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Monday
16th November 2015
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TheBug Archie audio files are now playable again.

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Overview of SOCIAL GAMES

Whats the Buzz? for early learners book cover

There are 50 SOCIAL GAMES in each of the What's the Buzz? books;

These bring students together to have fun and focus on social principles introduced in each session. The games are not available here; however, the publisher has kindly given permission to display the SOCIAL GAMES in the first three lessons from each book (see below).

The SOCIAL GAMES are also popular choices for mainstream class teachers to positively influence the emotional climate in their classroom. These games offer precious moments to unify, refresh and lift the spirits of a group.

They can be drawn on as ice breakers and team building exercises to help build class cohesiveness at the beginning of the year, or are a sparkling remedy when the attention or the mood of the group starts to wane.

So when the going gets tough, or when there seems to be one too many students in the classroom, think about using one of the 100 socially connecting games from both programmes. They're easy to use as well!

Whats the Buzz? for early learners badgeSOCIAL GAMES guide
From What's the Buzz? (for Early Learners)

Lesson 1 of 16: Meeting friends

Game, "Archie's likes"

Prior to this game, fasten an 'Archie's likes face' at one end of the room and an 'Archie's dislikes face' at the other.

Ask the group to stand behind their mats/chairs. Explain that you will call out some of the things from the story that Archie likes. If they also like them, they should run to the happy Archie's likes face. If they don't, they run to the sad Archie's dislikes face.

Here are two examples to start you off:

'Archie likes to try his best. Do you? Go!'

Immediately, each child will run to an end. Let them settle then ask them to walk back to their mat/chair and ask a new question.

'Archie likes eating apples. What about you? Go!'

As the children move enthusiastically between Archie's happy face and sad face, reinforce that good friends can like different things. Highlight that it's wonderful to have differences – it's called being an individual and makes the world an interesting place!

 

Game, name roll

Arrange the group into a seated social circle. Explain that everyone will have a chance to roll the ball to somebody, however, start by demonstrating the idea yourself. On each turn, a child will need to make eye contact with someone in the circle, give a friendly smile and roll the ball to them. As the ball is received, the other child returns the friendly smile and says,'thank you……… to who passed it, making sure to use their name. Continue until everyone has had at turn. To add a layer of complexity, have the child receiving the ball to say, 'Thanks for rolling the ball to me ……. I noticed that you are …….'Encourage the children to use adjectives such as kind, friendly, funny, caring, quiet, nice and so on, to describe each other.

 

Game, back to Back

The children walk freely about a large space waiting for whoever is 'it' to call out, 'back to back'. To begin, nominate yourself as 'it'. When they hear the words 'back to back' everyone quickly finds a partner and stands back to back. Tell the children to be careful because 'it' will try to get a partner too each time. The child left out will become 'it'. The idea is NOT to become 'it'. When 'it' says 'go' the children are free to move again.

Lesson 2 of 16: Joining in

Game, "Joining in?"

To begin, select a child who will wait outside the social circle ready to join in. The rest of the group spreads out and sits on the floor inside the social circle. Nominate someone as the 'animal leader' and whisper the animal they are to pretend to be in their ear. Good animals to choose from include snake, dog, lion, elephant, cat, gorilla, kangaroo, seagull, a squeaky little mouse, an eagle or a penguin.

On "go" the animal leader starts to act and sound like the animal whispered to them. The rest of the group follows their actions while thinking about what the animal the leader must be. The child who is waiting outside of the social circle waits until everyone has started, and then walks around the outside of the circle, looking. Once they have completed a lap, they slowly move into the circle and make eye contact with one of the 'wild animals'.

Once eye contact has been made, the visitor can use one of the more successful joining in questions developed previously and displayed. Here are some helpful options.

"This looks great. Can I play?"

"What are you doing? This looks fun!"

"Do you mind if I join in?"

"Can I do this with you?"

"Can I play?"

Be sure to keep a focus on supporting the group to respond positively to the 'joining in' question. We are looking for care, warm voices and inclusive responses, such as,

"We'd love you to join. What animal do you think we are?"

"Come on in! What animal do you think we are?"

"Yes, come and play. What animal do you think we are?"

"This would be more fun with you. What animal do you think we are?"

Allow each group member to have a turn as a leader, a visitor and a 'wild animal'. Once again, be sure to reward their best efforts with 'thumbs up' feedback cards.

 

Game, Who's missing?

This is a gentle and entertaining game to play, especially when there are new names to be learnt. Start by having the group in a social circle. Ask them to close their eyes, place hands over their face and tuck their heads down. Next, quietly ask one child to leave the circle and stand a little apart. Now, the children have to guess the name of the child who's missing. When the name is guessed correctly, bring the missing child back to the group and start again. Repeat until everyone has had a turn. If you want to make it trickier, choose two children to leave the room at the same time!

Lesson 3 of 16: Sharing

Game, share your stare

Let's have some fun sharing stares with friends. The game starts by pairing the children together. Ask one pair at a time to sit in the middle of the social circle and face each other. The rest of the children can sit, watch, enjoy and adjudicate. When you say "go" the pair in the middle simply look at one another. The first person to blink, look away, smile or giggle, loses. It's so much harder than it seems and such fun! After everyone has had a turn, mix the children into new pairs and begin again.

 

Game, hot potato

This is a sharing game with a twist. You see, nobody wants to keep the 'hot potato' – it must be shared! Have the children stand in a social circle.  Introduce the 'hot potato'. We like to use a big fat knobbly looking potato, but you could use a ball, beanbag, small cushion or book. As the music starts, pass the 'hot potato' around the circle, encouraging the children to keep it moving and keep on sharing it! The person holding the 'hot potato' when the music stops is 'out'. They sit down where they were standing. Continue until only one person is left. They will be the winner. If you have a large group, organise to have two or three 'hot potatoes' circulating at the same time.

 

Game, share a whisper

This game is always fun because of the way the message gets muddled as it's passed along. Position the children into a large social circle – standing or sitting. You begin by whispering a short message into the ear of a child next to you. Also, write your message on a piece of paper and fold it up. Next, the child whispers your message into the ear of the child next to them, and so on and so on. Finally, the message returns to you as the last player. State the message you have just received to the group, then read the original message on the paper. Rarely the message is accurate and it's funny to see what the whisper has been twisted to!

Lesson 4 of 16: Cooperation

Game, cooperative hoops
Game, hoop pass
Game, cooperative stand up
Game, balloon bounce

Game, cooperative toss

Lesson 5 of 16: Waiting

Game, Pass the parcel with a twist
Game, How high is your five?

Lesson 6 of 16: Making it better

Game, paper plate happy face
Game, paper plate glider
Game, paper plate skate
Game, paper plate carry relay

Lesson 7 of 16: Winning and losing

Game, musical chairs
Game, easy SNAP
Game, one minute walk

Lesson 8 of 16: Fact or opinion

Game, fact or opinion?
Game, follow the leader
Game, mystery smells
Game, 'Fact' rap

Lesson 9 of 16: Working with feelings

Game, pick Jack's feelings
Game, pick Lizzy's feelings
Game, guess what I'm feeling like?

Lesson 10 of 16: Angry feelings

Game, blowing away my anger
Game, floating balloons
Game, balloon bop

Lesson 11 of 16: Building steady feelings

Game, Talents and tricks
Game, Quiz show
Game, Strengths circle

Lesson 12 of 16: Honesty

Game, mixed up body parts
Game, am I telling the truth?
Game, two truths, one lie
Game, the detective and the thief

Lesson 13 of 16: Saying, "No"

Game, Bulls, Scared, Squeaky Mice or Owls
Game, secret message mystery
Game, grandmother's secret

Lesson 14 of 16: Empathy

Game, "help me!"
Game, empathy charades
Game, pick the feeling

Lesson 15 of 16: Worry

Activity, pipe cleaner caterpillars
Activity, pipe cleaner duck
Activity, pipe cleaner and egg carton spiders

Lesson 16 of 16: Time to say goodbye

Activity, a group massage