Monday, October 20, 2008

Goodnight Animals

I came upon a group of raucous children a few weeks ago. They were the children of the choir members and were waiting in the nursery room at church for their parents to finish. Control had been lost. They were bouncing off the walls, pouncing on each other and just being plain rowdy.

I flipped the files in my head to CONTROLLING CRAZY CHILDREN and we started playing some organized games. Simon Says mostly, until it got old, then we sang some fun songs. In a moment of desperation I told them I had a really fun game for them but they all had to lay down and pretend they were sleeping.

And the craziness stopped.
They all laid down and although there was some loud snoring, they were still. My mind raced again but I was coming up with nothing. Finally I said,

"Okay, when you awake, you will be snakes"

Then I said "GOOD MORNING SNAKES!"

And they all slithered and hissed, not yelling or hitting.

I then said "GOODNIGHT SNAKES!"

They all went back to sleep.

"GOOD MORNING COWS!"
moo moo moo chew chew moo moo
"GOODNIGHT COWS!"
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
"GOOD MORNING PIGS!"
oink oink oink snort oink
"GOODNIGHT PIGS"
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This went on and on for nearly 20 minutes. I started taking requests: unicorns, slugs, bats. It's fun to do the rowdy ones like dinosaurs, lions, tigers and gorillas but just make them go to sleep faster and draw out the quiet ones like butterfly, turtle and worms.

I couldn't believe how much fun they had playing this.
I have had them come up to me at church asking to play it with me again. I have since played it with other groups and it has been equally successful. A great transitioning activity from very active to quieter and more attentive.

COST:FREE

VARIATIONS: You could do professions (good morning bakers! good morning firemen!) , you could do food you are pretending to eat (time for spaghetti! time for corn on the cob!), you could do sports (good morning swimmers, good morning basketball players!), you could do emotions/moods (good morning grouchy! good morning nice! good morning cheerful!).

7 comments:

Serena Cherry said...

I love that game. What an incredible idea! I just got released from primary and I am very sad, but I am going to pass this on to a friend who just got called to nursery. Thanks!

Katie said...

You are so neat Tiffany. I remember subbing for your class and how cool your room was decorated and how all your kids adored you. I really love how creative you are. Love, love, love it.

Gina Lee said...

We love this game at our house too! I babysit my nephew and niece and they love it as well! I love your blog. You really have some great ideas. Thanks for taking the time to blog about them.

Amberli said...

you are such a genius!

Amber said...

I only just commented on another post but I had to say hi again! Loving this game too.. with 2 little boys at home with me we get into chaos A LOT! lol. I will definitely be trying this :)

nadine jenine said...

what an awesome idea!

Eva said...

After finding your blog(s) via the Nie auction last week, I played this game with my Sunbeams on Sunday. They loved it and I was thrilled to have an alternate to "red light green light" while we wait for the parents to come at the end of the lesson.
Then today, my daughter came home from her dance lesson and said "We got to play goodnight animals and we were butterflies and tigers!" so, I guess it was a hit there too.