Four Corners, Rue’s Way

Preschoolers spend a lot of time being taught things by grownups. And if you’re the youngest child, you’ve got older siblings who want to pack on the knowledge too. But Rue got to be the teacher the other day.

She taught us a new game. She calls it Four Corners, and it’s a twist on the Four Corners game many of us played in elementary school. You can play it as soon as you finish reading this post. All you need are two (or more) players and four pieces of paper, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Find some open floor space. Have your kids set out the numbered papers in something resembling the four cardinal points.

Decide on a person to be It.

It stands or kneels in the middle of the room. It covers Its eyes and plugs Its ears (a bandana might come in handy if you have peekers). It counts to twenty. Nice and slow.

As It is counting, everyone else is scrambling to get to a number as quietly as possible. Sometimes they mess with It–rumple his hair, pat his head, tickle his feet, that sort of thing.

Do you get the sense that Nacho Man spent a lot of time being It?

Everyone should be in place by the time It gets to twenty.  It will point to a corner and call out a name. If It is wrong, It is greeted by the sound of silence. Unless you’re overcome with the giggles. Warning: this happens a lot. If It guesses correctly, everyone laughs and a new It is crowned.

Lupe had no trouble finding Rue because she said Rue’s a heavy breather. Rue thought this was hilarious.

Nacho Man took no prisoners. He’ll do anything to win. He tried to make us laugh so he could ferret us out. He wasn’t above antics such as the Truffle Shuffle or the Chicken Dance, or making exaggerated sniffing noises as though we’re a stinky lot.

We are not necessarily stinky, but we are giggly. Nacho Man knows this. He used it to his advantage.

There are any number of ways to spice this up. You can use frou-frou floor markers. You can have more than four numbers. You can decide that whoever’s It has to guess who’s standing at every number.

But that’s time away from the real fun–playing the game plain and simple.

You can also *invite* your cat to play. But he might choose a corner that isn’t numbered. Don’t bother trying to explain the rules to him. He plays by his own rules.

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