Changing Seats

This game is played in several different forms. The following are very popular.


The teacher gives the command, “Change right!” whereupon each pupil slips from his own seat to the one across the aisle to the right, the pupils in the farthest right-hand row standing in the outside aisle. The next order may be, “Change left!” when all of the pupils slip back to their own seats, and the row that stood resumes its own.

In the same way the orders, “Change forward!” and “Change backward!” may be given, the row of pupils left out each time merely standing in the aisles.


In this form of the game the players in the displaced row run around the room and take the vacant row of seats on the opposite side. For instance, the teacher gives an order, “Change left!” whereupon all the pupils slip over into the seats next to them on the left, the outside row on the left side of the room standing in the aisle. The teacher then says “Run!” whereupon the pupils who are standing run across the front of the room and take the vacant row of seats on the right-hand side. The teacher may then again say, “Change left!” whereupon the entire class, as now seated, moves one place to the left, the outside players standing in the aisle as did their predecessors; on the command “Run!” they, too, run across the room and take the vacant row of seats on the right-hand side. The command may be given, “Change forward!” after which the displaced players run around the side of the room and take the vacant places at the rear; or if the command be “Backward!” the displaced players run forward and take the front row of seats.

The sport of the game consists in rapid changes and unexpected variations in the orders given by the teacher. With right conditions the command to run may be omitted, the displaced row of pupils understanding that they are to run as soon as they stand.

The action of the game may be slightly quickened by having the running row divide, half running around the room in one direction and half in the other. For instance, if the players in the right-hand row have been displaced, half of them may run to the rear of the room to reach the rear half of the outer row of seats on the opposite side, and the other half run across the front of the room to the forward half of this row of seats.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

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