I was recently asked by a lovely customer how she could incorporate BusyLittleTurtle Halloween games into her group lessons. A very good question, and after sending her a lengthy reply, I realised it would make a good (and hopefully useful!) blog!
I've picked some of my favourite Halloween music games to detail how I'd personally use them in group lessons. Hopefully they'll give you inspiration for how to incorporate other games and resources in group classes!
PUMPKINS AND SPIDERS
If you've ever played Snakes and Ladders with more than two players then you know the satisfaction of seeing multiple players slide down the snakes and the frustration of seeing other people climb up ladders when you're not! Pumpkins and Spiders, when played with a group, gives you those same feelings of 'Ha! Down the spider you go!' and 'No fair, I want to climb up pumpkins!'
It also sees students straining to work out the notes the quickest, exclaiming things like, "Ooh, if you get a B you're going down! Is that a B? I think that's a B!"
TIME FOR MAGIC
The aim of this game is to win as many cauldrons as you can by being the player who adds the note/rest that completes a bar in that time signature.
The more players there are, the lower the chance of winning a cauldron, meaning players get more competitive and sneaky.
"Sure, I could put my one beat note in a 2/4 cauldron but that would mean the next person who gets a 1 beat note would win it. I'm going to put my note in a 4/4 cauldron instead."
How Playing 'Time For Magic' Could Work with 5 Players:
- Each player is dealt a hand of cards. In the video example they have six cards each and there are eight cauldron cards. If you want a longer game you can print more cauldrons and potion cards.
- Each player takes it in turns to pick up a card from their hand (they're not allowed to look at the cards beforehand) and choose a cauldron to place it in.
- If a player can complete a cauldron by adding in the correct number of beats, they win that cauldron and place it in front of them (or underneath them if they're tiny Disney TsumTsums!)
- If a player's card cannot be added to any cauldron, the card is discarded and play moves to the next player.
- Continue until either all the cauldrons have been won, or there are no more potion cards.
- Whoever has the most cauldrons is the winner!
This game is designed for two players as there are only two Bonesy Dance Adventure cards, BUT this can be turned into two teams.
Alternate between which team member shakes the dice, moves the playing piece, and claps the rhythm (making sure everyone has a turn).
If you have an odd number of players, one person can be given the role of Rhythm Checker and can oversee if the rhythm has been clapped correctly, and if the correct phrase has been covered (or if a phrase has been missed!)
Alternatively, if you have a group of creative students, you can give them the extra task of creating their own Bonesy Dance Adventure Cards. Have them look at the game board, pick a rhythm and create a phrase that matches (they don't have to be dance themed if they don't want - Bonesy likes to have other adventures too!) Repeat this for another four rhythms so they have five phrases.
They then move around the board hoping to land on rhythm bones that match their phrases!
POTION TO SAVE MUSIC ESCAPE ROOM
Music Escape Rooms can be used in different ways during group lessons:
- Each student has their own copy and completes it by themselves
- Each student has their own copy and everyone works on it together
- Each student is allocated their own puzzle and students come together to save music
- Students are put in pairs/teams to work on the puzzles together
Just To Say...
Some students may become fidgety while waiting for other students to answer their question cards. While this presents a really good lesson in patience, sometimes you need a way to distract the especially impatient students.
Try giving them an extra task of playing some spooky background music on the piano (quietly of course) to accompany the spooky game. You can alternate students in this role if necessary.
Alternatively, tell all players that anyone who misbehaves or disrupts other players during their turns will end up missing a turn (children HATE missing turns!)
So, to play Halloween games in group lessons...
You don't normally need to make many changes to the existing game.
Most of the time you just need extra playing pieces, extra sheets printed, and be ready to change (or add some rules)
If you have any questions on how you could play any other games in group lessons, or if you have any other suggestions, please don't hesitate to send me a message!