Okay, so this post has absolutely nothing to do with real chickens. And I don’t know why the game is named Chicken in a Hen House. But, these are the directions to Chicken in a Hen House, a fun and fast-paced game introduced to me by my college professor, Kori Wakamatsu. I’ve played it with great success with ages 7-30. I haven’t tried it with anyone older, but I think it’d work. 😉 Obviously, if the students are pretty young, don’t use the weight bearing shapes or modify as needed.
Divide the students in to partnerships where they are roughly the same size, then teach them the following partner, weight-bearing shapes:
Chicken in a Hen House: Partner A goes down to the ground on hands and knees. Partner B crouches on Partner A’s back, placing their knees over the hips and hands over the shoulder blades.
Bridge over Water: Partner A lays down, face up. Partner B makes a bridge over Partner A by doing downward facing dog.
Fire Fighter: Partner A picks up Partner B in a cradle carry (Best for older students). OR Partner A pretends to pick up Partner B while Partner B leaves one foot on the ground.
Piggy Back: Partner A picks up Partner B just like a piggy back ride. OR Partner A crouches down low and Partner B places hands on Partner A’s shoulders without Partner A actually lifting them
Teepee: Partners A and B face each other, lift their hands above their heads and lean in so that their palms press against each other, creating a triangle, or teepee, shape with the ground.
Tug of War: Partners A and B face each other and grasp hands, leaning away from each other and pulling.
Sailor: Partner A kneels on the ground with one knee down and one knee propped up to the side. Partner B sits on Partner A’s knee. Partner A salutes.
Chain: Both partners cross their arms and kneel with one knee down, facing each other. They then hold each other’s hands.
Airplane: Partner A stands with arms out to each side like airplane wings and back leg up in arabesque. Partner B holds Partner A’s leg up.
All the partner A’s make a circle. All the partner B’s make a circle around the partner A’s circle. Turn on the music. As the music is playing, partners A and B walk in their separate, concentric circles in opposite directions (all A’s walk clockwise, all B’s walk counter-clockwise). When the music stops, the instructor calls out one of the above listed shapes. Each partnership must find each other and make the shape as quickly as possible. The last partnership to do so is out. If a partnership falls out of their shape, they could also be called out, depending on how quickly they get back into the shape.
Sometimes we play for “outs”. Sometimes, we just play for fun!
Also, often I instruct the students to each make their own partner shape, and we’ll add some in to make the game harder!