Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Teaching Impulse Control

For those of us in the primary grades teaching impulse control in the beginning of the year is essential. It can be a fun way to build community and get to know your kids, but it is also a way to survive the year. 

A few years ago I wrote about the games my partner-in-crime and I played with our kinders to teach impulse control and many people commented about other great impulse control games. Here's a list of some great impulse control games- what else do you recommend?

Teaching and Practicing Impulse Control:

  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Laughing Machine-  The teacher drops a tissue from in the air and the class laughs until the tissue hits the floor. This teaches them to control their laughing- something that comes in handy when you're ready to move on from a funny part of a book and they just aren't...
  • Freeze Dance- Play music and when you stop it the class stops dancing.
  • Freeze Game- Freeze when the teacher rings a bell or does what will be the classroom's quiet sign
  • Follow the Leader- The class simply walks behind the teacher while copying whatever motion she does. Which means their eyes have to stay on her. And not their friends, or their shoes, or the frog, or the window, or the bathroom. Every time a little one looks up and realizes the whole classroom is taping their heads while he is still taping his knees it's a reminder to the kiddo that he needs to look at the teacher (and a good sign to us teachers of who may need more help with impulse control!)
  • Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone? One child sits in the center of the circle and is the "doggy" with an eraser or another object under the chair to act as the bone. The teacher silently points to another child to "steal the bone". Once the thief is sitting on top of the "bone" and it is completely out of sight the whole class sings, "Doggy, Doggy, where's your bone? Somebody stole it from your home?" The child in the center opens his eyes and has to guess who took it. The impulse control pieces comes when the whole class has to sit silently and not tell the 'dog' who took the 'bone'. Harder than you think for some of our little ones. (This also gives you an idea of who has a strong concept of mind and who can't keep a secret).
  • Four Corners-  one child is in the middle of the room with their eyes closed. Kids walk quietly to one corner of the room and the kid in the middle has to guess where the most kids are. Then those kids are out until there is only one person left. It's not exactly impulse control in theory but it can be if they are so excited they want to sprint to the corner! (Thanks Kelly with a Red Sox Cap!)
  • Into the river- This is where you have the class in a straight line and they are next to for example, a straight line on a basketball court. The line represents the river. The children can step either side of the line which represents the bank. You all start on one side and begin."Into the river, onto the bank , into the river, into the river." Those jumping off the line and onto the bank are out. Game continues. (Thanks Magpie!)
Alright- I know there are a million other ones out there- what are your go-to impulse control games??

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