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Clothing Free-For-All !!

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Clothing Free-For-All

This Game was designed for controlled mayhem. It’s good for large to mid-sized groups of younger students (I used it with 10 year olds). Depending on how you direct it, it’s also capable of eating up large blocks of time.

Materials: As many DIFFERENT articles of clothing, both masculine and feminine, as possible. Specialised gear such as sports or winter clothing, or specimens showing variation on a theme (i.e. hat, toque, cap, bonnet…), are especially useful in expanding vocabulary. I just went through my closet and grabbed one or two of everything I could find, and asked around from friends and coworkers. You’ll also need pre-prepared index cards with different lists of clothing items that can be found in your collection, and/or simply have each item listed once on a single card or piece of paper. Optional: this is a competitive game, so maybe some small reward (chocolates, tim bits etc.) for the winners. or maybe just for everyone.


1) Clear a central space on the floor. Start making a pile of clothes in the centre, going over the name and function of each item as it enters the pile, writing them up on the board if necessary (ideally much of this will be review for the students and shouldn’t take too long)

2) Divide the class into groups of four (odd groups of three work fine), assigning each student of each group a number out of four (this will avoid fighting over who plays what role in the game, though you may allow team mates to trade positions b/w them).

The Game is a Race, with all groups competing simultaneously:

Player #1 of each group is given an index card and instructed to keep it hidden from the view of his or her team mates. At the beginning of each round, and at your signal, player #1 of each group reads the list or group of cards aloud (the idea is to keep this communication oral).

Players 2 and 3 search for these items in the pile on the floor and bring them back to Player 4.

Player 4 must remain more or less immobile while players 2 and 3 dress him or her with the clothing items. First group to finish wins that round (you are the judge and it can be fun to be picky – ‘Is that belt fully buckled?’, ‘I don’t usually wear my socks around my neck…’). Anyways the kids go nuts.

* For as long as the game holds interest, be sure to regularly re-assign or prompt an exchange of roles.

Switching things up: Have enough index cards to keep it interesting. If you go with one item listed per card then it’s easy to rearrange and redraw items for each round. You can also, from time to time, have groups suddenly swap cards with each other from one round to the next. Instead of giving cards you can also dictate kinds of items for all groups to race for (i.e. 3 items to wear at the North Pole, 2 items of women’s wear, etc.).

Closing: Finally, if you think it won’t get outta hand, you can announce a Free-For-All where each group grabs as many items as possible. The team with the most items wins, Provided They Can Name Every Single Item they’ve taken without help and before the class. If they mess up on even one item they’re out of the running. If no group can accomplish this then do it again. Another option for wrapping things up is to split the class into two lines, with the person at the head of each line competing against the other. Quickly indicate an item, and the first to name it returns to the back of their line (the other person is eliminated), OR you may simply have a 2 person race to the pile of clothes (the slower being eliminated). Last team standing wins.

Note: because it is a race, where different groups are competing for similar or the same items, you don’t necessarily have to have enough like items to accommodate absolutely everyone.

And there ya go.

Jeff Strain, Sherbrooke Quebec
[email protected]

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