My Town At Mardi Gras Game
I have always loved games that integrate creativity, music, multiple roles, and competition. It is also helpful to incorporate current events when working with children to encourage community awareness and opportunities to communicate about current events, or seasons and holidays. As a child care worker, parent, or teacher, you know that playful opportunities lose their charm if kids can’t connect to their world around them through play. Like trying to play a game about snow ball fights (that one is coming) in summer or rain storms during a blizzard. The activities just lose some of their appeal. Whereas, when you are able to make a game timely that relates to something popular or a season, the game has major potential for success.
With that said, who wants to be the king and queen of Mardi Gras? In this game, everyone wins.
- Pinnies (Green, Yellow, Purple)
- Stacking Cups / Speed Stacks
- Fleece Balls (or small Gator Balls like Super 70)
Objective: To be the last team with a cup standing.
- Protector or King/Queen = protect the cups and give balls to their teammates
- Destroyer = in charge of throwing cups at other cities
- Collector = in charge of collecting balls from their team’s king/queen or by getting them from the overthrows
Setting Up the Game:
Divide the class into three groups (gold, purple, and green). Ask them to build a city made of cups of their respective colors. If you are playing in a gym, you could ask each team to building in a corner of the gym or space them out around the center court circle.
Add a variable: Mix in different single color plastic cups.
Set up a throw zone and a parade route – all destroyers must have one foot in the ‘throw zone’ and each cup city must be built within the parade route.
Add a variable for age and ability: The older, or more able, the farther apart the ‘zones’ should be .
Allow time for the children to communicate with each other and build their city. After a pre-determined time the building is to stop and the teams are ready to play.
Let the Game Mardi Gras Game Begin:
When the music starts, the game begins with each person engaged in their role. The balls should all be placed in a far corner of the gym so the Collectors have to run, roll, and crawl to get the balls. They can (and should) decide if they are going to throw or run them back to their awaiting Destroyers. The Protectors have to decide if it is better to hit the balls away, or catch them and throw them.
When all the cups in a city have been knocked on their side, that city’s knocked out and the Protector sits while the Destroyers and Collectors can choose to work with another team. When only one city still has a cup standing, that team is the winner of that round and the music stops.
Add a variable: Ask the teams to help ‘recycle’ their cities by stacking the cups back together by size and color to get ready for another round. Encourage everyone to change roles.
Add a variable: You can also have two Protectors – one that collects and distributes the balls as they come in to the city and one protects the city.
Remember, keep this game timely beyond just the colors of Mardi Gras, by letting the kids wear Mardi Gras masks (protectors wear crowns) AND add beads to the game by tossing each member of the winning team a string of beads for each round they win. Make sure you have a batch of beads to hand out at the end of the game for all the good sports. Also, each child should be leaving this game with a crown – everyone likes to be the king, or queen.
This game is called My Town at Mardi Gras, yet we love creativity and the opportunity to recycle simple games for timely impact. How could you turn this into another game in another season?
Submitted by: Brian Armstrong, Key Account Manager at S&S Worldwide