Circle Games Kids Play


SEVEN UP-One of my FAVORITE inside recess circle games!

Seven-up (7Up) is a popular elementary school game that has the benefit of getting kids to be quiet. In the game, seven students are chosen to be “It”, and so they stand at the front of the classroom. When the lights are out, the remaining students are instructed to close their eyes, put their heads down and make a fist with one hand, except for an upwards-pointing thumb.

The seven standing students roam around the room, each touching one person’s thumb. The person that was touched then puts his or her thumb down, so that he or she isn’t picked twice.

When the seven students are done choosing, they return to the front of the room (”Heads up, seven up!”) and the lights go back on. All students open their eyes and raise their heads. The seven students whose thumbs had been touched stand up and take turns trying to guess who their toucher was.

If they guess correctly, they replace the toucher at the front of the room. If a toucher managed to not get picked by the student he touched, the toucher stayed in the game for another round.

This game is especially well-suited for kids.


Played inside a classroom ...everyone puts their heads down on their desks and extends one thumb. The teacher chooses one person as "It." He/she goes around touching the thumbs of six people. If your thumb is touched, you go to the front of the room. When this has been accomplished, "It" yells, "Seven up!" Everyone raises their heads and has to guess which of the seven people is "It."

Here are some more circle games for kids:


Careful not to skip a beat!

Players sit in a circle.

The first person says, "One Frog."

The next person says, "In the water."

And the next person says, "Kerplunk."

Now, increase everything by one.

So, the next person in the circle says, "Two Frogs."

And the next person says, "Two Frogs."

The person after that says, "In the water."

And the next person says, "In the water."

The person after that says, "Kerplunk."

And the next person says, "Kerplunk."

Keep going around increasing everything by one.

But there's one catch -- all players have to slap their knees and clap, keeping the rhythm while the game goes around the circle.

If a player is off the beat, hesitates, or says the wrong thing, she's out. The game continues until there is only one person left.


Telephone is one of the circle games that requires listening skills as the players pass along a message around the circle to see if they can do it without changing the original message.

As it requires a larger number of children it makes for a great Party Game. It is also known by other names like Gossip, Grapevine or Telegraph.

The starter whispers a message to the person on their left, who then whispers the same message to the person on their left and so on until the message has traveled the whole circle.

The players can only whisper the message once so each player must listen closely and pay attention.

When the message makes it back to the start the last person speaks the message they received out loud and the starter tells everyone what the original message they sent was.

The person to the starters left then becomes the new starter for the next round.

The kids will find it hilarious how the message changed going around the circle.

Variations to Try:

Double Trouble: Instead of just one message going around the circle, why not try two? Send each message in opposite directions and see how easily the lines of communication get crossed.

Tongue Twisters:

Another silly way to play is using tongue twisters. It is always a challenge to get these accurately around the circle.

And even more circle games:

THE CUP GAME-as played on "ZOOM"

This game is for 3 or more players. (The more, the better.)

This is a game of accuracy. If you make the wrong move, you're out. The last person playing is the winner.

First take your cup and turn it upside down.

Clap twice and tap the cup 3 times on the top.

Now clap again and pick up your cup and move it to the right.

You clap, pick up the cup upside down, so when you pick it up, it's upright.

Tap the top of it with your left hand, put it down.

Pick it up with your left hand, put your right hand down, and cross your left arm over your right to put the cup back on the table.

So the whole thing is:

Clap, clap, tap, tap, tap.

Clap, move, right.

Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.

One more time just to see if you've got it:

Clap clap tap tap tap,

Clap... move... right.

Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.

GOT IT?!?!?!


All the kids sit in a circle, start the game by saying "I went to the shops and I bought a banana."

The next child has to add to the list - "I went to the shops and I bought a banana and some bread.".

And so the game continues.


Don't be caught napping when the clapping starts!

This one of several great clapping circle games.

Players sit in a circle and put both hands out in front of them with palms facing up.

Overlap hands so your right hand is above the left hand of the person sitting on your right. (Get it?!)

One person starts by reaching over with their right hand and clapping the right hand of the person sitting on their left.

The clap is passed around the circle while the group says this rhyme:

I woke up Saturday morning

I looked up on the wall

I saw a team of roaches

playing basketball.

The score was ten to nothing

the roaches in the lead

I got a can of bug spray, one, two three!

If a player's hand is clapped on "three," that player is out.

If the player pulls her hand away in time, and the person claps their own hand, then that person is out. When there are only two people left in the game, the hand positions change. Player 1 holds both hands out, palms facing up. Player 2 slaps Player 1's hands with both of his hands, palms facing down. Now, Player 2 holds his hands out, and Player 1 slaps his hands.

Play continues until there is only one person left!

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