Games which require no equipment and will burn
off a bit of steam....
Ladders ~ Captain's
Coming ~ Beans ~ Traffic
Lights ~ Teddy Bears ~ All
||if modified, suitable
||suitable for Brownies
||suitable for Guides
||still appeals to Rangers /
Various attempts have been
made to ban Ladders, but these come under "local rules"
and are NOT officially sanctioned : Ladders is described on the official
GirlguidingUK site so if it's OK for them....
The girls are divided into pairs and form two rows facing each other
and sitting on the floor, legs outstretched towards each other with
the soles of the feet of each pair touching (the rungs of the ladder)
- each pair of girls needs to be at least a metre from the next pairs
on either side. They must be told to keep their hands out of the way!
Each pair is given a name - these will depend on which version of
the game you play:
Version 1 : story : you will need to be able to improvise a
simple story as you go along....as an example, name the pairs Old
Woman, Old Man, cat, dog, rabbit, bird, etc.... any characters you
like. Make sure the girls are clear about "who" they are
... as you tell the story, as each character's name occurs the girls
with that name have to jump to their feet and race up the ladder (stepping
over and between the other "rungs" and avoiding legs) to
the "top" of the ladder, back round behind the backs of
the seated girls to the "bottom" of the ladder then back
over the remaining "rungs" to their original place. You
can if you wish make it competitive by counting the two sides as teams
and keeping score of who gets back to their place first each time.
Keep the story rolling and the girls on the hop, you can make it as
hectic as you like : "Once upon a time there was a little old
woman ("Old Woman" pair leaps up and begins to run...) who
lived with a little old man ("Old Man" pair leap up and
also start to run .. let the Old Woman get back to their places before
you set anyone else off running ...) and they had a cat....... and
a dog....." and so on and so on. Don't have too many pairs running
at once or chaos will ensue, and you can spring "repeats"
on them so that just as they are sitting down they have to leap up
again.... it is all down to your ingenuity. I have seen this used
as a "teaching tool" where the story has been the history
of Guiding and the characters Olave B-P, Agnes B-P, Lord B-P etc,
but I'm not convinced that they learned a lot because they were all
listening for their own characters' names and not really to the story
Version 2 : words : if you don't want to risk your story-telling
skills, you can give the pairs names of associated words (animals,
etc.,) or similar words (to make them listen!)
and just call out the words at random; a slightly more sophisticated
version of this is to use colours and call out things which are that
colour - for example, call out "grass" and the pair named
"green" should run; for "tomato," "red"
should go, and so on.
WARNING : the reason so many local rules apply to Ladders is
that it can get quite riotous if not carefully controlled, and girls
can get stepped on (so check footwear) and end up in tears .... the
watchwords are Care and Control.....!
The girls have to pretend
they are on a ship and the leader calls out various instructions :
Climb the rigging
: mime climbing action
Scrub the decks
: mime, on hands and knees
Man overboard : mime swimming, ready for...
To the rescue! : girls form pairs and
smaller one jumps up piggy-back on the bigger, anyone left over
Lifeboats - 2 (3,
4) to a boat : get into groups of the correct number, again, any
left over are out
Port! : everyone
runs to the left
Starboard! : everyone
runs to the right - for both these, anyone who goes the wrong way
is out (decide which wall is "port" and which "starboard"
before you start, as the girls will be turned round in all directions!)
The Captain's wife
: form pairs and shake hands - odd one is out again
: girls line up and salute, last one in line is out.
Keep calling the instructions randomly and you will
eventually be left with just one girl, who is therefore the winner.
- Jumping bean - jump up and down on the spot
- String bean - lie down, making themselves as long and narrow as
- Runner bean - run on the spot (or round the hall....)
- French bean - hand on hip, wiggle and say "Ooh la la!"
- Baked bean - lie flat out "sunbathing"
- Broad bean - make themselves as "wide" as possible
The possibilities are endless.....
Divide the hall into three
zones and name them "Red," "Amber" (or yellow)
and "Green." Make
sure the girls are clear as to which is which.
Then simply call out the names of things which are any of these colours
and the girls have to run into the appropriate zone - last one there,
or anyone going to the wrong zone, is out.
Red : tomatoes, strawberries,
raspberries, pillar boxes (UK
letter boxes), blood, holly berries, or any other examples you can
Yellow : bananas, lemons, custard, canaries, sun, butter, etc.
Green : grass, limes,
cabbage, lettuce, peas, etc. etc. Be wary of saying "leaves"
as they can go to all zones and still be right, similarly "apples!"
Divide the girls into threes
- they have to sort themselves out into "Mummy Bear," "Daddy
Bear" and "Baby Bear" for each three. Form a circle
with the "babies" between their mummies and daddies. Call
out randomly "Mummy Bear," "Daddy Bear" or "Baby
either Mummy or Daddy Bear, the respective girls drop backwards out
of the circle and run round it clockwise and back to their places,
last one back and their whole "family" is out. For "Baby
Bear" the pairs of Mummies and Daddies form arches and all the
babies have to run round the circle through all the arches and back
to their places - no overtaking is possible so nobody is "out"
on a "Baby Bear" round!
You will need to do a bit
of simple arithmetic for this one first .... count the girls, subtract
two, then arrange the rest into an approximate square : for example,
if you have eighteen Guides it's easy - you will need four rows of
four, plus the two others. (If
you have fourteen, it will be a rectangle - three rows of four which
will change - see later - to four rows of three. Set your rows according
to the number of girls) Stand the girls in well-spaced rows (with
enough room for someone to run between the rows easily) and have the
girls in each row hold hands, standing as far apart from each other
as they are from the rows in front and behind. The idea is for the
two "extra" girls to chase - one is "it" and has
to try and catch the other, who has to run between the rows but they
can't cut through them (hence the linked hands.) From time to time
the leader calls "change" and then the ROWS have to change
- you will have to practise this first before you start the game!
On the call of "Change" the girls in the rows release their
hands and all turn 90° in the SAME DIRECTION and rejoin hands
to create a new set of rows at right-angles to the previous rows,
which may mean that the chaser has to revise her strategies and gives
the chased a breather, or it may let the chaser catch the other girl,
it depends where they are when the lines switch. (Sounds harder than
it actually is!) The call of "All change" signals not only
the turning of the rows but tells the girls doing the chasing that
THEY have to change roles too, the chaser becoming the chased and
vice versa! If the girl who is "it" catches her prey, choose
another pair and carry on as before.
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