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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I'm not sure what games the other kids might even being playing and I want to help 6 yo DS to make friends at his new school (he says he has no one to play with at recess). But what are kids of age 5-7 into, anyway?  Superheroes? Pokemon?  Bakugan? Something else??  (I only have a vague concept of these since DS is not into them at all, but I'm willing to allow limited access to more mainstream media and toys to give DS more common ground with these other kids).  I'm going to try to set up a playdate with one or two kids from his class after the holidays, but I thought maybe I could help equip DS with some "cultural" knowledge that might help him at least recognize the games the other kids are playing.</p>
 

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<p>My dd is 6 and in grade 1.  They do play tag, and complicated made-up versions of tag (sometimes involving teams.... I'm not sure exactly how it works!).  I know last year in K a bunch of the girls would play "horses" every recess (where they pretended to be horses in a family with a mom, dad and kids).  Dd says sometimes she just wanders around and eats her snack and chats with a friend, but it does sound like usually she spends a lot of time running around playing made-up games.  I don't get the impression that the games are based on superheros or tv characters or anything.  Just running around games - someone chases someone else and there are various rules you have to stick to.  (can you tell it's hard to get a straight answer from my dd, lol?).</p>
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<p>I'm sorry your ds is feeling left out at school.  Setting up some playdates where your ds has a chance to get to know the other kids one-on-one sounds like a great idea.  I can see where it could be difficult for an introverted, new-to-town kid to make friends on the playground where it's such a chaotic mass of kids running around everywhere, yk.  I imagine if he makes a connection with even one other kid then recess time will be that much easier, and he will have an "in" into the games that the other kids are playing.  It can be hard to go up by yourself to a group of kids and ask to play, but it's a lot easier if you go along with your buddy.</p>
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<p>And as for what "mainstream" things kids are into these days... gosh... who knows.  It seems to change rather quickly.  It seems like a lot of kids, even in very early elementary, spend a lot of time playing DSi and Wii games.  Dd's best friend is a boy in 2nd grade and he's suddenly into Beyblades (I'll let you google that - I had to, lol!).  I think also every school has it's own fads, so what's "cool" on the playground here in Montreal might not be the same as where you live.</p>
 

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<p>My 5 y/o/kinder DS mentions Transformers a lot for recess play. As far as I can tell, they play what I would consider tag, but they're Transformers. We've never seen the show or had any of the toys, but he got a book at the school library that explained them, and I googled it for more info. He's also mentioned zombies and Mario. I've explained what zombies are, and I don't know how Mario Brothers fit into tag. But anyway, pretty much in his kinder class, it's Transformers, Mario Brothers, maybe Bakugan (whatever, not sure). My children have never seen any of those shows or games, and have never had any of the toys, but between observing, books and Google he's figured it out. Oh, and Star Wars! That's a big deal. And spies--they all love to be spies.</p>
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<p>I'd pull up a Transformer site and look at it w/ your DS, or ask him if there are any toys/shows/movies kids talk about and then look around. I looked up Transformers after I met DS for lunch at school and heard his table talking about it. Also lunchboxes--all the boys in his class have character lunchboxes, mostly Star Wars or Transformers. I'm willing to let DS1 watch the show, but at this point he either doesn't understand there's a tv show he could watch or doesn't care. I'm keeping him PBS Kids as long as I can! But I understand Curious George tag might not have the same cool factor, lol.</p>
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<p>At DS's school, Star Wars is huge. Lots of Star Wars play going on. But it sounds like your son might benefit from some playdates after school so he can build connections with specific kids. Maybe you could ask the teacher what boys you think are likely candidates?</p>
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<p>There probably are boys who aren't playing the really physical games (although my son is one of those, there are boys who play in the sandbox, etc. as well). </p>
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<p>While I think there is some value to knowing what the cultural currency is, in your situation I'd probably take a step back and work on your son's social skills and building relationships.</p>
<p>best of luck,</p>
<p>-e</p>
 

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<p>My 5yo ds likes to pretend Star Wars. He and his brothers and their friends "fight" with their toy Light Sabers.</p>
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<p>When it's one on one, he likes to play checkers. He also likes dressing up in costumes (Spiderman, dinosaur, Superman, Buzz Lightyear) and pretending.</p>
 

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<p>My almost five year old boy says that, "We play tag outside and "Duck, Duck, Goose". We play "Frog Jump, Can you Reach the Ocean?"</p>
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<p>"Frog Jump, what's that?"</p>
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<p>"The frog has to jump across the ocean or they'll drown."</p>
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<p>"Do you play Superheroes?"</p>
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<p>"Yes, the superheroes have to catch 349 bad guys before it's too late."</p>
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<p>"What else?"</p>
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<p>"Superheroes, Can You Cross the Ice Before the Ice Blocks Tumble Down on You?"</p>
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<p>"Is that it?"</p>
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<p>"No, we play Builders; you have to build 342 houses before the ice breaks and ice blocks fall down on us, before the mountain caves down on us."</p>
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<p>We're watching Narnia so responses are flavored with ice; please take it with a grain of salt. The point is that they play traditional games as well as games they've made up on their own. HTH</p>
 

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<p>My ds tells me that he and his classmates play Superheroes. They make up Superheroes though, i.e. my ds likes to be Blademan or Snowman (?) I don't really know what that means LOL. He doesn't watch much tv- he has seen the original Superman movie & a fairly new animated Spiderman show but that's it as far as mainstream Superhero influence. It's all just imagination & made up characters.</p>
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<p>My son(5/kindergarten) plays lots of superheroes on the playground, they chase and try to tag someone else.  All of them are really big into Superman, batman, transformers, and ironman.  If they weren't surrounded my teachers, they would be play fighting, it is really big with a lot of the boys, pretending to fight with sticks, swords, etc.</p>
 

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<p>My kindergarten boy plays soccer at recess, with about half the boys in his class. The others play on the playground, and the girls generally play on the playground, swing, or play "puppies." Some boys also play puppies. I have not seen or heard of any commercial play at school and we're pretty mainstream in that regard (my kids have watched superhero movies, star wars, Harry Potter, etc). In the classroom they play Legos, blocks, board games, or make art/write in their free time. </p>
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<p>At home my kindergarten boy plays imaginary games with my older son (2nd grade) that are sometimes movie-inspired if we've recently watched a movie they really liked (for instance, the morning after we watched Ghostbusters in October, I heard them playing Ghostbusters). We watch a family movie every Friday night so Saturday morning is the big commercial play time. We also have a Wii and they play that with each other and friends, and board games (Apples to Apples, chess, Guess Who?). They especially like to play sports (soccer, basketball, football), ride bikes, and play various types of tag ("ball tag" is the it thing right now with my boys and the neighbors).</p>
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<p>I think cultural common ground is important later on but not so much in kindergarten. I think one-on-one playdates would really help him to make friends.</p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newbymom05</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284838/what-games-does-your-kindergarten-boy-play-with-his-friends#post_16109537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>My 5 y/o/kinder DS mentions Transformers a lot for recess play. As far as I can tell, they play what I would consider tag, but they're Transformers. We've never seen the show or had any of the toys, but he got a book at the school library that explained them, and I googled it for more info. He's also mentioned zombies and Mario. I've explained what zombies are, and I don't know how Mario Brothers fit into tag. But anyway, pretty much in his kinder class, it's Transformers, Mario Brothers, maybe Bakugan (whatever, not sure). My children have never seen any of those shows or games, and have never had any of the toys, but between observing, books and Google he's figured it out. Oh, and Star Wars! That's a big deal. And spies--they all love to be spies.</p>
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<p>I'd pull up a Transformer site and look at it w/ your DS, or ask him if there are any toys/shows/movies kids talk about and then look around. I looked up Transformers after I met DS for lunch at school and heard his table talking about it. Also lunchboxes--all the boys in his class have character lunchboxes, mostly Star Wars or Transformers. I'm willing to let DS1 watch the show, but at this point he either doesn't understand there's a tv show he could watch or doesn't care. I'm keeping him PBS Kids as long as I can! But I understand Curious George tag might not have the same cool factor, lol.</p>
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<p>DS is 5, but still in preschool. This is how much of his outside play within our MDC playgroup and other more mainstream play settings works. They play "Mario" and "StarWars" or one day it was even "Tinkerbell." The games mostly resemble chase or more generally running around with sticks. There is usually some blowing up of "bad guys." No actual knowledge of any pop culture is required. In their versions, Tinkerbell was a monster and Mario had some light saber gun to shoot her with. Whatever.</p>
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<p>Opportunities for one-on-one play sounds like a much more effective and enjoyable way for an introvert to make friends.<br>
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>Thank you all so much for the replies!  It makes me feel better to know that I'm not neglecting to expose DS to something concrete that might make it a little easier for him on the playground. I was wondering which of the factors (social skills or culture) would be the issue with DS, but all of what you described sounds a lot like what DS1 and DS2 play at home (minus the Star Wars and Transformers... we haven't done much with those yet though they know the basics about them).  So it seems apparent that it is DS's social skills that need improvement so that he's more comfortable jumping into whatever game the other kids are playing.  Maybe he's intimidated by the larger group??  I talked with his teacher today and she said she'd think about which kids might be good/ compatible playmates for DS.  In the meantime I need to talk with him about social awareness because he tends to not even notice who he sits near or even when kids are trying to be friendly with him.  But today DS said that today he played a nice game with one of the boys in his class during inside recess (it seems a lot easier for DS to play with other kids inside because they are limited to 5 kids per "station" so I think he's better able to join in a game), so I'll be sure to try to set up a playdate with that kid when we can.  Too bad we have to wait until January, but it's just too hard around the holidays!</p>
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<p>Thanks again!! </p>
 

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<p>My kindergartener ds (also with 3yo little brother who he plays with all the time at home!) seems to find it easier to relate to just one or two kids at a time at recess.  He was licky that he already knew one boy from our street (not in his class though) when he started school, so most of the time they play together at recess.  The thing for them is doing their "club".  It has games in it.. like rolling acorns down the roots of a tree, or building little houses with sticks next to a tree. </p>
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<p>I think it would be hard to join up with a group when you're already outside. If the teacher "sets him up" with another kid in class, hopefully they can plan to play together at recess before they go outside.  I agree that knowledge of current shows/movies should not be necessary to relate. Generic or made-up superheroes seem to be what I've seen most for ds and his friends.  And - I've seen the Beyblades around too (they're basically tops that you shoot to the ground to start them), kids bring them to school.</p>
 

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<p>My 5 1/2 year old son is in Kindergarten and has on many occasions reported his daily recess activities to me as being "freeze tag" "monsters" I assume this one is running around growling and teeth showing avatar style haha that seems to be what my son describes it to be like. He also plays "cops and robbers" "hide and seek". My son is very liked in his class and is very talkative. Every morning he gets hugs from his friends. It is so sweet. </p>
 

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<p>Same here as lillylady05, fun imaginary/athletic games are all the rage among my kindergartener's classmates. Additionally, sports like soccer. I bet your son is just having trouble w/ joining a group. I've noticed that my son stands on the periphery, looks for his moment to enter, and then just jumps right in smiling, laughing, and participating. Somehow he learned all of this on his own, but I've noticed the other kids do it, too. They're really not intimidating at this age, still very innocent and sweet, so maybe you could give your kid some pointers? To join, just jump right in & mimic what the other kids are doing. Eventually he'll learn the rules of the game. My son's school is hugely multicultural, but the sports thing has been the great equalizer since they can relate to one another on that level. Living in an urban city, I've noticed that men of all ages continue to relate to one another through sports....</p>
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<p>Also, I think having your son participate in a few sports outside of school would help, if he's not already doing this. It really builds the confidence level better than most things for this age. Group sports are great for this. Also, perhaps if you could kick a soccer ball or throw baseballs in your backyard after school, something like that.</p>
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<p>Personally -- hugely unathletic, uncoordinated, and never good at sports. Cerebral pursuits always seemed more interesting to me, but I think I've missed out on years of fun. I've learned about the value of team sports as the mother of a young boy. Sports are important for girls and boys, but for boys, being physically skillful in the group dynamic seems to be the key to social success.</p>
 
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