A hit among everyone who’s ever played it, all ages. The trick though is explaining it so that its not confusing:)

This is best played in groups of 10 or more and by more I mean I’ve played in groups of 60. It’s crazy but still fun!! And once students get the hang of it, they can play all night.

Everyone sits in a circle and there is one less chair than there are people. The person without a chair will be “it”.

Everyone picks a “sign.” The sign must be noiseless, and something that everyone can do. It can be sticking out your tongue, thumbs up, picking your nose, the hair-flip, rubbing your elbow, pulling your ear, etc. (If you’re in an area where it would matter, you might specify no gang signs.)

As you go around the room, have each person share their sign and tell students that they will want to remember as many people’s signs as possible. After everyone has shown their sign, I usually go around the circle again quickly as a reminder.

Then explain: The “sign” is an imaginary ball, if you will, that you are sending around the circle without letting the person who is “it” catch it (monkey-in-the-middle). To send, or throw, the “sign,” one must do their sign and then the sign of the person to whom they want to send it.

For example, Sally’s sign is the peace sign. She wants to send it to Billy whose sign is scratching his knee. So if Sally has the “sign,” she will do the peace sign and the scratch her knee- thus sending the “sign” to Billy.

So the game looks like this:
John is “it” and Mike is going to start the game by sending the first “sign.” John stands in front of Mike (in the middle of the circle) with his back toward him and looks up at the ceiling.

Mike does his sign (wiping his forehead) and then Jessica’s sign (wiggling his fingers). Mike says, “The sign is sent.” John is free to look around and the game begins. Jessica will do her sign and then another’s and the sign will be sent to someone else. That person will do their sign and send to another. This is all done stealthily and the person who has it can take as long as they want to send it.

All the while John is trying to figure out who has the “sign”, once he finds who has it, he will try and tag that person before they can send it again. If they do send it, John tries to tag the next person before they send it and that’s when it gets intense because now John is running around the circle and people start to freak out, blank out, etc. and eventually someone is tagged. When that happens the game starts over with the new “it”.

2 Rules to Remember:

  • You cannot send the sign to the person who is “it” or else you are it.
  • You cannot send the sign back to the person who sent it to you, or else you are it.

You or your students might be confused at first, but believe me after they’ve played it for one or two rounds, they’ll love it!!

Share This Idea!