Does the idea of an exciting, engaging, and completely silent game that requires no props sound like a fantasy? Not so! It's just a fine kettle of fish called “Sardines.” Similar to hide and seek, but with a unique twist, Sardines provides good practice in counting and keeping quiet. It's also incredible fun for kids(as well as for adults who don't mind squeezing into tight hiding spots). Here's how to play.
What You Do:
- Choose one child to go and hide. If you have a large group, divide the children into teams of six or eight and have one child from each group hide.
- The rest of the children hide their eyes and count aloud to 20 (or whatever number is appropriate).
- Tell the children that they are all silent “trackers” and must move very quietly (no talking or laughing) as they search for the hidden child and especially after they have found him.
- When a child finds the hidden child, she must stay completely silent, creep into the hiding place with the hidden child, and wait for the other children to join them. Remind them not to speak or giggle so they won't give away their hiding place.
- The game continues until all the children are squashed into the same hiding places, like sardines in a can (if possible, show the children a can of sardines and show them how tightly packed they are).
The game looks simple, but it's guaranteed to keep kids of all ages engaged for hours. If they're quiet for too long, however, check it out: they may be up to something fishy.
Adapted from The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6, ed. Kathy Charner, Maureen Murphy, and Charlie Clark. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House, 2006.