Similar to singing songs with sign language, playing sign language games are fun ways to practice sign language and develop signing skills. Children of all ages can learn sign language and use sign language to play these (or similar) games. These games can also be adapted to work for different age groups and levels.
Some ideas for sign language games:
Telephone Just like the classic telephone game. Have the children stand or sit in a line where they cannot see anyone else in the line. The teacher is at the back of the line and taps the child in front of them on the shoulder and signs one word to them. That child then taps the child in front of them and signs the same sign and so on and so forth until the last child is ready to reveal the sign to the entire class. Did the sign stay the same?
BINGO Play BINGO but sign the letters and numbers instead of saying them. When a student gets BINGO, instead of them yelling out the word, have them either fingerspell it, or use a designated sign for BINGO.
Color Check Have a previously prepared box or bag of random colored common objects. During circle time, the teacher pulls out one object, points to it, and signs the word “color” and waits for the entire group to sign the correct color of the object.
Jungle Animals Children take turns signing an animal silently. Then the entire group acts like the signed animal.
List it This game can be adapted for many age groups and should be played in small groups. This game is similar to Scattergories. Each group must list and sign as many items that would fit into specific categories as possible. The group cannot write down the item if they do not recall the sign for it! The teacher can either list the categories on the board, sign them, or give the groups lists.
Who has? The teacher will sign “who has blue pants?” and the children with blue pants will stand up and move to the teacher's side of the room. The teacher will continue signing “who has____?” until the entire class is standing on one side of the room. This can be adapted to many different ages, signs, ability levels and more.
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