Audience Games
Large Crowds & Static Games

Historically this section originated from a query about what games we had for using with large audiences in theaters, etc. So this is a list of games selected (or developed) for those situations where you have large numbers of people either seated and/or standing, or you have very little room to move and/or do not want people to move, such as in assemblies, auditoriums, audiences, etc...


Gibberish

Perhaps get one person at a time to come to the front and perform. You could also give them the word and the song if you want.

One person chooses a non-sense word or sound and then tries to perform a song or nursery rhyme using only that non-sense word. Other players have to guess.

Heads Down, Thumbs up

Requires 3 children to be able to move around among other children.

3 or 4 players are selected and stand to one side, all other players sit quietly on the floor or on chairs. On the command "Heads Down, Thumbs up" those sitting have to put their heads down, close their eyes and put their fists by the side of their heads with their thumbs sticking out. When everybody has complied the 3 or 4 players previously chosen walk as quietly as possible around the group and choose one person each by touching/gently gripping the persons thumbs. When a player is touched on their thumb they fold them into their fists indicating that they have already been selected. Players who are caught keeping their eyes open or peeping during the game may not be selected.

When of those walking has selected a player they go back to standing in a line up. The leader then calls "Heads up" and all players sitting can look up. Those players who were touched put their hands up to indicate they were chosen and try to guess which of those standing touched them. If they are right they swap places.

HINT: Ask players not to announce or indicate who was right or wrong until everybody has had a guess, to give everybody an equal chance in guessing.

Imagination

You’ll need a variety of different household items, etc…

Not a game for the unimaginative, but if you have a large group there are sure to be some. Ask individuals to come up one at a time. Either each player has to use their imagination and act out as many alternative ideas for the prop they have been given. or you can pass the same object around the circle and see what each player in turn decides to act out with it. For example blanket became Superman's cape, a matador, a baby in a blanket... what ever your imagination can come up with and act out.

Noisy Story Game

Write a story that incorporates as many sounds as possible. For each sound used in the story arrange to have a group of children make that sound. As the story is read out each group makes his or her noise as the appropriate moment. Telling a ghost story is one idea for doing this, or farm yards, zoos, etc. It’s also fun to each story several twice using the first reading as dress rehearsal.

‘Seated’ Four court rally

© Kit Logan

Adapted and might be useful as a way to loose a bit of early pent up energy excitement.

Four court rally or “Nuke ‘em” (I didn’t invent the name, hence the creation of the other title) is a popular game and I suspect this variation will adapt itself well. If everybody is seated why not take advantage of this..

Divide your seated audience into four teams. Typically this would be half horizontally and half vertically. Either place a rope down between the seated children to mark the sections or ask them to shuffle a little in one direction to create the demarcation.

In four court rally a relatively hard ball is used (cheap plastic footballs are great). But for seated a nice soft foam ball is probably better (a balloon might work for a smaller audience).

Give each team a number of lives (5 is general, but shorten this is you want a quick game). The object is for each team to try and knock out the others by getting them to loose their lives, this is done by making sure the ball is in the teams area when you say “stop”. It doesn’t matter if a team is not holding the ball, it only has to be in their quadrant for them to loose a life. In four court rally, there are other rules such as no kicking the ball, but as players are all seated this should not be a problem. Alternatively you could allow players to stand up.

Singing Contest

Divide the crowd into 3 or 4 groups. Give a topic or theme (such as songs mentioning a colour or a girl's name). Then have each group, in order around the room, loudly sing the appropriate line from the song. No repeats are allowed. Last group left with a song is the winner.

Sit down if you…

Simple game, get everybody to stand up at the start (put their hand up or some other way of signalling if they have disability). Then proceed to ask a series of questions. If any of the audience can say yes, they remain standing…  Useful way to whittle down and catch out a birthday boy or girl, and/or embarrass  (eg who didn’t do their teeth this morning?)

Standing statues

© Kit Logan

Possibly for younger children. Play as musical statues, where children would normally move around and then freeze when the music stops. Anybody caught moving while the music has stopped is out. Play by standing and getting children to wave their arms in the air (and if there is space enough dancing on the spot) (eg pop music and at a concert). Freeze when music stops. Those out, sit down and/or lower their hands.