By Amy Harder
We love concentration games! This week’s feature is a simple game that forces players to watch each other, listen, and concentrate to avoid a repeat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is important that puppeteers (actors) are able to focus attention on lines and choreography and other characters no matter what is going on around them. It is also important to be able to “read” your fellow actors and anticipate their actions. Concentration games help build those necessary skills.
Set up. This is a circle game. Gather your group.
Action. Instruct the players that they are going to be counting to ten. Any player may begin the count by saying, “One.” After that, any other person in the circle can continue the count by saying, “Two.” The game continues on until two players say the same number at the same time. In that case, it’s time to start over at one.
Does this sound simple? Try it. You’ll be surprised at how many times you have to start again… especially when you’re keeping up the pace.
Variation #1. If your group is particularly smooth at getting to 10, raise the difficulty by going on to 15 or 20. Or you could play the game with the alphabet.
Variation #2. Bring in a metronome. (You know, those tick-tock things that musicians use to keep a steady tempo.) Set it low, say around 40-60, and instruct players that someone has to say a number on ever other beat.
Variation #3. Try saying a familiar nursery rhyme or Bible verse one word at a time instead of counting. “Twinkle, Twinkle”, “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, or “Jack & Jill” are familiar classics that most everyone should know.