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Activities That Encourage Patience
Type: Games   Skills: Play & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
One reason a child whines is because he or she wants attention now. The four games below can help your child develop patience by teaching them how to wait for their turn. While playing these games, children must wait for their cue, which helps them begin to understand that they do not always get what they want, when they want it. Activities That Encourage Patience
What We Learn
Delayed gratification
Supply List
Red Rover, Red Rover
Kids line up in two lines, each line holding hands and facing the other. The two lines should be some distance apart for running back and forth.

The first line chooses a runner from the other line to call, saying "Red Rover, Red Rover, Let [chosen child] come over."

That child runs to the other line, trying to break through the clasped hands of two children.

If the runner breaks through, he or she chooses someone from that line and takes them back to their line.

If the child doesn't break through, then he or she joins that line. The game ends when all children are in one line.

Red Light, Green Light
In this game, one person plays the "traffic signal" and the rest try to touch him or her.

At the start, all the children form a line about 15 feet away from the child acting as the “traffic signal.” The “traffic signal” faces away from the line of kids and says "green light.” At this point the kids are allowed to move towards the child acting as the traffic signal.

At any point, the traffic signal may say "red light!" and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this has occurred, they are out.

Play resumes when the stop light turns back around and says "green light.”

The child acting as the traffic signal wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him or her.

Otherwise, the first player to touch the traffic signal wins the game and earns the right to be traffic signal for the next game.

Mother, May I?
This game is very similar to “Red Light, Green Light.” There is a goal line and a starting line.

The player who is "mother" stands at the goal line. The other players line up about 15 feet away at the starting line. "Mother" faces away from the line of players.

There are several kinds of steps a play may take. The "mother" addresses one player at a time to "take one giant step" or "take 3 baby steps" or "skip 4 regular steps", etc. but always beginning with their name such as "Jeff, take 2 baby steps.”

That player must remember to say, "Mother, may I?" and wait for permission before he can advance.

Then "mother" says either "yes" or "no" depending on what they want to do. If the player forgets to ask permission first, he must return to the starting line.

The "mother" then addresses another player on the line and continues until one player finally reaches the goal line.

That player then becomes the "mother” for the next game.

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?
One player is designated as the “fox” and starts out at one end of a field or designated play area with his or her back to the group.

The group at the other end then yells out “What time is it, Mr. Fox?”

The fox then calls out a time that is on the even hour (such as 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock, etc.). The group then takes that many steps forward.

When the group gets close to where Mr. Fox is and asks the time, the fox can yell out "Midnight!” or “It’s Time to Eat You!” and turns to chase the group.

The first player he or she tags before safely returning to the starting line becomes the fox for the next game.
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