1. Cooperative Games
  2. Flexible Games
  3. Readiness Games
  • Large Group (10 and up)

  • Grades 1-2

  • None

  • Under 10 minutes

Development Goal

To increase children’s listening skills, endurance and awareness.

Before You Start

  • Indentify the boundaries so that all players know.
  • Make sure everyone knows the commands you will be using. Start with a few and increase the number commands you use as the players are able to remember them.

Set Up

Have the players line up on a clearly marked line in the middle of the playing area.

How to Play

  • The leader explains that s/he is the captain of the boat/ship and is going give commands to the players/crew to perform a specific movement or sound.
  • Explain that the crew is sailing treacherous seas and need to work together and follow the captain’€™s commands to survive.
  • If crew members does not follow the commands correctly or is the last to follow the command they must go to the brig or break-room.
  • Explain the playing area and designate which end is the €œbow€ of the ship and which end is the €œstern. The goal is to be the last crew member standing.
  • Commands:
    • Roll call: the crew must line up at the midline of the playing area, feet together, toes on the line, salute and say €œaye-aye captain!€ The crew may not lower their salute until the captain salutes and says €œat ease.
    • Crow’s nest: players act as if they’€™re climbing up a ladder to the crow’™s nest, the top of the main mast, an area at the highest point of the ship to lookout.
    • Swab the deck: players act like they’€™re mopping the deck.
    • Shark attack: the captain becomes a shark and tries to tag the crew. Those tagged go to the “brig” to dance or perform an designated exercise.
    • Break time: active crew members can run to the brig€ and tag as many people as possible. Those that are tagged can come back in and play again. Make sure everyone gets let out of the brig€ during break time.
    • Sailor overboard: crew pairs up and decides which one gets on their hands and knees and which one stands a places a foot gently on the other’€™s back while acting like their using a spyglass to find the sailor in the water.
    • Drop anchor: crew lies on their backs with legs up and acts like an anchor.
    • Pirates: crew closes one eye, puts up a hook finger, hobbles around like they have a pegleg and say Aaargh!
    • Row to Shore: crew gets in lines of 4; players act as if they are rowing to safety, while singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat.



  • Create and add new rules, especially ones that require students to form groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 and more!
  • Form lower skilled players, pick two or three rules to focus on.