Sleeping Lions | Drama Game to Tame Your Little Lions

To celebrate the success of the Prague Youth Theatre Tots’ circus revue (written and directed by Silly Fish creator, Rebecca Humphries), we’re taming lions with our latest preschool drama game. The Sleeping Lions drama game can safely be played while social distancing or teaching online.

COVID-19 Update!
Mark spaces two metres apart for children to lie down. This is a great game to calm your students and help them practice social distancing!


  • Ask students to shake out all of their silliness.
  • Count down from five. The children should be lying down like VERY STILL sleeping lions by the time the teacher reaches zero.
  • Any sleeping lions who move are eliminated.
  • The student who is still for the longest amount of time is the winner.

Top tip: once students are eliminated, ask them to help you watch other students. This extra thing to concentrate on helps them to avoid restlessness while they wait for the round to finish.

In my experience

When I worked in a nursery, I sometimes found that children would revolt against nap time. Taking a nap is crucial for a child’s mood, physical health and ability to learn. So when your kids are having none of it, what’s the best approach?

I found that the Sleeping Lions drama game was a godsend in these situations. When the kids heard that we were playing a game, they would be excited to join in. I would ignore small movements and the kids would think they had got away with it. After a few minutes of lying still and quiet, and after a full morning of activities, it didn’t take long for the kids to fall asleep for their afternoon nap. It was a little dishonest but worked every time!

This game is a great cool down and calms even the silliest students. Try it with your class and check out our Teacher Tips for more classroom management ideas!

This activity is part of our ‘A Day at the Zoo’ drama lesson plan for ages 3-6. Available to UK readers and USA readers.

Need help keeping your students socially distant? Try marking a space using the following:

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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