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June 22, 2015

Differentiation Guide: Game Time

*Please note* This blog is intended for campers (ages 3+) but toddler teachers may find some ideas easy to adapt. Toddler teachers are also encouraged to review the toddler-specific differentiation ideas found in the Curriculum Notes.

Anything can be made into a game with a little bit of imagination! Game Time is all about providing campers with opportunities to collaborate, cooperate, and have fun! Add even more excitement to your doodle day with these tips and tricks for differentiating and extending gaming experiences for your campers.

Relay Races

There are a number of options for relay races in your BRAVO curriculum. Incorporating children’s interests into relay races are sure to keep them engaged and wanting more. Utilize some of these imaginative relay race ideas to draw your students in for hours of fun and games.

Lego Relay Race-  Divide campers into 2 teams. Each team needs to transfer Legos from one bowl to an empty bowl with a spoon! Once all of the bricks are transferred campers need to work together to build a tower.

Star Wars “Don’t Drop the Droid” Relay Race- Transform a craft foam ball into a droid! Draw the face on each of the craft foam balls. Create a droid ship replica using cardboard boxes or other upcycled materials.  Challenge students to return all of their droids to the ship by balancing them on a spoon before time runs out!

Popcorn Run- Fill two plastic cups with popcorn. Poke a hole in both sides of the cup and string a piece of yarn through the holes. Tie the plastic cup full of popcorn to the top of your students’ shoes. Campers will try to race from one side of the playground to the other without spilling their popcorn!

Checkers This game of strategy will engage students who are interested in sitting and playing a game. Team checkers may also be a fun addition to this activity. Team campers in pairs of two and they have to discuss and decide on their checker moves together!

Marble Run- Ask campers to collaborate and help build this marble run with craft sticks found here!  Campers can create large marble runs to drop marbles from the top and watch them race to the bottom OR handheld marble runs that they need to manually turn and navigate the marble through. Set up a tablet and designate a camper as the timer. Who can get their marble to the bottom the fastest?

Spot On!- This activity is not only a fun and exciting game, but provides room for differentiation to develop fine motor skills! Campers will place, toss, or throw buttons to match up with dot stickers. Click here for more information.

Bouncy Balls

After children have created their bouncy balls during this thematic activity, find different ways to extend your bouncy balls into other games and centers!

Bouncy Ball Bowling- Set up a stack of plastic cups and challenge children to toss the bouncy ball to knock down the cups.

Ball Toss- Set up bowls in a line and assign a point value to each bowl by placing a marker inside. Then, encourage campers to toss their bouncy balls into the bowls!

Table Top Golf-  Cut paper towel rolls about 2 inches thick horizontally. Tape a toothpick to each paper towel roll piece and add a numbered triangle (1-18) to each paper towel roll. Set up different areas for children to bounce their bouncy ball and try to get it into the hole. Record how many bounces it takes on a score card.

Think of different ways to continue to incorporate your campers interests into the games that you are creating. For example, during a game of checkers allow children to choose their pieces. One student may really love trains and use trains as their checker pieces, while another may choose toy animals!

As always, focus on the fun that everyone is having as opposed to winning or losing.