I bet you’ve played this game before, maybe even in Primary. There have been plenty of other blog posts about adapting this childhood favorite into a singing time review game, but most of them have just one class get into a corner at a time and use the distraction of the group left singing in the middle to make the game more fair. My primary is just not that big. We might get through 2 rounds that way before it was over. I adapted it to work better for a small group and to promote pretty singing.
First, post these signs around the room:
Most of your kids have probably played this game, but take a minute to explain how you’ll be changing it for Singing Time. You’ll choose one child to come up to the front of the room and be blindfolded. Then everyone will choose one corner, there must be at least one person in a corner, and WALK there quietly. Once everyone is in position, the pianist will play the song you’re reviewing, and the listener up at the front will choose the corner that they think sounded the prettiest. Talk about what pretty means for you. For me, it means they have to be able to hear you first, that you’re singing and not yelling, that you know the words and are hitting the right notes (at least mostly). The corner that the listener chooses gets to stay in, and everyone else is out and must sit down. The people left standing choose a new corner, but this time, the kids sitting down can be chosen as well. If the listener decides that the center of the room is singing prettier than any of the corners, then he can choose them, and they will get up and choose a corner again. The people who were in the corners have to sit down. As you might imagine, this can cycle for awhile, which is great for reviewing the same song over and over and keeping the kids attention. If you want to review several songs limit the number of rounds to 3 or 4 per song, and give everyone who’s standing in the last round a sticker (or whatever you like to use for prizes).
I’ve tried this game with some other variations that are more similar to the old classroom game, but this one works the best for me. The listener that’ s up front usually chooses a random corner, which gives the kids no incentive to sing well, or at all. With these guidelines for the listener, the kids really try. And, in other variations, once you’re out, you’re out and those sitting in the middle have no incentive to sing either. This way, everyone is still in the game, and is pushed to improve each time. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me. We’ll be playing it this Sunday to wrap up “Keep the Commandments” and then we’re on to “Latter-Day Prophets!”