Skill Building Games
Ojami are small Japanese bean bags used to play Otedama, a traditional children's game that incorporates juggling with other rules similar to jacks. While the game has lost some popularity in Japan, with most under the age of thirty-five never having played it, it is a great way to encourage hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and problem solving in the classroom!
Activity Village provides four variations of Otedama based on skill level. Even if you expect that your students will be able to complete the most challenging, it's fun to start from the the beginning and work your way up just to get experience handling the ojami. Your students will build essential skills while learning about a different culture, the importance of active play, and burning off some extra energy!
If you want to make a day of it, research games from other cultures and set up stations around the classroom for your students to visit and participate in. It might also be fun to partner with teachers on your floor, setting up a different theme in each classroom, or coordinate with your physical education teacher to hold a 'World Fair' in the gymnasium.