Bill and Ben

Bill and Ben This daft song and action game is designed to catch people out! It involves singing the original song of the famous BBC children’s television programme (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. A new version was released in 2001 with new characters and a different theme tune.