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  1. Start by saying "sway" and showing this motion

  2. Next say "stop"

  3. Have participants follow these directions for a while

  4. Then tell them "sway" now means "stop", and "stop" means "sway".

  5. Play this for a while 5.

  6. Then introduce the next level. "Name" and "clap".

  7. Play this way for a while.

  8. Then tell them "name" now means "clap" and "clap" now means "name". Put both levels together.

Note: Students can help create more levels for the future to make this even more challenging!

Story Ball

  1. Quickly establish an order.

  2. The first player will start with the opening line of a story and throw it as a "ball" to the next person in order.

  3. That person catches the ball, repeats the line that was thrown to them.

  4. They then add their own line to the story out loud and throw it as a "ball" to the next person in order.

  5. You can keep throwing the ball for as long or as short of a story as you wish. If your story is short, go ahead and start a new story.

What Are You Doing?

  1. Participant 1 starts by doing an activity. 

  2. Participant 2 asks “What are you doing?”

  3. Participant 1 replies by saying anything other than what they are actually doing.

  4. Participant 2 engages in the activity named by Participant 1.

  5. Participant 1 now asks “What are you doing?” and the cycle continues. 

  6. A challenging variation to this game is to give a letter that the activity must start with. For example, if the letter is F,  the person who replies to the question “what are you doing” must respond with an activity that starts with the letter F, like “Feasting” or “Frolicking”. You can also do this with 2 letters (A B or H J, etc) or 3 letters (JGF or KLD) to make it more challenging. For instance, if the letters are TD responses might be “tickling dinosaurs” or “telling Dad”. 


      Notes: (adjustments for ages 12+)

  • When responding to the question “What are you doing?” instead of saying something like “I’m mowing the lawn”, challenge them to get right to the verb: “Mowing the lawn”.

  • If played in a larger group, have participants rename themselves with a number to create an order to play in. The play moves forward, in sequence, rather than between two people.


  1. Start by having participants rename themselves with a number in front of their name to establish an order to play in.

  2. Come up with a 4-6 letter word which will serve as the acronym.

  3. Have participants go in order creating a phrase for this acronym.

  4. For example, if the acronym is LOVE, one person might come up with: Llamas Only Venture Expertly.

  5. The goal is to be spontaneous, not necessarily to make a grammatically correct sentence, or even to make sense!

       For example:

         GRATE: Give Radical Astronauts Terrible Emphysema

         CARBON: Creatively Asking Radon Belies Obvious Notes


Note: You can make this progressively more challenging by first using a 3-letter word, followed by a round using a 4-letter word, then a 5-letter word and so on.  

Word-at-a-time Expert

  1. You are going to be playing the host of a talk show.

  2. Choose 3 participants to be "the expert". They are going to be playing one person.

  3. Have them rename themselves with a number from 1 to 3.

  4. As the host, welcome them to the show and as you introduce your guest expert, tell them what they are an expert in.

  5. As the host, ask them their name.

  6. They are to respond, one word at a time, starting with person 1 and going in a circle.

  7. As the host, ask a series of questions as you might in any interview. Try to stay with open-opened questions versus yes/no questions. (For example: What got you interested in X? What challenges did you have doing X?)

  8. The expert, as one person, responds one word at a time. Each answer starts with person 1.

  9. After, say, 5 questions or so, you can go to the "studio audience" (the rest of the group who is observing) and have them ask questions. Notes: If your group has played this a few times and has gotten the hang of it, you might experiement with having them use 2 words at a time. (Maybe even more!)

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