37 Quick Games to Play – (that require no special equipment!)
Wow!! Thanks very, very much to Trudy Haughland, who posted all these ideas! These games are all so short I decided they didn’t need their own individual pages. For most of these games you need no equipment – just players. Perfect for those 5-minute gaps between activities!
A.B.C. GUIDES – The first person says, “A Guide is. and adds a word beginning with A that describes what a Guide/Scout is (or should be). The next person repeats this and adds another word beginning with B. The third person repeats the A and B words and adds a word beginning with C. continue through the alphabet. Each time remembering the words that have gone before.
ADD TO IT – Sit or stand in a circle. One person makes an action, the next person repeats the action and adds one of her own. The third person does the first two actions and adds another of her own etc. When someone forgets an action the next person starts a new sequence off.
ALPHABET STORY – Make up a story with each word beginning with each letter of the alphabet (in the right order) e.g. ‘Anne Brown Came Down Every Friday..etc’ Share stories.
BLOWING IN THE WIND – Put markers round the room to show 8 points of the compass. Decide which is north and write ‘N’ on the marker; do not label the other markers. One person is chosen as the ‘Wind’ and the rest are ‘Yachts’. The ‘Wind’ calls out a direction and the ‘Yachts’ have to sail in the direction to which they are being blown i.e. in the OPPOSITE direction to the direction called out.
BOATING – Play this in pairs. 2 people sit on the floor with their legs straight and the soles of their feet touching. They lean forward and grasp hands. Keeping their legs as straight as possible. Each person then tries to pull the other person to her feet.
BUZZ! – Patrol sits in a circle. They start counting out loud in turn, but whenever a 2 occurs in a number, they just say ‘Buzz’ e.g. 14 = Ten Buzz, 24 = twenty buzz, etc. Later when any multiple of 4 occurs e.g. 8, player just say ‘2 times Buzz’. When you have mastered this, you could try adding “WHIZZ” for 5 and multiples of 5
CATCH THE HANKY – Play in pairs. One of each pair stands in a space with feet slightly apart, and holding a clean hanky, which they must wave about their head and change from hand to hand without moving their feet. The partner dodges about and tries to catch the hanky. They then change places.
CENTIPEDE – Everyone gets in a line on their hands and knees and links up by holding the ankles of the person in front. Try crawling together, then doing an obstacle course.
CREEPY CRAWLERS – All but one stand in a line with legs apart, either blindfolded or with their eyes shut. The one person then has to try to crawl through the legs of the others without touching.
DANGER MIMES – Each person takes it in turn to mime a danger in the home e.g. leaving a frying pan unattended, putting too many plugs into one socket, not wiping up a spill on the kitchen floor etc. The others have to guess the danger.
DROP IT – Play in pairs. Partners face each other. One holds an object in each had, outstretched at shoulder level and the suddenly drops one of the objects. The other person has to catch it before it touches the ground.
EAR AND NOSE – Group sits in circle. One person starts off the action by (gently!) pulling the ear or nose of the person next to her, who then does the same to the next person, etc. As soon as the first action is passed on, the first person starts another action e.g. stroking the cheek or pulling the hair. This carries on until someone laugh, smiles or makes any other sound. The person next to the culprit then starts off the actions.
ELEPHANT WALK – All but one get down on hands and knees, in a line, alternately in opposite directions, they then begin to sway forwards and backwards gently. The extra one then tries to crawl along the line without falling off.
FIND YOUR SHOE – Each person puts one shoe in the middle. In turn each person is then blindfolded, and has to find their won shoe, with instructions shouted out by the rest of the group.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU – Each person tells the rest of the group about themselves for 2 minutes e.g. their address, family, pets, school, hobbies, likes and dislikes etc. Then write each person’s name on a slip of a paper and fold. Everyone then picks one piece of paper and writes down as much as they can remember about the person named on the slip of paper.
GUESS THE STEPS – Everyone estimates how many heel-to-toe steps they will need to take to cross the room. then see who is nearest to their own estimate.
I WENT TO THE SHOPS – The first person starts by saying ‘I went to the shop and bought a toothbrush’ and mimes the action. The second person repeats this with the mime then adds another object and mimes it. The third person repeats the first two mimes and adds another and so on.
JAN-KEN-PON – Play this in pairs. 2 people face each other with hands behind them. Together they say ‘Jan-Ken-Pon’ which is Japanese for stone, paper or scissors. As they say it, they must bring one hand forward to represent either ‘stone’ (clenched fist), ‘paper’ (open palm) or ‘scissors’ (first two fingers out). Decide who is the winner – stone beats scissors (blunts them), scissors beat paper (cuts it) and paper beats stone (wraps it). 1 point for the winner each time.
LETTER CHALLENGE – One person calls out a letter and second person has 30 seconds to say as many words as they can think of, starting with that letter. Others keep count and check that no word is repeated. Second person then challenges the next person with another letter until everyone has had a go.
LETTER HUNT – Choose a letter from the alphabet. Each person has 3 minutes to find and bring back as many objects as possible beginning with the chosen letter. Score 2 points for any object that no one else has, 1 point for objects other have.
NAME SENTENCE – Think of a sentence using each letter of your full name as the first letter of each word. All the letters must be in the right order and your sentence must make sense.
NURSERY RHYME MIMES – Each person in turn mimes a nursery rhyme, and the others try to guess which one it is.
ONE LETTER STORY – Make up as long a story as possible with each word in the story beginning with the same letter e.g. ‘Goodness gracious gasped Gertie grinning gruesomely …’ See who can use the most words.
ONE-MINUTE WALK – Start at one end of the room and aim to reach the wall at the other end in exactly one minute. See who can time themselves the best.
RISING CIRCLES – The group sits in a circle, everyone cross-legged with their arms round each other’s shoulders. At a signal, they all try to stand up without breaking hold.
SAUSAGES – One person is the questioner. She asks each girl in turn a question. Whatever the question the answer must be ‘SAUSAGES’. The aim of the questioner is to get everyone out by making them laugh. The last person in becomes the next questioner.
SILENT K – Each person writes down as many words as they can that begin with a silent ‘K’. Give points for words that no one else has got.
SING A SONG – Pick a subject e.g. food, girls’ names, towns countries, etc. Each person in turn has to sing part of a song that mentions a town (or whatever your subject is). anyone who can’t drops out until the next round. The winner chooses the next subject.
SKINNING THE SNAKE – Everyone stands in a line, with legs apart. The right hand is passed between the legs and linked with the left hand of person behind. The person at the back starts to crawl through the legs of those in front, and the others follow, without letting go, until everyone is standing in a line.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – One person goes out and changes one aspect of her appearance. The others then have to identify what has been changed e.g. earring taken out pin turned upside down etc.
TEBAHPLA – Challenge each other to see who can say the alphabet backwards in the fastest time.
TELEMESSAGES – Each person in turn calls out a letter of the alphabet which everyone writes down, until you have at least 6 letters. Then each person makes up a ‘telemessage’ one word beginning with each of the letters in the order they were called out. The messages must make sense!
THUMBS UP – Without using your thumbs try some everyday tasks e.g. fastening a button, unfastening a badge, tying or bucking a shoe undoing a zipper etc.
TWO FEET, TWO HANDS – Play this in groups of 3. The challenge is for the group to get themselves from one end of the room to the other, with only one pair of hands and one pair of feet touching the floor.
TWO HANDS KIM – Each person puts a small object in each hand. All show them and everyone looks at them for one minute. Then close hands. Leader then asks questions to each person in turn e.g. “What has Jane got in her right hand?” or “Who had a pencil sharpener?”
WATCH MY LIPS – Try to say something without moving your lips and see if the others can tell what you are saying.
WORMS – Each person holds the waist of the person in front to form a ‘worm’. The first person then breaks free and tries to tag on to the back of the ‘worm’ while the rest try to prevent this.