Partner play can be just the thing to help a group learn how to problem solve and work together, no matter the age. These ideas can be done with same-age or different-age children. For some pairings, it may last just a few minutes; for others, it may last half an hour or more. Try these 7 simple partner play ideas:
1. Sock Dancing
Do a dance together while holding a pair of socks between you so that you are not actually holding hands but still connected.
2. Puzzle Pandemonium
Do a puzzle together, but put the pieces around the room. Take turns retrieving one and putting it in the puzzle.
3. Shooting Hoops
One child holds a hula hoop and the other throws a soft ball or stuffed sock through the hole. Figure out together how many throws until the other’s turn.
4. Funny Football
Sit across from each other at a table. Use two upside-down cups or play dough for goal posts. Take turns blowing ping pong balls or feathers through the goal posts.
5. Store Start-Up
Play store. Cut out play money. Decide what type of store to set up and be business partners. Little ones may prefer a zoo or a farm for people to visit.
6. Stringing Strong Friendships
Make friendship bracelets with beads, cereal O’s, or macaroni. String a chosen number of beads and then trade. Do a few more, then trade again.
7. Fun with Flipping
Make play dough pancakes and use a real spatula and pan to try to flip them. A 3-year old can enjoy making the pancake and an older child can make the letter of who it is for with a finger poke. How many times can they flip it?
You may notice that some children naturally match with each other, even within different age groups. Oftentimes, children who have similar strengths in terms of multiple intelligences play well together regardless of age. Use this visual wheel of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences as you observe how some children naturally seem to play well together and others need more support:
Looking for more activities to inspire your children to work together and build team skills? Contact the Mother Goose Time Preschool Curriculum Team at (800) 523-6933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions at any time.