My kids like to play the same games over and over. I’ve not been very into games this year, and I’d forgotten how much kids love to play, and how it makes the room a fun place. About 15 minutes seems to me to be the perfect length for a game, and the end of the period is better than the beginning!
We’re doing basic info about ourself to be able to participate in a competition, but what happens is that we have a lot of input to find out things about kids around the room, and then the kids get a minute or two to talk in pairs. It’s boring at first, but more fun with time, especially at the upper levels, where the kids develop elaborate alter-egos. It’s always okay to lie, as long as they can keep their stories straight. If they were born in Nigeria, where their parents were working as actors in a traveling circus, but then lived in Australia, where it never rained…then they have to figure out how to explain how they live here now. I do warn them that if there’s something they’re going to want to say in real life about their families, this is the time to learn it.
Anyway, we did that, and then played this game. (Someone out there has a name for it, I’m sure.) Sit in a circle with one chair too few. The kid in the middle says something truthful about him/herself. Anyone else has to get up and move to a new place. A new person says something about him/herself. It’s a great way to learn about others, and it’s also a great way to practice the stuff we’re saying about ourselves. There is no repetition allowed.
I know I’ve mentioned this game before, so sorry about that. I really should go back to Senor Jordan’s site to look at all his games again. I remember that the Fred Jones PAT time site has good ideas, too.