Issue 96: Zum galli galli variants

Issue 96: Zum galli Galli variants

I’ve given details of this pulse/circle game here.

Compal essential peach fruit shot image
Compal essential peach
Wire Carrier for Low Profile Cones

Wire Carrier for Low Profile Cones


I’ve used all kinds of things for passing round the circle; the best are small flattish PE cones (the sort that are stored stacked on a sort of wire frame). Paper balls (scrumpled sheets of scrap A4) work well, although they are a bit “flighty”, and the act of scrumpling them seems to cause great excitement in the children. I’ve got a bag of home-made shakers; small screw-top bottles that had the most delicious “fruit shot” (ridiculously expensive, but so delicious and such a brilliant shape for music that we kept buying them until I had enough) and these are very good as well. (I ALWAYS issue dire warnings about the consequences of any child unscrewing the cap and tipping out the rice…)

I have encountered a couple of variants of the game which have been very successful, and mean that you can add to the level of difficulty (children LOVE levels!) over a couple of weeks.

Variation 1: “Collect”

In order to collect in whatever you are passing, choose a couple of children to be “collectors”. Then, when you call “Collect” at the end of a verse, these children stop passing the item on, and just create a pile of them in front of their place. Once everything has been stockpiled, the game ends and you can gather the items in.

Variation 2: “Switch”

At the end of a verse, call “Switch”; everyone must pass the items the other way round the circle. Year 5 and 6 should manage this fairly smoothly; year 3 and 4 will take a little longer to make this work!

Variation 3: playing “Zum Galli Galli” in a djembe lesson.

You need to be careful about your choice of items. The plastic cones that are used in PE, that are stored in a stack on a wire frame, work very well. Whatever you use, it must be the sort of thing that will not damage the skin of the djembe.

The children sit in a circle with the drums close in front like little tables, not tilted in the playing position. Before you start playing the game, practice singing and using one hand to pat the neighbour’s drum on the word “Zum”. Then add in the cones, so that they get passed round from one drum to the other.  The children will have to focus to ensure that they don’t drop the cones on the floor. “Switch” and “Collect” can be incorporated into the game as well.

ants playing "the cup game"


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