ICELANDIC FOOT TAG

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 5-25

    Risk Level: Medium

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle with one foot crossed over the other.

  2. One person volunteers to start by lifting one of their feet and placing it against the foot of the person to their left. They can choose to place it on either side of either foot. The volunteer’s foot is then “attached” there and cannot move it until it is again their turn. The foot that wasn’t lifted must remain in the same place.

  3. The person who just got “tagged” then must choose which foot to lift and tag the person to their left.

  4. You will quickly notice there are safe, easy moves and there are more advanced, uncomfortable, challenging moves.

  5. This repeats until the “tag” goes around the circle 2-5 times or until people are sufficiently and comically twisted up.


MINIATURE TANKS

    Time: 5 minutes

    Group size: 5-15

    Risk Level: High

    How To:

  1. Everyone gets in a circle on their knees and arms in their best “tank” position.

  2. When the activity starts, you must begin moving your arms and legs back and forth and begin chanting “Miniature Tanks, Miniature Tanks” as you make your way across the circle in a relatively slow, tank-like way.

  3. You may only (do your best) to move in a straight line. Your goal (if there is one at all) is to make it to the other side of the circle. Yes, this means there is a rather glorious collision in the center. It is advisable that you create a safe word in case someone is buried under too many tanks and needs to stop. *Please be gentle with each other. You Tank at your own risk.


ALI BABA & THE FORTY THIEVES

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 5-15

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle. One person volunteers to be the “Ali Baba.” The Ali Baba is responsible for making dance moves for the whole group - so this person has to be ready to move and groove.

  2. The whole circle begins the basic dance move and chant - patting their kneeds to the beat while they sing/say “Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves, HEY!” When they say HEY, everyone throws their hands into the air. Keep repeating this song and dance until it is your turn.

  3. After everyone settles into a nice rhythm (or lack thereof), the Ali Baba is responsible for creating new dance moves. Instead of patting his or her knees like everyone else, the Ali Baba might start doing a disco move or the moonwalk or just wiggling their eyebrows for the length of one refrain of “Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves, HEY!” After each refrain, the Ali Baba must come up with a new dance move or movement of some kind. Now, here’s where it gets tricky…

  4. As soon as the Ali Baba finishes their first move, the person to their left (Person B) then “absorbs” the move and, for the refrain immediately following, does the dance move that the Ali Baba just completed. The person to Person B’s left will then absorb it while Person B begins the next dance move they’ve absorbed.

  5. If done correctly (and it’s really hard to get this far!) every person in the group should be doing a different dance move by the end. The person to the immediate right of the Ali Baba should be doing the very first move that the Ali Baba did when they started creating dance moves. Person B should be doing the move that the Ali Baba just finished.

  6. With larger groups, you can send the moves in both directions at the same time - Person B would be both the person on the left and the right of the Ali Baba and you go until the dance moves collide in the middle.


BOB THE WEASEL

    Time: 5-10 minutes

    Group size: 10-25

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. One person stands in the middle and hands the group a stuffed animal or, if you are feeling risky, your wallet or purse - let’s call this the “Weasel.”

  2. All the people on the outside circle put their hands behind their back - one of them with the Weasel. The person in the middle closes their eyes while the rest of the group shuffles the Weasel around. The circle then begins the chant - bobbing their knees up a down slightly and saying “Bob the Weasel, Keep it Go-in, Keep it Go-in.” This gets seriously creepy when said in a monotone, zombie voice.

  3. The person in the middle opens their eyes and begins their hunt - they are trying to find who has the Weasel. While continuing the chant, the Weasel also must continue to be passed around the circle.

  4. If you are caught with the Weasel, it is your turn to go into the center.


PTERODACTYL

    Time: 10-15 minutes

    Group size: 5-15

    Risk Level: Medium to High    

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle. Announce to the group that we are going to be passing around everyone’s favorite dinosaur - the Pterodactyl.

  2. The first rule of the game is that you cannot show your teeth. You can smile, but your teeth must remain covered by your lips or you are “out.”

  3. One person volunteers to start with the Pterodactyl. In order to pass it around the circle, you must look to the person on your left or right and, without showing teeth, simply say “pterodactyl.” If you want to reverse the direction of the passing, you must make eye contact with the person who just passed it to you and, raising your hands as if you had wings, you must make your best pterodactyl sound (for those who don’t know, they make a “RAAAHHHEGHGHYYYYYIE” sound).

  4. If you want to pass it to the other side of the circle, you must make eye contact with the person you are trying to pass it to and scare the Pterodactyl toward them by doing your best T-Rex impression. Remember, they have small arms and make a “BRRRAWWWWWARRRR” sound.

  5. Watch for anyone showing their teeth. In a competitive game, they are out and then become “Teeth Judges” who look for and try to encourage people to laugh and show their teeth.


EYE FOR AN EYE

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-30

    Risk Level: Low to Medium

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle and puts their head down. One person in the group counts down from three. On “one!” everyone looks up at one other person in the group. If the person you are looking at is also looking at you, you must make a noise as if you were in a swordfight and your opponent just poked your eye. You then must cover one of your eyes with one of your hand and you only have one eye or “life” left until you are out.

  2. Everyone’s heads go back down and the person continues to count from three. When both of your eyes have been sword-poked (you seriously need to practice your swordsmanship more), you must step out of the circle. After enough people are out, it’s fun to start a second circle so no one is ever really out. When you get out of the second circle, go back to the first one!


WHOOSH!

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 5-35

    Risk Level: Low to Medium

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle. One person explains to the group that within our group exists the power of “Whoosh.” Explain that we are going to practice passing the Whoosh around the group so everyone gets to experience its magic.

  2. There are multiple ways to pass the Whoosh. The first is to turn to the person next to you, put your hands into the air to gather the Whoosh, plant one foot in front of the other for steadiness, and then point your hands towards the person to your left of right and say “whooooshhh!”

  3. Once the Whoosh begins travelling, you can reverse the direction of it holding your arm out in a lowered fist-pump position and saying “BOINNGGG,” as if the Whoosh bounced off your awesomeness.

  4. You can also pass the Whoosh across the circle by pointing at someone and making awkward eye contact with them while you say “OHHH YAHHH?” They can respond with “OH NO” and sassily shake their head (this denies you and you must then pass the Whoosh to someone else) or they can raise their eyebrows at you rapidly and say “MMMM-HMMMM.” They then have the Whoosh.

  5. The final way to pass the Whoosh is to trade spots with someone in the circle. You must take out your invisible Harry Potter wand, point it at them, and yell “EXPECTO PATRONUM.” This evokes their spirit animal - they must pretend to become that animal and you must pretend to become yours while you trade places in the circle. They then have the Whoosh.

  6. Continue the game until people are tired of the Whoosh.


WHERE’S MY PUPPY?!

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-50

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Introduce the group to your “Puppy.” You can use a stuffed animal or a crumpled piece of paper or some other small object. Tell them that people have been trying to steal your puppy and that your puppy is always getting lost.

  2. Describe the elaborate security system you built. Have them stand about 15 yards away from you and create some sort of line with tape or a crack in the ground. Tell them this is the electric fence - they all start behind the fence.

  3. Set the puppy behind you a few feet away (you and the puppy are 15 yards from the group) and turn your back to the group. Tell them that when your back is turned, the fence is deactivated and they can cross (it was poorly installed). When you turn and face them, the motion detectors are activated. Everyone should freeze - if you see any movement from any person, you send that individual back to the other side of the fence.

  4. The groups goal is to get the puppy and bring it back to the other side of the fence. If, once they have taken the puppy (but before it’s back to the other side of the fence), you turn around and can guess who is carrying the puppy at the time, then you get your puppy back and the whole group must start again from the beginning.

  5. It is encouraged, whilst your back is turned, to continually yell out “Where is my puppy?!?!”


ZEN COUNTING

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-30

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone stand in a circle. Put your head down and close your eyes. Your goal is to count to 30 as a group. However, there are a few important rules:

    1. You cannot create an intentional order of counting.

    2. No single person can say two numbers back to back.

    3. Everyone in the group must say at least one number.

    4. If two or more people at start to say the same number at the same time or overlap each other saying the same number, or if you say the numbers out of order, the group must start over from 1.


FROG TONGUE

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-40

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone sits down in a circle. One person volunteers to be the “chooser” and one person volunteers to be in the middle. Everyone closes their eyes and the chooser walks around the circle and taps one person on the shoulder (or 2 if you are in groups larger than 20). That person is the frog. Everyone else are flies - except for the person in the middle, they are the frog catcher.

  2. Everyone opens their eyes. The frog is trying to capture flies by making eye contact and quickly sticking their tongue in and out of their mouth. If you are a fly and your get caught by the frog, you have to make a dramatic dying noise and lay flat on the ground. The guesser is trying to catch the frog or figure out who the frog is by their observational skills.

  3. Once the frog has been discovered, the frog goes into the middle and the frog catcher becomes the “chooser.”


PSYCHOLOGIST

    Time: 5-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-30

    Risk Level: Low  

    How To:

  1. Everyone sits down in a circle. One person volunteers to be the “Psychologist” and step outside. The rest of the group comes up with a “rule” for how to act or respond when the volunteer comes back in. For example: Everyone must answer in rhyme or Everyone is a superhero or The first word of your response to the Psychologist’s question is always the last word of their question or Everyone must incorporate a musical lyric into their answer or Everyone is secretly the Big Bad Wolf and they are trying not to get caught.

  2. After the rule has been established, the Psychologist steps back in. They can observe and ask as many questions to as many people as they like - their goal is to try to diagnose the group (aka to figure out what rule the group is operating with).

  3. A new volunteer steps out and it starts over!


WAY IN (Who Are You Inventory)

Time: 20-40 minutes

    Group size: 10+

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Have the group find a partner and get into a circle. Tell them to decide who is going to be partner A and who is going to be partner 1. Once this is decided, have partner A take one step into the circle and turn around to face partner 1. This should form an inner circle and an outer circle and everyone should have a partner across from them.

  2. Have the inside circle turn so they are facing all one direction and the outside circle turn so they are all facing the opposite direction of the inside circle. They should be able to reach up and high five their partner - have them do that and hold it there. This is called “permanent high five position.”

  3. Instruct the inside circle only to take 3 steps forward. Tell them, with each step, they should also high five someone new - meaning they will move 3 partners past their old one. Once they are with this new partner, have them introduce themselves to each other and ask 1 or multiple questions that they must each answer in a certain time frame. See question examples below.

  4. After 1 or more questions, have them get back into permanent high five position and have the inside circle again move x number of people forward. This allows people to interact with multiple partners in a short time.

Sample Questions:

  • If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and what would be your toppings? What about your best friend?

  • If you could have one superpower that lasted one day, what would it be? How about one year?

  • What cartoon character would you cuddle with?

  • If your life could be represented by one song lyric, what would it be?

  • If you were to be serenaded by your biggest crush, what instrument would they play and what song would they sing to you?

  • If you could be related to any famous person living or dead, who would it be?

  • If Michael Bay directed a movie about your life, what would be the most insane action scene?

  • If you could be placed in a room filled with 100 baby anythings (kittens, baby hippos, puppies, humans,etc.), what kind of babies would you be surrounded by?

  • What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

  • What special talent do you have or have been told you have?

  • What special talent do you wish that you had?

  • If you could decorate one room with an unlimited budget, what would it look like?

  • If you won a million dollars tomorrow and only had one week to spend it, what would you do with it?

  • If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

  • Name someone whom you admire and explain why.

  • What is one of your most embarrassing moments?

  • Name something that you are proud of.

  • What is one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses?

  • What object do you have that is very important to you?

  • What is your favorite room at home?

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 7 and a half years?

  • What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

  • If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

  • What was the best part of last year?

  • Which car would you choose that is most like you?

  • What current social or political issue concerns or disturbs you?


SLAP ‘EM

Time: 10-15

    Group size: 10-25

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle with their hands out and palms facing up. One person volunteers to start in the middle.

  2. One person on the outside begins by saying the name of someone else in the circle. The person in the middle’s goal is to try and slap the hands of the person who was just named before that person can say the name of another person in the group. The game continues as long as names are being said before hands are slapped.

  3. If a person either a) names someone too late, b) totally doesn’t name anyone at all, or c) names someone who isn’t in the group/doesn’t exist, then that person is now in the middle.


LOOKING FOR A FRIEND

Time: 10-15 minutes

    Group size: 10-30

    Risk Level: Low

    How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle linking arms. One person volunteers to start in the middle. This person begins by saying “I’m looking for a friend who…” They should finish this line with something that is true about themselves - they are looking for someone who has this in common with them. For example: “I’m looking for a friend who loves their pizza cold...has been outside the United States...has Pokemon cards at home...dreams in black and white.”

  2. If the statement applies to anyone in the circle, they must switch spots to somewhere new (you can’t just go one place over). The person in the middle is trying to secure a spot in the circle as well. In the chaos, whoever is the last person not linking arms then goes into the middle looks for their friends with their own criteria.


NAME WAVE

Time: Varies based on group size

Group size: 10-25

Risk Level: Low

How To:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle. Ask everyone to think of an adjective that starts with the first letter of their first name (i.e. Action-Figure Annie! Turtle-Speed Todd! Herculean Houston!) as well as an action that goes along with that adjective.

  2. One person volunteers to start. They say their name while doing their action - the whole group repeats the words and action back. The next person in the circle then repeats the the name and action of the first person and then proceeds with their own awesome combo - everyone repeats both names. The further around the circle you get, the longer the series of names and actions gets. It can go on for awhile, but it is a great way to learn names. You can also challenge the group to gain speed as they go.