General, Once Upon a Game

Once Upon a Game – “Chameleon”

Today I bring you one of my favorite games.

You might find there are  some similarities with games played in your own corner of the world, but I thought you’d appreciate another perspective 🙂

Today’s game is called Chameleon (in Portuguese, Camaleao). Its name comes from the outstanding ability this particular reptile has to change its appearance in order to blend into its surroundings.

 

Once Upon a Game - CHAMELEON - a fun and engaging yard game

 

It is an excellent game for all ages but I find it particularly helpful when used with young children that are still learning their colors.



MATERIALS NEEDED: none 🙂

 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Minimum three.

 

SETTING: Outside or inside, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is a space that provides lots of colorful things for children to touch, and plenty of room to run around without bumping into each other.

 

GOAL OF THE GAME: To be able to escape the chameleon.

 



HOW TO PLAY: 

1One child, previously chosen by the group, stands in front of a wall or fence, with his back to the group. He is the chameleon!

Once Upon a Game - CHAMELEON - a fun and engaging yard game

 

2 The group stands around the room at a distance of at least 4 to 5 meters away from the chameleon.

 

3 In unison, the group shouts the following question at the chameleon: “Chameleon, what color?”

Once Upon a Game - CHAMELEON - a fun and engaging yard game

 

4 The chameleon immediately replies with a random color. For example, “blue”. As soon as he replies, the chameleon turns around and runs after all the other children and tries to catch one of them.

Once Upon a Game - CHAMELEON - a fun and engaging yard game

 

5 All the other children run from the chameleon and try to “save” themselves by touching anything in the color that was called by the chameleon. As long as they are touching an object in that color, the chameleon cannot catch them.

Once Upon a Game - CHAMELEON - a fun and engaging yard game

 

6 If the chameleon succeeds in “capturing” another player, the child caught becomes the new chameleon and the game starts again.

 

7If the chameleon cannot catch anyone before all the players touch something in the color he called, then he goes back to the wall and the game starts again.

 

8The game goes on and on until everyone is tired of playing it or the teacher deems it finished 😀

NOTE: In certain regions of Portugal, there is a rule that allows the chameleon to reply “The color of a donkey when it runs”. In this case, the players have to stay rooted to the floor and cannot move. If anyone moves and the chameleon sees them, then he/she will become the new chameleon. 

This sentence might not be acceptable where you teach. However, you can always make up one of your own. For example, you could use “The color of a clown standing upside down!”… OK, maybe this wasn’t the best example…. 😀

 



CURRICULUM APPLICATIONS: I have had success using this game with my children just as a way to having fun exercise. I’m sure you could probably use it in your Physical Education classes.

Another great idea would be to use this game with PreK and K students to help them learn the colors. If you teach ESL, EFL or EAL, this could also be an excellent fun activity to include in one or more of your lessons.

Finally, don’t let yourself become limited by the rules of the game. Expand its use by playing with other concepts. You could explore shapes, numbers, letters, etc. If you think the students might have a hard time finding certain things, like numbers, for example, just print some pages with the numbers on them, and spread them all over the area you are using.

You can also come up with your own rules as a group. For example, when I played with my children, we agreed that only one person per object was allowed. This made it even harder for the players, but it brought a lot of laughter into the game because those who didn’t touch the obvious choices right away, had to become quite inventive!

We also made a rule that we were not allowed to touch our clothing or any other player’s clothing. This really forced us to look around and notice our surroundings.

Finally, something else we did, was to start with the basic 12 colors (black, white, yellow, blue, red, green, orange, pink, purple, grey, brown and violet) and then add less known (or just invented ones 😉 ), like gold, silver, chartreuse, light blue, copper, etc. This one proved to be a real challenge for myself, since being a non-native speaker and having three quite intelligent children (with big imaginations) don’t always go well together, lol!

 



I hope you are able to try this game with your family or with your students sometime. Please feel free to leave feedback on the comments section or on my Facebook fan page. I look forward to hear about your experiences with this game 🙂

 

Take care,

Catia

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