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Sharks in the Water

Minimum number = 6
Lay out a series of large pieces of card or paper (e.g. opened out newspaper) at random around the room. Then put some chairs in a large circle round the room to form a perimeter away from the paper. Explain that the card/paper are islands and that everyone must run to an island when the leader shouts out “Sharks in the Water” (to escape being eaten by a shark). Otherwise they must continuously move around the room keeping outside the perimeter (swimming). To start with everyone will be able to seek refuge, but after each round the leader should tear a section off one of the islands, thus reducing the amount of safe land. If, at any time, one or more children cannot find safe refuge they are out. Continue until only one child is left.

Shout Out

Minimum number = 6
This is a very noisy game! Divide into two teams and place each team at one end of the room, a few feet apart. Each team then nominates one “listener” who leaves the room. The leader then gives a different short phrase to each team (usually something nonsensical, e.g. “My feet are called Henry and Jack”. The listeners are then brought back into the room and placed at the opposite end of the room from their teams. When the leader says go, the two teams must shout their phrases as loud as they can to drown out the other team and make sure their listener gets the phrase. When a listener thinks they have the phrase they go to the leader. At this point everyone must stop and the listener tells the leader what they think it is. If they are correct they win a point for their team. If they are wrong no points are scored but the other listener is given a chance to guess their phrase (same conditions). New listeners are then chosen, and the game continues.

Simon Says

Minimum number = 4
The Leader gives commands either prefaced by “Simon says” or not. If he/she includes Simon says the children must copy the command. If he/she omits Simon says they must not follow the command. Anyone who follows a non-Simon says command is out. As the game proceeds the commands should get faster. They can include spoken commands (Simon says hop on one foot) and copy-me commands (Simon says do this… and put your hand on your head). The winner is the last one in.

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Index of Children's Games

Children playing Simon Says
Image from The Beauty and Joy of Computing