious at first. Fold some wrapping paper into, more or less, a square shape. Begin to tape down these squares until you have a vertical line of 6 to 8 of them about 6 inches apart. The kids will be wondering what you are up to but just murmur an enticing “you’ll see” and let them help you fold and tape more sections down. By the time you are done, the children will be gathered round, curious and ready.
- Increasing coordination
- Stimulating Vestibular and proprioceptive systems
- Taking turns
- Increasing balance
Start off, simply, by asking the children to jump or walk forward from the first square to the next. Let them do it a few times. The important thing at first is to make the rule to always start from the first square, go to the end, and walk back around to the beginning to start again. With this one rule, no-one will bump into each other going both ways. Then, start to get fancy and give different directions depending on the age and ability of the child. The beauty of this game is that children of differing abilities can play together.
What is being Learned?
Jumping is a wonderful way to both calm and alert the body because it stimulates the sensory system making the children both pay attention and release excess energy. Jumping from square to square gives children practice in controlling their balance and trying the variations gives them an opportunity to learn more control over their body movements.
- Let the children make up challenges for themselves or each other or use their creativity to make up a brand new movement.
- For the children who cannot yet ‘catch air’ beneath their feet when jumping, stand behind them and physically lift them up while you both are jumping forward.
- For the children who is able to jump up but not yet forward, stand beside them. Hold hands and jump together.
- For the child in a wheelchair or for various reasons cannot participate, give him or her the job of “playing teacher” and telling others what movements to do.
March: March from one section to another
Tiptoe: Walk on tiptoes from section to section
Clapping jump: Jump and clap hands with each jump
Sideways jump: Jump sideways with hands on hips
Backwards jump: Jump backwards with hands on knees
Forward/backward jump: Jump forwards two and jump back one. Repeat, repeat until the end.
Blind jump: Jump from section to section with closed eyes.
Frog jump: Land on each section in a squat position
Many Pats jump: Hop while patting head and rubbing belly
Twirly jump: Jump and twirl a full circle in the air with each jump
Ninja turtle jump: Do a karate kick with each jump
Giant leap: Make a giant leap and aim for the farthest one they can
Jump to colors: Jump to all of the squares that have red on them (and then, any other color)
Other Jumping/hopping possibilities: Jump to every other one, Jump to every third one, Hop to each square on the left foot, Hop on the right foot, Hop sideways, Hop backwards
Author Barbara Sher, MA, OTR,
Check out any of Barbara’s books such as Early Intervention Games, Smart Play, Extraordinary Play with Ordinary Things on any on-line bookstore.
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2010 Magazine