In this whole-group game, the blob tries to assimilate everyone, and everyone tries to avoid assimilation.
Game Type: Warm-up
Age Range: 7+
Number of Participants: 5-40
Materials: Enough enclosed space to accommodate the number of participants, OR a clearly-defined playing space. The space should be large enough for the group to stand with arms outstretched and not touch anyone, but small enough that it doesn’t take more than three steps for any participants to reach the nearest group member. It’s also helpful to have assistants for this game.
How to Play: A Blob starts out the size of one person, and grows to the size of all participants. This is a cooperative version of “tag” – the slowest runners won’t end up feeling like they’re “IT” perpetually – giving everyone a chance. As the BLOB grows, it becomes harder for the participants to avoid being tagged, but it’s also harder for the BLOB to maneuver. Essentially, the BLOB tries to assimilate everyone, and everyone tries to avoid assimilation…until each person becomes part of THE BLOB.
- Explain the game (2-8). Students should be aware of the boundaries in the room/playing space.
- Participants spread out in an enclosed area.
- The Leader announces, “[NAME] is THE BLOB!”
- The BLOB begins trying to tag another participant.
- When the BLOB succeeds in tagging a participant, that person latches on to the BLOB (hooking elbow-to-elbow so that their hands are free is a good idea).
- Now the BLOB is larger and has more hands for tagging, but it can’t move as efficiently.
- The BLOB continues to try to tag others, and as they get tagged, they also join the BLOB. This means that some participants in the BLOB will find themselves in the middle of the group, unable to reach out and tag anyone
- Eventually, everyone is the Blob, and there is no one left to be tagged.
- The group will probably ask to play again, and because this is a fairly short game, there should be time to repeat the game.
- The second time, encourage the Blob to work together to find better ways to tag people, and the non-blobs to discover original ways to avoid the Blob.
This is a great game for leaders to practice what Viola Spolin calls “side coaching.”
Encourage both groups of participants as they try to avoid or assimilate:
- “Where’s the BLOB? Keep an eye out!”
- “BLOB, work together to get where you’re going.”
- “Stay connected to the BLOB.”
- “How can you avoid the BLOB?”
- “BLOB, how will you get bigger?”
Make sure participants avoid competitive language: the last person to be tagged by the Blob is not the “winner” and the first person to be tagged is not the “loser.” The objectives for the Blob and the non-blobs should prevent the participants from thinking of this.
A Variation: NOT-SO-SIMPLE BLOB
If you have an adventurous group, AND some helpers, you may want to try BLOB with the sense of sight removed.
Added Materials: A mostly empty room! Enough blindfolds for all participants!
- Play BLOB while all participants are blindfolded. The Leader and Assistants will have to watch out for participants’ safety more carefully during the game.
- This really slows down the pace of the game, so make sure to build that into your plan.
- The participants should pay close attention to their PROPRIOCEPTIVE sense – their body and its position in space – because they’re no longer getting visual input.
Notes: Make sure that any obstacles that could cause a fall are removed before playing this game!