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10 Transition or Wait Time Games for School-Age Children

Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

Keeping kids entertained can be one of the toughest jobs. Some like to do one thing while others like to do something else. Making sure everyone is satisfied is difficult, but with a large arsenal of fun, interactive games, you'll be sure to keep all the kids moving and involved, begging to play them again and again. Check out these great transition/wait time games to make you and your kids happy.


1. Backwards – Write a word backwards one letter at a time. Children try to guess what the word is.

2. Reassemble – One person is “it”; the other children stand in a certain order. Children mix up and “it” puts them back in order.

3. Frogs & Flies – The frog catcher leaves the room. Everyone else picks a frog. The frog gets to stick his or her tongue out at everyone. If the frog sticks their tongue out at you, you fall over. The frog catcher returns to the room and has to “catch” the frog.

4. Act Out A Machine – Act out a machine and everyone guesses what you are.

5. Blob – Pretend you are forming something in your hands from a pliable blob. Children guess what it is.

6. Three The Same – Pick three people that have something in common and see if the others can guess what it is (i.e., they all have white socks or shoes that tie).

7. Find the Leader – One child closes their eyes. The others choose a leader to establish a pattern of clapping, etc. All the children copy the pattern. The one who had their eyes closed and tries to guess who the leader is.

8. Pico, Fermi, Bagels – Using a chalkboard or large piece of paper taped to the wall, the leader chooses a number between 10 and 99. Have this written someplace where the group won’t be able to see it. Have a child start by giving you a random number in that range.

  • Pico = one digit right but in the wrong spot
  • Fermi = one digit right in the right spot
  • Bagels = neither digit is right

Write one of the three next to each number guessed until the correct number is guessed.

9. Listen For the Word – Have the children sit down. Pick three words about the same subject, for example: soccer. The three words could be kick, ball, and coach. Invent a story using those three words. Ask the children to listen for those words and whenever they hear one, they need to jump up.

10. Cobalt Counter – Have one child close their eyes. Have another child hide the “radioactive object” in the room. Bring in the child and using the cobalt counter (a ruler), they need to find the “radioactive object.” In the meantime, everyone in the room beeps louder and faster as the child gets closer to the “radioactive object.” Switch places once it is found.

Submitted by: Gretchen Yeager, Director of Quality and Accreditation, Champions-KU and NAA Board Member