I do a lot of large group events. I’m always on the lookout for games that are fun and easy for huge crowds. When people come together in large groups, there is a lot of potential energy that can be tapped in the form of socialization, laughter, competition, and shared human experiences.
So here are some of the resources I have found to be particularly helpful in leading fun experiences for crowds of people:
This organization creates and sells (at super affordable rates) crowd games that you can run on your computer and then project on the big screen. Browse around at all they have to offer – http://crowdcontrolgames.com/
How about crowd thumb wrestling?! Invented by monochrom and officially called “massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling.” Here is that game led by a game designer on the TED stage….
You can also lead your crowd in making the sounds of a thunderstorm. This video shows a choir on stage doing it. But you can just as easily lead an audience of any size in the same exercise:
I have also compiled a blog post category of group games over the years on this blog. There are over twenty entries and growing, so read through all these great crowd game ideas such as “Heads or Tails” and “Bring Me This.” Click here.
I got this idea from a friend of mine at Camp Orchard Hill, Derek Hodne. I did some searching online and discovered that many other people have taken this game and packaged it into various retail forms, such as Watch Ya Mouth, Speak Out, and Mouthguard Challenge.
The game is simple, and you can do it yourself with a small or large group setting with a little creativity. The supplies needed are the plastic mouth spacers (cheek retractors) that dentists use to hold back lips and cheeks while they work on patients. You can grab a dozen of them on amazon.com for about $12 ($1 per spacer).
You give a player the spacer and they put it in their mouth. Then you give them a phrase to try to say and the other players have to decipher the phrase. The spacer makes it near impossible to pronounce words with sounds like “M”, “B”, “P” or other phonetics that bring the lips together. So phrases like, “Mommy buys peanuts at the market” can be both difficult and entertaining at the same time.
When my friend Derek administered the game, it was at a gathering of hundreds of high school students. He called up about eight players onto the stage and split them into two teams of four each. Each team had one player with the cheek retractor and the other three were the phrase guessers. It was fun for the rest of the crowd to watch as Derek held the microphone up to the teams while they played.
Try it with your group (large or small) and have fun!
Here’s another great group game that requires ZERO set-up or materials. It’s called The Line Up Game.
There are many variations to the game. This can work with any group with three or more people. You can split the group into smaller groups to compete against one another.
The goal/point of the game is for the kids to form a straight line in the order of whatever command you give them. You can time them or have smaller groups race against one another.
Here are some categories of order you can challenge them to (all of them can be reversed, of course):
- Shortest to tallest.
- Darkest hair to lightest hair.
- Oldest to youngest.
- Earliest birthday to latest birthday in the year (January through December).
- Alphabetical order of first name.
- Alphabetical order of last name.
- Day of the month of their birthday (1st through 31st).
- Darkest eyes to lightest eyes.
- Smallest shoe to largest shoe.
- Total number of siblings (most to least).
BONUS: Try any of those “line up” challenges in “silent mode” (where the kids cannot make any noise – they must use hand motions, sign language, and whatever other methods they can to get in order).
Do you have any good “line up” game ideas?
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What do you do when you have a room full of children causing havoc (or could potentially do so) and need to engage them in a way that is both fun and simple to execute? Well, education is a good idea. But perhaps you’ve taught and they’ve learned all day and it’s time to kick back and play a good old-fashioned group game.
Play the “Bring Me” Game!
The Bring Me Game concept is simple and the variations are endless. You, the game leader, should stand up front with a microphone (or not if your group is small enough) and ask for random objects/items. I’ve got a list to get you going below.
The first person or group or team to produce the requested item and bring it to you gets a point for their team. WARNING: Kids tend to RUN a lot in this game. So make sure you remind them to not trample one another or trip over anything in their effort to bring the items up to you. You can decide how long to play (such as “first team to ten points wins”).
One major thing to keep in mind when playing the game and coming up with ideas is the fact that nearly everyone has a device these days (even youth). If you’re at an event where most everyone has a device on them or at least some representatives of each team (such as adults in mostly-kid events) have devices, then make the most of technology in your requests. The internet is an endless supply of “scavenger-hunt” challenges. Just ask for a picture of BB-8 from Star Wars or a map of the country of Malaysia or any other fun idea they can search for.
The types of things you call up will vary depending on the size and the average age of your group. For example, not many kids will have a credit card on them if you ask for one. So be creative with ideas that fit what you think is out there in everyone’s pockets, purses, and accessories.
Here is a list of ideas to get you going. You can come up with your own ideas by thinking of other things similar to or related to items on this list.
- two different shoelaces tied together
- five different socks bundled up in a ball
- a selfie on a device
- a photograph of exactly ten people on a device
- something edible
- something that has a picture of a rainbow on it
- a double-A battery and a triple-A battery
- something that is completely blue
- two people wearing glasses doing jumping jacks next to one another
- two unrelated people with red hair
- a human hair
- a non-human living thing (this will usually be a bug or insect found on the floor)
- nail clippers
- six people forming a human pyramid
- a red pen or marker
- something with a disney symbol or character on it
- two unrelated people with braces
- a nail file
- a one dollar bill, a five dollar bill, and a ten dollar bill (exactly)
- a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter (exactly)
- a liquid
- something that feels cold
- something that feels warm
- something that lights up (that is not a phone or tablet device)
- ten people in a line that goes from tallest person to shortest person
- a pencil
- a tissue
- a crumpled up piece of paper
- something silver
- something gold
- a person wearing two different kinds of shoes
- a rock
- a visible piece of dust/dustball
- something sharp (and if it is a dangerous/forbidden object, you can confiscate it 🙂
- something conical
- something circular
- something in the shape of a cube
- a ball of some sort
- something chewable
- five breath mints
- three different kinds of breath mints
- a picture on a device of the White House in Washington D.C.
- a picture on a device of a mother and a son
- someone who can say the alphabet backwards (for real, not someone saying, “alphabet backwards”)
- pocket fuzz/lint
- a device playing the United States’ National Anthem
- a device playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
- a paper towel
- a circle of exactly twelve people holding hands
I posted about this back in 2012 with more ideas you can use as well!
Please share your lists and ideas in the comments below and we can have a trove of items for people to say “Bring me……!”