* anything that can be used to mark playing area: tape, rope, chalk, rocks, etc
Designate playing area, about the size of a tennis court, or a bit longer, as the ship. Mark off the front, back, and sides of this ship.
Teach the group the following actions. Start off with perhaps 4-6. Later, you can interrupt the game to add more.
Port: Run to the left side of the ship
Starboard: Run to the right side of the ship
Bow: Run to the front of the ship
Stern: Run to the back of the ship
To the Ship: Run to the captain's right (which may vary on where the captain is standing, and on whether he/she facing towards or away from the group)
To Land: Run to the captain's left
Hit the Deck: Lay down on your stomach
Attention on Deck: Stand up straight, feet together, salute, and say, "Aye, aye, Captain"
Scrub the Deck: Crouch down, pretending to scrub the ground
Captain's Quarters: Run toward the captain
Periscope: Lay on back, with one foot in the air
Turtle: Lay on back, with hands and feet waving in the air
Clear the deck: Sit with feet up off the ground
Crow's Nest: Find a partner and one carries the other on his/her back
Party Time: Grab a partner and dance
Man Overboard: Grab a partner. One lays on his/her stomach. The other stands with one foot lightly on his/her back
Row Your Boat: Grab a partner, and facing each other, hold hands and pretend to row, while singing, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
How to Play
Have group stand at the front (Bow) of the ship. The facilitator, "Captain," may call out any of the above commands, and the goal is to perform each as quickly as possible. The last to follow the captain's commands, or those who are left out in the interactive commands, are out.
Instead of being out, my suggestion is that the players "Walk the Plank" (have a "plank" designated), and dramatically fall into the "water" outside the boat. From here, they can run around the boat, making noise, screaming for help, trying to distract the other players from the Captain's commands.
For a Small Group, instead of having one or more players get out each time, designate a letter to the slowest to follow each command, until a word (ie: "Starboard") is spelled, and that player is out.