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Elephant, Palm Tree, Toaster, Puking Kangaroo, Mixer & Co.

The name is the game

These are lots of names for a game which always provides amusement, for which new versions and new ideas always come about. Obviously not all definitions are suitable for all groups, but one or the other definition can always be left out. Whether the game should be played and represented as described below is your own choice.

The attraction of the game lies in the quick reaction used to represent the pictures using pantomime and sound effects. The group will of course, not be able to represent all of the figures on the first attempt. However if the game, which does not require any materials, is played again and again as a time filler, new figures can always be added to the game and used together with the figures which are already known.

Game rules

The instructions of this game are simple. The members of the group sit in a circle. The game leader chooses one of the group members and the figure he/she must perform. The neighbouring members of the group sitting to the right and to the left of the chosen player automatically become the fellow players. The game leader may also simply call out three names of players who must represent the chosen figure.

The difficulty level is increased according to the speed at which the figures are called out. For small children, only a few simple figures should be chosen, which have already be shown in detail. Teenagers can start to play the game with just a verbal description of the figure.

126 Game figures

  1. Eagle

    The person in the middle makes a beak with his finger. The players to the left and right flap their arms up and down to represent an eagle in flight.

  2. Monkey (King ape)

    A representation of 3 monkeys, combined in one monkey: See no evil (the player to the right covers the eyes of the middle player) hear no evil - (the player to the left covers the ears of the middle player) speak no evil - (the player in the middle covers his own mouth).

  3. Monkeys (eat and delouse)

    The player in the middle eats a banana, the players to the left and right scratch themselves.

  4. Monkeys (monkeying around)

    The player in the middle scratches his head, the players to the left and right hunt for lice under his armpits.

  5. Monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil)

    A representation of 3 monkeys: see no evil (right-hand player) hear no evil (middle player) speak no evil (left-hand player).

  6. Nuclear power station: nuclear waste

    All 3 players simply radiate all over their faces.

  7. Lift

    The middle player stands in front of the other two players. The two players step to different sides (lift opens), the middle player steps behind the other two (enters the lift). The lift closes when the two players step towards each other again. The middle player presses a button. The two other players bend quickly at the knees (the lift is going up).

  8. The car wash

    The player in the middle stretches his arms over the other two players. The left and right-hand players rotate themselves like the rollers in a car wash.
    An idea sent by Tobi.

  9. Babysitter (2 children)

    The player in the centre is the babysitter and holds the hands of the other two players who suck theirs thumbs and cry hysterically.

  1. Babysitter (3 children)

    The player in the centre is the babysitter and rocks a baby in his arms. The players to the left and right suck their thumbs and scream hysterically.

  2. Band

    The player in the centre rocks his head backwards and forwards, up and down so that his hair flaps around. The players to the left and right play the guitar.

  3. Big Mac

    One player lies underneath, one in the middle and one player lies on top.

  4. Cheerleader

    The player in the middle jumps up in the air, pulls their legs up to their chest, throws their arms up and shouts "Yeah, yeah, yeah!". The players to the left and right stand next to the middle player and make pompom movements (the fluffy balls) to the left, right and up high and shout "uh, uh, uh"
    An idea sent by Lisa.

  5. Disco

    The player in the middle dances. The left and right players sing a song and simulate strobe lighting with their hands.
    An idea sent by Kathrin.

  6. Squirrel

    The player in the middle nibbles at an imaginary treat in his hands (pine cone, hazelnut). The player to the left makes a circle with his index finger and thumb around the eye of the squirrel. The right-hand player does the same to represent a pair of glasses.
    An idea sent by Bettina R.

  7. Eggs (Soft-boiled egg in an egg cup)

    The two players on the outside hold each others hands and the player in the centre sits inside.

  8. Eggs (slippery yolk)

    The two players on the outside hold their hands above the head of the middle player, who then slips through their hands.

  9. Moose

    The two players on the outside each place a bent arm on the shoulders of the middle player to represent antlers. The player in the middle bellows like a moose.

  10. Elephant

    The player in the middle uses both arms to make an elephant’s trunk (index finger and thumb held onto the nose and the other arm pushed through the loop) and makes the trumpeting noise of an elephant. The other two players represent the flapping ears (using their hands or arms in front of the middle player’s ears).

  11. Duck

    The player in the middle makes a duck’s beak in front of their mouth and quacks like a duck. All three players bent down lightly and wag their bottoms together.

  12. Donkey

    As donkeys are known to be stubborn, the 3 players do not move at all.

  13. Exhibitionist

    The player in the middle is the flasher, who pretends to pull his coat open. The two other players look at him, let out a surprised "oooohh!" and then turn away.

  14. Bicycle

    The players to the left and right use their hands to make circling movements (represents the pedals), the player in the middle looks to the left and right with a raised head and make a bell noise “ding, ding....”.

  15. Fireman (putting the fire out)

    The middle player makes a hose with his arms. The two players to the left and right take turns to pump water to put the fire out (they are standing beside a water pump).

  16. Fish

    The player in the middle opens and closes his mouth. The players to the left and right stand with their backs to the player in the middle and move their arms like fins.
    An idea sent by Geli.

  17. Flamingo

    The person in the middle uses his left hand to make a beak and his right hand to make a tail on his bottom. The player on the left flaps his hands like a flapping wing and lifts his left leg up. The right hand player does the same but lifts his right leg up.
    An idea sent by Tanja

  18. Airplane

    The player in the middle holds the steering controls, the two other players make engine noises and both players stretch out one arm to represent the wings of the plane. The curving flight movements of the plane are represented by lowering the arm on one side and lifting the arm on the opposite side (can you also manage a somersault?)

  19. Photo session

    The middle player positions himself into various model poses, the other two players continually snap photos.

  20. Vulture – nose dive

    The player in the middle makes a pair of glasses around the eyes with his fingers, bends the body forwards and calls out "Mayday-Mayday-Mayday...". The left and right-hand players stretch out the inner leg backwards, stretch the outer arm to the side (=wings) flap the arm and make "nose dive noises".
    An idea sent by Christina

  21. Hare (European hare)

    The player in the middle makes two paws with their hands, the other two players each make an ear with their arm or hand (cupped) on the head of the middle player.

  22. Ruler

    The ruler (middle player) greets his subjects and waves majestically. The left and right-hand players throw themselves down at his feet and kiss his shoes.

  23. Witch

    The two players on the outside make a cauldron with their arms, the middle player is the witch and stirs the contents of the cauldron while muttering some magic spells.

  24. Mountain Hen (bird with one leg shorter than the other)

    The right-hand player stands upright (upper slope), the middle player (mountain hen) bends lightly at the knee and stands on one leg (he should be wobbly and flap his hands), the left-hand player kneels down on the ground (lower slope).

  25. Hen (Laying hen)

    The player in the middle bends down and pretends to lay an egg. The players to the left and rights catch the eggs and lay them in a basket.

  26. Red Indian (on the totem pole)

    The middle player stands stiffly with his arms stretched behind him around an imaginary totem pole. The other two players run around the totem pole making war cries.

  27. James Bond 007

    The player in the middle is James Bond, who performs the well-known cool and casual gun pose of James Bond (hands made into a pistol). The two players to the left and right are the bond girls who look at James Bond adoringly and say "oooohhh Jaaames".

  28. Camel

    The player to the right stands upright with his back to the others and bends forward slightly. The middle and left-hand players stand behind and bend over with their bottoms in the air representing two humps.

  29. Kamikaze pilot

    The players to the left and right use their hands to make a pair of glasses around the eyes of the middle player. The middle player stretches his arms out to the sides representing the wings and makes plane noises which become louder and louder until impact.

  30. Kangaroo (puking kangaroo)

    The player in the middle makes a circle with his arms (a pouch), the players to the left and right pretend to throw up into the pouch and make the necessary sound effects.

  31. Kangaroo (on the move)

    The middle player makes a pouch by circling the other two players with his arms. The two players look out of the pouch. All three players hop along saying together saying "boing - boing -…".

  32. Cat

    The middle player says "meow, meow" and bounces lightly backwards and forwards. The players to the left and right rub theirs heads on the “cat” (on the shoulders) and purr.

  33. Cleopatra

    The player in the centre sits in a typical snooty „Cleopatra pose“ with their nose in the air. The players to the left and right wave their hands up and down representing Cleopatra being fanned with palm leaves.
    An idea sent by MiHa.

  34. Toilet

    The two outside players hold each others hands facing each other and the middle player sits on their arms steadying himself by holding the shoulders of the other two players. The middle player pushes hard as if he is pooing and the other two players make the necessary farting noises.

  35. Coconut

    The middle player stands up straight and stretches his arms up to represent a palm tree. The players to the left and right make coconuts with their hands under the armpits of the middle player.

  36. Condom or rubber

    The right and left-hand players pretend to pull to condom over the body of the middle player, who stands up straight.

  37. Crocodile

    The player in the middle uses his arms to represent the opening and closing mouth of the crocodile. The two other players kneel down representing the feet and tail of the crocodile.
    An idea sent by Jana S.

  38. Cuckoo clock 1

    The players on the left and right spin around on the spot, the player in the middle takes a step forward any says „Cuckoo“.

  39. Milk the cow

    The player in the middle (the cow) places both feet and hands on the floor with his bottom in the air. The other two players (the milk maids) sit to the left and right and pretend to milk the cow.

  40. Microwave

    The three players stand next to each other and stare forwards without moving. After 5 seconds, all 3 players stretch the palms of their hands forward and say „ping“.

  41. Milkshake

    The player in the middle is the milkshake and should be shook backwards and forwards by the other two players. The players to the left and right hold each others hands and „push“ or „shake“ the player in the centre backwards and forwards or in a circle.
    An idea sent by Julia Z.

  42. Mixer

    The player in the middle is the mixer. Both hands are stretched out with the fingers pointing downwards. The other two players position themselves under the hands of the middle player and spin around.

  43. Seagull

    The player in the middle makes a seagull beak with both hands and screeches out eek, eek. The players on the left and right each represent a seagull’s wing with their arm.

  44. Rhinoceros

    The player in the middle bends down. The other two players on the left and right bend over the middle player and use both hands made into fists to represent the rhino’s horn on the head of the player in the middle.
    An idea sent by Monika L.

  45. Granny

    The player in the middle pretends to have a crooked back (like an old woman). The left and right-hand players pretend to have a walking stick in the left/right hand.

  46. Palm

    All 3 players stand behind each other with their arms stretched out above or to the side, so that 6 palm leaves are represented. The palm tree moves it leaves lightly in the wind.

  47. Vicar

    The two outer players kneel before the middle player. The middle player holds his hands above their heads and blesses them while reciting a passage of the bible.

  48. Seal

    The player in the middle claps his hands in front of his chest and makes the typical noise of a seal. The right and left-hand players bend down and claps their hands towards their feet.
    An idea sent by Britta

  49. Rowing – the rower

    The player in the middle stands to the front and paddles to the right like a rower. The second player stands behind the first player and paddles to the left. The third player stands behind the second player and paddles to the right.

  50. School (chemistry class)

    The players to the left and right pretend to throw a liquid over the middle player who is kneeling down. The middle player pretends to explode (jumps up quickly) then lies on the floor.

  51. School (classroom)

    The middle player writes something down. The other two players copy the work from his exercise book.

  52. School (music class)

    The middle player conducts, the left and right-hand players sing.

  53. School (lecture)

    The middle player explains a subject with enthusiasm while the two other players snooze.

  54. Superstar

    The middle player stands there like a star, the players to the left and right kneel down at the star’s feet and squeal.

  55. Sofa or chair

    The middle player sits on the arms of the other two players. The right and left-hand players link their arms so that the middle player can sit on their arms. The arms should be moved to suit the position required. A lying position for the sofa and a more upright position for the chair.
    An idea sent by Stephan H. and Isa R.-H.

  56. Race start

    The right-hand player stretches his arms out horizontally to the sides and says „on your marks...“. The middle player moves his arms from the horizontal position to 45° and says „get set...“. The left-hand player stretches his arms above his head and says „go!“.

  57. Statue

    The player in the middle poses as a statue. The players to the left and right kneel down and take photos.
    An idea sent by Lin.

  58. Stewardess

    The player in the middle makes a safety announcement into a radio speaker. The players to the left and right show the emergency exits.

  59. Ram

    The player in the middle scrapes the ground with his foot and bends lightly forward. The players to the left and right each represent a horn with their index fingers (on the head of the middle player).
    An idea sent by Geli.

  60. Skunk

    The player in the middle pushes his bottom out. The players to the left and right hold their noses, point at the skunk and say „phewww..."!
    An idea sent by Britta

  61. Tarzan and Jane with a monkey

    The right-hand player is the monkey, makes a monkey pose and keeps making an "ugah ugah" noise. Tarzan stands in the middle and shouts out the Tarzan call, Jane stands to the left and stares at Tarzan adoringly.

  62. Taxi

    The player in the middle waves. At the same time, the player on the right makes car noises and the player on the left makes a breaking noise when he sees the middle player waving.

  63. Telephone box

    The 2 outer players use their bodies and hands to form a telephone box around the middle player. The middle player simulates a telephone receiver in one hand and dials with the other hand.

  64. Ice box

    The players to the left and right make a square shape with their bodies and arms which represents the ice box. The middle player stands inside the box and shivers with the cold.

  65. Titanic

    The players to the left and right face each other and hold hands. They make a triangle with their arms on one side which represents the front of a ship. The middle player falls into the „front of the ship“ with stretched out arms and shouts dramatically: "I can fly, Jack - I can fly!!!"

  66. Toaster

    The two outer players face each other holding hands. The middle player bends down between them, says „ping“ and jumps up quickly out of the toaster.

  67. Washing machine

    The two outer players make a circle with their arms (the door of the washing machine). The middle player bends forward and spins his head around wildly inside.

  68. Alarm clock

    The player in the middle holds his arms to the sides and above the heads of the left and right-hand players. He taps the heads of the other players in turn. The players on the left and right shake themselves (vibrate) and make ringing noises (ring ring - ring ring).

  69. Nuclear power station: Fast breeder reactor

    The middle player sits on the ground and broods, the players to the left and right run around him very quickly.

  70. Michael Ballack

    The player in the middle shoots a goal. The left and right-hand players cheer.

  71. Tree trunk

    The player in the middle takes the press-up position (=tree trunk). The right and left-hand player saw an imaginary saw back and forwards in unison.

  72. Diddl

    The middle person is Mimihopps, the left person is Diddlina and the right person is Pimboli

  73. Doner kebab

    The player in the middle is the kebab and spins around. The left-hand player is the kebab holder and points his finger on top of the kebab’s head. The right-hand player slices off strips of kebab meat.

  74. Druids

    The tow outer players make a cauldron with their arms. The middle player is the druid and stirs the contents of the pot around.

  75. Shower

    The player in the middle washes himself as if he is under the shower. The right and left-hand players place their hands over his head and represent the shower head and water drops.

  76. Television

    The two players to the left and right hold hands and represent the television. The person in the middle looks through the other player’s arms and says something like “and now for the weather outlook”.

  77. Grilled chicken

    The middle player turns around in a circle. The other two player turns the spit.

  78. Mainsail

    The player in the middle is the sail who kneels and stretches up slowly. The left and right-hand players pull on an imaginary rope and therefore lift up the mainsail.

  79. Jelly teddy bears

    The middle player folds his arms over his chest and smiles a wide smile. The left and right-hand players make out as if they are licking a giant candy teddy bear. An entry from an unknown source.

  80. Hare (The tortoise and the hare)

    The middle player runs from left to right and back again. The right or left player keeps shouting “I’m already there!” each time.

  81. Witches house

    The middle player crooks his index finger. The players to the left and right make a house over the witch with their arms.

  82. Lumberjacks

    The player in the middle lies on the ground, the other two “saw” him with an imaginary large saw.

  83. Red Indians (War dance)

    All three make war cries and dance around in a circle like Red Indians.

  84. Michael Jordan

    The middle player is the basket ball and hops up and down! The left player is Michael Jordan and dribbles the ball. The right player is the basket and makes a circle with his arms!

  85. Cactus

    The person in the middle stands up straight and holds his arms out to the sides. The left and right-hand players poke the cactus in different parts of his body with their index fingers and say “ouch, ouch!”

  86. Cassette player

    The player in the middle sings a song, the players to the left and right spin around on the spot (this represents the rollers in the cassette).

  87. Woodlouse

    The player in the middle lies down flat on the ground. The left and right hand player each lift a leg over the middle player and pretend to be stepping on the woodlouse.

  88. Small child

    The player in the middle lies on their back and sucks their thumb. The left and right-hand players each bend down over the child and say: "coochy coo".

  89. Vacuum cleaner with beating action

    The player in the middle makes a hose in front of their mouth with their hands, bends over a sucks. The two outer players both knock on their thighs.

  90. Cook

    The two players on the outsides make a large pot with arms. The middle player is the cook and stirs around in the pot.

  91. Nurse

    The centre player is the patient and falls over backwards. The left and right-hand players are the nurses/carers and catch the patient.

  92. Crocodile eyes

    The centre player makes a crocodile snout in front of his face with his arms. The two other players make fists to represent the left and right eyes of the crocodile.

  93. Lip balm

    The two outside players give the person in the middle a kiss and say “let me be your lip balm!"

  94. Farmer

    The middle person (=farmer) mucks out the sty. The left and right-hand players crawl on the floor (=pigs) and make the necessary grunting noises.

  95. Camp shower

    The player in the middle shampoos his hair while singing. One of the other players places his hand over the middle player’s head like a shower and the third player turns the tap on and off with both hands.

  96. Lamppost toilet

    The player in the centre is the lamppost and stands up straight. The other two players go down on all fours, lift up a leg and pretend to wee.

  97. Lighthouse

    The centre player stands up straight and stretches one arm up in the air. The hand is turned around like the light in a lighthouse. The left and right-hand player flap their arms around like seagulls and make the typical seagull squawking noises.

  98. Manta driver

    The middle player pretends to be steering a car. The player to the left bends their arm and lifts it up to shoulder height (as if their arm is placed on the edge when the car window is down). The player on the right turns his face to the middle player and stretches his arms out to both sides (window).

  99. Anteater

    The middle player holds both fists in front of his nose. The left and right players extend the anteaters nose with their fists.

  100. Niki Lauda

    The middle players drives like a racking driver, the left player waves, the right-hand player changes gear ( or presents the clutch).

  101. Obelix

    The middle player (Obelix) hunts the wild boar. The left-hand player (the wild boar) runs away from Obelix. The right-hand player (Idefix) runs along behind Obelix.

  102. Peeing ants

    The middle player takes the press-up position making a gate with his hands. The players to the left and right also take the press-up position and lift up their left/right leg.

  103. Record player

    The person in the middle is the spindle on the record. The left player is the record which spins around and the right player symbolises an old-fashioned gramophone with his arms.

  104. Police car

    The middle player says "blues and twos, blues and twos", lifts his arms up and circles his hands. The left and right-hand players swap places and say “nee naw, nee naw”. An entry from an unknown person. The idea is similar to the fire engine.

  105. Sandwich

    The middle player stands up straight. The left and right players hug the middle player.

  106. Butterfly

    The middle player stands up straight, the arms are pressed down at the sides. The left and right-hand player make the wings by flapping their left/right hands.

  107. Snow white

    The middle person plays snow white by standing up straight. The left-hand player is the prince, kneels in front of snow white and takes her right hand in his hand, 7 players stand to the right to snow white and kneel down and make themselves as small as possible to represent the dwarves.

  108. Sean Paul

    The middle person makes out as if he is singing (or really sings). The left and right players dance to the music.

  109. Rope skipping

    The two outer players swing an imaginary rope and both say “jump, jump, jump”. The middle player stands in the middle and jumps up each time they say “jump”.

  110. Surfer

    The middle person pretends to be standing on a surfboard – bends down slightly at the knee, stretching arms out to the front and back (don’t forget to look cool!) The two other players make wave movements with their arms.

  111. Toaster (broken)

    The 2 outer players hold hands. The middle sits between them in the hocked position says "ping" and jumps up out of the toaster. This happens a few times.

  112. Trio classico

    The middle player pretends to be singing an aria. The left player plays a imaginary violin. The right player plays an imaginary flute.

  113. Whale

    The person in the middle stand up stretched, tilts back his head and blows quickly into the air like from the whale’s blowhole. The two outer players bend over backwards and clap their hands like flippers in the air.

  114. Racoon

    The middle person rubs his hands together. The left (and the right) player use their fingers to represent a pair of glasses in front of the racoon’s eyes. An entry from Anna O.

  115. Father Christmas

    The middle player holds his belly and shouts out "Ho ho ho ho". The right and left-hand players pretend to by angels by making wings with their arms.

  116. Viking

    The players to the left and right row like mad and the middle person make horns on his head with his hands.

  117. Wild pig roast

    The left and right-hand players hold hands and take the middle player into the middle. This player is the wild pig on the spit which keeps spinning around while holding hands with the others.

  118. “Bratwurschtweckla”- “Sausage sandwich”

    The middle person lies like a sausage on the hands of the people on their left and right. The ‘sausage’ has to lie only on the hands – making no contact with the floor : i.e. feet up! The people on either side should hold their hands firmly.
    (From Daniela)

  119. Stork in the salad

    The person in the middle is the stork and should stand on one leg, using the arms to mimic a beak that opens and closes. The person on the right and left crouch down and mimic being the lettuce.


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youthwork-practice.com - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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