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Games to play with four year olds

Lucy QuickHere'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. 

What am I?

Children are naturally curious and that's not surprising with so many wonderful things to discover about the world.

Part of your child's curiosity comes from a desire to work things out for themselves. You can help them develop their question/ answer capabilities and stretch their powers of deduction with this game.

Tell your child that you're going to play a guessing game - think of an animal and give your child three facts about it. For examle:

I purr when I am happy

I am furry

I like to chase my tail

Your child then has to guess what the animal is. If they have a couple of incorrect guesses give them a bonus fact to help them along. Then swap over, so your child gives you three facts about an animal whilst you guess what it might be.

Weird Wonderful Will

Speaking and listening skills are essential for progress through school and into the wider world. Help develop your child's phonics and language skills by playing this Perform alliteration game.

First explain that alliteration is all about grouping together words which all begin with the same sound: like weird, wonderful and Will all begin with a ‘w' sound.

Then give an example which isn't alliterative e.g. jumping, gorgeous Jeremy: jumping and Jeremy begin with a ‘j' sound, but gorgeous begins with a ‘g' sound.

Take it in turns to play and discuss the examples which your child comes up with. Don't worry if they get it wrong - simply offer up suggestions. You could also come up with some yourself, and ask your child to judge whether they are correct or not.

Toyshop

This is one of the most popular Perform games and is ideal for developing concentration and confidence.

Ask your child to sit down and close their eyes. Tell them think of their favourite toy and imagine what it would be like to become that toy. Ask them to think about the colour, shape, material and feel of the toy and to imagine how it would move, sound and speak.

Tell your child that you are the Toyshop owner and that they are one of the toys in your toyshop. When you are in the room, they must keep still and quiet, but when you go outside of the room they can come alive, move, speak, and act like the toy has come alive. However, when you come back in they must stand as still as a statue.

The real trick for playing this game is to go for it and really enjoying playing the character. Give the toyshop owner a funny accent and mannerisms. Talk to yourself, dust the toy, move it about in different poses. Then go out of the room.

When you come back you must act very surprised that the toys are not where you left them. Make a big thing of putting them back into place, re-posing them etc.

Then go out of the room and repeat the process.

Key Game

This is a fabulous game to develop concentration skills as well as being lots of fun!

Ask your child to stand at one side of the room against the wall. Explain that there is a dungeon which has treasure in it, but the key to the dungeon is guarded by a dragon. To get the key they must move quietly and slowly and stand completely still if the dragon wakes up. If the dragon sees them move they will have to go back to the beginning.

You play the dragon. Children love it when you really act out the part: snoring when you are asleep, roaring and growling if you see your child move etc.

Tents to Teepees

Here's a game which is great for getting children's imaginations working (and your own!)

Tell your child that you are going on a camping adventure. Decide with them where you will go, eg the desert, the North Pole, a forest, etc.

The journey is long and arduous with lots of exciting experiences on the way. Make sure you keep things varied and unexpected. When you arrive set up a camp by hanging a sheet or duvet over a couple of dining chairs. Whilst you are there, have a fantastic adventure. Meet some local people, try the local food, discover the animals and the local geography etc.

Yes or No Game

Over my years at Perform, I've found the Yes or No game really useful in helping children to develop their vocabulary and communication skills - why not have a go at home?

Explain that you are going to ask some questions, but they are not allowed to answer with either 'yes' or 'no'. Start off with some easy questions, then progressively make them a little harder:

‘Do you have any brothers and sisters?'

‘Do you like school?'

Keep it light-hearted and fun. If the answer 'yes' or 'no' simply laugh and say 'oops try again'. If you like, you can swap over and have them ask you some questions too - just remember the rules!

Skye is really enjoying her sessions at Perform. She comes home with a big smile each week and is excited to tell me what she done each session.

– Miss Charmaine Wilkinson

Meira enjoys the classes very much! She told me that the classes are great fun. She listens to the Wild West CD regularly and dances around. I see she is very happy there. She also likes Grant and Robyn very much and talks about them. I'm happy we enrolled her here!

– Mrs Shubhashree Iyer

Rufus has been to many an activity, class and event this is by far the group which he has been the most excited about. He loves the songs, the fact it's the Wild West, the stickers, cd, script the whole thing. Really greay to see him love it all. Thank you. What an amazing job you guys are doing.

– Mrs Ana Stange De Gomez

Hannah loves Perform! She sings the songs and talks about what she's learned each week without any prompting from me. She very much looks forward to going each week and she thinks Rhia is wonderful!

 

– Mrs Jennifer Asser

This is a fab class! Katie loves it and asks each morning if today is Perform day! It was also mentioned at her recent parents' evening that her confidence in class seems to have grown so I am delighted, thank you!

– Dr Jane Spurgeon

Freya loves every class, she is always bubbling with enthusiasm 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