Here are some of the games I use with my kids during their very first days at school. As we should not really count on any additional materials (pencils, pens - some of the kids don't even have a pencil case yet - let alone the coursebook...!) most of the ideas below are simple oral games.
Here we go...!
Getting to know each other
1. BALL games (kids love catching the ball and it also introduces some movement, which is good for the fidgety ones, so for me it works fantastic to always have a small ball at hand)
a)What´s your name?
The T throws a ball to each Ss asking what their names are.The T says: Nice to meet you, X.
b) Hot potato: Ss pass the ball quickly saying> My name is…X. What's your name?
Ss must not let the ball fall. If it does, they start the game again.
c)What's your favourite..?: T asks various questions (What’s your favourite colour, toy,etc) and throws the ball to elicit the answers. It’s important to remind that ONLY those children who have the ball can talk. The others have to listen and do not disturb. It's a good way to introduce (reinforce) the concept of ''only one person at a time'' can talk (we know how important that is with small kids!)
d) Teach a CHANT:
Hi, hello and how do you do!
We all want to say: hello to you!
Hi! (kids wave their hands)
I start each class with this chant.
2. Second meeting: revise the names
WHO IS MISSING: One S is blindfolded. Another S (or two) leaves the classroom. The blindfolded S has to guess who is missing. T can help with some questions, asking the class if the person missing is a boy or a girl, etc.
''Checking their level'' games
a) BALL: Ss pass a ball quickly saying one word in English and kids and no words can be repeated. The ss who repeat the word are out. The last 5 are the winners.
b) STAND UP AND TOUCH: Individual students are asked to stand up and touch the objects called by the teacher (E.g: stand up and touch a table/something blue/a teacher,etc).
Note> I use this game to teach (remind) the students that everybody should wait for their turn and not to say the answers aloud without raising their hands.
c) get this FLASHCARD!: T shows a picture (flashcard) and asks Ss individually what they can see. If the S knows the answer, they get to keep the flashcard on their desk. It’s a good way of seeing who the best students and the weakest students are. May seem simple, but kids love this game!
VARIATION: If Ss are good, you can also write the words that come up on the blackboard
3. Revision and back to school games (T already knows the groups and Ss know each other, too)
a)WHO IS IT?
One S is blindfolded. They have to recognize then their classmate. T helps by asking the class some questions: Is it a boy or a girl? Is he tall or short? What colour are his, her eyes, etc?
My students find this game very funny :-)
4. Various games
b) MOVEMENT ORDERS or Simon says. Don’t forget to include: FREEZE
c) DRAW… (paper and blue tack needed!) something you like/your favourite animal,etc. The T collects then the drawing and puts them on the blackboard. Kids talk about their drawings
d) HOT and COLD: One S leaves the classroom. We hide an object. The S comes back and he/she has to find the object. The class gives him hints with hot/cold (warm, freezing can be added)
I printed this ''cheatsheet'' out and I put it on the table so that I could have it at hand. I glanced at it each time I wasn't sure with which game to continue.