This game is brilliant for 4s and up at a birthday party or other gathering. Ideally, you would have some music in the form of a CD player or similar.
Before you start this or any other game it is important to get every child’s attention. The way I do this is as follows:
Tell the children that you need them to sit down somewhere. This might be in the middle of the floor if indoors or at a venue, or perhaps outside on the grass – but as long as they are sitting close together, this is fine.
Once you tell them where to sit, count from 5 down to 0. Once they hear you counting down from 5, 4, 3, 2 and then 1, the children usually hurry to sit down where you have asked them to just before you say 0. If there are children being fairly noisy once sat down, the you can ask them “who is the quietest person in the whole room/garden?” (wherever you are). Usually this is enough to get the attention of all of the children with them sitting quietly.
Once you have them sat down in the middle (hopefully quietly), you can explain the rules for this particular game:
The Rules (for your reference):
When you say a number, the children have to get into groups of the number you said. So, for instance, if you say “groups of 2” then the aim of the game is to be in a group of 2. If you say group of three, then the aim is to be in a group of three and so on. Usually about half way through, I like to introduce a new rule whereby if I say the word 0, they all have to hide. If you have a prize to give then you can say that the person who hides the best wins a prize. It is also fun to shout the number 1 every now and then.
How to explain this to the children in a fun way:
“OK, now we’re going to play a game called musical numbers. Don’t worry, there isn’t any adding up to do!”
The second sentence is crucial as the children who don’t like maths will be able to relax.
“who here knows how to hug?”
At this point, you should encourage the children to raise their hands by raising your own hand – after all, they surely all know how to hug!
“Now, when I say a number, you guys have to get into groups of that number and give everyone else a nice, big hug.”
“Ok guys, up you get. Now who’s the best dancer here?”
At this point, you should play some music. After a few seconds of music playing, you simply stop the music and say a number. Whichever number you say, they’ll rush in to groups of that number. If you say 1 at any point, it is a little confusing in a fun way, so have fun with that too if you are brave enough.