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Games to play with seven year olds and upwards

Here's a selection of games and exercises we use in our weekly classes to help boost children's confidence, concentration, communication and coordination skills. Click on the game titles to read more. 

My name is...

This is a really useful game for helping children introduce themselves and others.

You'll need a couple of toys: stuffed animals are ideal. Sit in a circle with two soft toys next to you and two soft toys next to your child. Introduce yourself and the toys next to you clearly and confidently. For example:

"My name is Sophie, this is George and this is Daniel."

Then ask your child to do the same.

Now make up a silly name for yourself and the toys next to you. For example:

"My name is Stereo, this is Bottom and this is Guitar."

Again ask your child to do the same.

The focus is to get your child to introduce themselves and the toys confidently. As you child becomes more confident you can make the game more advanced by adding further details to the introduction. For example:

"My name is Sophie, and custard is my favourite food. This is George and jelly is his favourite food. This is Daniel and his favourite food is mashed potato."

Memory Game

This is a fun game with a serious purpose: to develop concentration and learning skills. Your child's brain is an amazingly flexible and responsive muscle and it will develop really quickly with only a little exercise.  

You'll need six toys or everyday household objects. Lay them out in front of your child and give them 30 seconds to remember what's there. Then have them close their eyes while you remove one object. When they open their eyes they have to tell you which object you've removed.

You can make this game more advanced by having more objects to begin with, and/or moving the objects around when you remove one. You can play along too: just close your eyes whilst your child removes an object and guess what they've removed.

The Number Game

At Perform we play this game to help improve the children's listening skills.

Ask your child to sit cross-legged on the floor. Explain that you are going to count from 1-5, and when you say 5 they must stand up as quickly as they can. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 then shout 5 - they should get this right.

Next explain that you are going to count from 1-10, but this time they must stand up on 10 rather than 5. Once they've got the hang of it, try to trick them, for example, shouting 7 and see if they stand up, or say the numbers in a random order e.g. 1, 5, 3, 7, 2, 10!

Just say 'No!'

We created this game following a request from a parent when her daughter was struggling to stand up to her friends. It's aims are to get children to articulate why they don't want to do something and give their reasons clearly and with strength.

If you play at home, you can perhaps pick out a situation pertinent to your child. You play Child A and your child should play Child B. Child A is trying to persuade Child B to do something which is naughty (eg steal something from another child). Child B has to explain why they don't want to do it while Child A tries to pressurise them into doing so.

This should lead to a conversation which should continue until Child A backs down.

What are you doing?

This is an hilarious game that can be played by the whole family - and the sillier it gets, the better!

Get everyone to sit in a circle. The first person should stand up and mime an activity - eg. brushing their hair. The person next to them should then get up and say "What are you doing?" Rather than saying what they are actually doing they should say another activity - eg "I'm eating a cake." The person who asked the question must then mime eating a cake and the first person can sit down.

Keep the game going by rotating around the circle so that everyone has a couple of turns.

Freya loves every class, she is always bubbling with enthisiasm after each session, singing all the songs and telling us all about it. Great for her confidence. Thank you!

– Mrs Rian Steward

Libby absolutely loves going to perform. Every week she asks how many sleeps until perform again! I am over the moon with how much Libby enjoys the class.

– Mrs Lisa Hickey

Ava reports that she "Loves it"

– Ms Jill Grant

Tegan has absolutely loved Perform. She asks nearly every day if she's going to Perform and disappointed 6 days of the week! Vicky has been superb with her and made Tegan and us very welcome. I can't speak highly enough of it.

– Mrs Kate Reed

Olivia loves perform, and has described it as "even more fun than a party". It's a highlight of her week.

– Mrs Lisa Long

My girls love going to Perform & are always excited when it's Perform day, the excitement even starts before school.

– Ms Lynsey Hamilton

Ethan was unsure when I suggested this class, but after the first trial class he bounded out saying he loved it! He looks forward to this every week, I think it may be the highlight of his week!

– Mrs Kate Jordan

I've not seen Sienna like this before. She's enthused every week. She sings the songs, does the actions and knows her lines from the sessions and continues in her play at home as well as loving the songs on the app. She's always telling me what she's done there and asking me when the next session is. She's full of smiles, is more confident and really blooming, after only a few weeks. You are definitely doing something right - it's brilliant for her and that makes me very happy! Thank you.

– Miss Dawn Rosser

Valentina absolutely love Mondays!! She knows she has Perform class after school. She's so happy and we hope to continue in 2017.

Thank you!

– Ms Lorena Panayi

When my son started he was incredibly shy and Perform really helped him gain in confidence - maybe a little too much :)  I heartily recommend Perform and think all the staff are really wonderful, caring people. 

– Gary Zipman

It's great that the weekly classes focus on the children having a good time above all, and building up their confidence. Every time I tell my child "You have Perform today" she jumps and cheers!

– Mrs C. Klein

Arun is a newcomer but the classes are already one of the highlights of his week. There is a sense of inclusion in the groups, no matter what the skill level, or confidence level, of the child. 

– Mrs Jenny Salariya

This is right up Chanelle's alley. She thoroughly enjoys attending Perform. She really enjoys practising her lines and dance moves. Her connfidence is shining.

– Ms Debborah Scoular

Elliot absolutely loves it. Perform is like a glove to a hand. It suits him very well. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in him from the classes.

– Ms Charlotte Munro

Kitty is loving these classes and Sam is just brilliant - I can't stop hearing Kitty tell me how brilliant Sam is and she sins the songs and plays the CD constantly. Thank you!

– Mrs S Rochford

Theo loves, loves, loves Perform!

As did his older brother before him

– Ms J Erics

Abbie loves going to Perform, she is excited from the moment she wakes up, she loves singing and dancing and enjoys all aspects, she has always been very confident and this is being supported greatly.

– Kelly Priaulx

Excellent classes. My eldest Christopher still loves going each week and still going strong after three years, and Sam asks every day if tomorrow is Perform Day as he is loving every week!

– Tania Elkin

Ronny told me the other day that Perform is his favourite after-school club and this says already everything...

– A Moor

My son loves the class and asks everyday if he's going to Perform 'today'.

– Sheetal Patel

Thomas really enjoys the classes. He has been listening to the CD non stop. I now know all the songs myself. I am looking forward to seeing the final production.

– Johanne Copeland

Joseph loves going to Perform and cannot wait for a Friday saying it's the best day :)

– Sharon Keep

Thursday is Louis' favourite day of the week purely because he gets to go to his Perform class. He enjoys every moment and I believe it's the best class we have ever signed up to. Louis can't wait for the production in December and is taking his role as the frog prince very seriously!!

– Sharon Bonfield

The boys love it! Oliver did not want to join a drama group and it is now the highlight of his week!

– Sarah

Naoise is always very excited about going to Perform. Thank you for your never-ending enthusiasm and effort and for injecting a little wonder and magic into her life every week.

– Rae Ni Bhreacain

My 7yr old daughter absolutely loves it. On the first day she said to me, she wishes she could go there every day :-).

– Paulina Lisiecka

Ryan enjoys his time at Perform and describes it as 'it's awesome!' One of my aims was for Ryan to have fun at Perform and I am pleased he is really enjoying himself. Jason King is excellent :)

– Mudita

Really enjoys the class. Thinks Ollie is the funniest man on earth

– Vivienne curtis

My daughter hasn't been going long but adores the classes and comes out on a high!

– Joanna Hogan (Mum, early years expert and sleep coach: www.loveyoursleep.co.uk)

To say Bethany is excited about attending her Perform class every week is an understatement... she absolutely loves it and seems to gain so much from it!

– Cassie Greenwood

Evie is loving the Perform classes, especially the songs. She listens to the CD every night in bed.

– Caroline Hamilton

Tom is really enjoying Perform and looks forward to Tuesdays. He loves the songs and chatters away about what he's done in class.

– Ali McGrath

Lara wants to go every day, she keeps asking me if tomorrow is Monday! She simply loves it.

– Alexandra Mele

Alex and Zosia absolutely LOVE the course and I could not be more pleased!

– Agnieszka Wilcock