The four games described in this chapter are upside-down versions of the party games musical chairs and pic-a-stick, the playground game tig (or tag), and 'blind man's buff'.
Turning a familiar children's game or competition upside-down, however, is not easy. It only seems easy and natural after it has been done.
There is no formula which can be followed. Inverting skipping games or ball games - inverting blind man's buff, or pass the parcel, or hide and seek - may all require different approaches.
But there are guidelines. First of all, the game which is being inverted needs to be well known and thoroughly understood. It may help to play, observe, and reflect upon this game on a number of occasions. Secondly, the skills involved in the original game should be retained, and enjoyed, and perhaps added to in the upside-down game. It often helps to start by practising these skills.
When an upside-down version is being tried out, then answers to the following questions will provide a measure of success :-
are the players communicating with one another ?
or are players still hiding or concealing information and intentions from each other ?
are the players coming together to tackle a common problem or challenge ?
or are the players still challenging each other and intentionally causing problems for each other ?
If the answers to the above questions are Yes, No, Yes, No, then the original game has almost certainly been turned upside down.
But there remains one final question.
Is the upside-down version as absorbing and challenging as the original game ? If the answer is not Yes, then game has not yet been successfully turned upside-down.