GAMES FOR YOUTH GROUPS SHABBAT GAMES

GAMES FOR YOUTH GROUPS SHABBAT GAMES
GAMES FOR YOUTH GROUPS
SHABBAT GAMES
1978 by Lenny Matanky
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, either wholly or
in part, for any use whatsoever, with out written permission of the copyright owner, with
the exception of a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review printed in a
magazine or newspaper.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER:
78-51838
Written by: Lenny Matanky
Edited by: Sylvia Temkin
Illustrated by: Yaakov Limon
Printed in cooperation with the
American Zionist Youth Foundation, Inc.
Education & Programming Dept.
515 Park Ave. New York, N.Y. 10022
Dear Reader:
This book has been written to fill the void in the area of Shabbat Games for youth groups.
By its mere definition, these games imply a limited amount of activity and preparation.
Not all games are good for all groups, but this book contains a large variety of games to
satisfy the needs of any group.
In the preparation of this book, the following seven divisions, or categories, were chosen:
Active, Moderate, Quiet, Mixer, Relay, Shtick, and E.S.P.
Active, Moderate and Quiet are general categories referring to the amount of activity
generated. Mixers are games designed to introduce the players to one another. Relays
are team races that can be played on Shabbat. Shtick games that will generate laughs
and, finally, E.S.P. games will mystify the players with the leader's "psychic" powers.
The leader should remember that preparation for these games is imperative to their
success. S/he must know a game thoroughly before attempting to present it to his/her
group. Always take into consideration the type and age of the group, and be prepared
with extra games!
In conducting games remember the following key words:
ORGANIZE the players before the game begins.
STATE how the game is played.
ASK if there are any questions.
PLAY with a minimum of interruptions.
STOP when the game has reached its peak.
Motivation is the key to success, and the leader is the key to Motivation. S/he must
always present the games enthusiastically and intelligently. Every game depends on its
leader (s), and every leader must depend on their selection and preparation.
GOOD LUCK!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank the following people without whom this book would never have
been published: Ozzie Samuels, who encouraged and inspired me to write this book. Rafi
Ne'eman, Mitch Heifetz, Moshe Bezalel and Ze'ev Lavy--Shlichim of Bnei Akiva of
North America, of which I am a proud member, and Chucky Klein and Chaim Rushformer Mazkirei Galil (directors) of Bnei Akiva of Chicago. There are many other
people too numerous to mention who, along with the above mentioned, helped, pushed
and encouraged me to finish this project. Finally, I must give thanks to my own family,
without whose never ending patience and encouragement this book would never have
come to print.
B' Virchat Chaverim L'Torah Va'Avodah,
Lenny Matanky
ACTIVE GAMES .........................................................................................6
BACK TO BACK ...........................................................................................................6
BACK TO BACK TAG ..................................................................................................6
CAT AND MOUSE ........................................................................................................7
CIRCLE...........................................................................................................................7
CHINESE DRAGONS....................................................................................................7
COPY CAT .....................................................................................................................8
DOUBLE CHASE...........................................................................................................8
DROP THE HANDKERCHIEF .....................................................................................8
DUCK--DUCK--GOOSE................................................................................................9
FOR A CHANGE............................................................................................................9
FOUR MAN CIRCLE CHASE.......................................................................................9
FREEZE TAG .................................................................................................................9
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEIGHBORS...............................................................10
INDOOR TRACK MEET .............................................................................................10
ISRAELI POSTMAN....................................................................................................10
JOHNNY OVER ...........................................................................................................11
LUNG CAPACITY .......................................................................................................11
MUSICAL CHAIRS--WITHOUT MUSIC #1 .............................................................11
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT......................................................................................11
RUN SHEEP RUN ........................................................................................................12
SCHLAG TAG..............................................................................................................12
SCREAMING MESSAGES..........................................................................................12
SHABBAT CLUB.........................................................................................................12
SHINUI - SHINUI.........................................................................................................13
SLAP HAND TAG .......................................................................................................13
SQUIRRELS IN THE TREES ......................................................................................13
STEAL THE BACON...................................................................................................14
STREETS AND ALLEYS ............................................................................................14
TAG...............................................................................................................................14
TEAM CHARADES .....................................................................................................15
THE GYPSY .................................................................................................................15
TWO DEEP ...................................................................................................................15
WHERE'S MY CHICKEN............................................................................................16
MODERATE GAMES ...............................................................................16
ADVERB MANNER ....................................................................................................16
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES ..................................................................16
BAG THE SONG ..........................................................................................................17
BEAR HUNT ................................................................................................................17
CHARADES .................................................................................................................18
CONDUCTOR ..............................................................................................................18
DEFINITION DRAMATICS........................................................................................18
DETECTIVE .................................................................................................................19
DO THIS--DO THAT ...................................................................................................19
FOUR CORNERS OF DRAMA...................................................................................19
HAMAN LOST HIS HEAD .........................................................................................20
HOT OR COLD #2 .......................................................................................................20
HUMAN ANAGRAMS ................................................................................................20
LIMBO ..........................................................................................................................21
MODERN SCULPTURE..............................................................................................21
MUSICAL CHAIRS WITHOUT MUSIC #2 ...............................................................21
PAPER BAG DRAMATICS.........................................................................................21
PASS THE BUCK.........................................................................................................22
PYRAMID CHARADES ..............................................................................................22
QUESTION BASEBALL .............................................................................................23
SEQUENCE SHOUTING.............................................................................................23
SEVEN UP ....................................................................................................................23
SHIMON OMER (Simon Says) ....................................................................................23
SOUND EFFECTS........................................................................................................24
SYLLABLES ................................................................................................................24
TEAM TWENTY QUESTIONS...................................................................................25
THE SONG ALEPH-BET.............................................................................................25
WHAT IS IT? ................................................................................................................25
YAAKOV AYEKAH....................................................................................................26
QUIET GAMES ..........................................................................................26
ACTING IT OUT ..........................................................................................................26
ADVANCED QUESTION FOOTBALL......................................................................26
AMNESIA.....................................................................................................................27
ASSOCIATION ............................................................................................................27
BANG............................................................................................................................27
BUZZ.............................................................................................................................27
CUP GAME ..................................................................................................................28
EITZ, PRI, PERACH ....................................................................................................28
ELEMENTARY QUESTION FOOTBALL .................................................................28
GEOGRAPHY ..............................................................................................................29
GUESS THE LEADER.................................................................................................29
I'M GOING TO ISRAEL AND I'M TAKING..............................................................29
JEOPARDY...................................................................................................................30
MAKE A STORY .........................................................................................................30
MOSES..........................................................................................................................30
MURDER ......................................................................................................................31
NAME THAT TUNE ....................................................................................................31
NASI--NASI #1.............................................................................................................31
NASI -NAS1 #2 ............................................................................................................32
OBJECT CONCENTRATION .....................................................................................32
ONE FROG ...................................................................................................................32
PERCOLATE ................................................................................................................33
PIPOLO .........................................................................................................................33
POSING.........................................................................................................................33
SAMECH PEY..............................................................................................................34
SITUATIONS ...............................................................................................................34
SWITCH........................................................................................................................34
TELEPHONE ................................................................................................................34
THE GUESSING BLINDMAN ....................................................................................35
THE PERSON ...............................................................................................................35
THE PRESIDENT'S HEADACHE...............................................................................35
THOUGHT WAVES ....................................................................................................36
THROWING LIGHT ....................................................................................................36
TIME TEST...................................................................................................................36
TO TELL THE TRUTH................................................................................................36
TWENTY QUESTIONS ...............................................................................................37
WHAT'S MY LINE?.....................................................................................................37
WHY, WHEN, WHERE ...............................................................................................38
YES, NO, BLACK, WHITE .........................................................................................38
ZAP, ZORCH, BOING, McFIGLIANO .......................................................................38
MIXER GAMES .........................................................................................39
ADJECTIVE NAME.....................................................................................................39
ALPHABETIZIN' .........................................................................................................39
IMITATING PEOPLE ..................................................................................................39
INTRODUCTORY CONCENTRATION ....................................................................39
NAMES AND STUNTS ...............................................................................................40
NASI--NASI #3.............................................................................................................40
THE FAMILY TAKES A WALK ................................................................................40
RELAY GAMES.........................................................................................41
INTRODUCTION TO RELAY RACES ......................................................................41
ASSORTED RELAY ....................................................................................................41
ANKLE RELAY ...........................................................................................................41
CHAIR RELAY ............................................................................................................42
FEATHER RACE .........................................................................................................42
FOOT BY FOOT...........................................................................................................42
HUMAN CHECKERS ..................................................................................................42
HUMAN HURDLES ....................................................................................................43
HUMMING ...................................................................................................................43
IZZY DIZZY RELAY...................................................................................................43
OBJECT PASS..............................................................................................................44
SEAT RACE .................................................................................................................44
SHOE FETCH ...............................................................................................................44
STORY RELAY............................................................................................................44
THE TRAIN ..................................................................................................................45
TONGUE TWISTER ....................................................................................................45
ZIEGFELD RELAY......................................................................................................45
ZIGZAG RUN...............................................................................................................45
ZIGZAG SIT .................................................................................................................46
SHTICK GAMES .......................................................................................46
BLINDFOLDED PILLOW FIGHT ..............................................................................46
BLINDFOLDED WALK ..............................................................................................46
COW'S TAIL.................................................................................................................47
CUT UP STORIES........................................................................................................47
DETECTIVE .................................................................................................................47
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE .................................................................................................47
DON'T ANSWER .........................................................................................................47
DON'T LAUGH ............................................................................................................48
HOW LONG IS A CHINAMAN ..................................................................................48
KELEV MISCAIN (Poor Dog) .....................................................................................48
LAUGH .........................................................................................................................48
LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH ........................................................................................49
MONKEY TAG ............................................................................................................49
MOO! ............................................................................................................................49
RAINMAKER...............................................................................................................50
SHAKE-UP ...................................................................................................................50
SOBER CONTEST .......................................................................................................50
TALK, MAN, TALK ....................................................................................................50
THIS IS MY NOSE.......................................................................................................51
TWENTY QUESTIONS ...............................................................................................51
WHAT AM I DOING?..................................................................................................51
E.S.P. GAMES.............................................................................................52
CHOOSE A NUMBER .................................................................................................52
HARD AND SOFT .......................................................................................................52
IS THIS IT? ...................................................................................................................52
NINE BOOKS ...............................................................................................................53
OBJECT ........................................................................................................................53
THE FOUR CHAIRS ....................................................................................................53
THE MAGIC CIRCLE..................................................................................................54
THE SPIRITS MOVE ...................................................................................................54
GLOSSARY.................................................................................................54
ACTIVE GAMES
BACK TO BACK
(Variation of Musical Chairs)
TYPE: Active
The leader either sings or claps his hands while the players must continuously walk
around the room. When the leader stops, players must lock arms back to back with
another player and sit down on the floor. One player should be left without a partner
each time that player is eliminated.
BACK TO BACK TAG
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area
One player is chosen to be "it." He remains "it" until he tags another player who then
becomes "it." In this variation of tag, the players can be "safe" only when they stand back
to back with another player. No two players may stand back to back for more than five
seconds. A time limit is set, and whoever is "it" when the time limit expires, loses.
Variation: Instead of only one "it," all of the players who are tagged remain "it" and can
tag other players. The last player to remain untagged at the end of the game wins.
CAT AND MOUSE
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
Two players are chosen. One to be the "Mouse" and the other to be the "Cat". All of the
other players join hands in a circle. The cat stands outside the circle and the mouse
inside. The cat must "catch" (tag) the mouse. The rest of the players help or hinder the
cat by raising or lowering their arms. The cat and mouse can run in and out of the circle,
under the other players arms. When the mouse is caught (tagged), two other players are
chosen.
Variation: Add a time limit. If the mouse is caught within the time limit, the cat wins
and continues to play with a different mouse. If the mouse is not caught, the cat is
replaced and the mouse continues to play.
CIRCLE
TYPE: Active
A circle on the floor is needed
A circle is made on the floor large enough to hold all of the members. Everyone enters
the circle and tries to force everyone else out. As soon as a player puts any part of his
body outside of the circle, he is eliminated. The last player to remain wins.
Note: This game can get very rough, so be very careful when playing it.
CHINESE DRAGONS
TYPE: Active
Play in a large room
The players divide into two equal teams. Each team forms one line, with each person
holding onto the belt of the person in front of him/her. The first person in each line is the
Dragon's head, and the last person in each line is the Dragon's tail. Each team must try to
catch the other team's tail (by holding onto his/her belt), which then becomes their new
head. The team to have the largest number of players after a certain time (suggested: 5
minutes) wins.
COPY CAT
TYPE: Active
Play in two parallel lines
The players are divided into two teams. Each team sits opposite of each other. Team A
starts. The first player on Team A does a movement of some kind. The first player on
Team B must immediately do the opposite movement. If an opposite movement is
impossible, do the movement with the opposite hand etc. Then the second player on
Team B does a movement and the second player on Team A must immediately do the
opposite movement. The play continues with the teams changing off who goes first. The
first team to hesitate or make a mistake loses.
Variation: Keep score and the first team to make five mistakes loses.
Note: Specify that the movements made must also have an opposite movement possible.
DOUBLE CHASE
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
The players are seated in a circle, and are divided into groups of two. One group is
chosen and they begin to run around the circle. Whenever they want, they can tag
another group, who must get up and run around the circle in the opposite direction. The
first group to make it back to the two vacated seats wins. The group that doesn't get seats
then repeats the game, etc.
DROP THE HANDKERCHIEF
(Variation of Duck--Duck--Goose)
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
All of the players but one are seated. That player (player A) walks around the outside of
the circle holding a handkerchief behind his back. At any time he chooses, he drops the
handkerchief behind any player. That player (player B) gets up, picks up the
handkerchief, and runs after player A trying to tag him. If he succeeds before player A
gets back to player B's seat (by running around the circle), player A must once again go
around the circle. But, if player A makes it to player B's seat without being tagged,
player B must go around with the handkerchief and the game starts all over again.
DUCK--DUCK--GOOSE
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
All of the players but one are seated The standing player (player A) walks around the
outside of the circle, tagging the players as he passes them and saying "Duck" after
tagging each person. At any time he chooses, player A tags someone and says "Goose."
The one who is tagged (player B) gets up and runs after player A trying to tag him. If he
succeeds before player A gets back to player B's seat (by running around the circle),
player A must once again go around the circle. But if player A gets to player B's seat
without being tagged, player B must go around the circle saying: "Duck . . . Duck…
Goose!"
FOR A CHANGE
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
Each player is given a number. The player with the highest number removes his chair
from the circle and stands in the middle. That player calls out any two numbers and the
players with those numbers must change seats. While they are changing seats, he tries to
sit in one of their chairs. Whoever is left without a seat is the next to call out the two
numbers.
Variation: After a few plays, tell the "caller" that he can call out more than two numbers
at a time.
Hint: Make sure the caller stands in the middle.
FOUR MAN CIRCLE CHASE
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
The players stand in a circle counted off by fours. The leader calls out a number from
one to four. All players having that number take a step out of the circle and chase
(clockwise) all other players having that number. While number one may be chasing the
number one in front of him, he is being chased by the number one in back of him, each
trying to tag each other. Players tagged get one strike. Three strikes eliminate a player.
The last X players left win.
FREEZE TAG
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area.
The group is divided into two teams. Team A is "it". Team A must chase team B and try
to tag them. If a member of team B is tagged, s/he becomes "frozen" in his/her place
until a member of his/her team (B) "unfreezes" him/her. A time limit is set and play
continues until the time is up, or until all of team B is "frozen.” If all of team A is
"frozen" by the end of the time limit, team A wins. If not, team B wins.
Hint: Use a time limit of 5-10 minutes.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEIGHBORS
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
One player is chosen to begin the game. He goes up to someone and asks " How do you
like your neighbors?" That player has a choice of 2 answers: 1) "I like them very much"
at which everyone must get up and switch seats while the first person tries to get a seat,
or 2) " I don't like them at all" at which the first person replies "Whom do you like?" The
player addressed then names any 2 names of people in the circle whereupon those 2
people must change seats without allowing him to get their seats. Play continues with
whoever is left without a seat asking the questions.
INDOOR TRACK MEET
TYPE: Active
The players are divided into teams and they must compete in the following events:
1)
Shotput- The "shot" is a balloon; the farthest throw wins.
2)
Javelin throw- The "javelin" is a straw; the farthest throw wins.
3)
Discus throw- The "discus" is a paper plate; the farthest throw wins.
4)
Broad jump- On one foot; the farthest jump wins.
5)
Running broad grin- Grin as wide as possible; the widest grin wins.
6)
50 Yd. dash- Run any distance with a peanut or paper plate on the player's head.
7)
Basket throw- A can is the basket and the ball is a crumpled piece of paper.
ISRAELI POSTMAN
(VARIATION OF FOR A CHANGE)
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
All of the players take the name of an Israeli city. One person is chosen to be in the
middle and s/he removes his/her chair from the circle. The person in the middle is the
"postman". The postman then announces the arrival of a letter from city (X) to city (y).
The two players using those cities names must exchange seats without letting the
postman sit down on one of their chairs. The player left without a seat becomes the new
"postman" and the play continues.
Variation: To add a little extra excitement allow the postman to also announce a
"special delivery". If s/he calls for a "special delivery", all the players must exchange
seats at once.
Variation: Instead of using just cities in Israel, you can use: Moshavim, Kibbutzim,
geographical regions (e.g. the Negev, Galil, etc.), mountains, etc.
JOHNNY OVER
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area
One person is chosen to be "it." Each end of the playing field is a goal, and no one may
be tagged there (see diagram). The person who is "it" calls out "Johnny Over" and
everyone must run from one goal to the other goal. Whoever is tagged by "it" loins him
and tries to tag everyone else. The last person untagged wins. The first person who was
tagged becomes the new "it" and play begins once-again.
LUNG CAPACITY
TYPE: Active
A light object (i.e. a feather) is needed.
The players are divided into teams. Each team is given a feather. At a signal, each team
must blow a feather into the air and keep it there by continuously blowing on it. The
team whose feather stays up the longest wins.
MUSICAL CHAIRS--WITHOUT MUSIC #1
TYPE: Active
One chair less than the number of players are set up in a line, every other one facing the
same direction (see diagram). A "leader" is chosen. The players must walk around the
chairs following the leader, doing everything he does (i.e. clapping, jumping, etc.).
Whenever the leader sits down everyone must do the same. The player left without a
chair is out of the game and takes a chair with him. Play continues until only one player
remains.
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT
TYPE: Active
One player is chosen to stand at one end of the room, everyone else stands in a line, one
next to the other at the opposite side of the room. The player turns his back to the group
and says: "Red Light, Green Light 1-2-3". While he says it everyone moves toward him,
but when he finishes and turns around anyone still moving must go back to the starting
line. The first player to reach and tag him, wins and becomes the new caller.
RUN SHEEP RUN
(Variation of Hide and Go Seek)
TYPE: Active
Play in a very large area (i.e. in an entire building)
The players are divided into two teams. One team stays at the base while the other team
(A) hides. As soon as they are all hidden, the leader of that team returns to the base. The
other team (B) then tries to find team A. If team B is about to find team A or if team A
shouts "Run, Sheep, Run", then both teams race back to the base. Whichever team gets
there first, wins.
SCHLAG TAG
TYPE: Active
Play standing in a circle
Everyone stands in a circle with their backs to the inside of the circle. One player is
chosen to walk around the outside and stops in front of another player. That player bows,
if he is a boy, or curtsies if she is a girl, and the other responds in the same fashion. Then
they must run in opposite directions around the circle. The first player back into the
empty space is "safe." The other must then go around the circle and repeat the process.
SCREAMING MESSAGES
TYPE: Active
Divide the players into two teams, and each team into two parts. Each part of a team
stands in opposite corners (see diagram). Each 1/2 team is given two messages to shout
to its other half. At the signal both teams begin to shout their messages. The first team to
relay all of its messages to the other half of its team wins.
Hint: Try to make up messages that have repetitive sounds (i.e. Mickey Mouse is a
louse).
SHABBAT CLUB
TYPE: Active
Play outdoors or in a large room
Two bases are needed
The group is divided into two teams. Each team goes to opposite ends of the playing
area. At each end a "base" (a chair or any other object) is placed and a center-line is
decided upon to divide the playing area in half. The object of the game is for team A to
get to team B's base or vice versa. However, once a member from either team crosses
into the other team's area, he can be tagged, which "freezes" him in his place until he is
"unfrozen" (tagged) by a member of his own team. The winning team is the first team to
have one of its members reach the other team's base.
SHINUI - SHINUI
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
The players are seated in a circle. One player is chosen to lead the game, and s/he
removes his/her chair from the circle. The object is for the player to steal" a seat from
another player, and sit in it. To do this, the leader uses three commands:
Shinui Yemin- Everyone must shift one seat to the right.
Shinui Smol- Everyone must shift one seat to the left.
Shinui Shinui- Everyone must run to any other chair and sit in it (except the two chairs on
either side of him/her).
The leader can use any command to gain a seat. When s/he gets a seat, the player left
without a seat becomes the new leader and play continues.
SLAP HAND TAG
TYPE: Active
Play in a large room
The group is divided into two teams. Each team stands in a line facing the other team.
The first player from team A runs across to team B, and slaps the hands of three players.
The third player he slaps must chase him back to team A's line. If he gets tagged, he
becomes team B's prisoner and stands behind the player who tagged him. If he doesn't
get tagged, the player from team B becomes team A's prisoner and stands behind the
player he was chasing. Play continues with the first player from team B, then the second
player from team A, etc. If a player who becomes a prisoner has his own prisoners, his
prisoners are freed and return to their own team. The game ends when one team loses all
of their players.
Variation: Stop the game after a certain time limit; the team with the most prisoners
wins.
SQUIRRELS IN THE TREES
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area
The group is divided into sets of threes with two players (the "trees") holding hands and a
third player (the "squirrel") in between them. One player should be left outside. He is
the "squirrel without a tree." When he says "squirrels in the trees" the "tree" players lift
their hands, and the "squirrels" must scramble to find a new "tree." When a "squirrel"
finds an empty "tree" he goes in and the "tree" players lower their hands. One "squirrel"
will be left without a "tree" each time. As the game continues, the players should rotate
so that everyone gets a chance as squirrels or "trees."
Hint: So as to avoid a problem with a "showoff" who continuously becomes a "squirrel
without a tree," set a limit of times a player can be a "squirrel without a tree." If that limit
is exceeded, that player is out.
STEAL THE BACON
TYPE: Active
Play in any open space
A handkerchief is needed
Two teams line up on opposite ends of the room, and each player from both teams has a
number. (See diagram) A handkerchief is placed in the middle. When the leader calls out
a number, that player (from each team) must run and try to "steal" the handkerchief and
return with it to his team without being tagged. If he is not tagged, he scores two points.
If he is tagged, the tagger scores one point. The team with the most points wins.
Variation: The leader may call two or three numbers or even call "scramble" in which
case everyone tries to steal the “bacon.”
STREETS AND ALLEYS
TYPE: Active
Two players are chosen, one to be the “robber” and the second to be the “cop.” The other
players stand in equidistant rows (at arms length). When they face front with their arms
extended out, they are in the "streets" position. When they turn to their right and extend
their arms they are in the "alleys" position. Enough space is left so that the robber and
cop can run through the streets and alleys. Players start in the “streets” position. The cop
must try to tag the robber. The cop begins by chasing the robber through the streets, until
the leader shouts: "Alleys!" Then the players face front and form “alleys” which change
the course for the robber and cop who are now running through the alleys. Neither the
robber nor the cop may go through, or reach over lines to get from one alley or street to
another. They must go around the end players to change "streets" or "alleys." If the cop
tags the robber before X number of seconds are up, he wins; if not he loses. Two other
players are then chosen and play continues.
Variation: Split all of the players into two teams. Each team selects one player to
represent that team as either a robber or a cop. The team scores one point if their player
wins. The first team to get X points wins.
TAG
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area
One player is chosen to be "it". He remains "it" until he tags another player who then
becomes "it". A time limit is set and whoever is "it" when the time limit expires, loses.
Variation: Instead of only one "it" all of the players who are tagged remain "it" and can
tag other players. The last to player remain untagged at the end of the game wins.
TEAM CHARADES
TYPE: Active
Different situations must be written down on slips of paper beforehand (i.e. digging a
hole, reading a newspaper, swimming, etc).
The group is divided into two teams. Team A goes first. The leader sets a time limit of 2
or 3 minutes per team. As soon as team A's time begins, the first person from team A
goes to the leader and receives a situation. This player must act out the situation for his
team until they guess what it is (if they can't guess the situation they can "pass" and skip
it). After they guess the situation, the second person goes to the leader and receives a
different situation, etc. For every situation guessed within the time limit the team
receives one point. Then the next team has a turn. Each team gets X turns. The team
with the most points wins.
Variation: All of the teams act out the same situations at the same time. The team to
guess what that situation is first gets the points.
THE GYPSY
TYPE: Active
Play in a large area
One player is chosen to be the "gypsy." He is seated and the others stand in a circle,
slowly moving around him. While moving they chant the following (while the "gypsy"
acts it out): "the first hour the gypsy is asleep"; "the second hour the gypsy is asleep" (and
so on until the seventh hour); “the eighth hour the gypsy wakes up”; “the ninth hour the
gypsy dresses;” “the tenth hour the gypsy washes;” “the eleventh hour the gypsy gets
ready;” “the twelfth hour the gypsy runs.” On these three words the circle breaks up and
the players run. The "gypsy" chases them and the first one caught (tagged) becomes the
new "gypsy."
Variation: The person caught by the gypsy then joins him in the circle. Play is repeated
with the two gypsies. This time both gypsies each tag one person who joins them in the
circle. Play repeats itself until the last X players remain untagged and they win.
TWO DEEP
TYPE: Active
Play standing in a circle
Two players are chosen: one to be the chaser, one to be the runner. The chaser runs
around the circle, trying to tag the runner. When he does so, the runner becomes the
chaser and vice versa. But the runner can get someone else to run in his stead by
stepping in front of any player standing in the circle. Then that player becomes the new
runner.
Variation: Three deep--have two concentric circles instead of one.
WHERE'S MY CHICKEN
TYPE: Active
Play in a circle
One player is chosen as "it". He walks around the outside of the circle, stopping at any
player and asks: "Have you seen my chicken?" The player must answer: "I don't know,
what does it look like?" "It" then describes some other person seated in the circle. As
soon as that person (A) realizes that s/he is being described, s/he gets up and chases "it"
around the circle trying to tag “it,” before "it" gets to A's seat. If s/he does not succeed in
tagging "it" before "it" sits down, s/he takes "it's" place and play continues. Otherwise,
"it" continues and tries again.
Hint: Set a time limit on the chase (30 seconds or less)
MODERATE GAMES
ADVERB MANNER
TYPE: Moderate
A player is chosen to leave the room. While he is out, the group decides on an adverb (a
word that modifies a verb). The player reenters and he must guess what the adverb is.
The way he does this is to ask the other players to do a variety of things in the manner of
the adverb.
Example: Adverb = Fast
Sing fast, walk fast, talk fast, etc.
The player can only make three requests of the other players in guessing the adverb.
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle
The first player begins by (rhythmically) saying "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", while
doing some motion (i.e. stamping feet, clapping hands - in rhythm) . Then, the second
person says it while copying the first motion. Simultaneously, the first person again says
' "Ali Baba…", while doing a second motion. Then the third person does the first motion,
the second person does the second motion, and the first person does a new motion, all
saying together "Ali Baba...". Anyone who makes a mistake is out and then play
continues.
BAG THE SONG
TYPE: Moderate
Paper bags with holes cut out for eyes, slips of paper with names of songs on
them (two slips for each song are needed).
Every player is given a slip of paper with a song on it and a paper bag mask. Everyone
puts on their masks. Then they begin to sing the song written on their slip of paper. The
object of the game is to find the other person singing the same song. The first two people
singing the same song who find each other, win.
Variation: Use four slips with the same song and all four people have to find each other.
BEAR HUNT
TYPE: Moderate
The leader instructs the players to repeat whatever s/he does or says immediately after
s/he does it. The leader begins by slapping one knee after the other, to simulate a
walking rhythm. The leader says the following:
7)
19)
1)
Want to go on a bear hunt?
2)
All right
3)
Let's go
4)
I see a wheat field (put hand to forehead, then resume slapping).
5)
Can't go over it
6)
Can't go under it
Guess I'll have to go through it (stop) slapping - players rub palms together to simulate that sound,
then resume slapping).
8)
I see a swamp
9)
Can't go over it
10)
Can't go under it
11)
Guess I’ll have to go through it (rub fingers against teeth and blow).
12)
I see a river
13)
Can't go over it
14)
Can't go under it
15)
Guess I'll have to go through it (make motions of swimming)
16)
I see a tree
17)
Can't go through it
18)
Can't go under it
Guess I'll have to climb it (make motions) of climbing a tree, looking over it, and then descending)
20)
I see a cave
21)
Can't go over it
22)
Can't go under it
23)
Guess I'll go inside it
24)
I feel something soft and furry
25)
26)
27)
It feels like a bear
It smells like a bear
It is a bear
The speed is increased as the leader backtracks (tree, river, swamp, etc.). Then, at the end
of this, all sigh.
This game is very good for young children.
CHARADES
TYPE: Moderate
One player is chosen by the leader. The leader gives him something to act out (i.e. movie
title, book title, etc.). The player must act it out without the use of words. The game ends
when the players guess what is being acted out.
Hint: To make the game more competitive, whoever guesses correctly gets one point.
The player with the most points wins.
Variation: Instead of the leader giving something to act out, let the players themselves
provide it. But, this variation can only be used with older groups.
CONDUCTOR
TYPE: Moderate
Players sit in a circle
The players are divided into four teams. Each team must shout a word when the leader
(conductor) points to them. The first group must shout "Chinga," the second group "PaNa-Ma," the third group "Vy-Did-He-Do," and the fourth group "Ehh . . . Boom"! This
game is dependent on the leader for he must create a rhythm by combining the different
shouts using a "beat.”
Hint: For best results, each team should have at least fifteen to twenty players.
Variation: If a group hesitates from making a sound when pointed to, they lose one
point. The group with the highest number of points wins.
DEFINITION DRAMATICS
TYPE: Moderate
A list of words is needed
The players are divided into groups. Each group is given a list of words that they must
incorporate into an original skit. The best skit wins.
Hint: Have the lists on separate sheets of paper so that each group can have their own
list.
Variation: For more fun, insert some nonsensical words into each of the lists (i.e.
Raputchnik, left handed, smoke shifter, etc.).
Variation: Instead of making a skit, the players may compose a song or tell a story using
the words.
DETECTIVE
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle and one to three objects are needed
One player is chosen to leave the room.
He is the "thief." The objects are placed in the center of the circle. Another player is
chosen to be the "detective." The thief reenters and must remove the objects from the
circle without being tagged by the detective. But, the thief does not know who the
detective is. The detective may not leave his chair until the thief has touched the objects.
If the thief escapes from the circle he wins; if he doesn't escape the detective wins.
Variation: For Shtick, the last time don't pick a detective and see how long the thief
takes until he removes the objects.
DO THIS--DO THAT
(Variation of Shimon Omer)
TYPE: Moderate
The leader goes through various movements. As he does each movement, he calls either
"do this" or "do that." If the movement is accompanied by the command, "do this," all
must imitate the movement, but if it is accompanied by "do that" anyone who imitates the
movement is "out."
FOUR CORNERS OF DRAMA
TYPE: Moderate
Five players are chosen by the leader. Four of the five players move into four corners of
the playing area. The fifth player is the “leader;” he remains in the middle. The four
corner players must assume different dramatic situations. The "leader" can then walk
toward any corner and the corner player must involve the leader in his situation (i.e. the
corner player is the interrogator and the "leader" becomes the prisoner). The "leader"
must somehow get out of that situation and then move into another corner and situation.
In the meantime, another player is chosen to take the place of the corner player who just
involved the "leader" in a situation. Play continues with the "leader" going from one
corner to the next.
Hint: Be very careful when selecting the "leader." The "leader" should be someone who
is good at "hamming it up."
HAMAN LOST HIS HEAD
(Variation of "I Accuse")
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle
One player is chosen as the leader, the other players are numbered in their sitting order.
The leader stands in the middle and asks: "Haman, the evil prince lost his head. Did you
see it, number _, Sir?" That numbered person must jump up and respond, "What Sir? I
Sir?" Then the leader responds, "Yes, Sir. You, Sir." That numbered person again must
respond: "Not I, Sir." The leader asks "Who then Sir?" And then the numbered person
says, "Number (another number), Sir." The dialogue is then repeated between the second
person and the leader. The object is not to allow the leader to sit down, and the only way
this happens is if someone seated makes a mistake in the dialogue (or even hesitates), in
which case he becomes the leader. Whoever is leader at the end of the game, loses.
HOT OR COLD #2
(Singing)
TYPE: Moderate
One player is sent out of the room. While he is out, the group decides on an object that
the player must find. When the player returns he must locate that object. The way this is
done is that when the player begins his search, the group begins to sing. When he is near
the object, the group sings louder. The closer he gets, the softer they sing. Play
continues until he finds the object.
Hint: To add excitement to the game, set a time limit to the amount of play.
Variation: Split the group into two teams. Each team has a turn to send out a player.
The team whose player finds the object in the least amount of time wins.
HUMAN ANAGRAMS
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a large room; a list of questions, one set of alphabet cards per team with
enough letters to answer each question are needed
The players are divided into teams. Each team receives one set of alphabet cards. The
cards are then distributed to the players on each team. The leader asks a pre-written
question to the teams. The first team to arrange the players on its team who are holding
the alphabet cards, to spell out the answer gets one point. The team with the most points
after the last question wins.
Hints: 1)Have between ten to twenty questions.
2)If any answer uses a single letter two or more times, make sure you have that
same number of that letter on the alphabet card set.
3)Write the letters large enough for everyone to see.
LIMBO
TYPE: Moderate
A string or a long pole is needed
A string (or pole) is suspended from both ends. Each player must pass under it, without
touching to remain in the game. But no one may bend forward, only backwards. After
everyone has had a turn the string (or pole) is lowered and the process is repeated. The
last remaining player wins.
MODERN SCULPTURE
(Variation of Hot or Cold)
TYPE: Moderate
One player is chosen to leave the room. Five to fifteen players are then chosen to assume
statuesque positions. One of these positions is selected by the group as the "secret
position." The player reenters and he must try to pick out the player who assumed the
"secret position." The group assists him by singing louder or softer depending whether he
gets closer or further from the selected player. If the player selects the correct statue on
the first attempt, he wins.
Variation #1: Instead of having only one chance to pick the correct position, allow up to
three chances to pick the correct position.
Variation #2: Teams are chosen. One player from each team leaves the room. Only the
players from the team of the person who reenters sings. The team whose player finds the
"statue" first wins.
MUSICAL CHAIRS WITHOUT MUSIC #2
TYPE: Moderate
One chair less than the number of players are arranged in a line, with every other one
facing the same way (see diagram). As the leader sings, the players walk around the
chairs in a line. When the leader stops, everyone tries to get a seat. The one who fails to
get a seat must leave the game taking a chair with him. The game continues until only
one player is left.
PAPER BAG DRAMATICS
TYPE: Moderate
A bag filled with many different objects is needed.
The players are divided into groups. Each player picks one object from the bag. After
everyone has an object, each group must make a short skit using all the objects its players
have picked. The best skit wins.
Hint: For large groups use more than one bag.
Variation: Instead of making a skit, the players must compose a song or tell a story
using the objects.
Variation: Use objects related to a holiday (i.e. dreidel, Matzah, etc.). Tell all the
players that their skit must revolve around that holiday.
PASS THE BUCK
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle--a handkerchief is needed or some other object which can be
thrown
A subject is chosen (i.e. a holiday such as Chanukah). A handkerchief is given to a
player. That player then has five seconds to think of something pertaining to that subject
(i.e. menorah). As soon as he says it, he throws the handkerchief to another player and
the second person must say something else pertaining to the subject without repeating
anything else already mentioned (i.e. candies). If someone can't name anything else
within five seconds or repeats something, he is "out."
Hint: A good additional rule is that if anyone throws the object too fast or away from the
players, the thrower must get the handkerchief within five seconds and throw it again.
Variation: Since the above version is best when played with only ten to fifteen players,
for a larger group use team representatives.
PYRAMID CHARADES
TYPE: Moderate
Eight categories of things must be thought of beforehand (i.e. "The Sky is the Limit":
Things which are in the sky - airplanes, clouds, the sun, kites, etc.) with 7 things in each
category. Each list is written on cards and divided according to category.
Two teams are chosen. Two players are chosen from each team. The first team chooses
a category (the contents of which are hinted in the name of the category). One player
receives the names of things in the categories and has 30 seconds to give clues to the
second player, so that s/he can guess the things. The clues can describe the things in the
category but cannot contain any part of the name of the things. One point is received for
every thing guessed within 30 seconds. Then the second team picks another category and
play continues. After each team has had three turns (six categories are provided) the
seventh round goes to whichever team is behind, and the eighth round goes to the other
team. Whichever team scores the most points, wins.
Hint: To involve the most number of players, switch players after each round.
Examples of Categories:
Dress-up: Different pieces of clothing;
Brighten up the World: Things that create light, etc.
QUESTION BASEBALL
TYPE: Moderate
The players are divided into two teams. Four chairs are arranged in the formation of a
baseball diamond (see diagram). A chair is placed in the pitcher's position and the leader
sits in that chair. The leader "pitches" questions to the first player (who is seated at home
plate). If the player answers correctly, he advances one base. If he answers incorrectly,
he is "out." The next player does the same. If he answers correctly both he and the player
on base advance one base. If he answers incorrectly, he is "out" and the player on base
stays where he is. When a team has scored three outs, the next team is “up at bat.” One
point is scored for each player who advances to "home plate." At the end of five
"innings" the team with the most points, wins.
SEQUENCE SHOUTING
TYPE: Moderate
The leader begins by shouting a sequence of sounds (i.e. Bo, Bi, Bo, Bum). The group
must then duplicate those sounds. Anyone who makes a mistake is out. The last X
players left win.
Hint: Try to make the sequence about five sounds long.
This is a very good warm-up exercise for other shouting games.
SEVEN UP
TYPE: Moderate
Seven players are chosen. All the other players lower their heads and close one hand in a
fist with the thumb extended. The seven chosen players then walk around the room and
each one pushes down one seated player's thumb. When they are done, they return to the
front of the room and the seven players whose thumbs were put down each get one
chance to guess who put their thumbs down. If the player's guess is incorrect, the player
who pushed his/her thumb continues playing. After all seven have taken their guesses,
play continues.
SHIMON OMER (Simon Says)
TYPE: Moderate
All of the players stand up. The leader stands in front of the group and gives commands
(i.e. lift a foot, take a step). The leader himself obeys all the commands, but the others
are only to obey the command when it is preceded by "shimon omer." Anyone who obeys
a command without “shimon omer” is out.
Hint: The faster the commands are given, the better. Some good commands to eliminate
people are:
1) "What's your name?"
2) "Would everybody spread out just a little so that there is more room."
3) "Come here for one second so that I can explain the rules to you again."
SOUND EFFECTS
TYPE: Moderate
A story must be prepared
The leader tells the players that when he says certain words, they are to make
predetermined sounds (i.e. snake--hiss, bear--grow, etc.). The leader then tells a story. If
anyone doesn't respond to the predetermined words, he is out.
Hint: This game is very good for making a story more fun. The faster the predetermined words are said, the better.
SYLLABLES
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle
One player is chosen to leave the room. The leader then chooses a multi-syllable word
(or words) to use in the game. The remaining players are divided into groups
corresponding to the number of syllables in the chosen word, and one syllable is assigned
to each group. The player returns and all the groups say their syllables simultaneously,
three times. After each time the player has a chance to guess the word. If the player
guesses correctly, he/she wins.
Example #1: Word: Jerusalem
Group
Group
Group
Group
#1 saysJE
#2 saysU
#3 says SA
#4 says LEM
Example #2: Words: Tel Aviv
Group #1 says TEL
Group #2 says A
Group #3 says VIV
TEAM TWENTY QUESTIONS
TYPE: Moderate
The players are divided into two teams, and each team sends one player out of the room.
These two players decide on an object. They both return. Player A from team A goes to
team B, and player B from team B goes to team A. Each team must try to guess what the
object is by asking “yes” or "no" questions. The winning team is the one that guesses the
object using the least amount of questions.
THE SONG ALEPH-BET
TYPE: Moderate
The players are divided into teams. The first team must start a song starting with an
aleph. When the song is over (or when the leader stops it), the second team must start a
song with a bet. When the song is completed, the third team starts a song with the third
letter, a gimmel, and so on. If a team can not sing a song with the letter they are out.
Play continues until only X number of teams remain.
Hint: To keep the game moving, a time limit (30 seconds) should be set on the singing
of each song.
WHAT IS IT?
TYPE: Moderate
Equipment: Sets of cards (3 in a set), with things' or people's names on them.
Three players are chosen from the group. Attach to their foreheads (use bobby pins)
cards, on each a different thing or person from a category.
Examples: Famous Zionists: Herzl, Kalischer, Gordon
Chief Rabbis of Israel: Kook, Yosef, Herzog
Cities in Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa
Cars: Chevette, Electra, Nova
The players must guess what is written on their cards. They can only ask "yes" or “no”
questions, and they may look at what is written on the other players' cards. The first one
to guess wins.
YAAKOV AYEKAH
TYPE: Moderate
Play in a circle. Two blindfolds and one scarf are needed.
Two players are chosen, each is blindfolded and stands in the middle of the circle. The
first player (A) is given a scarf. The object is for A to find the second player (B). To do
this, A can say "Yaakov Ayekah" after which B must answer "Hineni". Then player A
tries to hit player B with the scarf. Player A can say "Yaakov Ayekah" up to three times.
If A does not find B after the three calls, A loses. If A finds B, A wins.
Variation: For a large circle, allow A to say "Yaakov Ayekah" up to five times.
QUIET GAMES
ACTING IT OUT
TYPE: Quiet
Four players are chosen; all but one are sent out of the room. The leader then acts out a
short skit (thirty to sixty seconds) in pantomime. A second player is brought back and
the player who remained in the room must act out the same skit that the leader had done.
The next player is brought in and the second player acts out the skit that he saw the first
player do. The last player is brought back in and he watches the third person act out the
skit and finally he acts out the skit for everyone. After he finishes, ask each player (#4
first, then #3, #2, and then #1) what they were acting out and then ask what he acted out.
ADVANCED QUESTION FOOTBALL
TYPE: Quiet
Eleven chairs and an object are needed
The group is divided into two teams. The "ball" (any object) is put on the 20 yard line
and a team is given four downs (questions) to advance the team's goal line (80 yards
away). Each time, before a question is asked, the first team must choose either to run,
punt, or pass. If they choose to run and answer the question correctly, the ball advances 5
yards. If they choose to pass or punt, they state the number of yards they wish to go. If
the question is answered correctly, the ball advances that distance. If it is answered
incorrectly, the other team may take over the ball (intercept it) merely by answering the
question correctly. If ten yards are gained by a team within four downs, they can use
another four down to try to make a touchdown. Six points are scored for every crossing
of the goal (touchdown). One point is given for an additional question answered correctly
after a touchdown.
AMNESIA
TYPE: Quiet
Two players are selected and sent out of the room. The remaining players then select two
famous personalities for the two players to be. The two players reenter the room and
each is secretly told who the other player is supposed to be. To discover who they are
supposed to be, they must enter into a conversation with each other. Example: If one
player wants to find out if he/she lived in Israel, s/he might ask: "How do you like my
house, here in Israel?" And the other player may just answer, "You don't have a house in
Israel; you never lived there!" The first player to guess who he/she is, wins.
Variation: Instead of entering into a conversation, each player takes turns at asking the
other questions (you may want to limit the questions to "yes" or “no” questions).
ASSOCIATION
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The first player whispers the first thing that comes into his mind to the player seated next
to him. The second player then says the first thing that comes into his mind to the player
seated next to him. The play continues until everyone has had a turn. Then go around
the circle again. This time each player says out loud exactly what he had said before.
Hint: For the most fun, make sure the play moves quickly.
BANG
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The players sit in a circle. The leader points to any player and at the same time says a
word (three letters or less). He then counts to ten and instead of ten, says "bang," while
the player must name one word for every letter in the leader's word.
Example: CAT--Carrot, Animal, Towel.
If he cannot name the words in time, he is "out." Play continues with another player.
The last X players win.
Variation: If the player cannot name the words, he changes places with the leader.
BUZZ
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The first player begins to count; each player counts one number. But the seventh player
does not say seven; rather, he says "buzz." Every time a number has a seven in it, "buzz"
is substituted for the seven (i.e. buzzteen). Any player who makes a mistake is
eliminated.
Variation #1: Substitue "buzz" for all sevens and all multiples of seven (i.e. 14, 21, 28,
etc.).
Variation #2: In addition to using "buzz," use the word "fizz" for the number five.
Hint: This game must be played at a fast pace.
CUP GAME
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle. A blindfold, a scarf and ten cups are needed.
Two players are chosen from the group. Player A is seated in the middle of the circle,
blindfolded, and given a scarf to hold. Ten cups are then placed all around him. Player B
must then try to collect all the cups without being hit by player A with the scarf. Player
A has only three tries to hit player B. If player A uses up his/her three tries without
hitting player B, s/he loses. But if s/he hits player B with the scarf, player 8 loses.
Variation: In a large circle, instead or using a scarf, have player A point to where s/he
thinks player B is.
EITZ, PRI, PERACH
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader walks around the inside of the circle and points to one of the players and says
either "Eitz, Pri, Perach, . . . Pri”, "Eitz , Pri , Perach, . . . Perach", or "Eitz, Pri, Perach . .
. . Eitz". The leader begins to count to five. The player must name either a fruit, a
flower, or a tree, depending on what the last word was, either pri, perach, or eitz,
respectively. If he does, he becomes the leader. If he doesn't, he is "out" and play
continues.
Hint: If the group is younger or older, change the count to either a shorter or longer
count, respectively.
Variation: Use another three word group, i.e. mispar, ot, shem (number, letter, name).
ELEMENTARY QUESTION FOOTBALL
TYPE: Quiet
Eleven chairs and an object are needed
The group is divided into two teams. The "ball" (any object) is placed on the middle
chair (50 yard line). The first team begins. The leader asks them six questions (plays),
during which they have a chance to advance the ball toward the opponent's goal line.
With each question answered correctly, the ball advances ten yards. For each question
answered incorrectly, that team loses ten yards. Teams score six points each time they
cross the opponent's goal line.
GEOGRAPHY
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader starts the game by naming a city, state, country, river, or lake beginning with
the letter A (i.e. Albany). The first player must name a city…etc. beginning with the last
letter of the previously named word (i.e. Yavne). The second player must then name a
city . . . etc. beginning with the last letter of the last named place (i.e. Eilat). The play
continues in this fashion. Any player unable to give a name of a city, etc. is eliminated.
The last X players "in," win.
Variation: Instead of all places, use only places in Israel or use things associated with
Chagim.
GUESS THE LEADER
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
One player is chosen to leave the room. Another player is chosen to be the "leader" and
he is to make various motions (in a steady beat). Examples: patting the head, clapping,
snapping fingers, stamping the floor, etc. Everyone must follow the "leader's" different
motions. The player returns and has three tries to guess who the leader is.
Hint: Set a time limit on how long the three guesses can take.
I'M GOING TO ISRAEL AND I'M TAKING
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The first player begins by saying "I'm going to Israel and I'm taking _______” filling in
the blank. The next person begins once again repeating what the first player said and
adding something of his own. Play continues with each player repeating what all the
others have said and adding in something of his own. Any player who forgets something
or makes a mistake is out. The last player to remember all of the things wins.
JEOPARDY
TYPE: Quiet
A game board (see diagram) with an answer and question behind each. Point
value is needed.
The group is divided into two or three teams. Each team selects four players to represent
the group. The first team then selects a category (i.e. Jewish history, potpourri, wars,
etc.), for the lowest point value available. The leader reveals the answer (i.e. the Western
Wall was liberated), and the first team to signal has a chance to give the correct question
(i.e. What famous place was liberated in the Six Day War?). It must be phrased as a
question. If they are correct, they get that number of points under which the question and
answer were. If they are incorrect, they lose that number of points, and the second team
who signaled has a chance to give the correct question. Play continues with the team
who last gave a correct question choosing the next category. Also under one point value
in one category is placed a "daily double." This means that the team who chooses that
point value is the only one who can supply the question and can also choose the point
value for that question and answer. (They can either bid up to as many points as they
have or (if it is more) than the original value of that answer and question.) After all of the
answers are used, one final answer is selected as the "final" answer. For this answer,
each team bids up to as many points as they have and then they are given the answer.
They have thirty seconds to give the correct question. If they supply the correct question,
they get as many points as they bid. The team with the most points wins.
Hint: To allow the most players to play, change off the representatives of each team
every five to ten minutes.
MAKE A STORY
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader begins a story by saying something like: "One day I was walking and saw . . ."
After that, each player has a turn to add something to the story, stopping the story and
having the next person continue whenever he/she wants. Go around the circle and see
how much fun you will have.
MOSES
TYPE: Quiet
A Chumash (Bible) is needed
A Chumash is given to the first player. Each player, in turn, randomly opens the
Chumash to any page. The object is to spell the word Moshe or Moses (if it is in English)
using the last letter on each page. The player to spell the word (Mem, Shin, Heh) in the
least amount of turns (opening the Chumash) wins.
Variation: Use other words, such as names of holidays.
MURDER
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
One player is secretly chosen by the leader to be the murderer. He can "kill" any player
by winking at him. If that player sees the wink, he must "die" very dramatically. The
players try to identify the murderer without being "murdered" themselves. If a player
thinks he knows who it is, he whispers to the leader that person's identity. If he is right,
he wins. But if he is wrong, he too must “die.”
NAME THAT TUNE
TYPE: Quiet
The group is divided into two (or three) teams. Each team selects one representative
to play for them. The leader then tells them that he will hum up to seven notes from a
song. The two players then bid for the amount of notes they need to guess the song. The
bidding goes back and forth between the two players until one player bids the least
amount of notes and the other is not willing to bid less. The leader then hums that
number of notes; if the player guesses it, his team gets one point. If not, the other team
gets one point. Play continues in this fashion until the first team gets X number of points.
Hint: Between rounds switch team representatives to allow the most number of players
to participate.
NASI--NASI #1
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
One player is chosen to be the "Nasi" and the player to his left becomes the "Chamor."
The object is to become the Nasi. Players begin by:
1) Slapping their hands on their knees
2) Clapping their hands
3) Snapping their right hand
4) Snapping their left hand
On the right snap, the Nasi says his name (the Nasi and the Chamor substitute "Nasi" and
"Chamor" for their real names, everyone else uses their real names). On the left snap, he
says another player's name and so on. Anyone who does not keep up the beat or fails to
respond to his turn moves to the Chamor's seat and everyone shifts over to take up his
now vacant seat.
Variation: Instead of calling a person always by his own name, the seat in which he sat
in during the beginning of the game assumes his name. Therefore, when players shift
position they also change their names to that of the person who first sat in that seat.
Slap--Clap--Snap,
Nasi--Snap: Joe
Slap--Clap--Snap:
Joe--Snap: Rivka
Slap--Clap--Snap:
etc.
Rivka--Snap: Chamor,
NASI -NAS1 #2
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader chooses a topic (i.e. Chanukah) The players all begin to slap their knees with
the palms of their hands, then clap their hands , and then snap their fingers. The first
person names something related to Chanukah at the same time as s/he snaps his/her
fingers. Then the second person must name something else, and so on. Players are
eliminated when they name something already mentioned, or not related to the topic, or
when they fail to name that thing with the snapping of the fingers. The last X players
remaining win.
Example:
Player #1: Slap - Clap - (Menorah) Snap
Player #2: Slap - Clap - (Latkes) Snap
Player #3: Slap - Clap -(Candies) Snap
OBJECT CONCENTRATION
TYPE: Quiet
A variety of objects is needed
The leader begins by picking up an object for all to see (i.e. book, paper, etc.). The leader
replaces the object and the first player who picks up the first object then picks one of his
own. Play continues with every player picking up all previous objects in sequence and
then one of their own. Any player who fails to pick up the objects in the correct sequence
is "out."
ONE FROG
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The first player starts by saying "one frog." The second player says "two eyes." The third
player says "four legs." The fourth player says "kerplunk," and the fifth person says "in
the puddle." From that point on, each statement is doubled. For example, the sixth person
says "two frogs," the seventh says "four eyes," the ninth says "kerplunk," the tenth says
"kerplunk," and the eleventh says "in the puddle" ("in the puddle is said once no matter
what round it is), etc. Any player who makes a mistake is out. The last X players win.
Variation: Add hand motions to the game. All of the players together: (1) slap their
knees, (2) clap their hands, (3) snap their right fingers, and (4) snap their left fingers. On
the right snap, the player whose turn it is says the first word and on the left snap he says
the second word. Any player who does the wrong motions or says the wrong words is
out.
PERCOLATE
TYPE: Quiet
One player is chosen to leave the room. The others decide on a verb (i.e. walking). The
player reenters and must discover the word, by asking questions using the word percolate
instead of the verb. The players only answer "yes" or “no.”
Example: "Does a bird 'percolate'?"--Yes
"Does a fish 'percolate'?"--No
Play continues until the player guesses the word.
Variation: Have teams; the team whose player uses the least amount of questions, wins.
PIPOLO
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The players are seated with the palms of their hands resting on their knees. When the
leader says "Pipolo," they all beat on their knees. When he says "Nitzav," they put their
hands upright on their knees, palms facing inwards. When he says "Shetach" they lay
their hands flat on their knees and at "Egroff," they put clenched fists on their knees. But,
the leader does not have to follow his own commands. Anyone who does the wrong
movement is out.
Variation: Whenever the word "commander" is added, the players should ignore the
command.
POSING
TYPE: Quiet
Two or more players stand with their backs to the group. The leader gives each player a
different position to assume (i.e. a baseball player). The group tries to guess what the
positions are. The first player whose position is guessed, wins.
Variation: The players all assume the same position. The best position wins.
SAMECH PEY
TYPE: Quiet
A Chumash (Bible) is needed
A Chumash is given to the first player. Each player (in turn) randomly opens the
Chumash to any page. The object is to open to a page with either a triple pey-25 points, a
triple samech--50 points, or a chazak--100 points. If the page that the player opened to
has one of the above three things, the player scores that many points; if not, the player
has a chance to predict how many pages away one of those three things are. If he is right,
he scores that amount of points. The first player to get 1,000 points wins.
SITUATIONS
TYPE: Quiet
A player is chosen to leave the room. The other players then choose a situation (i.e.
driving a car). The player reenters and must discover what the situation is. The way this
is done is by asking, "What would I be doing in this situation?" Every player who is
asked must give another answer.
Example: Situation--Driving a car
1) I would be sitting
2) Holding a wheel
3) Turning
The player can only ask the question ten times.
Variation: Don't have a limit of the number of questions; rather, have a competition to
see who can guess the situation in the least number of questions.
SWITCH
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
Each player is given a number and sits in any order they want. One player is blindfolded
and stands in the middle. He then calls out any two numbers and those two players must
switch seats. By listening carefully, he must try to catch them while they are changing
seats.
Note: The two players may only walk.
TELEPHONE
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
Everyone sits in a circle. The leader whispers to the first player a message. That player
whispers the same message to the next person and so on until everyone has heard the
message. The last player to receive the message repeats what he heard, out loud, and
then compares it to the original message.
Variation: Go backwards down the line. Everyone repeats what he heard. Whoever was
the first player to change the message loses.
THE GUESSING BLINDMAN
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle; a blindfold is needed
One player is blindfolded and turned around three or more times. The blindman then
walks up to anyone and points to that player saying "Can you guess?" That player must
repeat "Can you guess?" three times, trying to disguise his voice. If the blindman guesses
the identity of that player, that player becomes the new blindman. If not, the blindman
goes to the next player.
THE PERSON
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader begins the play with the name of an imaginary person. Each player, in turn,
must add something to our knowledge of this fictitious person by giving a noun which
begins with the same letter as the individual's name.
Example: "I have an Uncle Peter." "He is a plumber."
"He was born in Pinsk.” "He lives in Pittsburgh." etc.
The player who is unable to add something is out.
Variation: To make the game more difficult, have each player repeat what all previous
players have said.
THE PRESIDENT'S HEADACHE
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle; a blindfold is needed
One player is blindfolded and seated in the middle of the circle; he is the president. One
player begins by walking across the circle to another player's seat. That player must get
up and go to another player's seat and so on. Whenever the president hears someone he
groans; whoever is standing is "out." But, if no one is standing, the president loses. See
which president can get the most people "out."
Variation: Instead of groaning have the president point to the person crossing. He gets
one strike every time he misses. Three strikes and he is out.
THOUGHT WAVES
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
The leader states that he is thinking about something but will not say what it is until later.
He then asks each player "What is my thought like?" They may answer that it is like a
____ (noun) (i.e. a book, a leader, etc.). When all of the players have answered, the leader
announces what he was thinking of (i.e. an idiot). "My thought is about an idiot." "Why
is a book like an idiot?" The player must think quickly and give an answer (he might say:
"Because you never know what it's all about”). He then asks the next person: "Why is the
leader like an idiot?" And this player must also think of an answer quickly (he might say:
"Because he acts like one"). This continues until everyone has answered. The interest in
this game centers around the clever and humorous answers given.
THROWING LIGHT
TYPE: Quiet
Two players are chosen from the group. Those two select a word for the others to guess.
The two players talk to each other about the word (without mentioning it) loud enough so
that everyone can hear. When a player thinks he knows the word, he enters into the
conversation by making a statement that shows that he knows what the word is. If he
does not know the word, he must leave the conversation. Play continues until everyone is
in the conversation.
Variation: Set a time limit of X minutes. Anyone not in the conversation by then loses.
TIME TEST
TYPE: Quiet
A watch or a clock with a second hand is needed
Ask the players to stand and to remain standing (quietly) for exactly one minute without
looking at a watch or a clock. At the end of "his minute," each player sits down. The
player who sits down closest to the actual minute wins.
TO TELL THE TRUTH
TYPE: Quiet
Fact sheets with biographies of famous persons are needed
Three players are chosen in advance to be the "famous person." One player must answer
all questions as the famous person would. The other two are impostors, who change the
facts slightly to try to mislead the questioners. The three "famous people" are seated in
the front of the room. A panel of five to six players questions the "famous people" to try
to discover the true "famous person.” Each panel member is allowed two minutes to ask
questions to the "famous people" about their lives. After all of the panel has asked their
questions, they must vote on the "true" famous person. If a majority of the panel votes
for the "true" famous person, they win.
Hint: Review the material with the three "famous people" and coach the imposters on
possible false answers for them to make.
Variation: Instead of having a panel, have the audience ask the questions. Set a time
limit (five to ten minutes) and then allow the entire audience to vote.
TWENTY QUESTIONS
TYPE: Quiet
The leader picks some object (i.e. animal, mineral or vegetable). The group must try to
guess the object by asking the leader questions that s/he answers with a "yes" or "no".
The group must guess the object within twenty questions.
WHAT'S MY LINE?
TYPE: Quiet
Four teams are chosen. Each team selects one player to be on the panel. The panel is
then blindfolded. Another player, the leader or a "special guest" is chosen as the
"mystery guest". The four members can ask only "yes" or "no" questions to discover the
identity of the "mystery guest". Each time the mystery guest" answers "no", the next
person on the panel has a chance to ask the questions. The panel can ask questions until
the identity of-the guest speaker is discovered or they accumulate ten "no" answers.
Whichever member of the panel guesses the identity scores one point for his team.
Variation: To add more of an educational aspect to the game, have the “mystery guest”
assume the role of a famous person in history, the community, etc. In this variation it is
not necessary to blindfold the panelists.
WHY, WHEN, WHERE
TYPE: Quiet
The group divides into teams. One member of each team leaves the room. The group
then decides on a thing--no proper nouns can be used. One at a time a player from each
team enters the room. This player may then ask any of the following questions: "When
do you use it?" "Why do you use it?" "Where do you use it?" The player may ask the
same questions of each player in the group, but each player must give different answers.
The player continues asking questions until he guesses the thing. The total number of
questions until he guesses are taken and then the next player enters the room. The team
whose player asked the least number of questions, wins.
YES, NO, BLACK, WHITE
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
A player is chosen by the leader. That player must ask the other players questions. The
object is for them to avoid answering the questions with “yes,” “no,” “black,” or
“white.” The player who uses any of these words is "out." The last X number of players
"in," win.
Variation: Whoever uses one of those words changes places with the person asking the
questions.
ZAP, ZORCH, BOING, McFIGLIANO
TYPE: Quiet
Play in a circle
This game consists of four commands and anyone who gives an illegal command or
hesitates is out. The commands are:
Zap--This command can be given to any player seated next to the one giving the
commands (A) whom A must face while saying "zap."
Zorch--This command can be given to any player seated next to A, but is not
being faced by A (A must face someone next to him).
McFigliano--This command can be given to any player not seated next to A if A
points to him.
Boing--This command is given in response to any other command and the play
returns to the last player having given a command.
After having received a command, that player then gives the next command.
Play continues until only two players are left.
Variation: Anyone who is "out" stays in the circle, but play continues as if he wasn't
there.
MIXER GAMES
ADJECTIVE NAME
TYPE: Mixer
Play in a circle
The first player begins by saying his/her name and says an adjective using the first letter
of his/her name. Example: Wonderful Wendy. The second person then says the first
person's name and adjective and then his own name and adjective, and so on. Any person
who skips a name or repeats an adjective is eliminated.
Example: Person #1--Wonderful Wendy
Person #2--Wonderful Wendy-Dynamite David
etc.
ALPHABETIZIN'
TYPE: Mixer
The players are divided into groups of approximately ten players per group. At the signal
the groups must line up alphabetically by their first names. The first group finished wins.
To double check, have the players call out their names.
IMITATING PEOPLE
TYPE: Mixer
The first player must stand up and imitate one of the other players until the other players
guess who he is imitating. The first player to guess who it is gets one point. Then the
second player has a chance to imitate another player, etc. The first player to get X
number of points wins.
Hint: Be careful to tell the players they will be disqualified for insulting any player
while imitating him.
Variation: Have the players imitate a famous person.
INTRODUCTORY CONCENTRATION
TYPE: Mixer
The leader begins by saying: "My name is ____"; then he should tell one further thing to
identify himself; where he lives, where he works, etc. He then selects a new leader by
asking his name and presenting him to the group. This second leader says: "I was
introduced by ____ who lives (or works) ______, my name is _________ and I
(information about self) and I wish to introduce ________." When a leader fails to give
the proper sequence of names and correct information he is “out.”
NAMES AND STUNTS
TYPE: Mixer
Play in a circle; a variety of different objects are needed
Divide into groups of six or seven players; each mini-group sits in a circle and gets one of
each of the objects. The first player stands, says his first name, and does a simple stunt
with any object. The second player must repeat the first player's name and stunt, and
then adds his own name and stunt. This continues around the circle. The second time
around each player says his first and last name, and does his old stunt plus a new stunt.
NASI--NASI #3
TYPE: Mixer
Play in a circle
A two count beat is started by the players:
1) Slap hands on lap
2) Clap hands
On the clapping beat, the first player says his name. Then on the next clapping beat the
second player repeats the first player's name and then on the third clapping beat he says
his own name, and so on with each player repeating all the previous player's names and
then adding his own (see diagram). If a player skips a name or is out of beat he is
eliminated.
Example: Player #1: Clap--John
Player #2: Clap--John--Clap-Barry
Player #3: Clap--John--Clap-Barry--Clap—David
Player #4: Clap--John--Clap-Barry--Clap--David--Clap--Mike
etc.
THE FAMILY TAKES A WALK
TYPE: Mixer
Play with each team standing in its own line
Each team stands in a line. The first player from each team walks as fast as he
can to the other side of the room and back. He then takes a hold of the second player and
they walk as fast as they can to the other side of the room and back. The two of them
then take a hold of the third person and repeat the process and so on. The first team to
have all of their players walk, wins.
RELAY GAMES
INTRODUCTION TO RELAY RACES
Play in an open area
Most relay races only require a little imagination to invent. Basic races are running,
hopping, walking, etc. In this book, I have only included the more difficult relays. The
best way to complete a relay race is to have all the players be seated and silent before
they can be declared "the winners."
There are seven basic formations for relay races. They are: file formation with the leader
up front, file formation--one goal, double file formation, shuttle formation, circle
formation, file formation--last player seated runs.
ASSORTED RELAY
TYPE: Relay
The group is divided into teams. The first player from each team starts by hopping on
one foot to the finish. He then tags the second player who runs backwards to the finish.
He then tags the third player who skips to the finish. He then tags the fourth player who
bunny hops to the finish. He then tags the fifth player who repeats what the first player
did. This continues, repeating the different motions until the whole team has finished.
The first team done wins.
Variation: Substitute different movements for the five listed above.
• This can either be played in straight lines or circle formation.
• Each player runs to his leader, tags him, and runs back.
• Each player runs to the goal and back.
• Each player runs with his partner to the goal and back.
• Each player runs to the next player from his team on the other side of the
room, etc.
• Each player runs around the circle and back to his original location.
• Last person runs to finish line while all other players shift back one seat to
allow runner to sit in first seat.
• Players remain seated and must pass object or motion to next player.
ANKLE RELAY
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team in its own line
The group is divided into teams. Each team then lines up, each in its own line. At the
signal, the first player from each team must run to the other side of the room and back
while holding on to his ankles. Then the second players do this and so on. The first team
to finish wins.
CHAIR RELAY
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team in a line; one chair per team is needed
Each team stands in a line. The first player in each team is given a chair. He must sit
down, raise his legs, get up, and pass the chair to the next player in line. The first team to
finish wins.
FEATHER RACE
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team in its own line; a paper plate and a feather are needed
The group is divided into teams. Each team then lines up, each team in its own line. The
first player from each team is given a feather on a plate. He must run to the other side
and back without the feather falling off the plate. If it falls off, the player must stop and
pick it up. (Hands may not be used to keep the feather on the plate.) When the first player
finishes, the second player starts, etc. The first team to finish wins.
FOOT BY FOOT
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team standing in its own line
Each team stands in its own line. At the signal, the first person walks to the other end of
the room and back by placing the heel of one foot to the toe of the other foot. Each
player does the same. The first team to finish wins.
HUMAN CHECKERS
TYPE: Relay
Place as many rows of seven chairs as there are people divided by seven (i.e. twenty-one
people, twenty-one divided by seven equals three, three rows). The players should sit on
the chairs leaving the middle chair in each row empty. The object of the game is for each
1/2 team to change sides with the other 1/2 team. The way players can move is like
checkers, moving one chair at a time or jumping over one occupied chair. No player may
move backwards. If the team gets stuck, they must start over again.
Hint: Instead of just six people per team, add one more person per team to act as a
director.
HUMAN HURDLES
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team in a circle
The group is divided into teams of about eight players per team. Each team sits in a
circle with their legs extended out towards the center. At the signal, the first player must
get up and run around the inside of the circle, jumping over the other players' legs. When
he is done, he sits down and the second player starts. Play continues until one team's
players have run once, and then they are the winners.
HUMMING
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team sitting in one line, facing another line
Two teams sit opposite each other. Then, at the signal, the first person from each team
hums with his mouth closed until he is out of breath. Then he tags the player next to him.
The second player then begins to hum and so on. The last team humming wins.
IZZY DIZZY RELAY
TYPE: Relay
Play with each team in a line
Each team stands in its own line. At the signal, the first player from each team runs to
the other end of the room and puts a finger on the ground. He must then run around his
finger five times, run back to his line, and then the next person has a turn. The first team
to finish wins.
Variation #1: Instead of running around your finger, have each player carry a baseball
bat to the end of the room. Stand the baseball bat on the floor and run around the
baseball bat while holding onto the bat.
Variation #2: Instead of holding onto the bat with your hand, place your forehead on the
top of the bat, and then run around it in that position.
OBJECT PASS
TYPE: Relay
Each team stands in their own line; three objects per team are needed
Each team stands in a line (one player behind another). At the signal, the first player
from each team passes the three objects (one at a time) down to the end of the line. The
three objects are then passed back to the first player. The first team to complete this,
wins.
SEAT RACE
TYPE: Relay
Each team sits in its own circle
At the signal, the first person stands up and runs around the circle once. When he sits
down again, he tags the person to his left (see diagram #1). Then that person does the
same thing and so on. The first team to have all of its players run around the circle once,
wins.
Variation #1: While each player runs around the circle, he also spins around at the same
time (see diagram #2).
Variation #2: Almost anything else can be used instead of running (i.e. walking,
hopping, etc.).
SHOE FETCH
TYPE: Relay
Five players from each team take off their shoes. The leader then takes the shoes and
puts them in another room. At the signal, the players run to the other room, put on their
shoes, and run back. The first team whose players return, wins.
STORY RELAY
TYPE: Relay
Each team forms a line
The group is divided into teams of nine or less. Each team sits in its own line. The first
player in each row is #1, the second player in each line is #2, etc. The leader then tells a
story to the players (any story can be used). Whenever the leader mentions a number,
those players with that number must stand up and run around their line and then sit back
down. The first player back to his original seat wins one point for his team. Whichever
team has the most points at the end of the story, wins.
THE TRAIN
TYPE: Relay
Each team is seated in chairs in a line
Each team is seated in its own line, each player behind another. At the signals the players
hold onto the back of the chair in front of them and slide together to the other side of the
room and back without setting out of their seats. The first-team to finish wins.
TONGUE TWISTER
TYPE: Relay
Each team is seated in a line. The first player from each team must say the following
tongue twister: "the sixth shiek's sixth sheep is sick." As soon as he is done saying it, the
second player says it, and so on. The first team to have all of its players say the tongue
twister wins.
ZIEGFELD RELAY
TYPE: Relay
Each team sits in its own line, with the players sitting side by side, facing the
same direction. Every player crosses his right leg over his left. At the signal, the first
player uncrosses his legs, and crosses the left leg over the right. When he is done, the
second player does the same. The first team to finish wins.
ZIGZAG RUN
TYPE: Relay
Each team forms a line; five chairs are needed for each team
The first player from each team must run to the other side of the room zigzagging
between the chairs both ways (see diagram). When he gets back, he tags the second
player who does the same. The first team to finish, wins.
ZIGZAG SIT
TYPE: Relay
Each team forms a line; four chairs per team are needed
The first player on each team runs to his team's chairs at the other end of the room and
must sit on each one of the chairs (see diagram). He then runs back and tags the second
player who does the same. The first team to finish, wins.
SHTICK GAMES
BLINDFOLDED PILLOW FIGHT
TYPE: Shtick
Two blindfolds and two pillows are needed
Two players are chosen. Each is blindfolded and given a pillow. They are then spun
around and told that the first player to hit the other three times wins. Whoever loses is
then replaced by another player who is also blindfolded. Play is repeated, but this time
whoever loses is replaced by someone who is not blindfolded! See how long it takes him
to figure it out!
Hint: Specify to the last player not to hit too hard.
BLINDFOLDED WALK
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a well furnished room
Blindfold two players and tell them that they must cross the room without bumping into
anything. The first one across wins.
As quietly as possible move all the furniture out of their way and watch them move back
and forth. The first one back wins.
COW'S TAIL
TYPE: Shtick
The leader goes around asking questions, but the players must always answer: "A cow's
tail."
Example: "What did you eat for breakfast?" -- "A cow's tail."
"Describe Jack's hairstyle." "A cow's tail."
Any player who smiles is out.
CUT UP STORIES
TYPE: Shtick
A story that has been divided and cut into different pieces is needed; play in a
circle
Distribute the pieces of the story to all of the players and the player with the opening
reads his part (out loud). As the first part is being read everyone should check to see if
they think their part should follow. Whoever thinks so should begin reading without
hesitation as the first part finishes. As the story continues, you will notice that some parts
actually don't seem to fit in, but this just adds to the fun. After all of the players have
read their parts compare it to the original.
DETECTIVE
TYPE: Shtick
See DETECTIVE, Moderate games, Variation #1.
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
One player is chosen. He must then try to make someone laugh by making funny
motions. As soon as someone laughs he must help the first player make others laugh.
The next person who laughs then helps those two, etc. The last person not laughing wins.
DON'T ANSWER
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
The leader walks around the inside of the circle, points to any player, and asks that player
a question. That player cannot answer the leader's question. Rather, the player on the left
must answer for him. If the wrong person answers the question, or if the player who is
supposed to answer doesn't, that player is "out." Play continues at a fast pace, with the
leader continuing to ask different players questions. The last X players, win.
Hint: For larger groups (twenty or more), after the players understand the game, add
more players to help ask questions. The faster the pace, the funnier the game.
DON'T LAUGH
TYPE: Shtick
The leader makes all kinds of funny gestures and actions and tells the players "Do as I do,
but don't laugh." There won't be many who will be able to refrain, but the last one who
does, wins.
Variation: After the leader has finished the above, he throws a handkerchief in the air
and the players must laugh until it comes down, but not a second afterwards.
HOW LONG IS A CHINAMAN
TYPE: Shtick
The leader says: "How long is a Chinaman." The answers will vary, but the game
continues until someone realizes that it is a statement and not a question, and that the
Chinaman's name is: "How Long." When everyone catches on, the game is over.
KELEV MISCAIN (Poor Dog)
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
One player is chosen to be the "dog." The “dog” crawls to any person and barks twice.
that person must pat the "dog" on the head twice and say "Kelev miscain, kelev miscain."
If that person smiles while saying "Kelev miscain," he then becomes the "dog."
Hint: Tell the "dog" that he should try to make the people laugh, only by barking or
making faces.
LAUGH
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
The first player says "ha." The second player says "ha, ha." The third player says "ha, ha,
ha," etc. Each player adds one more "ha." If a player does not say enough "ha's" or if he
laughs, he is “out.” The last X players win.
Variation: Tell all of the players that they should make funny gestures at the player
saying "ha."
LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH
TYPE: Shtick
One handkerchief or feather is needed
All the players are seated. The leader stands on a chair and throws the handkerchief into
the air. As it flies through the air, the players must laugh. The moment it lands, they
must stop laughing. Any player still laughing after the handkerchief lands is "out."
MONKEY TAG
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a large area
One player is chosen to be "it." He remains "it" until he tags another player who then
becomes "it." But no one may be tagged if they are in the following position:
1) One foot raised.
2) Both hands scratching themselves on their side like a monkey.
A time limit is set and whoever is "it" when the time limit expires, loses.
Variation: Instead of only one "it," all of the players who are tagged remain "it" and can
tag other players. The last player to remain untagged wins the game.
MOO!
TYPE: Shtick
One player is sent out of the room. The remaining players pick one player to yell the
loudest. When the player returns he is told he will have three chances to hear everyone
yell "moo" and after each time he must try to guess who is yelling the loudest. If he
guesses correctly, he will “win;” if not, he loses. The game is repeated once more, but
this time when the player (player A) is out of the room, tell all of the other players that
the next time they play, player A will be chosen to yell the loudest, and on the third time
they yell "Moo!" No one is to yell except player A. Player A returns and has his three
guesses. Then someone else leaves the room, and player A is chosen to yell the loudest.
On the third guess player A will yell "moo!" all by himself--Have Fun!
RAINMAKER
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
The leader tells the players that they are going to make rain. But, the only way that they
will accomplish this is to follow his directions very carefully and imitate his moves as
soon as he passes them by. On his first rotation of the circle, the leader begins by rubbing
his hands together vigorously. On his second rotation of the circle, the leader snaps his
fingers. On his third rotation of the circle, he clicks his tongue and then on the fourth
rotation, he stamps his feet rapidly. Then he goes backwards through the motions until
he reaches the rubbing of his hands and then he stops. (The combination of these sounds
will simulate the sound of rain.)
SHAKE-UP
TYPE: Shtick
The leader asks questions to different players which can only be answered by “yes” or
“no.” But while the player says the answer he must shake his head according to the
opposite answer (see diagram). Anyone not doing this is eliminated.
Hint: This game is best played when the questions are asked rapidly.
Variation: For large groups have more than one person asking questions.
SOBER CONTEST
TYPE: Shtick
Players form two teams and each team stands in a straight line facing the other team.
Team A is given 45 seconds to make the members of Team B laugh. Any member of
Team B who laughs is "out" and everyone who is "out" counts as one point against his
team. The teams reverse their roles and Team B has 45 seconds to make the members of
Team A laugh. The winning team is the one that eliminates the greatest number of
opponents.
TALK, MAN, TALK
TYPE: Shtick
The object of this game is for the players to use their imaginations to make up speeches
about crazy topics. Therefore, it is very important to choose both imaginative and funny
players.
Each player is told by the leader that he must speak for three minutes on a topic which he
knows nothing about.
Examples: The duties of a tea tester on Ceylon.
The sewer system on the moon.
Why seaweed is impractical for stuffing furniture.
The more nonsensical the topic, the funnier. The best speaker wins.
THIS IS MY NOSE
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
The leader walks around the inside of the circle, stops in front of one player, and says:
"This is my ______" (pointing to one part of his body while calling it the name of another
part of his body). The player must respond (within ten seconds) with the opposite of
what the leader did (pointing to the part of his body the leader said and calling it the name
of the part of his body to which the leader had pointed).
Example: Leader: "This is my nose" (pointing to his elbow).
Player: "This is my elbow" (pointing to his nose).
If the player responds correctly before the leader counts to ten, he is "in"; if not, he is
"out." Play continues with the leader asking more players. The last X players "in" win.
Hint: For large groups use more than one leader to quicken the pace.
Variation: If the player can respond correctly within ten seconds, the player becomes
the new leader.
TWENTY QUESTIONS
TYPE: Shtick
The group must guess some object that the leader has picked by asking “yes” or “no”
questions. But there is one catch; actually, the leader has not picked anything. He
answers "yes" or "no" depending on how the last word in the question ends: consonant =
"yes"; vowel = "no," or vice versa. See how long it takes the group to catch on.
Variation: Send one player out of the room. While he is out tell the group the trick.
When he returns tell him he has twenty questions to guess an object that the group has
picked. See how long it will take him to catch on.
WHAT AM I DOING?
TYPE: Shtick
Play in a circle
The leader walks around the inside of the circle stopping in front of different players.
Each time he stops he does some motion and the person he is in front of must do the
opposite of what he is doing (i.e. sitting and standing; raising an arm and lowering one;
etc.). Whoever cannot do it is "out." The last X number of people "in" wins.
E.S.P. GAMES
CHOOSE A NUMBER
TYPE: E.S.P.
The leader is sent out of the room. The players select any number. The leader returns
and the assistant calls out a sequence of numbers. When the assistant calls out the
selected number the leader identifies it.
Solution: The code is in the first digit of the first number called out by the
assistant. It identifies the place that the selected number will have in the sequence.
Example: First number is 67, the selected number will be the sixth number in sequence.
Variation: This can be made more difficult by doubling the actual number.
Example: The sequence is 56, 104, 29, 37, 44. The number in the fifth position divided
by 2 =22.
HARD AND SOFT
TYPE: E.S.P.
The leader leaves the room. While he is out of the room, the players pick an object in the
room. The leader reenters and his assistant lists a number of objects. The leader picks
out the object that the group had picked.
Solution: If the object picked is soft, the first object mentioned should be soft and
all others hard and vice versa.
IS THIS IT?
TYPE: E.S.P.
The leader is sent out of the room. The players select an object in the room. The leader
returns and the assistant asks him about different objects in the room. When he asks him
about the selected object the leader identifies it.
Solution: The code is in the way that the assistant asks about the object. For all of
the objects he asks "Is this the object?" or "Is it this object?" When he uses the word,
"that," instead of "this," the leader knows that is the selected object.
NINE BOOKS
TYPE: E.S.P.
Nine books are needed
Nine books are laid on the floor in a rectangle (see diagram). The leader leaves the room
and the players decide on a book. The leader reenters the room and the assistant points to
the books one at a time. When he points to the selected book, the leader identifies it.
Solution: The assistant points to the first book in a certain way. If he points to the
center of the book, it means that the center book was the selected book. If he points to
the top right hand corner of the book, it means that the book in the top right hand corner
was the selected book, etc.
OBJECT
TYPE: E.S.P.
The leader leaves the room and all of the players pick an object in the room (i.e. clogs,
chair, etc.). The leader reenters and the assistant names a variety of objects in the room.
When he names the selected object, the leader identifies it.
Solution: Before the game the assistant tells the leader that the selected object will
be after a black object. When the assistant names a black object the leader knows that the
next object is “It.”
Variation: Instead of just black, choose a sequence of colors (i.e. red, white, and blue).
THE FOUR CHAIRS
TYPE: E.S.P.
Four chairs are needed
Place four chairs in a square. The leader leaves the room and one of the players sits on
any one of the chairs and then returns to his original seat. The assistant recalls the leader
into the room and the leader identifies the chair.
Solution: Before the game, the chairs were assigned numbers (one through four).
Then when the leader was recalled to the room, the assistant used the number of the word
corresponding to the number of the chair.
"Enter" for chair #1, "Come In" for chair #2, "Come In _____ (name)” for chair #3, and
"Please come in" for chair #4.
THE MAGIC CIRCLE
TYPE: E.S.P.
The leader announces that he will leave the room and when he returns he will be able to
name the player who shook his assistant's hand. Before he leaves he walks in a circle and
says “The magic circle is now formed. Do you feel its influence?” After several
members have replied “yes” he leaves the room. When he returns he names the player.
Solution: The leader is able to identify the player because the assistant picks the
first person who answered his question about the magic circle.
THE SPIRITS MOVE
TYPE: E.S.P.
Play in a circle
The leader leaves the room but stays within hearing distance. The assistant then walks
around the players, saying each time: "The spirits move." Finally, the assistant goes to
one player and says: "The spirits move and rest on" at which point the leader says from
the other room the name of the player.
Solution: The final person who was chosen by the assistant was the player who
was to the right of the assistant when the leader left the room.
GLOSSARY
Aleph Ayekah Bet Chagim Chamor Chanich Chanukah -
The first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Where are you?
The second letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Holidays
Donkey
A member of your group
The Festival of the Lights
Chazak Chumash Eitz Egroff Gimmel Hineni Kelev Levivot Menorah Miscain Mispar Moshe Nasi Nitzav Ot Perach Pey Pri Samech Shabbat Shetach Shinui -
Strong. The word said upon completion of
the reading of each of the five books of
Moses.
Pentateuch
Tree
Fist
The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Here I am
Dog
Latkes. Potato Pancakes
Candelabrum
Unfortunate
Number
Moses
President
Standing
A Hebrew letter
Flower
The seventeenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Fruit
The fifteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Sabbath; the seventh day of the week.
Field; area.
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