Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Good listening skills which are so important in success at school, starts with tuning in carefully to sounds. By encouraging children to do different things according to the sounds they are hearing helps develop their ability to tune in and focus on what they hear and then act upon it. This helps them become good at listening and responding later in life. This game is based on the popular children’s game ‘Captain’s Coming.’ The game encourages imaginative play through role play, develops memory and encourages listening skills. When using the cards the high level of physicality in the game also allows the children to let off steam and build spatial awareness.

Equipment required

  • Musical mayhem music
  • Cards (optional)

Link to resources


Play the game for at least 3 weeks so that your children get to grips with what is required and can start to tune in and listen for the changed themselves.

How it works

On the track there are 4/5 different excerpts of music, repeated randomly. Each one corresponds to a different action that the children must do depending on the theme chosen. Children listen to the excerpts of music and change their actions accordingly. There are 5 different themed versions of this game, each with their won excerpts of music.

Training Videos

Musical Mayhem Christmas-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Musical Mayhem Fairies-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Musical Mayhem Pirates-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Musical Mayhem Princess-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

musical mayhem Superheros-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

What to do in the class

Demonstrate each action and show the children where each related picture is located. Play the random tracks and encourage participation.

Play each piece of music and demonstrate the action for each. If space is short, you do not have to use the cards, but if there is plenty of space, put a card on each side of the room and demonstrate the action associated with each picture to the matching music. The children must then listen for a change in the music. When it changes, the children change their action and if using the cards, run to the side of the room where the card is located. Remind the children and parents of the new action as the music changes. Each excerpt lasts about 10 seconds, so there should be a sense of urgency and fun in the game.

You can either use the long musical track which has all the pieces of music in a random order, or choose to use the individual musical tracks and decide the order for yourself.


Where space is short, you can opt not to use the picture cards to limit the running around.


Pirate Theme:

  • Climbing the rigging – climb up the rigging
  • Scrub the decks – scrub the decks
  • Captains coming – stand and salute
  • Shark attack – snap hands like a shark

Fairy Theme

  • Casting a spell – twinkle fingers
  • Flying around – flap wings and run around
  • Fairy dancing – dance on tiptoe in a circle with arms raised
  • Sleeping fairies – lie on the floor as if sleeping

Superhero Theme

  • Batman – driving in his batmobile
  • Spiderman – climbing action
  • Superman – flying with one hand above head
  • Here come the baddies – pretend to be a baddie creeping up (with evil facial expressions)


  • Sleeping Beauty – pretend to sleep
  • Cinderella – scrub the floors
  • Snow White – kneel down and walk on knees
  • Ariel – swimming action moving around the room

Christmas Theme

  • Wrapping Christmas presents – mime wrapping up a present
  • Galloping like reindeer – trot around as if riding a reindeer
  • Spinning like snowflakes – twinkle fingers and spin around
  • Decorating the Christmas tree – mime hanging decorations on the a tree, reaching up high
  • Santa’s coming – pretend to be asleep

Randomly interspersed between some of the excerpts there will be a moment of silence and some distance jingle bells. When they hear this noise, it means ‘Santa is coming!’ They must run to one end of the hall and lie down and pretend to be asleep, quiet and still!! You can run after them with Ralph dressed as Father Christmas – can they all be asleep before he reaches them? When the jingle bells stops, the different music will start again and the children get back up and do the relevant action. You can either use the long musical track which has all the pieces of music in a random order and interspersed with ‘Santa’s coming’, or you can choose to use the individual musical tracks and decide the order for yourself.