Can You Go Backwards in Musical Chairs?

Can You Go Backwards in Musical Chairs?

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Happy kids playing Musical Chairs
Happy kids playing Musical Chairs

Playing Musical Chairs at kids’ parties is a fun way to interact with all the other guests. This gives children the opportunity to enjoy both the music and use their reflexes to stop and quickly find a seat in circularly-arranged chairs. Modifying actions in Musical Chairs such as going backwards or reverse during birthday and other kids’ parties, might be fun yet may be questionable to some folks.

So, can players really go backwards in Musical Chairs? Children usually walk either clockwise or counterclockwise when the music starts. But yes, they can go backwards in Musical Chairs. This is just one way of modifying the game based on the players’ decision.

Musical Chairs give life to kids’ parties. To make the game even more exciting, children can modify rules and actions so they will not be bored. Actions such as hopping, skipping, jumping, or imitating animal gestures in either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction are also acceptable modes of this musical game.

However, children should agree first about the set of rules or modifications to make before the music starts. For instance, if they decide to start moving in a counter-clockwise direction, everyone should be informed and agree with this set-up. They can also agree whether they can jump or even hop on one leg to make it more fun and a bit more difficult than usual.

How to Play Musical Chairs

Children playing Musical Chairs outdoors
Children playing Musical Chairs outdoors

Partygoers, especially during childhood, love hanging around with friends and even gaining new friends while playing games. One of the most popular games that children enjoy at birthday parties is the classic but all-time favorite Musical Chairs. 

The game is basically having the chairs arranged in a circle. The number of these chairs is always one less than the number of participants before the game begins. Once the music starts, players walk or move around the chairs, based on their agreed rules or modifications, if any. 

Once the music stops, each of them hurries to find their own seat as the number of chairs cannot accommodate them all. The player who lost a seat will be the first to be out of the game. Then the music begins again after removing one chair. 

The next round goes on with the music being played again. Then, it will suddenly stop. The players will now rush to get a chair to sit before anyone else. The one who can’t find a seat will be out in this round.

The steps of the game are just being repeated until there is only one chair left for two players to compete. One player should immediately rush to sit in that chair when the music finally stops. The one who first had the chance to sit in that chair is then declared as the winner.

The Most Exciting Part of the Game

Children in exciting Musical Chairs game
Children in exciting Musical Chairs game

The thrill and excitement in playing Musical Chairs at a birthday party start when there are only three chairs left for four children to play. Once a kid lost and three participants are left, cheers from the crowd begin to intensify. The noise gets even louder when the music is turned on again and suddenly stops randomly. 

In some cases, kids may argue in getting a particular chair to sit down when the music stops. This is the reason why there are onlookers or an event organizer to judge who grabs the seat first and who will be out for that certain round. Then, the final round starts again with the music on.

The final round in every musical chair game is the most exciting part of all. This is when two players hardly move or are so cautious to stop at any moment just to sit on the chair left. This is also when music is played almost abruptly that even the audience hardly breathes in excitement.

The music now finally stops. Everyone is cheering, laughing, and even jumping in excitement as both players manage to grab that only seat. Once the judge declares the winner, the child who lost his turn learns the art of sportsmanship and congratulates the winner. 

The game is indeed a source of fun, not just to the players but also to the cheering crowd. Through the years, this has been modified to add more exciting flavors to the classic musical game. 

You may even be surprised to know that there are some partygoers playing the same rules of the Musical Chairs, yet there are no chairs involved at all. They replace chairs with party hats or any other stuff.

Exploring the Musical Chair Variants

 Running for the Last Free Spot - Colorful Group of Plasticine People Playing Musical Chairs
Running for the Last Free Spot – Colorful Group of Plasticine People Playing Musical Chairs

Exploring the Musical Chair Variants

Using hats in place of chairs is just one variant of the musical chair game. There are many other musical games that seem to grow from the popularity of the Musical Chairs. You can also try these game variants during gatherings and other events.

Here are some of the musical games and Musical Chair variants to try for your next party.

Musical Actions

As mentioned earlier, kids find it boring as they grow to stick to the classic old rules of the Musical Chairs. For this reason, they have replaced the act of walking around in circles while the music is on with different actions. These actions usually involve:

  • moving backwards
  • skipping
  • hopping
  • jumping
  • shuffling cross-legged
  • duck walking
  • crawling on all fours

Musical Numbers

This musical game is not about competing for the last seat. This is all about grouping together. The game is best played in large crowds during special events.

As the game starts with the music on, the players can dance with the music. When the music stops, the host will call out a number. For example, if the host says “7,” the players will group themselves to seven. Those who are not in a group will be out of that round. Then the music starts playing and the players can dance again until the host turns it off and calls out another number. The host can vary the rules in determining whether he will declare just one winner or a certain group at the end of the game.

Musical Hats

This game uses any type of hat. Start the game with all the players, except for one, wearing a hat.  As the music starts, players walk in a circle passing each of their hats to other players. 

Players take turns in passing hats. Then, the music will suddenly stop. The one who does not have a hat at the moment will be out. 

Other Musical Games

  • Statues
  • Laps
  • Boxes
  • Musical Couple
  • Pass/Push the Parcel

Best Tracks to Use for Playing Musical Games

  • Get the Party Started (Pink)
  • D.A.N.C.E (Justice)
  • Party Hard (Andrew WK)
  • Fight for Your Right to Party (The Beastie Boys)
  • Dance, Dance, Dance (The Casualeers)
  • Dance to the Music (Sly and The Family Stone)
  • Shout to the Top (The Style Council)
  • I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys)
  • Groove is in the Heart (Deee-Lite)
  • House of Fun (Madness)

Related Questions

  • When was Musical Chairs first introduced?

The first known use of Musical Chairs was in 1877.

Yes. “Musical Laps” and “Musical Couples” are its game variants. Some folks even prefer the classic style, though.

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