"Musical chairs" is an old fashioned game that is still a favorite with children. Yet sometimes it can get a little difficult to coordinate large groups of children, and so quite often these large groups are broken up in order to have more manageable numbers. This is quite unfortunate, as it prevents these large groups to work together and play games as teams. One game that lends itself to this setup is the game of "upset the basket of fruit." This game relies on large numbers of children to work well. As you would do with the game "musical chairs," put your chairs in a ring formation. This ring of chairs is the fruit basket in which you place your designated fruit.
You may wish to group the children into teams of four or five and assign a fruit name to each group. You may have apples, oranges, pineapples, pears, and so on. Perhaps the children could help out coming up with some fruit names! Once the children understand what group they are in, you might even wish to hand out especially made-ahead signs, pins, or hats that will further help to identify who's who in this game. Have each child take a seat, and then start the music. Your basket of fruit is now ready for a little bit of upset!
As you begin the game, call out one fruit name. The children who are part of this fruit group must now get up and walk around the chairs. Take away one of the vacated chairs. You may then either stop the music, or, if you decide to forego the music, simply call out the name of the fruit again, and all the children who are in this group must hurry to find a place to sit. The child, who did not find a chair and is left over, is now out of the game. Repeat this whole process, but this time call for a different group of fruit. This way you can rotate through the groups fairly. Every so often you may interject the phrase "upset the fruit basket" in the game, and once you call out these words, every child must get up, regardless of her or his team affiliation, and you again remove a chair. When you call out the phrase again, everyone scrambles to find a chair. The child left over is out of the game. Naturally, the fruit that makes it to the end of the game inside the basket of fruit is the winner!
Some variations on this game may include dance steps in time to the music. If you are playing with a group of little girls who love the ballet, this may be a great time to watch them dance around the chairs, do their positions, straighten their toes, and twirl around the basket of fruit. Another possibility is to combine the truth part of "truth or dare" with this game. Agree upon sticking to a subject, such as food, and then ask all those who have never eaten lobster to get up and walk around the chair.
As you remove a chair, go ahead and tell them to sit back down. The child who is left over gets to take a turn next at calling out a food they have never eaten. This is a great way of involving the kids who are out of the game! Obviously, there is end to the different ways of playing this game, and the kids love to be the last ones standing in the basket of fruit. Go ahead, give it a try!