Shimmy Shimmy

The participants and the facilitator sit in a circle (on chairs or on the floor). The facilitator counts the number of participants starting from their right by pointing at them and saying the number aloud. This way, each participant gets precisely one number (from 1 to x). The facilitator doesn’t get a number because they are the “Shimmy Shimmy”.

The facilitator begins by clapping on their thighs in a slow to moderate rhythm while singing “Shimmy Shimmy-yyy, Shimmy Shimmy” (this being one verse) repeatedly in the same rhythm. The participants all have to join in and sing/clap together. After each participant has managed to join in, the facilitator explains that the clapping on thighs continues, but the singing goes on only for two verses. After those two verses, everybody stops singing but continues clapping, and the facilitator says “Shimmy Shimmy, number, number while keeping the rhythm. This number is a random number of a participant from 1 to x. The participant whose number has been said has to react quickly and repeat their number twice and then say the number of another participant twice (e.g. “Seven seven, sixteen sixteen”). Remember that they cannot break the rhythm. That other participant has to do the same until somebody makes a mistake, or until somebody repeats their number twice and says “Shimmy Shimmy” instead of another number. If “Shimmy Shimmy” has been said, everybody sings two verses together while the facilitator speeds up the rhythm of clapping. If any participant makes a mistake, they have to leave the circle, and their number cannot be said anymore. The activity continues until only two participants are left, who are declared the winners.

An example of one round:

(Slow rhythm)
Shimmy Shimmy-yyy, Shimmy Shimmy
Shimmy Shimmy-yyy, Shimmy Shimmy
Shimmy Shimmy, Two Two,
Two Two, Ten Ten,
Ten Ten, Five Five,
Five Five, Eleven Eleven,
Eleven Eleven, Shimmy Shimmy,
(Sped-up Rhythm)
Shimmy Shimmy-yyy, Shimmy Shimmy
Shimmy Shimmy-yyy, Shimmy Shimmy

Things to keep in mind…
  • It takes time for everybody to perfect the rhythm without making a mistake, so you can do one or two practice rounds first.
  • Make sure you don’t disturb the neighbors.

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