Barnyard Bedlam

Barb Wright,
Southern Vancouver Island Area
Victoria, B.C. Canada

Every Brownie loves Barnyard Bedlam, especially if you adapt it to Woodland Bedlam:

A running around/observation game:


Peanuts in the shell (enough for a handful for each girl, doubled or so) Lunch bags or similar container


Where: In a large field or lightly wooded area (where you can still see all the girls)

When: shortly before game time, when the girls aren't around and when they won't be coming back to that spot

What: Have a leader distribute little piles of three or so peanuts in obvious and not obvious spots around the field -- at the base of tree, on top of a stump, in the shadow of a rock -- etc. Make lots of piles if you want a long fun loud game!


Away from the site, divide the girls into two or three groups. Make someone in each group the Farmer (with Sparks and Brownies prefer having leaders be the farmers) and the rest in each group choose an animal to be (farm, forest, bird, whatever theme you've chosen). Each group must have a different animal. Practice making the animal sound. Explain why you are using peanuts -- if they aren't found, they feed the animals, or biodegrade!! It used to call for wrapped candies, so the girls can eat their winnings... but, fortuitously, we found a wrapped candy at our Spark camp and were able to tell the girls how it had never been found and was now litter and unsafe to animals (wrapper and sugar).

Explain the rules:

They cannot go out of bounds for safety reasons. (Show them the boundaries, don't just tell them.)

On "go", the animals (not farmers) from all groups will spread out and look for peanuts hidden around.

They cannot talk at any time!!! (for reasons explained below)

Once an animal finds a hoard of peanuts, she does not touch them or talk about them. She stands with her toes pointing toward the peanuts and makes her animal's noise *AS LOUD AS SHE CAN* (they have no trouble with this at all!)

The farmer has to listen for her animals' noises. She hustles over to her animal (there's often more than one at once!) and picks up the peanuts.

The "Bedlam" part comes in because:
1. There are girls everywhere making loud noises (strategy is for teams to split up so there could/should be 3 horses in different spots neighing!)
2. If a horse sees a pile and is neighing, a cow can run over and start mooing: whichever Farmer hears first and gets over, gets the peanuts The Farmers have to listen well, and judge which pile to pick up first.


Bring the girls to the site, and turn them loose! You don't have to have winners if you don't want, but the girls do! If you play it a few times over the day, with only a few piles each time, the different teams have a chance to win.

Compost the peanuts that were used in the game, but give the girls the extras that weren't on the ground as a snack.

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