A relaxed icebreaker no prep game for junior youth

How To Play Animals

The Group sits on chairs around in a circle with the odd man out standing in the middle trying to catch someone out to swap for a seat in the circle.

You need to explain the actions for the animals you will use in your game before the game starts. These need to be performed by three people sitting together in the circle - the middle seated person and their two neighbours.

The person standing in the centre of the circle will point to a person and name one of the animals then (slowly) begin to count to FIVE (5) out loud.

The seated person being pointed to must perform the action associated with the chosen animal, whilst their two neighbours, one on either side, perform the animal's complimentary actions.

The whole animal charade must be performed to the satisfaction of the group within the centre person's count of five.

Failure of any one of the actions causes the person who miffed their required action to swap places with the centre person and catch out another seated person in the circle.

The actions my groups have used are:

Elephant - middle person hold nose with one hand and threads other arm through the hole this forms and waves the "TRUNK". The neighbour on the right places their right hand on their own head and flaps the elephants right elbow "EAR" while the left neighbour performs the left elbow "EAR" waving with their left hand on the head.

Rabbit - middle person forms two paws in front of them cleaning their imaginary "whiskers" occasionally while the neighbour will put their nearest arm straight up in the air as the rabbit's respective left and right "EAR". The unused arm can grasp the upright arms elbow over the head.

Monkey - middle person makes the "ook ook ook" noises while the neighbours scratch their outside armpits.

Make up as many animal actions as you can imagine.

The more options the tricker it is to remember what u have to do when the centre person is pointing to you or one of your neighbours. Because ALL three of you have to be alert and know what action you are requested to perform.

A good trick is once an animal action is successfully performed. The next person you pick is the neighbour of the first person you picked and they have to immediately rearrange their animal actions accordingly. Middle or outer actions.

Added by
on 20 October 2008


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We played this game at Sign Language Class. It was elephant, pig and rabbit, I think. First time I played I stayed in long but the next time, I got thrown out quickly. It was good!

Posted by Jen 13 years ago

We have done this but call out "elephant, kangaroo, and mosquito". Same actions for elephant. For kangaroo, the middle person hops up and down and the two outside people bring their arms around and clasp hands to make the pouch. For mosquito, the middle person places their clasped hands out in front of them, shoulder high, like a stinger. The outside people place their hands side by side on the shoulder of the middle person and wave them like wings. The right side person, on the right shoulder, and the left side person on the left shoulder.

Posted by Val 14 years ago

We tried this, and the kids didn't like it at first, but after a while they warmed up to it. I always take pictures, and they loved seeing themselves, with the caption of the animal they made.

Posted by Lois in Honduras 14 years ago
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