Kid Christmas Activity: Wrapping Paper Game

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Picture this: Everyone has opened their Christmas 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!

 

By Barbara Sher, The Games Lady

 

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 around, curious and ready.

Goals

  • Increasing coordination
  • Stimulating vestibular and proprioceptive systems
  • Taking turns
  • Increasing balance
  • Creativity

Directions

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.

Variations

  • Let the child make up challenges for themselves or each other or use their creativity to make up a brand new movement.
  • For the children who can’t yet catch air beneath their feet when jumping, stand by them and physically lift them up while you both are jumping forward.
  • For the children who are able to jump up but not yet forward, stand beside them and hold their hands and jump together.
  • For the child in a wheelchair or for various other reasons and can’t participate, give him or her the job of “playing teacher.”

FOR MORE OF BARBARA SHER’S GAME IDEAS GO TO: www.amazon.com/author/barbarasher-gameslady​

Previously published in parentingspecialneeds.org November/December 2010 issue

photo by m01229 CC By 2.0

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