Thursday, March 13, 2014

Add a Touch of Green to your Morning Meeting with these Irish Schoolyard Games

I was looking for Irish games to play with my class during our Morning Meeting on Monday since it's Saint Patty's Day, and I came across this page from The Heath Primary School in Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland. I think the games will be a fun way to celebrate Irish culture in the classroom in a very relevant and child-friendly way.

This is the link to the actual web page, but I've included the directions for the games here, too.

I'm not sure that STAMP and HEY PRESTO would go over too well in an American classroom for obvious reasons, but I am using "The Letter" on Monday, and I definitely want to try "Red Letter" soon and "Queenie-i-o" once the weather gets nice and we can head outside. Enjoy!

Around twenty kids go to one side of the playground and whoever's 'on' stands facing them, about ten metres away. He or she shouts 'Bulldog!' and everyone runs to the other side of the playground , trying not to get caught by whoever's 'on'. If you're caught you become 'on' too. We play until a lot of people are caught and then we start a new game.

Everyone stands around in a circle. The object is to stamp on another person's foot, but only when it's your go. When another person tries to stamp on your foot, you must try and dodge them by moving one leg only. If your foot is stamped you're out of the game. The winner of the game is the person that didn't get stamped.

Five people play this game. First you find a place with four corners. Whoever doesn't get a corner is 'on'. He or she turns away and the children in the corners shout "Chucky Chucky", and try to swap corners with someone else. Whoever is 'on' turns around and tries to get into someone's corner while everyone is switching. If he or she gets the corner, the person who has no corner is now 'on'.

Four or five can play this game. One person is 'on' and the others say "Crocodile, Crocodile may we cross the golden bridge" and whoever's on says "Only if you have the colour green" etc. etc. If you're wearing that colour you take a step. When you reach the person who's 'on', you're 'on'.

Whoever's 'on' has a tennis ball. He or she turns around and throws the ball backwards over their head. Everyone else tries to catch the ball and if they do, they shout out "Caught ball", and now they're 'on'. But if they don't catch it, whoever has it puts it behind his or her back and everyone else puts their hands behind their backs as well. The person who is 'on' tries to guess who has the ball. If they guess wrong, whoever really has the ball is now 'on'.

One person says "One, two, three, hey presto!" All the others do a handstand and whoever stays up the longest is 'on'.

As many people as you like can play. The person who is 'on' starts by saying "The Red Letter is A" (or any letter in the alphabet). If your name contains letters the letter A, you can move. If a letter is in your name twice, you take two steps and so on. The winner is the first person to reach whoever's on.

We all sit down in a row with our hands on our knees. Whoever's 'on' tips all our hands and says "Black, black, black.... magic". The minute they say 'magic', they run. Whoever magic has landed on, shouts 'Stop'. Then he or she stands up and, in baby steps, takes as many steps as there are letters in their first name and surname. If they can reach the person who is 'on', they are 'on'. If not, the original person is still 'on'.

Any number can play. Whoever's 'on' is the wolf. We stand about five metres away and say "What time is it Mr Wolf?" The wolf says either "Tea-time, dinner-time, or breakfast". If the wolf says 'dinner-time' he chases after us trying to catch us. If he catches someone they're 'on'.

Children sit in a circle with one child on the outside holding a crumpled piece of paper (the letter). This child walks around the outside of the circle while everyone sings with their eyes closed… "I sent a letter to my mother and on the way I dropped it. Some one must have picked it up and put it in their pocket." After the song, everyone looks behind them. The person with the letter behind them chases "it" back to the original seat. Whoever reaches the seat first wins, and the child standing must pick up the letter and try again.

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