In the original game, the person acting as “Mother” gives directions to one player and then, depending upon her whim, decides whether or not to allow that player to follow them. If she decides to allow it, the player must ask, “Mother, may I?” If he forgets, he has to go back to the starting line. This variation on the game can be played with one or more children and involves continual participation.
What You Do:
- Facing your child, stand about 20 feet away.
- Give an instruction for your child to take a certain number of certain kinds of movements. For example: “Take five steps on your tiptoes” or “Take three jumps backward.”
- Your child then asks, “Mother, may I?” before doing as directed.
- The game continues until your child reaches you.
- Start again with your child acting as “Mother!”
Counting, listening skills, direction-following, spatial awareness and manners are all reinforced with this activity!
Rae Pica is a children's physical activity specialist and the author of A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child (Da Capo Press, 2006) and Great Games for Young Children (Gryphon House, 2006).