This is a physical and vocal warm-up game reminiscent of playground chants that energizes participants and elevates everyone’s mood.

Game Type: Warm-up

Recommended Age Levels: 5+

Number of Participants: 8-30

Materials:  None

Directions/Modeling the Process:

  1. Participants stand in a circle.
  2. First, have the group practice a clap rhythm that is hands together-hands to people on each side. This is a basic 4/4 time clap to start.
  3. The leader demonstrates the lines of the chant (indicated in BOLD print) and the movement/movement and words that follows each.
  4. Participants start with and return to the hands together-hands to each side rhythm after each movement.

Czechoslovakia, boom-sh-boom

Yugoslavia, boom-sh-boom

We got the rhythm of the hands

(CLAP CLAP CLAP)

We got the rhythm of the feet

(STOMP STOMP STOMP) (right foot -left foot -right foot)

We got the rhythm of the eyes

(lift fists by eyes, open hands as if fingers are eyelashes) -WHOO!

We got the rhythm of the hips-

(hands on hipsSHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE) (right hip-left hip-right hip-left hip-right hip-left hip) – one, two, one two three four

  1. After demonstrating, do the whole sequence with the group twice, monitoring their progress.
  2. Once everyone “has it,” let the group know that they’re going to repeat the chant, going faster each time.

Conduct the Activity

  1. Start the chant.
  2. When you get to the last line, start the chant again.
  3. With each repetition, speed up the rhythm a bit.
  4. Once the chant becomes impossibly fast, everyone applauds their valiant effort.

Adaptations:

You can begin with as slow of a rhythm as needed to get everyone used to the pattern of words and movements.

You can change the movements to ones that everyone in the group is capable of executing, or have students adjust the movement to their abilities.

Activity Options:

There are many, many variations of this game – some have different lines, some change the order of the lines, some repeat a few of the lines, some utilize call-and-response. This video shows a cast warming up with their version before a performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebj7TSC7ko4 As the rhythm gets faster, they eventually stop chanting at all.

If your group is familiar with one that differs from the version I’ve detailed above, you’ll probably want to go with the one they know rather than struggling to have everyone relearn the game. The objective is to get everyone moving and having fun.