Monday, May 04, 2015

Bill and Ben

You need to know the original tune of the famous BBC children's television programme to play this rather daft game. (You can listen to the tune below.) Everyone stands in a circle. First of all, sing the song as a group. The words are not too complicated:

Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben,
Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben,
Flowerpot Men.
Flowerpot Men, Flowerpot Men,
Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben,
Flowerpot Men.


When everyone is confident of the tune, the game begins. One person starts by singing the first word from the song. The person on their left sings the next word, and so on - a little like telling a one word at a time story. Try to keep the tempo smooth. 'Flowerpot' can be sung as one or two words - it's up to you!

Once this has been mastered, the next rule is that the person singing 'Bill' must bend their knees at the same time as singing the word - just that person. When that is working, add the next rule - everybody bends their knees when anyone sings 'Ben'. This usually results in much laughter, with people bending their knees at the wrong times. If you lose the flow of the tune, start again.

Learning Objectives: To warm up the voice
To encourage concentration
To cooperate in group work
Age Group: 9+
Participants: Whole group
Recommended time for activity: 10-15 minutes


Bill and Ben was a BBC television programme first broadcast in 1952. It has since been updated, although the theme tune is different to the original, which is what you can listen to above.

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