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"On the sofa (a game)"

You need between 9 and 16 players, and ideally a multiple of 4. The idea of the game is to get all your team next to each other in the circle.

Setup

First if all, write the numbers 1,2,3,.. etc on pieces of paper, so that you have one piece for each player. So, if you have 12 players, you will have 12 pieces of paper, the first with “1”, the second with “2”, etc, all the way up to 12. Now fold them up.

Arrange the players in a circle of chairs facing inwards, with one extra chair. Go around the group and assign teams, so that each team has 3 or 4 players, and so no two players sitting next to each other are in the same team. E.g. for twelve players go “A”,”B”,”C”,”A”,”B”,”C”,”A”,”B”,”C”,”A”,”B”,”C”.

Get all the “A”s to stand up, and make sure they all know who they’re team members are. Likewise the other groups.

Finally, hand out the folded pieces of paper, one per player, and ask them to look at it, but they mustn’t show anyone else.

Playing

The player who is to the right of the empty chair calls out a number (from 1 to 12 in our example). The player who was given that number at the start of the game must move and sit in the empty chair.

The player who is now to the right of the newly empty chair then calls out a number, and whoever was given that number now moves to the newly empty chair. And so on.

The game is over when a team manages to get all 3 or 4 of its members sitting next to each other in a row.

I’ve found that you can play this two or three times in an evening before it gets tired. The teams can stay the same, but collect in all the pieces of paper and re-allocate numbers between rounds.

The Rules

  1. The person who has just moved cannot be moved again on the next turn. (i.e. “One” immediately followed by “One” is not allowed).
  2. You are not allowed to call out your own number to move yourself.
  3. You are not allowed to confer or communicate (unless you can’t remember who was in your team)

Variations

This game is lots of fun if you use the names of players instead of numbers on the pieces of paper. So if you had Rod, Jane, and Freddy, you might call out “Freddy”, and Jane would move to sit next to you!!

You can also replace 3 (or 4, if your teams have 4 members) of the chairs with a sofa, or comfy chairs. The winning team is the one that manages to get all its members onto the “sofa”. Warning – this version takes a lot longer to play, and certainly younger players may lose interest.

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