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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.

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. 

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:

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