Help Build Listening Skills: Kid's Court

Help children learn about the court system and also encourage them to practice their language and communication skills in this mock staging of a fictitious court case.

What this activity will develop:
Listening, language and social skills

What you'll need:
• Black trash bag
• Scissors
• White paper
• Gavel
• Writing paper
• Pencils

What to do:
1. Make a judge's robe out of the trash bag. Cut a slit in the bottom of the bag for the head and in the sides for the arms.

2. Make a collar from the white paper.

Players:
6 to 30 players

Rules of play:
1. Divide the players into three teams. Each team should have pencils and paper.

2. Each team writes two or three cases to be heard in a small claims court. For example, the cases could involve something that was borrowed and not returned or a promise that was made and not kept.

3. When the cases are completed, pick a case to be heard in court. The team whose case was picked has the choice of defendant or plaintiff and chooses a team member to represent them. The second team chooses a member to take the other role, and the third team chooses a member to be the judge for the case.

4. The teams are given five minutes to discuss their positions. The judge's team may help with questions to ask both parties.

5. The judge sits at a table in the center of the room, wearing the robe. The defendant and the plaintiff sit on opposite sides of the judge, with their team members behind them.

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