Cooperative activities help to develop children’s ability to work successfully in a group. This process enables the children to improve patience, socialisation and their capacity to problem-solve. In order for these activities to be successful the children have to actively listen to one another and articulate their thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. The following activities help children to be a valuable part of a team which helps to promote confidence and self-esteem, as it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities.
Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Creativity, focus, listening
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts the activity by making a simple clapping rhythm. The rest of the circle repeats the rhythm. The child who is sitting next to the teacher takes a turn at making a simple clapping rhythm and the rest of the group copies it. When the group has gotten comfortable with the call and response technique, the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember the clapping rhythm of everyone else before they do their own.
Extension: Older children can stand in a circle and use different parts of their bodies to make the rhythms. For example, they could use body percussion, stomping or tap dancing.
Game: Action Charades
Age: 4 years+
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space and a list of verbs
Other benefits: Critical thinking, creativity
Instructions: If there is a large number of children divide them into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a verb, such as clean, cook or swim. One child will mime the verb to their group. The group members have a minute or two to guess the verb. To reduce noise, have one group participate at a time, while the other group members watch.
Suggestions of Verbs: