Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tadpole Parade Games -

Click here for a pdf file of detailed descriptions for games presented in Will Hale's "Fun new games you have never played" workshop at the MnAEYC/MnSACA Minnesota State Conference. Plus a bunch of bonus games and tips on how to get and keep kids attention.

The best ways to get and keep kids attention
Click here for a pdf file with an abundance of original kid tested methods developed by Will Hale in over twenty years of performing music for kids.

For an exclusive discount of $50 toward any Will Hale concert just mention the coupon code Game On

Enjoy the game videos below.

Please try out these new games and send me your feedback with ideas, suggestions or new variations.

Feel free to call or email me any time for any reason.


Will Hale

Abundance Game
Peace Pause

Around The World Round


Real abundance is fun not hard work. Try this game for a fun prosperity experience.

"When you share an idea, you can give it all away and still have all you had to begin with. True wealth is not measured by what you have, it is an expression of how generous you are with what you have. Music is a great idea but love is the best idea of all." Let's keep it in circulation!

Money is a manifested form of energy and it must flow in and out of a person's possession. Giving away wealth freely allows wealth to easily flow in to life as well.


Almost any small item that can be easily passed can be used in this game. Coins work especially well because they are uniform in size and have a perceived value.

I prefer quarters or gold dollars. Other items could include, rocks, acorns, crystals, legos, marbles, super balls, a wrapped gumball or piece of candy, or you name it.

How to play - First make small circles with 3-5 people sitting preferably cross legged with knees touching but mainly as close together as possible. If making circles is confusing, stand up and hold hands in circles of 3-5 and then sit down. Making quick circles can be part of the game!

If you need to focus the group's attention to start you can have everyone hold their one quarter in their hand up over their head to signify they are ready.

Keep both hands OPEN to receive

Each person gets one quarter (or item) to start with.

You can put a quarter in any OPEN hand.

Once there is a quarter in your hand it is FULL and cannot receive anymore.

As a fun bonus say Thank You every time you receive one. It's surprising that even the older kids usually do this right away.

By continuing to give them away it creates another open hand to receive. The goal is to see how much you can have by how you keep it moving in circulation.

When you have two full hands and someone else has two open hands you can do a DOUBLE SLAM and give two quarters at once. Sometimes kids like to double slam the same person right back which is ok but it is usually more fun to keep it circulating.

Once it gets going and maybe starts to loose a little momentum you can "double time" and speed up faster.

There are a couple other rules to keep in mind but I would not mention them unless it becomes an issue.
Only passing - no throwing. Basically don't let go of the quarter until it is in the open hand.
You can't tell/demand or move coins for others.
If there are infractions or confusion simply restate the rules of open and full.

Like most games the number one rule is to HAVE FUN!
and the kids will learn what they learn without saying anything about it.

It helps to have a staff/adult in each circle to model courteous behavior. To make sure everyone gets to play, watch for bashful or younger kids that may require gentle instruction to get them going. The game can be fast paced so everyone needs to be sensitive to the individual style of all the players in the circle. Being fair, so everyone gets a chance is naturally built into the game. Surprisingly greed and selfishness seldom come into play. The game is really boring if you don't pass them. Giving away something you like or want can also have a strong lesson in trust and generosity.

I have never reached the threshold where kids want to stop playing the abundance game. Time has been the limiting factor not interest.

A variation could be to make it a mini scavenger hunt where each person brings some small object they like to the game. They can be awkward to pass but I highly recommend playing this game with $100 bills. Ok maybe you don't get to keep them but it is still an exciting experience!

There can be many teachable moments especially with the commemorative state quarters for reading, history and conversation on dates and birthdays. As an example, there was quite a bit of discussion about the harsh slogan kids found on the New Hampshire quarter "Live free or die!"


Why take a time out when you can have a peace in!

Peace Pause -- Developed by Will Hale

This simple game can quickly refocus a group and create a fertile space to give directions. It will also assist in developing a healthy balance of activity and rest.

Hold a hand up in the air with a Peace sign and loudly declare "PEACE!" the kids need to immediately stop whatever they are doing and shout back "PEACE!" then start counting down from 10-1, start fairly loud on 10-9-8 while fading slower and more quietly until silent at one. Do a silent peace gesture (like ripples in a pond) or silent cheer. Then count silently using your fingers to ten or a random number quietly "called out" by the leader. The randomness can add to the attention getting effect and adapt to the intensity of the energy level. After achieving silence for the full count do a silent cheer.

When teaching the Peace Pause the first time, I find that kids ask to do it again right away. You can repeat the whole process three or more times. This will reinforce and model what the game looks like when we arrive at our goal or do it "right" If there is any talking during the silent counting at the end you can start the whole process again until it works. Treating it as a game like missing in jump rope helps reduce the perception of scolding and a little silent peer pressure can go a long way to reel in a few strays.

Then to be silly and test it out, I like to have the kids "pretend" to be silly and noisy and then I say PEACE! and they followed right along with the echo. You can practice this a couple times. The kids are usually quite amused by this and the randomness keeps their interest and attention. One of the keys to success in using a Peace Pause is to make sure it is strongly anchored by practicing first. This process is easy to reinforce quickly. Kids are speed learners. Also be sure to use this as a surprise game in the middle of normal and quite activities as well as high energy moments to reinforce the unpredictability and to practice in lower stress situations.

Instead of a time out let's have a peace in! Using quiet time as a reward instead of a punishment will bring much more balance and harmony to the over all energy of the day.


This fun version to the Row, Row, Row Your Boat melody was created with
Ms. Tessier's, 3rd grade class, Bellaire Elementary, White Bear Lake, MN
On October 12, 2001


Round, round, round the world
Where everybody lives
We all live in harmony
Especially the kids

First line: Arms circle up and around three times
Second line: Fingertips on heart and open arms
Third line: Hands folded across chest
Fourth line: Arms go out and thumbs come in pointing at the heart

This can be sung by itself or as a round.
Please try out these games and send me your feedback with ideas, suggestions or new variations.
Rock on!

Will Hale
Tadpole Parade

Vi Ameamo!