Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Connects Us: A Program on Living in Unitarian Universalist Covenant for Grades 4-5

Alternate Activity 2: Musical Chairs Remix

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Music and player, or a chime, a gong, or bells
  • Chairs for all participants; or, large sheets of newsprint or poster board and (optional) scissors

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify a large, open space where you can arrange chairs in a circle or oval, leaving plenty of room around the chairs. If you need to use an alternate meeting space, arrange with the religious educator, minister, or administrator.
  • If you will play music, make sure the sound will not disturb others who might be worshiping or meeting near your meeting space.
  • To start the game, you will need one chair for each participant.
  • Optional: Use sheets of newsprint instead of chairs. You might cut the sheets of newsprint into large shapes.

Description of Activity

In this adaptation of the classic game Musical Chairs, no one is ever "out". As in the original game, start with one chair (or sheet of newsprint) for every participant and then remove one after each round. However, instead of eliminating people as chairs are removed, this game challenges the entire group to gather on fewer and fewer chairs, and eventually on one chair.

Gather the group in a seated circle. Tell them they must get off their chair when the music starts and find a place to sit when the music stops. Remove a chair with each round until only one remains and the whole group needs to find a way to be in physical contact with each other and the chair.

After the game, invite reflection with questions such as:

  • How did the new rules for this version of Musical Chairs create a whole new dynamic for this game?
  • How does this version promote cooperation instead of competition?
  • How fun was the game with every chance of winning taken out of it?
  • How might this version encourage people to "dwell together in peace"? How does the game reward the players for "dwelling together in peace"?

Including All Participants

Individuals with limited mobility could start and stop the music or ring the gong, chime, or bell to mark the rounds. Use sheets of newsprint rather than chairs to accommodate a child who uses a wheelchair; when the music stops, they can touch a sheet of newsprint with the wheel of their chair or touch someone who is touching a sheet of newsprint.