Games for Fun and Time Filling

>My friend and colleague Kari recently posted these games for her teachers. I like this idea of having some games ready to grab and use when the service goes long or (gasp!) the curricula for the day just isn’t working. Give them a try!


Red Handed  
How sneaky can you be? Everyone forms a circle, the person who is “it” (oldest student?) stands in the center. “It” closes her eyes and the other players pass a small object (small stone or marble) from person to person. A good way to pass the stone is to hold the marble in one fist, palm down, and drop it into the palm-up hand of the next person. Then he passes it from one fist to the next and to the next person. The person who is “it” raises her hand to signal that she is about to open her eyes. Then when she opens her eyes she tries to discover who has the stone. Lots of fake passes, lots of distractions make for a fun guessing time. When “it” guesses right who has the stone, then that person is the new “it”! Chute Ball Have everyone hold a parachute around the edge, like a fireman’s net—toss in a foam ball. With a few tries and coordination you’ll be able to send it flying. With a little more practice you’ll be able to catch it and send it flying again. You can also try to roll it around the edge by “doing the wave” around the circle.  

Hula Hoop Game 
Objective: To pass a Hula Hoop around a circle without letting go of hands. Have people join a big circle holding hands. Put a Hula Hoop over one of your arms and join the circle. “Now without letting go of anyone’s hands, let’s see if we can pass this Hula Hoop around the circle!” Try to have shorter and taller kids mixed together.  

This is a Weeble 
Gather a number of common items from the craft cupboard or the kitchen. A spoon, a pencil, a stone etc… Sit in a circle. Explain that you will be passing around an item, which will go around the entire circle, but it must be done in the “proper” way only! Say: “Let’s practice. This is a weeble” and hand one item to the person on your right. Kid on the Right “A what?” Leader: “ A weeble” The prop is passed to the next person on the right saying “This is a weeble” They must reply “A what?” this same reply goes all the way around the circle and comes back to the leader who says “A weeble” passing that information once again so the prop can go to the next person. Get started making sure everyone is clear, then stop the action and pass a “Worgle” (a new prop) to your left. Start up the “weeble” again. The fun comes when the items pass each other and the “a what’s?” are flying. You can add a few more items.  

If you are not familiar with the game, look it up online, Wikipedia has a good description. For church classes it’s suggested to have one person acting out a word or phrase that they come up with rather than teams and pre-determined items. You could act out the principles or UU things like chalice, altar, flame, but simple things like football, movie titles and books might be best.  

Who is the Leader?  
The objective of the game is for one person to guess who the “leader” is in the circle. Have one person leave the area and turn their back to the group. The remaining children form a circle and choose a leader. Decide on a simple motion to do in rhythm like clapping hands, patting knees and finger clicking. Talk about how the leader will change motions. Practice so it’s difficult to tell who the leader is. Have the person come back to the group and stand in the middle of the circle, trying to guess who the leader is. Once they have guessed, the leader goes out and the game begins again!  

Duck Duck GOOSE  
A classic!  

Energy Breaks  

Tone Singing  
Have each person close their eyes release sound on a different tone. (“Om” or “Oooooooo”). Hold the tones as long as possible, taking staggered breaths so that the sound is constant. Listen as the voices come into harmony with each other.

Group Sneeze 
Sneeze out all the negative energy with this one. Divide the group into 3 sections. Assign the word “Russia” to one, “Prussia” to another, and “Massachusetts” to third. Have everyone sneeze their word loudly at the same time.  

Form a standing circle, then have everyone hold hands and squat down. As they slowly come up to standing, have them say “zzzzzzzzzzoooooooooooooom!” (or any other joyful noise or word) and end with a jump in the air. 

Have the group spread out in the space. Tell them to relax their bodies. As the say “Oooooom” have them clench every muscle in their bodies; hands, tummy, faces; until they are in scrunched up little balls. Then, on “Wah!” have them release all of the tension and sprawl out on the floor.  

Form a standing circle. Have everyone gradually crouch down, making themselves as small as possible. As they do this, have them say, “Acorn, acorn, acorn…” getting softer and softer. Then, simultaneously jump up into the air and say “TREE!!” with enthusiasm. Do this one several times to energize a tired group.  

Social Justice Stretching
“Reach down to get power from the grassroots (touch your toes) Reach up to the sky for inspiration (reach your arms up in the air) Stomp out injustice (stomp feet on the floor) Move in the winds of change (with arms out to your side twist your torso from left to right)” Repeat with a faster pace and repeat until you can’t go any faster

Shake by Numbers
Tell the group that once they catch on to copy you. Start by shaking your right arm and counting to ten, kind-of quickly. Then shake your left arm and count to ten. Next shake your right leg and count to ten, then shake your left leg and count to ten. Continue in this order but for each set count only to nine, then eight, etc. (think B-I-N-G-O-style) and hopefully quicken the counting each time. Continue until you run out of numbers.