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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Camp Fire Songs: Ain't Gonna Rain No More and The Campfire Song Song

Music has a huge effect on people. From camp-outs to car trips, songs have made them more fun! Ain't Gonna Rain No More and the Campfire Song Song are both great songs for any age group. They are funny and keep the energy up.

Here are two tips that are extremely important when singing songs: use repetition and do not give hand-outs of the songs (eye contact is worth so much more!) Here is a link to a few other tips on leading songs (scroll down a little and look for the title: Leading Songs).

At the bottom of each song, I put a link to a video of someone singing the song to help you understand the tune. I also added chords for guitar/ukelele if you know how to play, but they sound just as great when sang a cappella!  Remember, just have fun with this!

Ain't Gonna Rain No More
It ain't gonna rain no more, no more. 
Ain't gonna rain no more!
How in the heck can I wash my neck,
If it ain't gonna rain no more, no more!

A golf ball sailing through the air
wizzed by a man a humming
he heard that catty yell FOUR!
And he thought three more were coming

[Chorus]
It ain't gonna rain no more, no more. 
Ain't gonna rain no more!
How in the heck can I wash my neck,
If it ain't gonna rain no more, no more!

The chicken is a wonderful bird
That is what the preacher said
'Cause we eat them both before they're born
And after they are dead

[Chorus]

A peanut sitting on the railroad track
His heart was all aflutter
CHOO CHOO!
Peanut butter!

[Chorus]

There was a mother dog,
That chewed a wooden peg.
And when her little pups were born,
They all had wooden legs.

[Chorus]

I had a mother cat,
Who ate a ball of yarn.
And when her little kits were born,
They came with sweaters on!

[Chorus]

Mary had a little lamb,
The doctor was surprised!
But when old McDonald had a farm,
The doctor nearly died!

[Chorus]

I'll buy a hundred bricks,
To build my chimney higher
'cause the neighbors' big red dog
Keeps puttin' out the fire!

[Chorus]

Here is video to show you the tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx3oP9LJBaY
Here are the guitar chords if you know how to play: http://www.e-chords.com/chords/smokie/aint-gonna-rain

The Campfire Song Song
Let's gather around the campfire
And sing our campfire song
Our C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G
And if you don't think that we can sing it faster then you're wrong
But it'll help if you just sing along

Bom Bom Bom...

C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song
C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song
Our C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G
And if you don't think that we can sing it faster then you're wrong
But it'll help if you just sing along

C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song
C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song
Our C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G
And if you don't think that we can sing it faster then you're wrong
But it'll help if you just sing along

Here is a video to show you the tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oOu-vKx7Qk
Here are tabs if you know how to play the ukelele: http://ukutabs.com/m/misc-cartoons/spongebob-campfire-song/

Please comment below on how you would use it with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

 Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Captain's Daughter and Movie Trivia

If you can't tell, I absolutely love all of the games I post. I am extremely picky about the games I will use. Last summer, I had an internship where I had to lead about 3 activities a day with boys and girls from ages 5-12 (the age groups where split up thankfully). I read about 5 books and only found 40 activities that I liked. Since then, I have had classes and learned about leadership and activities. I was very selective in class as well. Thankfully, I have found more activities I like.
Anyways, movie trivia is a game I have truly loved! I have played it with family and friends alike. It always brings out great laughs and fun memories. Captain's daughter is similar to Chicken in the Hen House that I posted the other day. The only difference is that people are not paired of. It also gives different motions to use.

Captain's Daughter
Have one person be the "caller." Everyone else is walking around talking with each other. The caller stands in front of everyone and calls out commands. The different commands are:
  • Mermaid - the person stands upright with their hand on their hip, and the other waving in the air while shaking their hips
  • Buoy - two people join arms back to back and bobble up and down
  • Captain's Daughter - one person grabs another person and holds them in their arms


  • Dog in a Dog House - one person bends over in an arc while the other pretends to be a dog inside of the doghouse 
  • Chicken in a Hen House - one stands on all fours, while the other kneels flailing their arms like a chicken
  • __ in a canoe (can be 2, 3, 4, etc.) - the # of people sit in a line one in front of the other, rowing a canoe

  • Hit the Deck - fall flat on the floor
  • Walk the Plank - run and touch the wall
The last person to carry out the command or not fit into the canoe is out and becomes a judge. The last person standing wins! 

Movie Trivia
Divide players into equal teams. Give each player an equal number of small, blank papers i.e. 3 or 4. Each player writes a different movie on each piece of paper. Fold the papers in half and put them all in one bowl.
During round one, a player from team one gets up and draws a piece of paper. The player can use any actions and words (except for words in the title) to give clues. Once the movie is guessed by someone on their team, the player draws another piece of paper and so on until his/her 45 seconds is up. After the player from team one is done, a player from team two steps up and draws a piece of paper. He/she uses words and actions to have people on the team guess what movie it is and so on until all of the pieces of paper have been used. Then the players start round two. It is the same as round one except players can only use one word and actions to get teammates to guess the movies. Once the pieces of paper are used again, round three starts. During this round, players can only use actions to have teammates guess the movies.
Twist: Instead of only writing movies, players could write actors/actresses, movie quotes, tv shows, etc.

Recommendations
For Captain's Daughter, do a few practice rounds so everyone can get the hang of the different calls. Elimination games such as this are a great segway into refreshments after a few rounds.

Life Lessons
Movie Trivia teaches people how to act quickly on their feet and problem solve when others are not understanding them. It also helps practice memory during round  two and three. They learn more about communication and how people communicate differently. This is extremely important because learning that everyone communicates differently (and their way works) is a wonderful lesson for life so they can work with others. 
Captain's Daughter is a fun one to play that teaches participants to be alert and move quickly. 

 
Materials
For Captain's Daughter, you will not need any supplies. For Movie Trivia, you will need:
  • 3 to 4 slips of paper per participant
  • 1 pen for each participant (or have some share)
Please comment below on how you would use it with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hawaiian Themed Party

For my class, we had to do a final group event that included everything we had learned in class:
  • Pre-opener: a game that people can participate in as they arrive
  • Entertainment: song, skit, jokes, riddles, etc.
  • Magic Trick
  • Jokes and trivia
  • Relay
  • Song/Dance
  • Refreshments
The party was a blast and not too hard to put together! You do not have to use every element that we did. The party with everything included lasted about 45 minutes. You can easily make it last longer or shorter as you desire.

Here are the things you will need:
  • Enough chairs for each person attending (for the pre-opener)
  • Ukelele (for the entertainment)
  • Deck of cards or homemade cards (for the magic trick)
  • For the relay:
    • Long rope
    • Sunglasses (1 pair per group)
    • Lei (1 pair per group)
    • Flower hair clip (1 pair per group)
    • Face paint (1 pair per group)
    • Grass skirt (1 pair per group)
    • Camera (1 per group, optional)
Here is what we did!

Pre-opener
Before the party, set up chairs in rows for however many participants you have (30 people = 5 rows of
6 chairs). As people come in, show them to their row (once one row fills up, fill up the next row). Once everyone is seated, start playing music and have everyone stand up and walk around the chairs in their row. While the music is going, take away one chair from each row. When the music stops, everyone has to sit down. The people without a chair have departed to Hawaii. Have them step over to the side of the plane. Once one person is left, welcome everyone to Hawaii, and give the winner a prize (some sort of candy bar or something).

Entertainment
One of the girls in the group knew how to play the ukelele. She picked a few of her favorite songs and played them for the group. Everyone sat in front of her, sang along, clapped, etc. The songs she played were:
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow by IZ
  • If I Could Take Your Love With Me by Anonymous
  • Dream Girl by Ekolu
This activity was very helpful in order to bring down all the energy and get everyone's attention for the next fun activity!

Hawaiian Magic Trick
This is an adaptation of an extremely easy magic trick. Normally cards are used, but in this case, we "created" our own cards (16) with Hawaiian images like palm trees, pineapples, flip flops, flowers, etc. This is how you perform the magic trick:
  1. Group cards in 4 columns with 4 cards in each column 
  2. Ask one person to pick a card. You look away so he/she can show all participants which card was picked
  3. Ask the person to point to the column where his/her card was
  4. Pick that column first and put it in your hand. Then pick up the rest of the column, it doesn't matter in what order they go - make sure to pick them up in column though
  5. Using that column first you start 4 different columns (making sure that each of the 4 cards are on 4 different columns)
  6. Then ask the person to point to the column where their card is
  7. By this point you already know which card they picked because it is the only one in the original column his/she pick and the new column. The important part is that you act mysterious and confident throughout the magic trick
Hawaiian Themed Jokes and Trivia
These can be used throughout the party to allow time for set-up for the next activity or you can share these just at random times or all together. It truly is up to you!

An old Hawaiian man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig a taro patch (taro is used to make poi which has a paste-like texture and is eaten in Hawaii), but it was very hard work because the group was hard like a rock. His only son, Kimo, who used to help him, was in Halawa prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and explained his predicament:
Dear Kimo,
I feel pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my taro patch this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up this hard soil. I know if you were here you would be happy to dig the patch for me, and it wouldn't be a problem.
Love, Dad
A few days later, he received a letter from his son:
Dear Dad,
Do not dig up the taro patch. That's where I buried the bodies.
Love, Kimo
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived, and an army of men dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. Later that same day, the old man received another letter from his son:
Go plant your taro patch now dad. This is the best I could do.
Love, Kimo

Why don't oysters give to charity?                                            Because they are shellfish
Why did the lobster blush?                                                        Because the sea weed
What did the Pacific Ocean say to the Atlantic Ocean?            Nothing, it just waved
What did one tide pool say to the other tide pool?                    Show me your mussels
Where do crabs and lobsters catch their trains?                         Kings Crustacean
Where does seaweed look for a job?                                         In the 'Kelp-wanted' ads
What do you find on a small beach?                                         Micro-waves!
What did the fish use as a cell phone?                                       A Shell Phone

Hawaii Fun Facts:
  • Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee
  • More than one-third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii
  • From east to west Hawaii is the widest state in the United States
  • The Hawaiian Islands are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world
  • Hawaii was the 50th state admitted into the union on August 20, 1959
  • Hawaii has the fewest overweight people in the United States. About 19.7% of Hawaii residents are overweight, compared to 30% on the mainland
  • The Hawaiian alphabet consists of only 12 letters. The five vowels are: A, E, I, O, U and the seven consonants are: H, K, L, M, N, P, W
Relay-Dress up the Tourist
It's time to dress up for your vacation to get you into the Hawaiian spirit of adventure! Items needed:
  • Long rope
  • Sunglasses (1 pair per group)
  • Lei (1 pair per group)
  • Flower hair clip (1 pair per group)
  • Face paint (1 pair per group)
  • Grass skirt (1 pair per group)
  • Camera (optional)
Have everyone line up in their groups (from the plane ride) on one side of the room (5 groups = 6 separate lines). On the other end, have a table set up with the items listed above on it (you can separate them out for the groups beforehand or jumble them up - your choice!). Have one person from each group go stand on the other side of the room (if you want it to be super funny, choose a male). Then have two of the leaders stand on either end of the room and hold the rope tight to create limbo! The first member of each group will have to limbo under the rope to get to the 'tourist' on the other side, choose one object, put it on the 'tourist', limbo back to the group, and tag the next person who then repeats the sequence.
If you have enough people, add the following step: when the tourist is all dressed, the last person takes their picture. If there are not enough people in the group, the first person goes again. The first group to finish gets a prize! (Bag of candy, a toy, etc.)

Song/Dance - Hukilau (huki: pull, lau: leaves)
A ukilau is a fishing celebration invented by the ancient Hawaiians. The town would throw huge nets into the ocean with coconut leaves tied onto them to lure in the fish. Everyone would join together to pull in the nets. Jack Owens wrote the Hukilau song in 1948 after visiting Hawaii. The Hukilau is now a popular song and dance. We chose to teach our group the first verse, but there is more than one so you can decide how many you want to teach!
Oh we're goin' to a hukilau (pulling "ropes" 2x to the right, 2x to the left)
A huki huki huki huki huki hukilau (pulling "ropes" 2x to the right, 2x to the left)
Everybody loves a hukilau (arms outstretched in welcoming)
Where the laulau is the kaukau at the hukilau (left hand cupped like a bowl, right hand scoops and brings "food" to the mouth)
We'll throw our nets out into the sea (hands overhead and "thrown" forward)
And all the ama-ama come a-swimmin' to me (one hand on top of the other moving up and down like fish)
Oh we're goin' to a hukilau (pulling "ropes" 2x to the right, 2x to the left)
A huki huki huki huki hukilau (pulling "ropes" 2x to the right, 2x to the left)
Definitions: 
  • Laulau: leaves
  • Kaukau: pork/food
  • Ama-ama: popular Hawaiian Fish
Here is a video that can teach you the lyrics and dance: (go to 1 minute 22 seconds for the dance)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qAk3I7gLT0


Refreshments
Hawaiian punch and fruit skewers (pineapple, grapes, strawberries on a toothpick - any fruit will work as long as you have at least 1 kind of tropical fruit).

Please comment below on how you would use it with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Noah's Arc and Chicken in the Hen House

Noah's arc has become one of my new favorite games. It brings out people's creativity and laughter. Chicken in the hen house definitely gets the energy going and is a lot of fun as well!

Noah's Arc
Before everyone shows up, write a name of different animals on slips of paper. Each animal should be on two slips of paper. Put these in a hat/bowl, and have everyone draw out one slip of paper. Participants do not show their animal. Once the last person has drawn their paper, everyone starts making the noise of the animal on their slip of paper. Participants walk around and try to find their match. Once they have found their match, they sit down. After everyone has found their match, collect the slips of paper, and have everyone draw again. This time they act out their animal without making any noise.

Chicken in the Hen House
You can have Noah's Arc lead straight into this game. Either have the participants choose a partner or tell them to keep their same partner from Noah's Arc. Tell the participants to form an inner circle and outer circle. One person from the pair goes into the inner circle, and one person goes to the outer circle. The inner circle walks clockwise and the outer circle walks counter-clockwise. The leader yells out different directions to the participants:
  • Rodeo: one partner gives the other a piggy back ride
  • Lover's Leap: one partner leaps into the arms of the other partner
  • London Bridges: one partner creates a bridge and the other goes under the bridge
  • Sailors Sit: one partner kneels down on one leg for the other partner to sit on while both saluting
  • Chicken in the Hen House: one partner puts arms above head to form the top of a house (triangle) and the other squats next to him/her and flaps wings like a chicken
Once the leader yells an action, each pair must find their partner and complete the action. The last couple to act out the action is eliminated and becomes a judge to help decide who is eliminated next. Game play continues until there is one triumphant couple left.

Recommendations
Chicken in the Hen House can seem a little overwhelming at first. One way to have the game run smoother, have them pair off and practice each action (London bridge, sailors sit, etc.) as you call it out and explain it. If you feel everyone has got it down, you can do a few practice rounds or just jump right into the game!
For Noah's Arc, make sure you write legibly so everyone can read your hand writing. You can also turn the lights off to add a third round. Have everyone draw a slip of paper and make the noise of their animal. It is awesome!


Life Lessons
Chicken in the hen house can teach kids that they can still have fun and contribute even when they get out. They can enjoy watching their friends run around like crazy, help judge, and talk to other friends. This game can be used to teach kids that it is okay to get out. This game can also teach participants how to work together using good communication and how to adapt quickly. 
Noah's Arc teaches children the importance of listening. You can apply it to different parts of their lives whether in the classroom or in the home. Listening to others allows everyone to help each other. 
Both of these activities get participants out of their comfort zones which creates the opportunity to build friendships and great memories. 

Materials
No materials are needed for chicken in the hen house. For Noah's Arc you will need:
  • Enough slips of paper with animals written on them for the whole group (20 people, 20 slips of paper, 10 animals)


Please comment below on how you would use it with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Amazing Race and Evolution

Both of these games can be used as pre-openers or normal activities. Pre-openers are games used when people are arriving. These allow people to participate as they walk in the door so no one is sitting around bored waiting for others to come. The Amazing Race is great to get people talking and learning more about each other. Evolution makes everyone laugh super hard! It gets people outside of their comfort zone and opens people up to talking.

My Experience
I have had great experiences with both of these games. Everyone who participated had tons of fun and were talkative. These games are definitely good ones to help people get to know each other. After you have played these games, please comment and tell us about your experiences!

The Amazing Race
As people arrive, put them in groups of two. Give them one piece of paper and a writing utensil. They have 5-10 minutes to write down as many words they can think of within a category you assign them when giving them the piece of paper. Some examples are:

  • Food
  • Words with doubles
  • Words that start with a certain letter
  • Animals
Once everyone has arrived and had a few minutes to write with their partner, call everyone together and have them count up how many words they wrote down. The partnership with the most words wins. You can give them some sort of prize (candy bars work well).

Evolution
Everyone in the group must know how to play "Rock, paper, scissors." Everyone starts out as an egg, and waddles around going "Whobble, whobble!" When an egg finds another egg, they play "Rock, paper, scissors." The winner will evolve to a chicken, and hop around making chicken noises until they find another chicken to play "Rock, paper, scissors." The loser will become an egg again; an egg is the lowest species one can be. The winner of the chickens will become a dinosaur. The dinosaurs walk around like dinosaurs repeating, "Auh, Auh!" The winner of the dinosaur match becomes Elvis. Elvis walks around playing his guitar. The loser of the dinosaur match becomes a chicken again. Once Elvis has won his/her final match up (with another Elvis), he/she wins the game! 

Recommendations
For evolution, if you want the game to continue longer, you can tell participants to keep count of how many times they become Elvis (or something along those lines) and call the game when you feel it is over. This way the game does not end super early.
You can use the Amazing Race for fun or to get people thinking about a certain topic. For example, if you are running a Bible camp, you could have the participants write down all of the word they can think of that go along with Bible such as people, places, and things in the Bible. If you are a teacher, you could have the students write down as many adverbs, adjectives, etc. that they can think of. This game truly has endless possibilities. If you would like ideas on how to apply this game to a situation, please feel free to ask!
Please share any ideas and recommendations you have.

Life Lessons
The Amazing Race can be used to teach participants that others have a lot to contribute as well and that their ideas can be made better by others. It can teach the value of teamwork and also how to work as a team member - giving ideas and allowing others to give their ideas as well.
Evolution can be used to teach the importance of laughing. Many people do not realize how much laughing truly impacts a person. This is a great lesson for kids to learn, and adults to remember. This can also be used to teach participants that even if they have a bad day or experience that gets them down, they can make it better. You can lead this into specific examples for participants if you would like to.

Materials
No materials are needed for Evolution. For Amazing Race, you will need:
  • Enough pieces of paper for every two people (Ex. 10 people need 5 pieces of paper)
  • Enough pens for every two people
Where to Play
Both of these can be indoor or outdoor games. If the other games are outdoor, you can start out indoors or start outdoors. If the other games are indoor, I would recommend staying indoors because getting people regrouped and coming back inside after would be harder. 

Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:
Credits
Image 1: http://www.montroseaccess.org.au/images/pic-kids-writing.jpg 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You're a Star and Sign my Cast

These are some of my favorite pre-openers! Pre-openers are activities used at the beginning of a social as people arrive. Pre-openers are meant to keep people involved and talking so they do not lose interest. I have used these as activities as well - not just pre-openers. Either way they are fun and keep the participants' attention.

My Experience
I have always had great success with these games. One time, everyone wanted to keep playing - we played You're a Star five times! I was starting to run out of names so I had the participants write names and tape them on their friend's back. Both games are easy to explain and very chill so the participants can talk, catch up, get to know each other, etc.  

Sign My Cast
Give every participant a brown bag with a hole in the bottom and a marker. The participants put their dominant arm through the brown bag to create a cast. The participants walk around mingling and signing each other casts with their non-dominant hands. When everyone seems to have all of the signatures, have them stop and count the number of signatures they have. Have those with 10 signatures raise their hands, then 15, 20, and so on until only one person's hand is up. Have that person say how many he/she has and then give him/her a piece of candy or some other prize. 

You're a Star
Before everyone comes, write the name of a famous person on different index cards. Choose names the group will know. Tape an index card on each players back without showing the player the name written on the card. Have all the players walk around asking each other "yes/no" questions untill the players figure out who they are. If someone figures it out quickly, give them a new one to keep the game going or just have them try to help others.

Recommendations
Here are some ideas for You're a Star: 

  • Kids: 
    • Characters from Disney shows/movies
      • Jessie
      • Ariel 
      • Simba
    • Superheroes
      • Batman
      • Thor
  • Teenagers and Adults 
    • Characters from recent movies/television shows
    • Different actors
      • Will Smith
    • Sport players
      • Michael Jordan
      • Peyton Manning
  • Elderly
    • Characters from older movies/television shows
      • Casa Blanca
      • MASH
    • Famous sports players from his/her era
Also with You're a Star, if you are having a hard time coming up with names, have participants write down a famous person and tape it to another participant's back. Participants definitely have a lot of fun this way because they are more involved.

Life Lessons
These activities can be used to build communication and social skills. You're a Star practices problem solving skills and critical thinking while having fun! Sign my Cast practices motor skills especially since everyone will be using their non-dominant hand.

Materials
Make sure to bring extra materials just in case more people show up, etc.

  • You're a Star
    • Enough index cards for each person to go twice - just in case
    • Markers to write the names with
  • Sign my Cast
    • Enough markers for everyone to use one
    • Enough brown bags for everyone participating

Where to Play
You can play both of these inside or outside. I love it!

Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Signs and Animal Sounds

    I love playing signs and animal sounds! Both of these games are great with a big group of people. These games are great to get good laughs and have always been hits with my friends. We joke about funny moments for days after. I hope you enjoy too!

    My Experience
    I started playing signs with my cousins when I was younger and have loved it from the first time I played! We usually start with easy signs and eventually have massive hilarious signs. I have taught my friends the game and have all gotten great laughs while playing. 
    I played animal sounds for the first time at a bonfire at college. We laughed so hard listening to our friends trying to make the noises! I always have a hard time with this game because I am a laugher so I usually give myself away when trying to make an animal sound. This game is a blast!
    If you play and have any experiences you would like to share please do!

    Signs
    Everyone starts off sitting in a circle. Each person picks a sign such as twirling hair, scratching the nose, etc. Go around the circle twice to have everyone show his/her sign. Then choose one person to go in the middle. This person closes his/her eyes and spins in a circle while counting down from five while someone in the circle starts passing the sign. The way to pass the sign is to do someone else's sign. The person accepts by doing his/her sign to show that he/she has received it. He/she can hold onto it or pass it on by doing someone else's sign. That person does his/her own sign to accept it and so on. The person in the middle is trying to find the person with the sign. When the person in the middle thinks he/she knows who has the sign, he/she touches that persons knee and asks, "Do you have the sign?" If the person answers yes, then that person is in the middle and starts counting and spinning while the sign is passed around. If the person answers no, then the person in the middle stays in the middle and tries to find the person who has the sign.

    Animal Sounds
    Everyone sits around in a circle, and one person is chosen to be in the middle. The person in the middle closes his/her eyes while spinning in a circle and then randomly points to a person (the person keeps his/her eyes closed). The person in the middle chooses an animal and tells the person being pointed at to make that animal's noise. After the sound is made, the person in the middle has to guess who made that sound. If he/she is correct, then the person who made the sound is now in the middle. If he/she is incorrect, then the person in the middle points at someone else and tells him/her to make an animal noise. 
    Twist: If you would like to play this with younger children, have everyone sit in a circle with one person in the middle. The person in the middle closes his/her eyes and spins around in a circle and points to a person. The person in the middle makes an animal noise and the person who is being pointed at has to guess the animal. If the player guesses correctly then he/she is now in the middle. If the player does not guess the right animal, the person in the middle stays in the middle.

    Recommendations
    When switching the person in the middle, have the person who just left the middle start the sign every time so no one gets confused. If you do not want to do that, at least be clear on who will send the sign; otherwise, you could end up with multiple signs being passed. Also, if someone is trying to send the sign to another player who is not receiving it, tell them to keep sending it to that one person. Otherwise, there could be multiple signs sent around. 
    For animal sounds, rather than the person in the middle just pointing to someone to make the sound, he/she can hold a pillow and sit on a player's lap and tell that person the noise to make. This way is definitely HILARIOUS! But some player's are given away because the person who is it can feel the pants/shorts. I think it is worth is just for the humor perspective.
    Please give any recommendations you have about the games! I'd love to hear them.

    Life Lessons
    The life lesson I have always taken from these games is mostly being able to laugh and have fun and how that builds friendships. They both can be used to talk about communication - especially signs because everyone has to be looking to see if someone is trying to send them the sign (listening to others). Also, many signs can be similar so whoever is trying to send the sign must be careful to send it to the right person. Players in signs are practicing memorization as well.  

    Materials
    • Enough chairs for each person minus one. For example, if you have 15 people, you only need 14 chairs.
    Where to Play
    You can play inside or outside. I have played in a pavilion, in a living room, and out in the grass. 

    Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 

    Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:
      Credit:
      Image 1: http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/ChickShedCircle190.jpg

      Wednesday, May 22, 2013

      Doctor and Goliath Dodgeball


      Dodgeball is a classic! I have always enjoyed playing. Recently, I found a new way to play the game. It keeps the integrity of dodgeball and makes it more fun. The game is called Doctor Dodgeball. I have also added a new twist on this game called Goliath Dodgeball. Together, they are definitely my favorite!

      My Experience
      I LOVE this game!!! I have run this game with children as young as 7 years old and adults as old as 24 years old. I have played with as few as 6 kids to 30 adults (thirty was a little crazy - I would recommend splitting it into two different games of dodgeball if you have this many people). It has become one of my favorites! The point is to keep everyone participating in the game rather than being on the sidelines. The way to best introduce this is to start off with the doctor and play a few rounds. Then add the goliath. This way they understand what is going on without too many changes at once.

      Doctor Dodgeball


      Divide the players into two equally numbered teams, and have each team stand on their half of the playing area. Give each team one minute to designate one player to be their 'doctor.' The teams do not disclose who their doctor is to the other team. The doctor is able to 'heal' any of the players that are hit and who already got out of the game (players can be healed as many times as they get out). The way I have done this is have the players who have been hit put their hand out for a high-five. The doctor 'heals' another player by giving him/her a high-five.

      The objective is to hit all the opposing players and/or the opponent's doctor (with the soft foam balls) to win the game. The game begins with a staff saying go, then the players run to the middle, and grab the balls to start throwing at each other. Once a player is hit, he must put his hand out for a high five from the doctor which lets him back in the game. No one can rescue the doctor if he gets hit with the ball. The game ends when one side is all out. Change doctors with each round of play.


      Goliath Dodgeball
      The more I have played this, I have realized that the doctor version can go on forever. To help speed the game up, you can add a "goliath" on each team. If "goliath" gets hit, then the whole team is out. Each team should keep their goliath a secret. This keeps the game moving a lot faster! Then more people have a chance to be a doctor and goliath. You could also just do Goliath dodgeball without the doctor.

      Recommendations
      For the half-court line, I use frisbees because the participants can clearly see the line and the frisbees hold the balls in place so they are not rolling around. 

      Life Lessons
      Doctor dodgeball can be used to teach the importance of second chances. You can talk about how they felt when they were unable to play (left out, sad,etc.) and then how they felt after they had been 'healed' (included, excited, etc.). You can teach them the importance of including others and making friends.
      Goliath dodgeball can be used to teach the importance of every person and working together as a team. We are only as strong as the weakest person. 

      This can be played inside on a basketball court or in a multipurpose room. Outside, it can be played on a nice grassy area or pavilion. If you play outside, you will be chasing the balls down. I would recommend playing in an area with walls on either side so the balls are easier to get.

      Materials


      • 10-20 balls
      • Frisbees or something else to create a halfway line





      Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 

      Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:



      Credits:
      I first read about this game in the book, The Ultimate Playground and Recess Games on page 78. I took the game they outlined and put my own little spin on it.
      Image 1: http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/32176_f5b5bf19a3aba022690e1fcf958060ad_0edfaefda77751a01d900f56da0f1780.jpg
      Image 2: http://images.collegemagazine.com/userFiles/gallery/articles/b0b36a9b4cce07b49c2df9009607b04a_b.jpg
      Image 3: http://www.bhf.org.uk/images/ud%20-%20teachers%20image_article.jpg

      Monday, May 20, 2013

      Animal Tag

      Tag is such a fun game to play! I have found a few twists that I absolutely love playing! I have played them with kids as young as 6 years old. The kids love the creativity these twists allow.

      My Experiences
      I have played this game of tag multiple times. I love seeing everyone participate and laughing together. The participants are always super creative with their animal choices and how they portray their animals.
      If you use this game, please comment and share your experience or twists you added! I'd love to hear different ideas!

      Animal Tag
      Choose one player to be 'it'. On the starting signal, the tagger attempts to tag as many players as possible. If tagged a player must assume an animal position (you can also do sports or other categories). A tagged player is un-'frozen' when a player who isn't frozen guesses his/her animal. If the player guesses the wrong animal, he/she stays frozen until the animal is guessed correctly.


      Recommendations
      You can let the players use their hands to tag each other if they get along well. I have found that a soft ball works best so the participants do not get too physical if they do not get along well. 

      Life Lessons
      Point out the importance of good communication. My favorite time I played, one of the girls decided to be a guinea pig. No one could guess her animal. After the game, we talked about the importance of using words and actions that others will understand. Also, when his/her animal was not being guessed, the participants would switch to different positions for the same animal. Using this, we talked about the importance of rephrasing to help communication. 

      Materials
      • 1-2 soft balls
      Other Variations of Tag
      Freeze-Tag Toss 
      Triangle Tag
      Spot Tag
      Coping Skills Freeze Tag

      Please comment below on how you would use this activity with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 
       
      Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:


      Credit:
      Picture 1: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=9732960
      Picture 2: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2011/04/kids-playing-hens-chicks.jpg