Gamesas alternatives

Games ideas for larger parties

Occasionally we are booked for events where there are too many combatants and too long a wait. Some customers have run another event in parallel, but this obviously gets expensive. If you do want to accommodate more guests, and there is enough space in your venue (preferably a separate room or area), you could split the party in half and run alternate games in parallel with Sumo. You will need to do this yourself as your 'Gyoji' will be engrossed in the Basho next door.

Here are some ideas for games you may not have heard of that Martin Day has accumulated from his years of children's work at Brookwood Community Church.



Noisy and Active :

Quiet and Contained :

PS2 'Eyetoy Play'

Eyetoy PlayThis works surprisingly well for groups of 4 or 5 kids working as a team. You will need a PS2 with 'Eyetoy' disc and webcam, and either a big TV or (preferably) a projector. Speakers are not strictly necessary for this but add to the fun.

The webcam is mounted high on top of (say) a microphone stand so that a large area of floor is on camera. Teams play the standard eyetoy games against each other ('Wishy-Washy' and 'Kung Fu' are good for this).

This again requires some spectating whilst waiting and kids would need to be prevented from straying into or behind the playing area

NB This is high effort to source and set up but makes for a really impressive game - All of the above will only make sense if you are familiar with the concept of 'eyetoy'.

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Underwater Arctic Attack

Underwater Arctic AttackOne child is chosen as a 'destroyer' and sits blindfolded on a chair at the head of the hall. The other children are 'submarines' and have to crawl on their bellies (under the level of the ice cap!) until one touches the top wall. The submarines move when the destroyer says "go" and stop when he points and says "stop". The destroyer also has a depth charge (a soft ball) that he can throw only 3 times.

A submarines has to return to the start if he is pointed at, breaches the ice cap, moves after the stop command or is touched by the depth charge.

The winner becomes the new 'destroyer'.

Someone needs to stand by the destroyer to judge his pointing, to spot late movers, ice cap breaches and to pass him back his depth charge.

NB This sounds complicated but I have found it to be very popular with children's groups I've worked with.

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Go-TagEveryone sits in a column facing out from the column but alternately facing opposite directions. The person at the top of the column is the first runner and may run around the column in either direction and changing direction when he needs to. The person from other end is first chaser and can run either way but must not change direction once he has started.

The chaser can tag anyone sitting in the column on the back and shout “go”. This person then becomes the chaser, and the pervious chaser takes their place in the column.

When the runner is tagged, they sit down at one end of the column, the person at the other end becomes the new chaser, and the old chaser becomes the new runner.

NB A high energy game that can go on for ages.

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Pull The Bacon

Pull The BaconTwo teams line up facing each other behind a line (e.g. masking tape) or touching opposite walls ideally about 20 feet or more apart. The “bacon” (a sheet or large towel) is placed an equal distance from each team.

Each team member is given a number (for the game to work best opposing team members with the same number should be of equal size).

When the organiser shouts out a number, the two people need to rush into the centre of the room and pull the bacon back behind their line.

Multiple numbers can be called, which adds to the fun!

NB violence should be discouraged as there is potential for tears with this one!

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Wink Murder

Wink MurderThe detective is sent out of the room whilst a murderer is chosen.

The detective stands in the centre of the circle whilst the murderer tries to wink at other people in the circle causing them to 'die' in a spectacular manner.

The detective has 3 tries at guessing the identity of the murderer.

NB Simple but popular.

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AnimalsArrange the children in a horseshoe configuration seated on the floor. This is the 'evolutionary' chain. Each child is assigned an animal with it's own gesture. At the top of the evolutionary chain is of course the snail, whilst at the bottom is the gorilla!

Each animal gesture is silent (although there is no penalty for noises). Each child has to watch for the gesture of their own animal, repeat it and immediately follow it with the gesture of another. The Snail always starts each round and the round pro cedes until a mistake is spotted. Any hesitations, incorrect or missed or gestures result in the offender moving down to the position of the Gorilla. Then everyone in between moves up one place and assumes the identity of the animal they had just been next to. The game relies on concentration and on watching the flow of the game.

Advanced players will throw dummies by performing the gesture of one animal whilst looking towards an unrelated player. The real challenge becomes trying to catch the Snail out!

A typical game might proceed like this:

  • The Snail does his own sign and then that of the Frog,
  • The Frog does his own sign and then that of the Giraffe,
  • The Giraffe does his own sign and then that of the Elephant,
  • The Elephant does his own sign and then that of the Giraffe,
  • The Giraffe does his own sign and then that of the Frog,
  • The Frog does the sign of the Giraffe!
  • This is a mistake that everyone spots and so the child who was the Frog moves to the bottom of the chain and becomes the new Gorilla. Everyone in between move up one position and assume the identity of the child next to him. So everyone from the frog down has changed identity and everyone up form the Frog is unchanged. It all starts again with the Snail...
  • The Snail does his own sign and then that of the Gorilla,
  • And so on.

Here are some animals and their gestures to get you started, but it can be fun to invent your own, but they must be distinctly recognisable and it's entertaining to everyone when similar animal sit next to each other!

  • Snail - the index finger of each hand is held up to the head like horns
  • Rabbit - the palms are held up from the head like ears with one curling over
  • Cat - hands are held to the cheeks and one curls over as if cleaning whiskers
  • Elephant - arm held straight out horizontal from the nose like a trunk
  • Giraffe - arm held straight up vertical like the giraffe's neck
  • Frog - both arms simulate brest stroke
  • Aardvark - both arms use a bit like the frog but alternating as if digging
  • Snake - one arm simulates the movement of a snake
  • Salmon - chin pointing up in the air as if jumping up a waterfall
  • Two Toed Sloth - two fingers of each hand held up in front of face as if curled around a branch
  • Dodo - head to one side as if dead
  • Dog - tongue out as if panting
  • Gorilla - arms beating alternately on the chest

NB All ages find this game a delight, from 7 year olds to teenagers.

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