‘Fat Pig’

Two children playing the 'Fat Pig' game.It was our village fete this weekend at which we hosted the ‘children’s games corner’. One of the best games (though I say it myself!) was one I invented when I had my Montessori school in Northumberland. It’s called Fat Pig and was really popular with the children, possibly because the name was a bit ‘rude’ (phonetic though!) and also because it involved the participants playing different roles, which children seem to love! Funny really thinking of some training I was involved in recently when grown up professionals refused to ‘do’ role play! Anyway this is what you need to play ‘Fat Pig’.


Draw, trace, or cut-out from an unwanted Richard Scarry (or similar) children’s cartoon style book: items of food and drink with fork, knife and spoon, plate, glass (place setting). Get a square of material for a small tablecloth (size of a man’s hankie). Draw, trace or cut out a pig. Put all of this in a suitable box.


Take two children (3+). Identify/ask who wants to ‘lay the table’ for their picnic. You, as demonstrator, will play the role of ‘fat pig’. Ask the other player to watch as you show how to play the game with the ‘ table- layer’ player.

Direct the ‘table-layer’ to take the cloth from the box and lay it out, then to ‘lay the table’ with place-setting and food (up to 5/6 items) saying e.g: “um what shall I have for my supper today….”, carefully placing each item of food in position on the table, one at a time. When that’s accomplished, suggest they feel sleepy and need a snooze before supper and e.g stretch out your arms with a big yawn and say “Oh I feel like a snooze before I eat my supper” and, resting your head on your hands, shut your eyes and go to sleep (snoring helps). Get them to copy you.

Then you (now playing the ‘fat pig’ role), having been holding the fat pig in your hand and watching the other player lay their table, sneak over and steel something off the table and then hide fat pig with the food item behind your back. As a third party again, whisper to the snoozing ‘table-layer’: ‘are you waking up yet?’. When they ‘ wake up’ they see something’s gone from their table and, to get it returned by fat pig, must remember exactly what’s gone missing and say ‘fat pig, fat pig have you got my………’. If the ‘table-layer’ is correct in what they remember, fat pig must give it back. If they are wrong they have to check and name all the food items remaining on the table (to strengthen their ability to remember next time!) and then have another snooze and fat pig repeats the crime until they get it!

The children then take over, swopping roles for maximum benefit.

Tags: children, fat pig, fun, game

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