Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fun games for school - Alibi

A less than classic who-dunnit? this nonetheless has participants practice their listening and storytelling skills. Did I mention this is rather fun for grown-ups to play also?

You will need at least five players.

One person is chosen as the detective and departs for a nearby but out of earshot location while the rest of the group remains in the area of play. The remaining players must decide what sort of crime has been committed and some minor details surrounding the crime, and establish whom the guilty party is. Each of the remaining players then comes up with an alibi for their whereabouts at the time the crime was committed. 

Once the whithertos and whyfors are established, the detective returns to the area of play to learn that a crime [and do tell them what crime] has been committed. For older players, in 20 questions or less, it's their job to figure out whodunnit.

For younger players, the detective asks for alibis from each person, and  might be easier for the guilty party's story to change slightly, for example, when questioned about where they were, this player could say 'I was at the doctors', and at a second line of questioning, they were 'at the dentist'. With a classroom full of participants, it's the detective's job to remember that one story has changed slightly, and remember whose story has changed.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fun games for school - Lucy Lockett

Of course, some would argue that there's too much play and not enough learning but these people usually don't know much about either education or children. Or both. 

Some of these were games left for me to do with students by their music teachers, who didn't know who was coming in for them. 

Lucy Lockett is an old English rhyme from back in the days when clothing didn't have pockets sewn into them, but were worn [yes, worn, and primarily by women] as a totally separate article of clothing under everything else, which you could slide your hand into by a seam opening.  Unless you were a young girl, like Lucy, in which case you were showing off your pocket because it was embroidered within an inch of it's life to show off your mad skills. 

So it makes sense that it would be easy for the strings tying that pocket to your body to come undone, the pocket falling off, and you having no idea what just happened.

You will need: 
a minimum of 6 players
space enough for them to move around. 
a small coin purse or an ID pouch [like the zippered sort that V. Bradley makes for your ID and other effects]

Also, if you're musically inclined, and know solfeg or can figure out moveable Do, here's the song, plus solfeg. If you're not musically inclined, here, at least, are the words. I freely admit there is like a problem with the music provided below, the solfeg, however, should be fine.  

This game can be played one of two ways.  
First, the children sit in a circle and pass a small coin purse around while singing; a single student sits in the center with their eyes closed, and when the others are done singing, it's their job to figure out who has the pocket. The guesser usually gets three guesses, and it usually doesn't take more than a second go round for the guesser to figure out where the pocket is. The child with the pouch and the guesser switch and the game continues. 

Second, it can be played rather like a game of Hot and Cold. One student chosen as the guesser, and the the teacher or person in charge sends them out of the room or has them cover their eyes, depending on your circumstances while the other students waiting to see where the change purse has been hidden by the teacher or person in charge. The guesser returns to the area of play, and the rest of the group sings 'Lucy' while the guesser looks for the pocket. Ideally, the singing should get louder the closer the guesser gets to the pocket, and softer the farther away the guesser is. This is a great way to practice using vocal dynamics with young students.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mitten tree

Necessity is the mother of invention. 

With temperatures plunging below zero (and that's Fahrenheit) the hunt was on for gloves and mittens and shovels that weren't broken. Two of our coat closet's walls are not insulated so leaving things in there wet can be a little dicey. 

And then there is pupcake and all his winter gear. 

On the hunt for winter apparel in our black hole closet, I found a ton of mismatch mittens and several dozen wire dry cleaners hangers. And a lightbulb went on in my brain. 

With four of us plus pupcake, 5 wire coat hangers had middle bit clipped out with wire cutters. Using needle nose pliers the (now sharpt) ends were twisted over themselves so mittens aren't snagged or people stabbed. I nailed the hangers on upside down (staples would have been a better choice), and this worked with their natural sloped shape. For air circulation and spatial consideration the branches are bent slightly towards the center of the tree. By utilizing the curved hanger hook on the top branch, the tree has a integrated hanger, and leaving the hanger hook on the bottom branch makes a hook for the dog coat. Hung over a heat register, voilĂ . Dry, warm mittens, pup booties and coat. I will probably go back and spray paint this later. But it'll have to wait until the summer, when I can do it outside. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New year's resolution

I will finish these towels. I will work continuously on one pattern. I will resist the temptation to switch colors over and over and over again.