In our last post we outlined a few easy turn taking games. In today’s post we take a look at some more complex games.

More Complex Turn Taking

These games can be played solo as an introduction. More players create greater social demands.

Demolish a tower:

In this game a tower is built then knocked down and everyone cheers!

Build a tower then count down before the tower is knocked down. This has a longer cycle with turn taking in building the tower (chant or sing “Bill’s turn, Sally’s turn”) and in who knocks it down.

To make the game, fill a plastic bottle with about 100mls of water then hang the bottle from a hook or branch or in a doorway. Tape the cap on. Build a tower of blocks at the spot where the bottle hangs, keeping the bottle out of the way as the tower grows. After a countdown release the bottle to knock down the tower then start again.

This has a longer cycle of turn taking. Children can take turns both building the tower and knocking it down. The child who releases the bottle can tap it against their hand and the others can clap as they count down.

The Fabric Tunnel:

Children crawl through a stretch knit fabric tunnel.

Though this game starts as turn taking, it often changes and sometimes there are lots of children inside.

To make the tunnel sew a three to four metre length of stretch material, 1.2 metres wide into a tube with 60-80cm hoops at each end. Reluctant players may need to see a light at the end of the tunnel, or find a favourite toy inside.

To add fun to the tunnel try standing up inside, pushing a big ball through or rolling in the tunnel to undo twists. (This idea comes from The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz.)

Bean bag throw:

An adult leaps about with a box catching bean bags thrown by the children.

This game is a less structured turn taking game. However, turn taking can be encouraged during the throwing of the bean bags, holding the box or returning the bean bags to the throwers. Since bean bags do not easily bounce out of the box they are perfect for this game, however you could use tennis balls or scrunched up newspaper instead.

A Dancing Hoop:

A two metre diameter hoop is used to guide movement in circle dances.

To make the hoop, cut six metres of 20mm blue line irrigation/pressure pipe. Heat the ends slowly with a heat gun, BBQ flame or similar to insert 19mm black garden pipe joiner to make a continuous loop. This hoop can be twisted into a double hoop like a beach shelter to make it smaller or for storage/transport.

To use, have the children hold onto the outside of the hoop at music time. The children take turns deciding how to move around the circle, for example, fast, slow, run, skip, walk, stomp, etc. Using the hoop helps children form a circle, move in the same direction and get an understanding of space.

The sliding box:

In this game children take turns having a slow ride, a swaying ride, a wild ride or pulling others, even a teddy, in a box.

To make a sliding box use a cardboard carton (such as an apple carton) with a loop of material such as a strip of old sheet to pull it along. The material is best attached through a hole in the sides (not the front) and then in the top front corners. A non-stick BBQ sheet attached to the bottom of the box will help it slide.

To play have children take turns pulling the box and others take turns sitting in the box while it is pulled. You can also let the stuffed toys have a turn in the box while it is pulled! If necessary have an adult assist the child to pull the box or push it from behind with a stick or tube.