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Curtain Call Game

Curtain Call Card Game
Kids Yoga Teacher Mary-Anne
playing Curtain Call with her class

During the “What I See, I Can Be” module of the Kids Yoga Teacher Training 95 Hour Program, the participants receive the “Yoga Match: A Memory & Movement Card Game”. They are taught many different ways to use the cards, and then they are given some time to put their creative thinking cap on, and come up with additional ways to use the cards.

At the Summer Training 95 hour Certification course in Burlington, Tina Lackner shared with her group, her idea, and the “Curtain Call” Game was born. It is a super popular game with both the graduates and the kids that they teach because it is so much fun. It gets kids moving their bodies and using their thinking skills, and developing their team building skills.

Summer Training 95 Hour Certification course in Burlington, Ontario

How to play the Curtain Call Game

Number of Children and Age Range

The game is great for kids ages 6 to 14. There are many possible variations of this game, but a minimum of 2 children is needed – one for each team.

You can have 2 adults hold the curtain up, or you can have 2 children hold the curtain up.

The more children you have, the more fun the game is.

Materials Required to Play the Game

Description

Explain to the children that this is a guessing game to figure out what pose is being described by the clues being given. They will be given three clues, each clue making it easier to figure out the pose being described. This game is not only fun but it makes children think. It is interesting to watch how each individual child interprets and processes the clues - some just look at the cards and others physically sort them.

  • Have two volunteers to hold up the curtain and a third person to read out the Yoga Pose Clues.
  • Divide the group up evenly with players on both sides of the curtain.
  • Provide a set of yoga pose cards to both teams ensuring they all have the same poses.
  • Lay the cards out, face up, on both sides of the curtain.
  • Hold up the curtain and start by giving the first clue to both sides.
  • Continue to give the clues until one group wants to ‘guess the pose’.
  • When a team is guessing the pose all members on their team do the pose together.
  • When both sides are in their yoga pose “Curtain Call” is called and the curtain is dropped.
  • Both groups look at each other to see if they are all in the same pose.

Competitive Version

Children play against each other and get points for their correct pose. You can make this a team challenge where they are competing against the team on the other side. The team with the most points wins.

Cooperative Version

Both teams have to match each other when the curtain is dropped. If they both match and it is the correct answer, they get a group point.

Considerations When Playing with Older Kids

To make it more challenging for older children you can use the full deck of cards with all of the poses. Children try to determine the correct pose using all of the cards in the deck.

The clues that are provided can be harder and subject to interpretation, causing the children to work with the other members of the team. This team building opportunity allows them to pool their answers to determine their combined best answer.

Curtain Call Card Game
The curtain is up and this older group of kids
thinks it is Tortoise that is being described.
Curtain Call Card Game
...But the other side thought it was Dog so there is no match.

Considerations When Playing with Younger Kids

To help ensure young children are able to follow along, only 3 cards can be used. Kids can gather around the cards as they hear the clues and then go back to their mats to demonstrate on their Yoga Mat, what pose they think is being described.

Curtain Call Card Game
This Team thinks the correct answer is Cat Pose as they demonstrated on their yoga mat.

Once all of the children are on their mats and doing the same pose, then the curtain is dropped to see what the other side chose.

Curtain Call Card Game
The curtain is up and both teams are doing the Cat Pose

Lots of laughter and celebrating as both sides discover that they have made a point as a group, because both teams are in Cat Pose.

Curtain Call Card Game
The curtain comes down and everyone is doing Cat Pose. This means a point has been made.

Variations of the Curtain Call Game

When Mary-Anne is playing the game with children ages 6 and up, she empowers them, by allowing one student to be the teacher and read out the clues to the two teams. Mary-Anne’s tip for teachers, is that you should have the clue sheet cut up into strips, so that the child can participate in the ‘teacher role’ and not see all of the clues for the rest of the game.

Mary-Anne lets the children form their teams with their favourite friends but then half-way through the game, she then does a random shuffle of team members and picks 1 or 2 children to cross the curtain to the other team. This helps the children learn to work with other people, and takes the competitive nature out of the game and keeps it more focused on team work and cooperation.

Tips for Maximizing the Fun While Maintaining a Peaceful Yoga Experience

Cyndi has had tremendous success playing this game in classrooms in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). She explains that it is important to understand that to teach a 30 minute class, it is best to group poses together. Start with a stretching pose, such as Cat or Dog. In 30 minutes 5 or 6 poses can be revealed in the game and end with Meadow or Victory. Cyndi’s advice to Kids Yoga Teachers is don’t be shy about making up your own clues and get creative with your clues.

Cyndi also likes to group poses together that make it more challenging for children to determine the answer. For example, Mountain and Tree have similarities because they are both strong and sturdy. She provides the clues in such a way that both poses could be the answer but as she provides more clues it starts to eliminate one of the options so that only one option is left.

For example the clues that would make children think the pose could be Mountain or Tree:

  • 1. I stand tall and I reach for the sky.
  • 2. I am strong and sturdy.
  • 3. When the answer is Mountain the next clue is: I am made of rock.
        When the answer is Tree the next clue is: I grow in different shapes and sizes.

Other cards that she likes to group together because of their similarities are:

  • Dog and Cat
  • Butterfly and Kite
  • Bridge and Boat

To help reduce the competitiveness of the game, she starts with the harder clues, and then her last clues pretty much give the answer away, so that all kids feel successful in performing the correct and winning pose.

When teaching yoga to a family, she has the older children team up and help the younger children, showing them how to listen for the clues and eliminate the options, until the answer is determined.

One of Cyndi’s best tips is to make this game a “No talking” game. During Curtain Call, the kids can get really excited and really loud. Her rule is that this is a no talking game and if a child wants to share the answer that they think it is, then they are encouraged to make a “Clear Eye Message” to their friends by pointing to the card that they think is the correct answer and then they have to go to their mat and demonstrate the pose to their friends.

Once the answer is revealed, Cyndi gives full instruction on how to do the pose. She emphasizes the importance of listening to the instructions and to listen for any changes or tips that might help children get more out of the pose. For example, in Cobra Pose, she encourages children to do cobra in an active way by feeling their toes press into the floor, and feel how their legs are strong and active as their shoulders float up. She also teaches variations of the pose.

Yoga Pose Clues

Tina created some Sample Yoga Pose Clues for Curtain Call.

You can download the PDF version here: Curtain Call Game Clues

Yoga Pose

Clues ~ Easy

Clues ~ Hard

Downward Facing Dog

1. I have four legs and am your pet
2. I have a tail
3. I am also known as a “best friend”

1. My hands and feet are both involved
2. My hands and feet touch the same thing
3. I am an animal

Tree Pose

1. I stand up tall
2. My arms reach up high
3. I sway in the breeze

1. I can be small or large
2. I grow in different shape and sizes
3. Oak, Cedar, Redwood are examples of me

Butterfly Pose

1. I can be very colourful
2. I fly in the sky
3. I used to be a caterpillar

1. I can be very colourful
2. I fly in the sky
3. I am living

Snake/ Cobra Pose

1. I live outside unless I am a pet
2. I like the grass and ground
3. I have no arms or legs

1. You don’t always see me
2. While I scare some, I am a pet for others
3. I can be a variety of different sizes

Mouse Pose

1. I am a great climber
2. I am usually brown, black or grey
3. I love cheese and afraid of cats

1. I am quiet
2. I live in small places
3. I am usually not welcome in homes

Mountain Pose

1. I am big and strong
2. You can climb me
3. I am made of rock

1. I am big and strong
2. Grass, rocks, stones, and trees are with me
3. Goats can live on me

Kite Pose

1. Look up high to see me
2. I am attached to a string
3. I fly best when it is windy outside

1. I have a tail
2. I am colourful
3. I like to fly in the sky

Cat Pose

1. I come in all different colours
2. I am soft to touch
3. I make a soft sound when I am happy

1. There are many types of me
2. I can live almost anywhere
3. In yoga I am opposite of the cow pose

Boat Pose

1. I can be fast or slow
2. I like to float
3. I can be either a speedy one or a sailing one

1. I can be on land or water
2. I can be a variety of different colours
3. I can take you from point A to point B

Bridge Pose

1. I am strong and sturdy
2. You can walk or drive on me
3. Water is under me

1. I am man made
2. I am sturdy and strong
3. You can walk or drive on me

Bow Pose

1. One part of me is strong while the other is flexible
2. Some people use me when there is a target
3. My partner is an arrow

1. I need something to go with me to work
2. I can go in the woods
3. I am Katniss Everdeen’s choice to use

Tortoise Pose

1. I can hide
2. Part of me is hard
3. I am slow

1. There is a story written about me
2. Slow and steady wins the race
3. I am not the hare

Oyster Pose

1. I have a hard shell
2. I am soft on the inside
3. I love pearls

1. I am tough on the outside
2. You can find me in the water
3. You can make jewelry with what is inside

Meadow Pose

1. I love grass
2. I love wildflowers
3. People can rest and feel peaceful here

1. Wildflowers love me
2. People take pictures of me
3. I am a peaceful place to be at

Victory Pose

1. I stand tall
2. My arms and legs are stretched out
3. I am proud

1. Challenge me
2. I can do it
3. I am proud of myself

Janet WilliamsBio:

Thank you to Tina Lackner, BACYC, MSc (CPT) (CCYT) for providing this innovative and fun game. Tina is a Professor, Child and Youth Care Practitioner Diploma/Degree Programs at Humber College. She is also a Psychotherapist and Certified Child Play Therapist (CPT-ON-734) and a Certified Children's Yoga Teacher. She is available at “True Wellness Integrative Health Centre” To learn more about Tina and classes and sessions available, please follow Tina on her Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/PsychotherapyPlayTherapyAndYogaWithTinaLackner/

Janet WilliamsBio:

Thank you Mary-Anne Csapai for providing the pictures of the children playing the Curtain Call Game in your Kids Yoga Class and your game variations. Mary-Anne’s passion for her own children brought her down the path to become a Certified Children's Yoga Teacher, through the 95 hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training course. Mary-Anne offers kids yoga classes in Milton, Ontario and it is her vision to use yoga to help children find peace and acceptance within themselves. A dedicated Ashtanga Yoga Practice has influenced Mary-Anne's belief that yoga is not just the practice of the asana (postures), but is also a way for people to connect with themselves and others. To learn more about Mary-Anne go to www.mindfulyoungyogis.com

Janet WilliamsBio:

Thank you Cyndi Cornblit for providing the tips for maximizing the fun and yoga experience of the game. Cyndi is the founder of Young Yogis Toronto www.youngyogis.weebly.com, a yoga and mindfulness program for children and families. Cyndi helps kids of all ages and abilities discover their inner voice, encouraging them to connect in a nurturing environment through conscious breath and playful movement. She leads classes at yoga studios, community centres, and privately. She also offers Yoga and Mindfulness Programs at schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Cyndi is a graduate of the 95hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training Certification. She has been practicing yoga for three decades. To learn more about Cyndi and her classes please go to www.youngyogis.weebly.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/youngyogis

Janet WilliamsBio:

Janet Williams, B.Ed, RCYT is a certified Primary/Junior Teacher, Yoga Instructor and Author of the Award-winning book “What I See, I Can Be: A Guided Yoga Flow for Children”. Concerned about the childhood obesity issue and high anxiety kids face, Janet created easy to use Kids Yoga Resources so that Parents and Teachers could get their children active and fit – and calm and relaxed. Janet offers a “95 Hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training Certification” that is recognized by Yoga Alliance and is excellent for parents, teachers, daycare providers, youth leaders and health care professionals. To learn more: www.ChildrensYogaBooks.com

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