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Games for Youth Groups 1000 Games for Youth Groups

Circle Games

Circle games are usually games played while sitting in a circle in which the whole group takes part. The main aspect is not competitive but having fun in the group. The games are mainly calm games which generally do not need materials or any large amount of preparation. During the summer months, you'll find that many kids are at summer camp playing these sorts of games. For example Kettleby Valley is just one of many camps for kids in southern Ontario in Canada which use these circle games and other kind of games from this website.

Circle Games
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Circle games are generally fun games which children largely like to play. Also, there are always several players active at the same time, so that no one needs to feel excluded. A nice side effect of circle games is that the players have fun, but no chaos breaks lose – something which can happen to a holiday group at times. Likewise, there is no "competitive behaviour" needed, which gives the games an easy touch. This makes those games not just ideal for home but also for the time spent away.

If you are traveling with several children, or the local kids want to make friends with the newcomers, those games literally offer themselves. Another excellent idea is, to open a “Detective Agency” with the children, with the incentive, so find something that was previously “stolen.” – Just another game to keep a small and even a larger group of children busy.

Basically, such circle games make for a great “introductory help.” Although these are not strictly speaking classic games to get to know each other, they are very easy to play, require little preparation and almost always promise a lot of "action." They quickly bring kids inhibitions and barriers to other group members down. After all, alone the sit- or standing order is arranged in a way so that children (the older ones as well) can see each other or look into each other’s eyes.

One of the most famous circle games is repeatedly used for group participants to mutually introduce each other with their respective names. That makes it as easy as possible to remember those names, and all it requires is an object that the player can throw to each other. For example, this could be a ball or even a key chain.

The whole thing is very simple: The object is always thrown from one player to another. It is important that the thrower always calls out loud the name of the catcher. That will make it easy that in the shortest time possible, everybody can remember the name of all kids in the circle.


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Also, those circle games promote a certain intimacy within the group. The mere fact that you are practically sitting across someone else, virtually eye to eye creates a sense of familiarity. It is to no surprise that self-help groups always refer back to the formation of circles when it comes to discussing controversial issues. Everyone can talk to anybody else while creating eye contact at the same time. You also can follow the person’s facial expressions and gestures, which makes everybody more comfortable than sitting in rows.

Basically, circle games are perfect for everything that has to be passed around or thrown to each other. Within a circle, nobody has the feeling to be outside the group and therefore, maybe got a worse seat than somebody else. A psychological effect, which should not be underestimated. Circle games are therefore ideally suited for working with shy, insecure children and adolescents. Likewise, new members of a group that should be optimally integrated can effectively be helped with circle games. On this website, you will find a wide selection of different circle games that are suitable for small as well as large groups of children and young people.

[References to the symbols]

  1. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingDo You Love Your Neighbour?

    Places are swapped depending on the answers given.

  2. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingDarling, I Love You, But…

    If you love me, smile!. The sitting player must answer without laughing.

  3. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingAll Birds Fly High

    An announcer shows what must be done - anyone who does the wrong action or makes a mistake must pay a fine.

  4. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingRibbel Dibbel or President - Vice President

    An amusing circle game with rhythm, movement and concentration.

  5. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingChange places

    The person in the middle is blind-folded and calls 2 names. These two must exchange places before the player in the middle can tag one of them.

  6. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingSnake

    Everyone forms a circle and joins hands. Somewhere in the circle the beginning and the end of the snake will be determined.

  7. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingThigh and Hand Concentration

    Each player puts his left hand on the thigh of the player to his left and his right hand on the thigh of the player on his right. An impulse in a clockwise direction will go around.

  8. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingCamp Alphabet

    One player begins: I will take to camp an apple. The next player repeats this sentence and adds another article.

  9. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingThe Laugher

    The laugher must make the other players laugh.

  10. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: chairsMusical Chairs

    One stool is taken away after each round. The player without a chair is out of the game.

  11. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingClusters

    All players move about the room. The leader calls out a number. The group must then make clusters of players to match that number.

  12. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingSit on Laps

    Everyone stands facing in the same direction in a circle. Everyone then tries to sit on the lap of the person behind him.

  13. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingCome With Us / Run Away

    A funny kindergarten game which is also well liked at family parties or in mixed groups.

  14. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingBlack pudding, paté

    A fictive black pudding or pate are crossed over - the chaos is perfect.

  15. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingCrawled through the gate!

    The players in the inner circle stand with their legs spread. The players in the outer circle try to crawl through their legs.

  16. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (or a ball, or handkerchief)Circle runners

    Everyone stands in a circle and the count starts for 3,4 or 5. The numbers called out run around the circle once.

  17. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingCaught in a Circle

    One person goes in the middle of the circle made by the other players who hold hands. The person in the middle must try to break through the circle.

  18. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingMouse hangs the cat

    2 kids are chosen as a cat and a mouse. The rest of the group stands in a circle. The mouse tries to isolate the cat with tricks.

  19. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingOops the six

    The group takes turn to count to 100. If a number comes which can be divided through 6 or has a 6 in it, the player says „oops“.

  20. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingCommander Pimpernel

    Different commands are called out quickly one after the other.

  21. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingPort or starboard

    One player is the captain and the other players are the crew. Should a member of the crew fail to fulfil the task or make a mistake, the player is out of the game (out of the game, pay a deposit, do a forfeit etc.)

  22. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingHorse races

    The group sits in a circle. A volunteer is chosen to lead the race horses. The rest of the race horses must copy the movements and instructions.

  23. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (or piece of paper and pencil)Rumours or the silent postman’s knock

    The first person has a rumour of 3 to 4 sentences whispered in his ear. Then he whispers this rumour in the next players ear.

  24. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingMy right place is empty

    Each player sits on a chair with one chair remaining unoccupied. The person who has this empty chair to his right says: “My right, right place is empty, I wish that Freddy was an monkey and was sitting here”.

  25. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingSilly has lost his hat

    A popular circle game which requires concentration.

  26. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (only the chairs)Smell the stool!

    A player must guess which stool a member of the group has sat on.

  27. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingFinding words

    A word game

  28. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingPostman's knock (pantomime)

    Postman's knock as a pantomime chain.

  29. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingPassing on facial expressions

    Postman's knock using facial expressions

  30. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingGuess the mood

    A mood must represented and be recognised by a player.

  31. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (or well prepared terms)The story

    The next person in line must continue the story using the names he was given.

  32. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingAt the psychiatrists

    The “psychiatrist” asks questions of the players to find out what illness the patient has.

  33. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingChanges

    The player who was out of the room comes in and must guess the changes made to the circle.

  34. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingHello, I am Anton from Anzac!

    Everyone introduces themselves with name, town, place of birth, job, parent’s names etc. but have to use only the same letter.

  35. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingChildren’s laughter is catching

    The winner is the baby who keeps a straight face the longest.

  36. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingKeep a straight face

    The answer must incorporate the required theme and no laughing is allowed.

  37. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingPeople memory

    2 players make up pairs - the pairs must be found

  38. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingWho’s the Boss?

    The player who was outside must figure out who the leader is.

  39. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingThe Moo Cow Game

    Find out the loudest cow in the group

  40. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothingHands Up

    The player on the left grabs the right hand and the player on the right grabs the left hand of the player chosen.

  41. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: whistle with a long stringWhistle Game

    There seems to be a whistle somewhere in the room, but where is the whistle?

  42. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: 2 blindfolds, cans to rattle or little bellsRattlesnake

    2 places must be swapped. In doing this, the players must rattle 3 times. A blindfolded player must catch them.

  43. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: cardsThe killer

    One person is the killer and kills people by sticking out his tongue. A detective must find the killer.

  44. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: long string, ringWhere’s the Ring?

    A ring must be found in a circle of players holding a length of string.

  45. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: piece of money, spoon, chairThe Signal – Squeeze Hands

    The goal is to be the faster team getting the information (heads was tossed) through the chain and grabbing the spoon first.

  46. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: handkerchief or package of tissuesFox Hunt or Lazy Egg

    Fox Hunt or Lazy Egg is a well known game but still appropriate with young groups.

  47. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: parachuteParachute Games

    Lots of games can be played with a parachute.

  48. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (or bottles, stick, blanket)Circle tug

    The group stands in a circle around a tree (stick) and holds it with their hands. By pulling the stick, the players try to touch another player with it.

  49. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: coinPenny circle relay

    A penny is placed on the forehead and is passed from person to person.

  50. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: 3-5 tins or 5 pencils, a slat witch candles, matchesConveyor relay

    The group sits next to each other in a row. A pyramid of cans is passed from one person to the next. A pencil is passed along with the feet.

  51. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: handkerchief or package of tissuesTowel race

    The group stands in a circle. A towel with a knot is dropped to the ground behind a player.

  52. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: handkerchief or package of tissuesBehind the back

    The group sits in a tight circle. A towel is passed around behind the player's backs which a person in the middle must find.

  53. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: coinHands up

    The group sits in a tight circle. The hands are placed on a table. A coin is shoved from player to player.

  54. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: matches, bottleMatch tower

    Everyone has 30 matchsticks. The person to get rid of them first has won. If a player knocks the tower over he must take all of the matches.

  55. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: ballPinball

    Bending over with the back to the circle and with the legs spread, a ball is flipped around the circle with folded hands.

  56. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: 2 ballsWild boar hunt

    The wild boars stand in a circle and pass a ball to the left or the right. A hunter stands in the middle and tries to hit the wild boar who currently has the wild boar ball in his hand.

  57. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: cardsSlide Over Cards

    Everyone receives a playing card and are allowed to slide along or not depending on the card they have.

  58. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: blindfolds, own shoesStinky Feet

    Participants find their own shoes from a pile of shoes while blindfolded and pull them on.

  59. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: pack of tissues or rubbersHeavy shoulder weights

    Who can feel if a (fly) weight is placed on their shoulder or not?

  60. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: ball, bottleBottle guard

    A bottle must be guarded and protected from hits.

  61. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: newspaperNewspaper whacking 2

    A game with fast reaction

  62. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: matches, bottleThe match bottle tower

    A bottle is placed in the middle of the circle. Each player takes turn to place a match on the bottle.

  63. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: cards with fruitsFruit salad

    Swap places without losing your own space.

  64. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: chairsParliament bench

    The girls must try to occupy all parliament seats with girls and the boys try to do the same with boys.

  65. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: paper, pencilsSpecial agent game

    An agent must have a good memory and skilfully ask questions.

  66. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: rope, some objectsBiting Dog

    A player can only move around in a certain radius and must guard his territory.

  67. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: nothing (or some prepared terms)Drawing phrases on the back

    A shown picture is drawn on the back of the next person in the line (with the finger) who then draws it on the next person’s back.

  68. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: balloonBalloon hits

    Two teams sit across from each other. 1-3 balloons must be hit over and behind the opponents row. Standing up is not allowed.

  69. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: cards, music playerExtreme musical chairs

    A different version of the game.

  70. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: balloons, music playerMusical Chairs – A Variation

    Instead to get an empty chair, grab a balloon

  71. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneGood old chair-circle game

    My right, right seat is empty - I want to come namely as ....!

  72. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneMe, just me, just me all alone ...

    Everyone must name an object that only he alone possesses.

  73. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneWinking at each other with wrong names

    If you are winked on, run away. But the person behind you tries to stop you.

  74. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneMy dachshund Valdemar

    A musical comedy with movements.

  75. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneZipp Zapp

    Creating a game around the name of the child next to you.

  76. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneWinking game

    The winking master must be found.

  77. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneMy right, right seat is free - with a difference

    A circle game with the objective to grab an empty seat.

  78. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NonePing Pong

    Ping Pong is similar to the Black Pudding Sausage-game, and it is played in a circle.

  79. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: None, rope or chalkGet in!

    Everyone stands in a circle, holding each other's hands, trying to pull each other in the circle.

  80. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneElephant-parade

    A group game to entangle

  81. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneLaughing is forbidden

    Poor black cat: you have to try to make the others laugh.

  82. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsThe red sock

    For example, everyone is wearing red socks change seats.

  83. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Round Cutting BoardBoard in a circle

    A reaction game: catching a round cutting board before it loses its circulation

  84. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: 3 BallsThe crazy ball game

    3 balls are passed around on the right and left side

  85. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: BallCircle Football

    All kids bend over while standing in a circle trying to put the ball with their hands through the goal posts (open legs).

  86. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: ParachuteDovecote

    A motion game with a parachute.

  87. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairs,Ant-eater

    Within a circle of chairs, one child must find out who the anteater is

  88. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairs, 2 pillows/cushionsCushion Race

    In a circle of chairs, one cushion tries to catch up with another.

  89. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsHatschi-Bratschi

    Who is the Hatschi-Bratschi in the circle of chairs? If he is found out, all must change places in the circle of chairs.

  90. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsStudent-Memory

    In this game, all children need to be brought into the correct seating order.

  91. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsI am sitting in a meadow

    A circle of chairs game where everybody tries to grab an empty chair.

  92. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Deck of cards, chairsSlippery cards

    The objective is that the first player once again gets back to his original seat.

  93. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: A rope or something to mark a circle.Changing sides

    Changing sides without touching other players

  94. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsWerwolf

    As the killer game where you wink to each other here, you squint to the werewolf. The other players have to guess who might be the werewolf.

  95. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsBeehive

    One child is a beehive, which another child has to figure out who it is. A circle game.

  96. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneSchraps has lost his hat

    This is a game to concentrate and say your sentence at the right time.

  97. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: A role of toilet paper.Toilet paper spinning.

    A role of toilet paper has to be passed on or thrown to somebody else.

  98. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Several hatsJourney to Jerusalem

    Everyone must pass on his hat, as long as the music is playing. Whoever has no hat when the music stops, has to leave the game.

  99. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Broom or ballCatch the broom

    To grab a broom or ball before it hits the floor.

  100. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairs, circle game,Winking competition

    The requested player must try to escape his guard

  101. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneWho stole the cookie from the tin?

    A concentration game and clapping rhythmically and answering questions

  102. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneGroup Memory

    Which pair belongs together? Couples always make the same movements.

  103. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Bone or objectBello the dog

    All children put their hands behind their backs. One selected kid is to guess who is holding bone behind his back.

  104. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Bone or object, blindfoldBello, Bello

    The bone must be taken silently without the dog noticing.

  105. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NonePeople Memory

    Which pairs belong together? Couples always make the same movements.

  106. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Colourful wool strandsChameleon

    Colourful strands of wool are hidden within cloths, one kid has to find them

  107. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Maybe a ballAnt is looking for a chair

    One volunteer is running like an ant trying to get an empty chair.

  108. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsCross Pharmacy

    With this game, there is a trick which must be guessed.

  109. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneSlaying dragons

    Who know the objects to slay a dragon? In time kids will find it out.

  110. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneSit!

    People trying to sit on the lap of the person behind them, trying to build a circle.

  111. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsTrain ride

    A volunteer tries to get hold of a free seat.

  112. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NonePulling carrots

    A volunteer tries to break out of the circle.

  113. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NonePocket Action

    Participants must empty their pockets and explain why they carry those particular items with them.

  114. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneCircle game

    Participants must say their names and one of their hobbies, which begins with the same letter.

  115. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Chair circle, ballSitting football

    The objective is, to kick the ball between the legs of a chair, which serves as the goal.

  116. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairsI am riding on a train

    While a player is in the middle of the circle, the other players have to try to fill the gap.

  117. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Circle of chairs,Green soup

    In this game, the participants tell each other stories.

  118. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneThe adjective game

    The objective is, every kid has to name an adjective which begins with the letter of his first name

  119. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: ChairsThe Key King

    The key king has to go from one child to the other asking for his name.

  120. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Paper, pensName emblem

    All kids draw an emblem, which represents their names and hobbies, using symbols for the latter.

  121. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneSusi Sauerkraut

    One by one the participants have to say their name and think of one vegetable that starts with the same letter.

  122. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneThe ankle bracelet

    All group members stand in a group of five or more persons. Then they have to tie their ankles together and open it again without using their hands.

  123. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Bell, cord, chairTower guard

    The watchman must prevent other participants from ringing the bells on his chair.

  124. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Blindfold, scarf, chairsBlind trust

    One of the participants must complete a trust exercise blindfolded.

  125. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: Chair, blindfold, keychainSneaking up

    One player must sneak up to another party, without getting caught.

  126. timeplacecategoryPersonspreparation timeMaterial: NoneMagic Pantomime

    The game leader bewitches the participants who must be turned into animals or objects.


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