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Fun Circle Games for Young Children


Doggy, Doggy Who Has Your Bone?

The Chant:
Doggy, Doggy, who has your bone?
Somebody stole it from your home.
Who could it be?
How to play:
Choose one child to be a doggy. He should sit blindfolded in the center of the circle of children while the song is chanted. Have an adult give the bone (something to hide) to one of the children while chanting the song. Have all children hide their hands behind their backs. When the chant is over, uncover the child’s eyes and allow three guesses as to which child has the bone. Whomever has the bone is the next doggy. Change the main character and object to meet seasonal, book, and theme-related needs. (i.e. pilgrim – hat; snowman – scarf; Harry – purple crayon

London Bridge is Falling Down

Verse 1:
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.

Verse 2:
Shake them up with salt and pepper, salt and pepper, salt and pepper,
Shake them up with salt and pepper, my fair lady.

Choose 2 children to create an arch with their arms by facing each other, joining both hands together, and lifting their arms up. Line up the rest of the children so they can walk under the arch in a single file line. Begin singing the first verse.
While singing, have the children walk in a line under the arch and back around, creating a circle of children consistently walking under the arch.
On the last word (lady), instruct the 2 children to drop their hands down to capture a child between their arms.
Gently, rock the captured child back and forth while singing the second verse. Repeat these actions with the same verses or additional verses of the rhyme until all the children are captured.

Pease Porridge Hot

Partner hand clap jive – have two children face each other:
Pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) hot (clap partner’s hands),
pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) cold (clap partner’s hands),
Pease (clap thighs) porridge (clap own hands) in the (clap right hands only) pot (clap own hands),
nine (clap left hands only) days (clap own hands) old (clap partner’s hands).

2nd Verse:
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.

Quiet Mouse, Still Mouse

Children sit in a circle as the leader announces which child (eventually, you hope, all of them) has become a mouse by being very quiet and still.

Alphabet Shopping

Using the first letter, match the child’s name with something to buy that begins with that letter. For example, “My name is Connor and I will buy a coat.” This facilitates teaching categories and organizational skills by using alphabet animals, foods and places.

Storm Leader

Children start by wiggling fingers for the rain, this passes around the circle until everyone is wiggling their fingers. The leader then changes the action to other aspects of the storm, e.g. wind – arms waving, thunder – slap knees. End with the sun – mime a circle.

Weather and calander of the day

Start the day off by asking what is the weather like outside or what day is it. Find some visual aids or printables that show days of the week or months of the year or weather symbols to help you talk about these things.

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