Fun Easter Games

When Easter comes the kids deserve to have some fun. So why not let the kids play a few fun Easter games. This can be an Easter treat that’s actually good for them. Here are a few favorites that I know kids will love.

Who’s the Hopping Bunny?

This is one of the fun Easter games that can be used with a group of children so it is ideal as an Easter classroom game or an Easter party game. The children form themselves into a circle. Choose one child to be the Spotter. The Spotter goes out of the room or turns his back on the others. While the Spotter isn’t looking choose a child from the circle to be the Hopping Bunny.

The Hopping Bunny chooses a movement for everyone to copy. Movements might include hopping movements like jumping on two feet with hands by sides, jumping on two feet with hands held up like paws, hopping on one foot or bouncing the body up and down with feet not leaving the ground.

The Hopping Bunny can be creative with the actions and will need to change movements often. Once everyone is copying the Hopping Bunny’s movements, the Spotter returns and starts observing the group.

The Spotter’s job is to work out who the Hopping Bunny is in three guesses. The Hopping Bunny changes the movements as often as they can without being seen by the Spotter. Everyone follows the Hopping Bunny’s movements. After the Spotter has had three guesses or when the Spotter guesses who the Hopping Bunny is, the game can start over with a new Hopping Bunny and a new Spotter being chosen.

When you play this game, encourage the kids not to look at the Hopping Bunny as this will make it obvious who the Spotter is. Instead suggest that they scan the group and change their movement when they see that others are changing their movements.

Easter Relays

The traditional relay race can be used as a fun Easter game by giving it an Easter twist. Here are a few suggestions. For the Human Egg Roll Relay each person has to lie down and roll to the other end. You will need to make sure there is plenty of space between each team for this relay so that children don’t roll into each other. It is also a good idea to keep the track short so that children don’t have to roll too far.

For the Bunny Hop Relay children hop along the track with feet together and hands held up in front like paws so that they look like a hopping bunny.
You can also try the Egg Roll Relay. For this relay, each team is given an egg that they roll from one end to the other. Each person has to bend down and push the egg gently to make it roll.

The Egg and Spoon Relay is an old favorite that is perfect for Easter. This relay is one of those fun Easter games that is ideal for all ages. Each team is given an egg and each player is given a spoon. The children race from one end to the other holding the egg in the spoon. At the other end they have to carefully pass the egg from their spoon to the next person’s spoon.

There are plenty of fun Easter games that you can use to entertain children at Easter time. These games make a great Easter treat for large or small groups and best of all these are Easter treats that won’t rot their teeth.

Fun Free Online Games & Social Networking

Computer and video games have become very popular. In particular the interest in playing fun free online games over the internet is increasing strongly.

Despite the growing popularity of YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, gaming remains the king of online entertainment, driven largely by casual gaming activities.

Sites like Yahoo Games and EA’s Pogo.com offer users access to a wealth of advertisement supported free online games, where sponsors have options for branding opportunities, and display and banner ad placements.

Online games on the consoles could become a $10.5 billion business by 2011 from $981 million in 2007, according to market researcher IDC.

In 2007, online console revenue is at 2.5% of total global video game market revenue, including console and handheld hardware and software revenue. By 2011, revenue from connected consoles will represent 18.6% of total market revenue.

Although subscription revenue for premium online services and games will grow from $476 million in 2007 to over $2.4 billion in 2011, its share of online console revenue will decline from 48.5% in 2007 (already down from a high of 86.5% in 2006) to 23.2% by 2011.

Downloadable content (DLC) consisting of games and game-related items, which at $35 million in 2006 represented a 13.5% market share of online console revenue, will become connected consoles’ primary revenue source in 2007, growing from $493 million in 2007 to $7.2 billion in 2011. In 2011, game-centric DLC will make up 68.6% of online revenue.

Advertising revenue from sponsored services, in-game ads, and product placement in connected consoles will reach $12 million in 2007, posting the first significant online console ad spend. Advertising revenue will grow to $858 million in 2011, with an 8.2% market share of online revenue.

Video game growth will be strongest in the Asia Pacific region, its largest market, with a 10% annual growth rate through 2011, but will increase in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region (10.2%), the U.S. (6.7%), Canada (9.4%), and Latin America (8.2%) as well.

Certain trends hold steady across most regions: For instance, driven by increased penetration of broadband access, online gaming is surging. In the U.S. and Europe/Middle East/Africa, online gaming represents the fastest-growing consumer segment (19.3% and 24.6%, respectively); in Asia Pacific and Canada, online growth came in second only to wireless (at 16.1% and 13.9%, respectively). Other trends are more regional. The in-game advertising market is expected to increase 64% in the U.S. And in China it is expected to rise at a compound annual rate of 14.3% to $2 billion in 2011, most all of that growth will come in online games.

Spurred by the new generation of consoles and handhelds, and by increased penetration of broadband and wireless technologies, the video game industry is ripe with opportunity. “Growth in platforms allows you to hit new demographics,” says Stefanie Kane, a partner with PwC’s entertainment and media practice, noting that handheld game devices have brought more women into the market, and that the entrance of cable and on-demand TV channels will further widen the base. “There is a lot of unlocked potential.”

You might think the face of one of the hottest areas in gaming right now is a young male in his 20s who owns the latest supercharged gaming system from Microsoft or Sony – or both.

But you’d be wrong.

Instead, the epitome of the new-era gamer is a woman in her late 30s or early 40s who plays on an average PC.

Yes, the video game industry seems to have been turned on its head.

For years, the dominant themes have been faster game machines, increasingly realistic graphics, more immersive play, as well as the old standbys – blood, guts and blowin’ stuff up.

But that picture has begun to look increasingly outdated. While young men dominate the gaming industry as a whole, casual games are one of the fastest-growing parts of the industry and attracting a whole new demographic.

You can find signs of the revolution everywhere. One of the fastest-growing parts of the game industry is centred on so-called casual fun free online games, PC-based titles that users can generally start playing in minutes and usually don’t require the mastery of some combination of multiple buttons to enjoy.

The upheaval has spread to the console market, as sales of Nintendo’s Wii console and DS handheld, both of which stress fun-to-play games over powerful processors or realistic graphics, are far outstripping their supercharged competitors from Microsoft and Sony.

Revenue streams enabled by active online consoles in this cycle show the strongest growth in the sector and will not only determine the future success of the console vendors but also be crucial to the success of many third-party publishers.

Further information on fun free online games and business opportunities combining Online Games and Online Social Networking can be found at my blog.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.