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101 Pep-up Games for Children: Refreshing, Recharging, Refocusing… (2007)

by Allison Bartl

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2410783,324 (3.1)None
This book of pep-up games gives teachers, parents, or any adult who works with children ages 6 to 10, a reliable collection of activities that will get kids energized, engaged, and excited.
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A good resource for parents, childcare providers, teachers, or anyone working with lower elementary ages. Especially useful for those times when you're waiting for something and the kids are inclined toward boredom... make sure they're ready for the next activity! ( )
  shawna | Apr 26, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While some of the games looked like a lot of fun for several ages, most of the games are geared for the younger elementary school children. A few games looked like the author was stretching to reach the number 101, but the majority of the games will be very useful to teachers and others working with young children. ( )
  alphasunrise | Oct 9, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The activities range from two or three minutes to games that could probably last 10 minutes. Though an age group is only given in very small letters at the top of the cover (4 and up), I probably wouldn't undertake most of them with not yet in school--several of the games involve having a child step out of a room. Sequencing and memory are also needed for a number of the games--as well as a fair amount of turn taking.

The majority of the games are familiar variations on traditional themes: following the leader, going on a bear hunt, mimicry, trying to keep a straight face. While simple ideas, they are presented in an engaging fashion that is a quick reminder of a good idea rather than reinventing the wheel. This would make it useful to pull out on a sleepy afternoon when the teacher themselves needs a pick me up.

"Pick Me Up Tips" are sprinkled throughout the book--the majority of which, while interesting, are not useful for a classroom setting. Few teachers can control the types of light bulbs used and burning peppermint candles isn't often an option. Opening windows may also not be an option. The tips look more appropriate for a private day care setting (e.g. feeding the kids chunks of frozen banana)--which is out of sync with the rest of the book.

Jokes are also sprinkled through the book but didn't strike me as particularly funny or useful. They may not makes sense to children and are distracting to adults.

Overall I could see this as a useful addition to a school library collection as a resource for early primary teachers (K-2). I hope they will consider reorganizing it to make it more useful, or cutting out some of the pictures and making it smaller. No game should be more than one page long.

The review also posted at http://hedgehoglibrarian.blogspo... ( )
  PhireAngel | Dec 17, 2007 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
101 Pep-Up Games for Children
Published by Hunter House Publishers
14.95 for trade paper, 19.95 for spiral bound

This book is designed for teachers or group leaders of elementary aged children. The contents reflect exactly the title--101 different ideas for quick games. In addition, there are jokes and "pick me up" tips scattered throughout.

Each game is labeled with a number of icons representing:
*the size of the group which can play the game
*whether props are needed
*activities which may need a larger space to play
*activities utilizing music
*whether physical contact is involved or likely
*activities more appropriate for outdoors
The icons are fairly clear and easy to read, accomplishing the goal of providing an at-a-glance indication of whether that game is appropriate for your group.

In the front of the book is a numerical list of the games, with a designation of what size group can play the game. In the back there is an alphabetical listing of all the games, and a separate list of games with "special requirements"--essentially enabling you to find games by icon type. There is no listing of games by group size, so you may be flipping to several interesting-looking games to check the icons before finding one that suits your needs.

The games range from the ordinary to the inventive. For example, game #1 ("All right!") and game #13 ("Auntie Bertha's stroll") are variations on follow the leader. Game #36 ("Mirror image") is more inventive, requiring children to mirror the silly faces of a classmate "clown" and freeze that way when the clown moves on.

It is likely that each individual teacher will try out several games from this book, and find a few to incorporate in his regular repertoire.

The "pick me up" tips were surprisingly useful and interesting. In the review copy, however, they were not clearly set out from the text, making them hard to find on a casual flip-through. I hope this will be corrected in the actual copy.

Almost every game is illustrated with a black and white drawing of some children engaging in the activity. The illustrations are cute, but a little misplaced. An adult flipping through looking for ideas might appreciate the summary of the activity that the drawings provide, but they are not really necessary and give the impression of padding the book to stretch to its "hefty" 128 pages. The money spent on illustrations would have been better spent on lowering the price.

That is my one true problem with this book. The price puts it at a level where it is only practical if it is being purchased for a group of teachers, or if an institution approves the purchase because it is not quite as frugal as an individual would be. I hope schools get a steep discount on this one. ( )
  teampoush | Dec 14, 2007 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As a theatre director and professor, I've had ample opportunity to witness the usefulness of games for energizing and focusing groups of people. Now, as the mother of an extremely energetic one year old (one of her primary nicknames is the Energizer Bunny), I'm even more aware of the basic human need to *move* sometimes. Educational theory backs this up: kinesthetic learning is increasingly recognized as an important and valid learning style. (In my parenting group, our coordinator told us that some districts are even encouraging kids to chew gum late in the afternoons because the motion helps them focus!)

ALong these lines, 101 Pep-up Games for Children is an excellent resource for moms, pre-school and grade-school teachers, daycare providers, and theatre folks like myself. The games are well-organized, making it easy to find the right kind of game for your specific purpose. They're ordered from simplest (for the youngest children) to most complex (for kids aged 9-10 ... or immature performer-types like myself). Each game is coded with clear icons delineating how many people the game is for, whether props or music are needed (mostly they're not), whether the game is played outside, and whether or not there's physical contact involved. There are also nice indexes in the back in case you want to find a game by name or requirement. Best of all, the games are simple to learn and play, and many incorporate learning concepts that make them easy to adapt to current classroom lesson plans.

One interesting note: the author is German and the book was originally published in Germany. For the most part the translation is seamless, but occasionally the cultural differences show in the "tips" included with certain games. (Suggesting that teachers light a peppermint scented candle to pep students up is one that I imagine would not be allowed in a lot of US classrooms.) Overall, this book is a great resource and one I'm sure I'll turn to with my own kid and with future students and actors. ( )
  Elise | Nov 7, 2007 |
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