These are all games which I’ve used with groups in the past. I thought other people might find them useful too.
The Wind Blows
This is a good game for mixing the group up
Put chairs in a circle. Turn one chair to face out. Choose someone to stand in the middle. They (or you) can call:
“ The wind blows for………..
everyone wearing a watch
everyone who supports Rangers
everyone who can swim a length
everyone who had breakfast today
everyone who likes ice cream etc…
If the statement applies to a young person, they must get up and change places. The caller finds a seat. The last pupil left standing, becomes the new caller. No one can change places with the person sitting next to them.
As above but every one is a fruit e.g. apple, pear, banana. When you call that fruit, the person standing tries to find a seat. Call Fruit Bowl for all to change.
Catch a Story
Have a ball or (better) a beanbag. Begin a story. Throw it to the person who must continue the story. This is better than dragging around the circle and shy people can get rid of the story after only one word.
A variation on this is “fortunately, unfortunately”. Each person must add a sentence, changing the sentence of the main character. E.g.
Unfortunately the plane’s engines failed.
Fortunately the pilot had a parachute.
Unfortunately the parachute would not open.
Fortunately their was a haystack underneath. Etc.
Young people build up a storm by joining in worker–led sound effects one by one. It builds to a crescendo and dies down to silence.
It was still and quiet.
A gentle breeze was heard. (Worker rubs hands together. Children to his/her right gradually join in.)
The breeze grew louder. (Rub more vigorously)
A patter of rain was heard. (tap hands on palms)
It began to thunder. (Stamp feet)
This is reversed, dropping one noise at a time until all is quiet.
A Zoom (car) is passed around the circle. Anyone can stop it and reverse it by shouting “EEK!” It must then change direction. No one can say “EEK” more than once. If you are feeling very strong, you can send two cars in opposite directions but that takes a lot of concentration.
Change the Action
This is a good concentration builder.
The group participants must copy your PREVIOUS action every time you shout change, so:
Leader claps hands. Young people sit still.
Leader shouts CHANGE and begins to pat her knees.
Young people begin to clap their hands.
Leader shouts CHANGE again and begins to click her fingers. Young people now pat their knees.
Master Master, Who Am I?
You need a blindfold for this one. Blindfold a volunteer. A participant selected by you must approach them quietly, disguise their voice and ask Master Master, Who Am I? If the volunteer guesses correctly, they get another go. If they are wrong, the successful “voice” gets a turn.
Quick Change Artist
Have everyone sit in a circle and choose one person to be the quick change artist. Have the artist go out of sight and change something on him/her self that is visible(i.e.-put shorts on backwards, change hair, tie/untie shoes…). When the artist is done, have him/her walk into the middle of the circle and turn around slowly to give everyone a chance to see what has been changed. Then go around the circle having each person guess what has been changed. The first person to guess correctly is the next artist.
Have all players sit in a circle and then chose a person to be “it”. The “it” is to leave so that “it” cannot see or hear. Have one to four players move in the circle. When “it” returns he is to figure out who has moved in the circle
Everyone sits in a circle and is given a destination (name of a town) and in the middle, the station master stands with all the destination names on a card. He/She then chooses certain names; for example Bradford/Leeds. The two corresponding people then have to get up and exchange seats. In the meantime the station master has to try to jump into one of these seats. More than two destinations can be called out and then ultimately, “All Change”.
The Ministers Cat
This is an alphabetical word game.
Everyone gets in a circle and claps hands to the beat.
Start with A.
“The ministers cat is an Angry Cat”, “the ministers cat is a Black cat” etc etc.
Everyone stands in a circle holding hands. Have two people break hands and put their hands through a hula hoop and rejoin hands again. The hoop must be passed the whole way around the circle without breaking hands. Sometimes it goes over and sometimes
under…doesn’t matter. It is also fun to time the first try without telling the kids. Tell them at the end after discussing what helped and what made it difficult. Then try to “beat” the first “time”.
Have all players sit in a circle and then chose a person to be “it”. The “it” is to leave so that “it” cannot see or hear. Choose one person to be the chief and he will act out short movements. Examples are clapping hands three times, stomping feet 4 times, etc. All other players must do what the Chief does. Have “it” return to the group to figure out who is the Big Chief, you can give him up to three guesses if there’s a large group.
This is similar but the murderer kills other pupils by winking at them. The detective must spot the murderer before there is a massacre. The young people I’ve led this activity particularly like this if you specify a gruesome method of murder for them to act out.
I’m Going Hunting
You play this game in a circle and your memory counts. One person in the circle will start the game off by saying, I’m going hunting and I’m taking an arrow. The next person will have to repeat what the person next to him said and then add something new from the next letter in the alphabet. I’m going hunting and I’m taking an arrow and a bow. You keep this going around the circle until one person cannot remember what he is taking. That person is out and you see if the next person can complete the phrase. You don’t necessarily have to choose something that you would normally take hunting-it can be funny. You can also modify this game to a specific topic.
Cross The Circle
Everyone is numbered around the circle as 1,2,3. hen you call their number, everyone must cross the circle in role as…..a ballerina……….a panther………a moonwalker……..someone who’s stuck in the mud……..a fashion model……whatever you can think of.
Name a child to cross the circle to an empty chair in any way they like…walk…commando crawl…hop….twirl…whatever. They call someone else who must cross in a different way.
The Line Game:
Divide participants into equal groups. You will announce an order that you wish them to line up in, first group to do it and sit in a line on the floor wins a point. Use any of these categories: ages (oldest in the front – youngest in the back), alphabetically, shoe size, birthdays, telephone numbers, Mother’s first name, etc.
Stick in the Mud
A basic tag game. If participants are tagged, they must stand with their legs apart (stuck in the mud) until someone crawls through and releases them.
Led By The Nose
Pupils must imagine that strings are attached to various parts of their bodies. Move a
round the room led by that part e.g. right thumb, nose, knees. Eyelashes etc.
Pip, Squeak Wilfred
Everyone stands in a circle. You call them in turn, Pip, Squeak ,Wilfred. You call e.g. “Squeak”, all the Squeaks step outside the circle and walk clockwise around it. When you call “Home”, all the Squeaks must run IN THE SAME DIRECTION back to their original
place. Last one back is out and must sit down in their place. CARE! Everyone standing, must stand still not swinging their legs out. Everyone sitting must sit up and not lean back on their hands or they’ll get trodden on.
This is like Scissors, Paper Stone but played by a whole group. You divide the class into two. I usually play this after a partner activity and send the A’s one way and the B’s another. The group must secretly decide whether they are Knights, Giants or Wizards.
Knight beats Wizard
Giant beats Knight
Wizard beats Giant
The group confer secretly and come forward to face the other group. You count one two three and the groups simultaneously make the appropriate noise and action.
The wizards brandish an imaginary wand and shout “Shazam!”
The giants stamp their feet and say “ Fee, fi, foe fum”
The knights draw their swords and shout, ”en garde”
Individual silent mimes, talked through in detail by you. E.g.
Walking the dog
Learning to juggle
At the beach
Riding the big dipper
Everyone puts a chair in a space and moves away to the side of the room. The worker explains what sort of chair it is and the participants move to it and sit in it appropriately, staying silent and concentrating on their mime.
The chairs might be:
In a restaurant, highchairs, dentists chairs, in a plane etc.
Leaving the room: Adverb Exit
Pupils must act their way to the door. E.g. “ If your name begins with A, leave anxiously,
B, bossily, C, cheerfully etc.
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