Games for a Class Party for Fourth Graders

by Susan Rickey Google
Games are a great way to boost self-confidence and enhance friendships in fourth graders.

Games are a great way to boost self-confidence and enhance friendships in fourth graders.

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High-energy games, food and friends are the recipe for the perfect fourth grade classroom party. Fourth grade party games happen around holidays -- Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day. Parties can be centered around a unit of study in the class with games focusing on pioneers or fish release. Another reason for a party is the good behavior marble jar is full and it's time to have fun and play some silly games. Every party is a good place to play games -- fourth-grade style.

Halloween Games

When celebrating Halloween in the fourth grade classroom, the games are competitive with a twisted or scary theme. Have the students form equal teams for this relay race. Ask a parent to copy and cut out the pieces of a skeleton ahead of time. Put a bowl out with all of the skeleton pieces at one end. The students race, relay style, to put their skeleton together with each child attaching a piece of the skeleton. The team that gets all of the pieces put together first is the winning team. Another game to play, "Guess the Items," will elicit some screams from fourth graders. Place trinkets and candies inside a big -- really big -- bowl of cold spaghetti for each team. Tell the students the cold spaghetti is leftover monkey brains or goat kidneys to get a big reaction. Start the timer; each team digs its hands in the bowl to find, name and list on paper the items hidden in the spaghetti. The team with the most items listed after five minutes is the winning team.

Christmas Games

Just the mention of toilet paper gets fourth graders excited. Give each team of four to five kids five rolls of toilet paper. In three minutes they turn one of their teammates into a snowman using the toilet paper and construction paper nose, eyes, mouth and arms. Choose the most creative, most Frosty-like, neatest, messiest and other winners, making sure each team has a winning title. Turn on the music, Christmas music if you like, and throw the plastic station dots out from the physical education bag. Play a round of musical dots. When the music stops, everyone stands on a dot. There is one less dot than kids, so someone is out. Remove a dot for each round. When there are three or four kids left, declare them all the winners, or you might have some wrestling for dots at the end of the game.

Games About the Lessons

In fourth grade, students study the pioneers' western migration. As a celebration at the end of the unit fourth graders play pioneer games. Hide-and-seek, sack races and tug-of-war were popular games in pioneer days. Set up stations with parents or other fourth grade teachers directing the games for all of the students to play each game. An interesting unit of study in California fourth grade classrooms is raising salmon from eggs. The eggs turn into fry that are released in the streams of California. Teaching about the salmon's journey to the ocean then returning to its home stream is tied to this game. The salmon depends on its sense of smell to find its home stream when it is time to return to spawn. All of the salmon (fourth graders) start in the ocean. They are given a cotton ball to smell. The cotton balls are prepared ahead of time with different smells on them -- vanilla, peppermint, orange and almond extract are distinctive smells to use. The students follow a rope that has forks in it, which represent the rivers and creeks. At each fork they have to determine which way to go by the smell of the creek. A volunteer stands at the fork with that creek's smell on a cotton ball. All salmon that make it back to their home creek are the winners.

Celebrating Anything

Fourth graders love a class party for reaching goals -- accelerated reader or marble jar. Fun games to play at a celebration party are any type of relay race. Fourth graders especially like racing against each other doing the out of the ordinary -- skip backward, hop on one foot, or tie your shoelaces to another team member's shoelace. Classic games like "Heads-up Seven-up" or "Simon Says" are all fun to play with competitive fourth graders.

About the Author

Susan Rickey started writing in 1994 with a technology feature article for the "Pioneer Press." She was the writer of the Klamath Forest Alliance newsletter, an environmental organization. Rickey obtained her teaching credential from California State University and acquired her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas.

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