Active Games for Kids
One player is secretly chosen by the leader to be the movie star. The objective is for the star to wink at various fans walking around. Once a fan is winked at the fan must wait three to five seconds and then suddenly faint shouting the name of their favourite movie star. Once one of the fans things they notice the movie star winking at somebody else, they must stop and say “Hey! I know you!” and point to the star. If the player is not the movie star, the pointer must faint and the game goes on until the movie star is found
Hi, What’s Your Name?
Players sit in a circle. One player is chosen by the leader to go around the circle and tap another player. Both stand up and shake hands. The tapper says “Hi, what’s your name?” The tapped player responds by saying their name three times, loudly and clearly for all to hear. Then both players race around the circle, going opposite directions in order to get back to their original spot. The one that gets bac first sits down and the other player becomes the tapper
Players find a partner and run around. The leader calls out a phrase and the players must find their partner and depict the scene. The last pair to depict the scene is out. For example, Frog on a log: one player gets down on all fours and the frog sits gently on their back. Bird on a perch: one player gets down on one knee and the bird sits on the perch. Lion in a den: one person stands with feet apart and the lion lies down on the floor.
You need lots of space with a minimum of ten players. Players form groups of three or more. Two players are not in any group, because they will be the loose cabooses. The groups line up and hold the waist of the player in front becoming the trains that the loose cabooses try to hitch onto. The trains run around and a loose caboose tries to hitch on. If the loose caboose hitches onto the last player on the train and cannot be shaken loose, the first player on the train becomes the loose caboose.
Larry, Curly, Moe
Players sit in a circle and the leader divides them into groups of three by names. Each player is named Larry, Curly or Moe. The three characters must be sitting side by side. Place a ball or object in the middle of the circle. The leader yells out one of the stooges names, ie: “Larry”. All of the Larry’s then get-up and race outside of the circle. Curly and Mo put their feet together like a bridge. When the Larry’s gets back to their spot, they go under the footbridge and try to be the first player to touch the ball! The game starts over by the leader calling another name.
Players sit in a circle. A leader goes around the circle naming each player Ketchup, Mustard, or Relish. The leader then calls out one of the ingredients. Whoever is called must get up and run around the circle and get back to their spot. The last one back then sits in the middle to be an onion. The leader may call the onions when there are two or more onions, which then race outside the circle of then back the middle. The last player remains and the others go back to their place in the circle. If the leader calls “Hot Dog” all players get up and run around the circle.
Streets and Alleys
This game is to be played in a larger group of 12 or more players. One player is the CAT and the other is the MOUSE. The rest of the players stand in a row of four or more. Holding hands and facing the same direction. This is the STREET position. To form the ALLEY position, each player turns 90 degrees left and join hands with the player in the front and the player behind. The cat starts in the front street and the mouse in the back street. The leader calls STREET then ALLEYS and the players must change quickly. The cat tries to catch the mouse staying within the streets and alleys. When the mouse is caught they switch positions or a new cat and mouse is selected.
Players form two teams. Team A decides on a trade, ie “Plumber”. Team A walks up to Team B and says, “Here we come”. Team B asks “Where from?” Team A names a town. Team B: “What is your trade?” Team A: “Lemonade”. Team B: “Show us some if you’re not afraid”. Team A acts out plumbing with actions. As soon as Team B guesses the trade correctly Team A must run back to the baseline and Team B tries to catch as many players as possible. The A’s caught join their captors and Team B chooses a trade.
In pairs, one player becomes the car and the other player the driver. The car is blindfolded (or closes their eyes) and has hands up as bumpers. The driver puts hands on the car’s shoulders and drives the car around the room. There is NO TALKING and NO BUMPING INTO ANYONE ELSE! Partners can decide on hand signals for turning and stopping before they should need them. Change roles after a while. Variation: Drivers take their cars through an obstacle course
Birds Can Fly
Players are scattered randomly but face the activity leader who calls out things that are true about animals, i.e birds can fly, rabbits can hop, horses can trot, etc. Players follow these directions. However, when the caller says something that is not true, i.e cats can bark, any player who does the action is out. This continues until there is only one player left and that player becomes the caller.
One player is the Octopus and stands in the middle of the play area. The other players stand at one end. When the Octopus calls out “OCTOPUS” all the players must run to the other end of the play area. If the Octopus tags them, they sit on the spot and become seaweed. The seaweed can get the others out if they touch them as they run by but they must be sitting down. The last player becomes the Octopus.
Knights, Damsels, Dragons
Players walk randomly around each other. When the leader calls out Knights, Damsels, or Dragons the players must take the shape themselves or find a partner to depict the wanted character. The last one(s) to do so are eliminated or may have to do ten jumping jacks in order to re-enter the game. Knight: one player becomes the horse and the other sitting on it with their arms pointed out as a jouster. Damsel: one is the prince who kneels and the princess sits on the knee. The Dragon: only one player is required and the have to look fierce.
Take the Bacon
Players sit in the circle and one player, chosen by the leader, sits in the middle of the circle blindfolded. This player has the “piece of bacon” on the floor in between their legs (ball or object). Another player has to quietly enter the circle and tries to take the bacon. If the stealer succeeds, they get to sit in the middle of the circle. If the approaching player is touched by the player guarding the bacon they have to return to the circle and another player is chosen to try to steal the bacon.
Players sit in a circle. The leader starts out by rubbing hands together. The player to the right does the same and so on until everyone is doing the same action. When all the players are rubbing their hands, the leader starts a new action by finger-snapping, then hand clapping, next slapping of the thighs and food stomping. To end the storm, reverse the actions. At the end, the players one by one stop rubbing their hands and sit and wait for the action to be completed by the group.
Players sit in a circle. The leader comes the first part of the people machine by making a machine-like noise and movement. Players begin to add on to the machine one or two at a time (when they are ready) to create a big, noisy machine. A machine operator can turn up the speed of the machine, slow it down and repair glitches. The machine can go out of control getting louder and louder, faster and faster until the machine explodes and everyone crashes.
Cooperative Games for Kids
Become a Charade
Divide the participants into groups. The leader calls out something that each group must become together. For instance, everyone must become a car. The players have a time limit to form the object. All the players in the group must be included. The leader gives a point to the group that must look like the subject/best out of five. Ask the groups to think of something that they could make with themselves and present the idea to the other groups and see if the other groups can guess what they made similar to charades.
Pass the Beans
One player is “It” and stands in the middle of a circle. The other players stand close together so that “It” cannot see the other player’s hands behind their backs as they pass the object from one student to another. They must do this so quietly and carefully that “It” does not spot them. “It” tries to guess who has the beanbag and keeps on trying until “It” guesses it right. Then the player who is caught with the beanbag changes place with “It” and the game begins again.
Players sit in a circle. The leader begins by passing a ball to the player on their right while saying “This is a this”. The player will ask, “A what?” and the leader replies “A this”. The second player then passes the ball to a third player and says, “This is a this”. The third player will, of course, ask “A What?” and the second player will return the ball to the leader and ask “A what?” Each time the ball goes as far as one more player and then returns all the way to the leader. For more of a challenge and fun, begin one ball each way.
Players scatter over the playing area and a ball is tossed into the air. The objective is to keep the ball in the air using any part of the body. Once one ball is up, get two or three balls going at the same time. Keep count of the number of times the ball(s) is hit up into the air before it hits the ground. Have the players try and better the number next time around.
Players initially begin in pairs moving about the play area with arms linked while the leader chews some Bubble Gum. When the leader pops a bubble, each group must double in size. The game keeps going until all the players are in the group and then start again.
To begin, one player is designated to be the lighthouse. One-quarter of the players assume the role of “rocks” and they scatter in a designated area. All the other players become ships and boats of various sizes. The ships blindly navigate by walking slowly about, attempting to reach the safety of the lighthouse. If a boat bumps into a rock, the boat becomes an extension of the existing rock and makes the noise “swish” (water lapping against the rocks). The lighthouse constantly goes “Beep! Beep! Beep!” to help the ships reach the safety of the lighthouse.
Players sit in a circle. One player volunteers to go into the middle of the circle and is blindfolded. The players are asked to clap their hands. While the players are clapping their hands, the leader places the objects somewhere inside the circle. The blindfolded player’s task is to find the objects as quickly as he can with the help of the students clapping. The clap softly if the player is a great distance away and they clap loudly as the player gets close to the object. The objective is to see how quickly the group can help the player find the object.
Who is the Leader?
Players sit in a circle. One player is asked to volunteer to leave the room. One player in the room is chosen to be the leader. The leader starts the group with a body action such as hand clapping. The player outside the room comes in and stands on the inside the circle. They have three guesses to guess who the leader is. Meanwhile, the leader keeps switching body actions every 10 seconds. Once the player guesses who the leader is, they then go outside the room and a new leader is chosen.
Players start by facing a partner and observing each other for two minutes. The players then turn their backs to each other and each changes size details about the way they look. Once this is done, they face each other again and try to spot the changes their partner has made.
Crows and Cranes
This game requires a large area with boundaries and a centre line. The players are divided into two groups. One group is the “Cranes” and the other is the “Crows”. Both teams line up at the centre line facing one another. The leader calls one group, i.e: “Cranes!” The Cranes then become “It” and must tag as many Crows as possible before the Crows reach the end boundary on their side. Whoever gets tagged goes to the opposite team. After each round, the teams must line up at the centre line. The team that has the most players by the end of the game wins.
Hot or Cold
One player is chosen as the “Guesser” and leaves the room as the other players choose an object in the room. The “Guesser” is called back in. The guesser must try to guess the object. When the guesser moves towards the object the group says “warm”, the closer is “warmer”, and near is “hot!”. If the guesser is far away the group says “Cold”, farther away “Colder”. The game goes on until the guesser names the object. Then another player becomes the guesser.
Divide the players into groups of three. In the groups, one player portrays the model, one the artist and one the lump of clay. The artist and the clay close their eyes while the model strikes a pose. The more detailed and creative the pose, the better, yet it should be a pose that can be helped for about three minutes. The artist leaves their eyes closed and now touches the model to discover the exact pose and the moulds the clay into an identical statue. The artist may return to the model as often as needed. When the artist thinks that they are finished, both the artist and the clay may open their eyes.
Take Off, EH!
This is a basic game of tag with one person “It”. To remain safe from “It”, a player must stand between two other players who are linking hands. If the three players can get into this position without being tagged they are safe for five seconds. Then the three forming the circle shout “Take off, eh!” The same three cannot group together more than once. As a player is tagged, they become an “It” and works with the other “Its”
Quiet Games for Kids
Pass the Face
While sitting in a circle, the leader starts by making a face at the player beside them. This player has to match that face (while the leader continues making the face). Then the two look at everyone. The player “morphs” their face into some other silly face and passes it on to the next player. Feel free to involve had and body movements. The sillier the faces the greater the laughs from the other players.
All of the players stand side-by-side in a line. One player is chosen to be the Laugh Maker and stands facing another player in the line. The objective is to make that player laugh as quickly as possible. When successful, that payer joins the Laugh Maker and they attempt to make the others laugh.
One player thinks of a person, place or thing and announces which category the subject belongs to. The other players get an opportunity to ask 20 questions in order to find out what it is. The questions must be ones that can be answered with yes, no, partly, or sometimes. The player who guess correctly becomes the next player to select the subject. Variation: set up teams and play as a tournament.
From Where I Sit
While sitting in a circle the first player says “From where I sit I see___” (naming a flower or another natural object in sight). The second player says “From where I sit I see a ___(naming the first player’s object) and a ___” (adding something else they can see). The next player names the first and second object and adds one they see. If a player makes a mistake in listing the objects in order, they become a “petal” of a flower. Three “petals” and the player goes out the circle. The player in the circle the longest wins.
I Know Club
The leader tells the players that she will let them into the “I Know Club” on the condition that they know the right things. The leader may start by saying, “I know ships but I don’t know boats.” The players are asked to say something they know and do not know. (Secret – the “I Know” has an “I” in it and the second word does not). Once a player gives three correct sayings they can whisper the secret in the leader’s ear. If the player is correct they become a member of the club and can now listen to other players but cannot give away the secret.
Crossed and Uncrossed
Players sit in a circle. The leader takes two sticks and passes then to a player beside them whose legs are crossed. The player says, “I received these crossed.” Now the player uncrosses her legs and says, “I pass them uncrossed.” Other players tell how they have received the sticks and how they passed them. The clue is based on the receiver of the sticks having their legs crossed or uncrossed. The players who have figured it out should correct the passers. Remember to exaggerate movements and give clues to the key of the game. The players are watching the sticks and each other for clues to this game.
My Grandmother’s Trunk
Players start by sitting in a circle. The first player starts by mentioning one item which grandmother carried in her trunk, ie: pillows, portraits, penguins, pajamas, etc. The next player repeats this item and adds another item starting with the same letter and so on. Variations: Each player must add an object that begins with the last letter of the previous item, ie: ball, lollipop, panda, apple, elephant, etc.
I’m a Little Tea Pot
Divide the players into two groups. Have all players as a whole sing the song “I’m A Little Tea Pot”. Then each group has five minutes to make a presentation to the rest of the group singing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” to rap, opera, rock, western etc. Each player in each group must have a chance to be involved. After each presentation, the players give the group that has just presented the silent cheer (moving any part of their body but not making a sound).
Players sit in a circle and each player is given a number starting from zero. The player with the number zero starts to clap to the rhythm (clap, clap, snap, snap) and says: zero, zero, two, two (another player’s number) and then the player with number two says two, two, five, five (while clapping to the rhythm). This keeps going until a player makes a mistake with the clapping or giving the wrong numbers. The player who makes a mistake receives the letter “W” from the word whoops! Once a player receives all the letters in the word Whoops! The game starts over again.
Mutual Story Telling
The players start sitting in a circle. The leader gives the player a topic, i.e food. One player starts with a word. The player on the right adds a word and so forth until all the players have had a chance to contribute a word to make up a story about food. Variation: Depending on the number of players, the leader may go two or three times around the circle.
I’m Going on a Picnic
The players start sitting in a circle. The leader says, “I am going on a picnic and I am taking an apple”. The player on the let says, “I am going on a picnic and I am taking (object of choice)”. If the object has two double letters the player may go on the picnic. If not, the leader says, “You may not come on the picnic”. After every player has had a chance to answer, the leader asks the players who were able to go on the picnic what is the secret.
Players start sitting in a circle, continuing one at a time from “one” to “sixty”. But instead of saying any number that has seven in it, or has a multiple of seven (14, 21, 28, etc) they must say BUZZ. For example the first person says 1, the second 2 and so on until it’s someone’s turn to say 7, but that person says BUZZ. The game should go fairly quickly. The objective is to have all the players participating count to sixty with the fewest number of errors within a time limit.
Players sit in a circle. One player is chosen by the leader to be “It” and moves to the centre of the circle. The players toss an open handkerchief quickly from one another around the circle. “It” tries to touch or catch the handkerchief from one to another around the circle. “It” tries to touch or catch the handkerchief and if successful, changes place with the last player who touched the handkerchief. The players throw the handkerchief quickly as if it were hot.
Players start in groups of five (the number could vary depending on the size of the whole group). Each group stands in a straight line beside one another. The leader asks them to use their bodies with each group member involved to spell the following words, one at a time, starting with a word with five letters, to a word with one letter: CANDY, FOUR, YOU, ME and I. Stress the use of creativity – for example, “I everyone could point to their eye, “You” everyone in the group forms a large U.
Name Game Rhythm
The players sit in a circle and a leader is chosen to start the game. Everyone begins by slapping their knees twice, followed by clapping their hands twice and then snapping fingers, first right then left. As the leader snaps the right finger they say their own name and when they snap their left finger, they say the name of another player. The rhythm continues as the player named by the proceeding player says their own name with the right finger snap and someone else’s name at the left finger snap.
Circle of Stone
Players sit in a circle with one stone facing the player in the middle. A second player (the challenger) steps in and the two sit face to face. Without touching the first player, the challenging player has six seconds to make the first player laugh. Anything goes in this riot of a game, as long as their mothers would approve! If successful, the challenger becomes the stone face and a new challenger steps forward.
Oscar the Otter
Players begin by sitting in a circle. One player (Oscar) chosen by the leader sits in the middle of the circle with their eyes blindfolded. A player from the circle very quietly kneels beside Oscar in the middle of the circle and whispers or disguises their voice and says, “I’m Oscar the Otter from Oshkosh”. This player then returns to their spot in the circle. Oscar opens their eyes and has three chances to guess who “Oscar” is. When their guesses are complete, a new Oscar is chosen to sit in the middle of the circle.