Octopus Arms

Cut out octopus bodies from cardboard. Write numbers 1-8 around the edge. Number enough sets of clothespins so that each child in your small group has a set of eight numbered 1-8. Put all the clothespins in a bag. Children pass the bag and each pull out a clothespin. If they need that number they clip it onto their octopus as a leg. If they already have that number they can put it back or give it to another player. Play until everyone has all eight legs. Children who finish first can continue pulling clothespins on their turns and give them to others.


recognizes numbers

one to one correspondence

Fishing Game

Cut out different colored fish in a variety of sizes (to the nearest inch). Put paper clips on the mouths and tie a washer magnet to a yarn on a dowel for a fishing pole. When children catch a fish they have to measure it with a ruler and tell how long it is. (Find a ruler with large numbers on it)


recognizes numerals


Ocean Animal Shadow Match

Print up BINGO cards with pictures of ocean animals. Cut out ocean animals from dark construction paper to correspond to the cards. Place a cut out on an overhead projector. The children take turns naming the animal and then everyone marks it on their BINGO card by placing a token or chip on it.


matches like objects

Go Fish

Buy a set of Go Fish cards, or make some using stickers on stiff card stock paper -- the children can help you do this on a previous day. Sit with the children and teach them how to play, paying attention to whether they are able to take turns and play fair. It is easier to play if you give them only 3-4 cards to hold and expect them to collect pairs of cards instead of "books" of four. As they get matches have them put them in a central location so that the focus of the game is not on winning but on learning.


works and plays with others

takes turns

responds to suggestions

Jumping Fish

Cut out fish shapes out of several different colors of construction paper and spread them out on a large floor area. Children choose a fish to start on. Roll a color dice (or spinner) and have the first child jump to that color fish, using the other fish to get him there. When he gets to the fish he picks it up. Then roll the dice for the next child. Continue playing until all of the fish are picked up. If you roll the dice and there is not a fish of that color or the child cannot jump to it roll again.


stands and jumps with balance

changes direction smoothly while moving