In part 1 of this series about strengthening the bonds of your family and friends and your community through fun activities, I shared one game with you along with laying out a case for being mindful of such preparations. Today I’m going to share two other activities with you that I’m SURE you’re going to love.
This first game/activity didn’t actually come from my mom, rather I learned it in the Philippines when I served there on a welfare mission and I confess, I LOVED playing it. I them incorporated it into several of my classroom settings and at a couple of big Christmas parties. Warning—folks can get pretty competitive at this game. I had two out of 3 Christmas parties result in a couple of folks needing a band-aid. (No stitches yet though thankfully) *grin*
“ Curriente” (aka Electricity)
You’ll need at least 16-20 players for this game to be really successful, in addition to one person to “run” the game.
Divide the group into two equal numbers. Then set them in chairs or on the floor with their backs to each other, (parallel to each other) Determine which end is the start and which end is the finish.
All of the players EXCEPT for those who are at the first position of the Start, are to face forward and hold hands with the persons next to them. (The person at the End and the person at the Start will only be holding hands with one person)
The first person of the Start end of the line, is referred to as the Lead. The last person at the end of the line is referred to as the Runner.
About 7 to 8 feet from the Runner’s end of the line, an object is placed. This object can be just about anything though I recommend something unbreakable and easy to grab. (One year I used a 14” Tigger doll and it worked out just fine.)
At the start end of the line, you have an appointed person who is running the game, known as the Referee. Their job will be to flip a large coin in the air. Each time the coin is flipped, the Referee is flipping for heads or tails of the coin. Ideally the coin is flipped and placed on the back of one of the Referee’s hands while the other hand covers the results. Then carefully the Referee will show the two team Leads the results of the coin. The Referee says nothing regardless of whether the coin is heads or tails. When the flip of the coin shows HEADS, then and only then will the Leads squeeze the hand of the teammate next to them without saying anything or making any noise. The only acceptable way to communicate with the teammate that HEADS is showing on the coin is with a squeeze of the hand. That person then squeezes the hand of the teammate next to them, who then squeezes the hand of the person next to them, etc. etc. and so on and so forth until the last person in the team/line receives a hand squeeze. Once the Runner has had his hand squeezed, then, and only then is the Runner supposed to get up and rush to be the first one to grab the token prize that sits 7 to 8 feet away from the end of the line. The winner of the round will be decided by the first Runner who is able to successfully grab the token prize. The winning Runner will then move the Lead position and everyone on his team will rotate accordingly.
The game is won by the first team which is able to rotate completely through all of their team members in the Lead position.
Here are some caveats. IF a runner mistakenly runs after the token prize when NO HEADS was shown on the coin, then they rotate BACKWARDS a position. (And believe me, this happens a lot as people begin to trigger a false start or people are trying to pay attention so closely to when their hand is squeezed that they imagine a squeeze.) You’ll also likely have Leads who are so anxious to squeeze the hand as soon as they see heads, that they’ll jump the gun and mistakenly squeeze on a tails.
Another rule that is important is that no one is allowed to verbally indicate that a “curriente” (aka electricity) is in process. The only way that a “curriente” is in process is IF their hand is squeezed. This means no verbal clues, etc. But the feet stamping and big grins and the involuntary “go, go, go” that you end up hearing are a part and parcel to the game. But they can also be false cues to psyche out the other team. *grin*
The years that I did this game in my home, we had a serpentine parallel line going through my house with people standing in the line with their hands held. There have been some classroom environments which have been big enough that I was able to have everyone sit in chairs back to back of each other and there were several times in the Philippines that everyone just sat on the floor. Either way, you’ll have plenty of fun with this game. You’ll have plenty of laughs and perspiration and competition.
This one was another activity that was taught to me by my mother. One Valentine’s day we came home to find that our mother had taken skeins of yarn (one color for each of us kids) and strung it all over the house. Under chairs, through holes, in and out of drawers, etc. We were then instructed which color skein we were to follow and we were then to roll up the ball of yarn as we navigated our way through her maze. Ultimately at the end of the maze, there was a simple token of Valentine’s Day that she had made for us. (I could only IMAGINE how ridiculous she looked at the end as she was having to navigate her way through the previous strung skeins of yarn!)
A couple of years later I got home from school to see the house filled with zig-zag yarn again—this time for my birthday. Much to my surprise, Mom had my guests hidden all throughout the house that I discovered as I was rolling the ball of yarn along the crazy obstacle course she created for me. (One of the obstacles in this game is criss-crossing over other people but more difficult is that the ball of yarn you end up with at the end of the set up is significantly smaller than the ball of yarn that a person will end up with who’s rolling the ball of yarn as they navigate their way through.
Several years later I used the premise of this game at a Valentine’s party I had thrown for several couples at my home, only this time, I upped the ante. I required one member of the couple to be blindfolded and had to be directed by their spouse how to navigate the more troublesome spots of the yarn maze and also with the rule that the spouse couldn’t touch the yarn or their spouse during the maze. Of course there was a grand prize at the end of each of the mazes.
I’ve also successfully used a downsized version of blindfolded version of this activity even in Sunday school lessons teaching about the importance of listening to the promptings of the Spirit to guide us and posted little warning signs along the way that their partner was to read and they would have to decide whether or not the warning had merit or was just there to try and distract them. Obviously there are a lot of applications to this and this is a great way to take a nice chunk of time at a fun activity for everyone. You could easily apply this activity to preparedness if you’d like to have that kind of an event and have the yarn lead to various supplies that are necessary, etc.
Play and Enjoy!!
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