The enthusiasm 6- to 8-year-olds possess makes them especially receptive to group games. Games can provide these kids with opportunities to develop their burgeoning social skills. Unlike non-physcial activities such as watching television or playing video games, group games give kids an organized way to burn off excess energy and interact with their peers.

Statues

Play this game in a large, open space with soft grass. Have the kids form a line. Choose one player to be the "sculptor." The sculptor stands in an open space, and one by one, each child steps up to him. The sculptor takes both hands of the child and gently twirls her, then lets go. The child swirls away and then collapses on the ground in her statue position. This repeats until all the children are statues. Whoever can hold a statue position the longest wins and becomes the sculptor on the next round.

Call Ball

The caller stands in the center while the other participants form a circle around him. The caller throws a rubber ball up into the air. When it hits the ground, the caller says a name of one of the other participants. That participant must catch the ball before it bounces again. After the child catches the ball, he then becomes the caller. If the kids don't have enough time to catch the ball, have the caller shout out the name before throwing the ball in the air.

Name-It Ball

Have players stand in a circle. Give one player a ball. That player calls out a category such as "desserts." The player passes the ball to another player who must call out an item in that category such as "cake," before passing the ball to another player who must name another item in the category ("ice cream"). Play continues until a player cannot name a new item within the category.

Backyard Bowling

Set up lightweight household items such as cereal boxes, empty plastic bottles, aluminum cans, stuffed animals, etc. Roll a ball from 10 to 15 feet away to knock over as many items as possible. If the task proves too difficult for some kids, give them a bigger ball or let them move closer.