Knock Down Games

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Knock Down Games Over Time...

It is interesting to me to think about how the things we love in early childhood, like knocking toys down, evolve and continue to delight us over a lifetime. Bowling is a case in point. As children get older, they love science activities like building a wrecking ball, or building a catapult. As I moved from working in early childhood programs to working in an Elementary School, I found that older children with ASD, and their classmates, loved these kind of "science" games and who is too old to enjoy bowling?

Knock Down Games For Early Childhood

Many young children do not yet have the skills that they would need to line items up in a line or stack one item on top of another. They may, however, enjoy watching the assembly of lines or stacks. Without exception, young children like knocking down things that other people build. This makes the role of both play partners clear in a Knock Down Game. One person is a builder and the other is a destroyer. If children try to set up the toys and struggle, use hand-over-hand assistance so that the child is able to line toys up or stack toys. It is so frustrating for them to inadvertently knock toys down.

Knock Em Down!

Knock Em Down Quietly

Wait, Then Knock Em Down

Tips for Knock Down Games:

Teach children to knock down one toy at a time. Placing the toys farther apart makes it easier. You may help by using hand-over-hand support. Once a child can knock down just one, a Knock Down Game can grow into into a language learning game. You tell the child which toy to knock down or the child tell you which one to knock down. Start with using a single word to identify the toy. Example: KNOCK DOWN COW! then the DUCK then the TIGER and so with the child learning the names of animals. Later, it can be descriptive language, e.g. GREEN ANIMAL, then the PINK ANIMAL, then the ORANGE ANIMAL and so on. Or, it can be a game where the child knocks down THE ANIMAL THAT SAYS "RIBBIT" then THE ANIMAL THAT SAYS "OINK, OINK!" and so on. In other words, the child can learn to comprehend and follow increasingly complex language. If you and the child both have a set of animals to knock down, then the child can take turns telling you what to drop as well.