13/100 Stone-passing game

I may not have got the tune or words exactly right – that’s what happens when things are transmitted by word of mouth.

The words are (I think) from the Yoruba language in Africa, and go something like this:

Obisana Sana Obisana Sa, Obisana Sana Obisana Na. And, as far as I know, they mean something along the lines of “be careful or you will hurt yourself with the stone). Real Yoruba speakers are now probably either laughing their heads off, or indignant at my errors – please send me a comment if I need to correct this.

Here’s what I understand to be the tune:






Tap the pulse on the * notes as you teach/learn the song. (You could say “Down” on the * and “Up” in between”  The eventual plan is to pass a stone round the circle, putting it down in front of the next person on the * beat and picking it up on the in between beat.

I wouldn’t use a stone – bean bags are much better. You can make paper balls from scrumpled A4 scrap paper, but you need to have STRONG CLASS CONTROL, as the act of scrumpling paper tends to drive even the most placid child totally wild. I used a small soft toy today, as I don’t trust one of the children to pass anything sensibly. I was right – he tended to chuck it rather than pass it to the next in the circle.

I had two soft toys, so sent them round in same direction, and then in opposite directions. It is perfectly possible to equip each child with a bean bag, or equivalent, and everything to move round in perfect harmony. I have achieved this with most classes. it is also equally possible that one or two children will stockpile the bean bags and the whole game disintegrates into madness. I have experienced this also.

Finally, I have also played “Switch” with passing games, where the leader (me) calls “switch” and everyone passes their bean bag the other way. This will, after several goes, work very well  and looks SO impressive!

Always have your STOP signal and exit strategy planned in advance….

paper tiger cub


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