CROWDBREAKERS and GAMES
You heard us mention these games on the May 24, 2007 edition of Five Guys and Coffee, the podcast for Youth Workers from That Youth Thing®. If you haven't subscribed to Five Guys, now's a great time to get started. Simply click here to subscribe.
The Clap Game
Simple but fun. The leader stands in front of the group with his or her hands extended, one above the other, with palms facing each other. Hold the bottom hand still while you pass the top hand back and forth across the bottom hand without touching. The point of the game is for the crowd to clap each time your top hand passes over your bottom hand. If they don't, they're out. Of course, you can "trick" them into clapping by stopping the top hand before it gets over the bottom hand. Anyone who claps then is out.
Here's a great game for 10 to 100 participants. Play in a fairly large room or outside. Clearly mark off three sections on the floor with tape, chalk, etc. One section is the poopdeck, one the main deck, and the last the quarter deck. Begin with everyone standing in the poopdeck area. Call out the name of a deck (even the one that they are standing in), and the kids then run to the deck or section that you have called out. The last person into the section which you have called is out. If kids are in the poopdeck, for example, and you call out poopdeck, any kid who crosses the line, jumps the gun or in any other way (except being pushed) goes out of the poopdeck, is out. The game continues rapidly until one person is the winner.
Hints on directing this game:
* Give them a few trial runs to warm up and for new kids to get the hang of the game.
Here are additional "decks" you can add to the original Poopdeck game to complicate things further: second deck, third deck, fourth deck, promenade deck, boat deck, sun deck, bridge deck, flight deck, hanger deck, upper deck, forecastle deck, and cabin deck.
If you like, add special activities to each area, such as having kids flap their arms while in the flight deck. In addition, the following commands, if interspersed with deck commands, can generate a great deal of playful confusion:
* Hit the deck!—Players must drop to a prone position.
In the standard game, there are four squares painted on the ground, all touching each other, making one, larger square. Each small square is roughly 8' x 8', but that's not a hard and fast rule. The ball used is the standard red 'kickball'
Each player occupies one of the squares. The squares each have a rank order. The square with the highest rank is called the 'King' [Sometimes the 'Ace']. The other squares sometimes have names, and sometime don't. The #2 square may be called the 'Prime Minister', or the other three may be called the 'Queen', 'Prince', and 'Princess'.
The start the game, the King serves the ball by bouncing it in his square once and then hitting it towards one of the other squares. The receiving player then hits the ball to any other player, and play continues until one of the following things occur:
1) A player hits the ball (or is hit BY the ball) before it bounces once in their square.
2) A player does not hit the ball before it bounces twice
3) A player hits the ball out of bounds (it must land in someone's square first)
Once a player is 'dead', they move back to the lowest ranking square. The other players then move up to fill the vacancies. If there are more players than squares, that person goes to the back of the line, and the person at the front of the line gets to move onto the lowest square and play.
The whole group hides their eyes and counts out loud together to 50, while one person goes and hides. Then everyone begins to look for the sardine. When you spot the sardine, you don't tell anyone, then when no one is looking, you slip in and hide with the sardine. Eventually everyone starts to disappear, and the one left notices he's all alone, and rather embarrassed to be the last one left. The first one to find the sardine, gets to hide as the sardine in the next round. Imagine 5 or 10 kids all huddled together in a tight spot trying to keep from laughing and being seen. Great fun!
Drop the Keys
One of the all time greats - especially for crowds in the 20-40 size. Everyone puts the chairs in a cirlce and one person stand in the middle with keys (they don't have a chair so there is one more person than chairs - that's VERY important!). All the people sitting extend their left arms into the middle of the circle with their thumbs pointing down to the floor. The person with the keys than runs around along the inside of the circle and selects a perosn of the opposite sex by grabbing their left hand with his or her right hand. That person than picks someone and so on until you have a pretty long chain of people running around the circle. When the first person "drops the keys," everyone scrambles to get an empty chair. Last person left standing picks up the keys and starts again.
Do You Love Your Neighbor?
Same set up as Drop the Keys (circle of chairs, one person in middle). Person standing approaches someone sitting and asks, "Do you love your neighbor?" If they say "yes," the people sitting on either side of them (their "neighbors") have to switch seats while the person standing tries to get one of the empty chairs. If they sau "no," they finish the turn by adding, "but I love everyone who..." and then they fill in the blank (i.e., "but I love everyone in the 10th grade"). All the people that fit in that category have to get up and run to another empty chair while the original person tries to get one, too. Last person standing asks someone else and so on.
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