How to Play Musical Chairs (With a Twist)

Same game but with a twist!

This game and version of the familiar musical chairs game is so much fun and easy to set up. I only play it with classes that can follow rules.

What You Need

  • Classroom chairs
  • One textbook (or book) for every student
  • Music (I made you some Spotify playlists at the bottom of the page)
  • Students who are willing to play by the rules

How to Play

Start With a Circle

Start with a circle of chairs with the seats facing OUT.

The example class has 30 kids, so 29 chairs in a circle, right? Get a stack of textbooks or 29 books of any kind and after the first person is out, you put one book on any chair. I originally used textbooks because they are sturdy, were readily available in my classroom, and if a chair gets bumped, won’t fall off.

Getting Out

There is now one person out and they are in charge of putting the books on the chairs after each elimination. They get in the middle of the circle with the books. You start the music again. I tell the person in the middle to put ONE book on any chair AFTER the music begins again. As soon as they’ve put a book on a chair, you can stop the music whenever because the number of available chairs will fit how many are still in the game, minus one. Unlike the original, there is NO moving of chairs and a student is in charge of the books which allows you to keep your eyes on the game more consistently.


I put a playlist together and just let it roll and only use my mute button to turn the music “off and on” so that my eyes are constantly on the gameplay. Of course, you can stop and start the song, too.

It is SO fun. It is safe as long as you are firm on the rules and if it doesn’t work or you fear someone will get hurt, end the game and move on to something else.

The Rules!

  • If you touch anyone you are out.
  • If you stop moving or run you are out.
  • If you touch a CHAIR you are out. (this prevents pinched fingers and general cheating)
  • You may NOT sit in a chair with a book in it.
  • I (the teacher) am the official. I have to catch people who break the rules and whatever I say RULES.

Spotify Playlists! Ready to Go!

Halloween Spotify Playlist

Thanksgiving Spotify Playlist

Winter Spotify Playlist

Chuck Berry Spotify Playlist

Best of 2022 Spotify Playlist

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Author: lbbartolomeo

I'm a mom, wife, teacher, reader, gardener, trekkie, sci-fi fanatic, musician, dog lover, and a Christian. I hope my contributions bring some joy and happiness to your life!

One thought on “How to Play Musical Chairs (With a Twist)”

  1. Thank you sooo much for this wonderful twist in musical chairs …….today is my dad’s birthday and surprisingly I am the host of the party and has to organise everything, no helper is given ……. at least google is here to help ………and of course you…

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