New Games for Staying In, Week 1

New Games you can play in lockdown

While most of us are in lockdown, there are still quite a few New Games we can play, with a little adjusting. We start off with some games for as few as 2 people, though in most cases there can be more.

After you’ve tried these games, vote for your favorites at the bottom of this page, then we can have a best-of and pick a winner!

Partner Tag

(2-50+ players, high activity)

Original explanation: Players are paired up randomly. The boundaries are not that large and vary with the number of participants. This is a tag game between the 2 people in each pair. When a player tags his/her partner, the one tagged must count slowly and out loud to five. Players walk and are very careful to avoid collisions. If they DO collide, they must both shake hands with the person who they bumped into and say “I’m very sorry, this will never happen again.”

With just 2 people: You can play Partner Tag with just two or more people (but in a group as small as that, it helps to place many chairs or other obstacles in the way so that it creates a challenge for the one who is *it* to catch the other person).

This can be played indoors, though a bit more space and outdoors might be better. Of course if there are more players, it is even more fun. Even outdoors, keep the playing area fairly small.

This is on my Best New Games download/DVD, click to purchase.

Kevin’s Name Game

(2 – 30 players, low activity)

A person creates a sentence in which the letters of the person’s first name are the first letter of a word in a phrase. For instance, Kevin could say “Ketchup Ensures Vitally Increased Nutrition.” People then can greet Kevin and offer other variations which spell Kevin’s name, eg, “Kitchens Enable Very Interesting Nerds.” See how many variations you can come up with. Others can take a turn. As for the name of the game, guess who taught it to me?

Human Spring

(2 – 50+ players, moderately active)

Each player picks a partner, about the same height and weight. (It’s OK to do with players of different sizes, but then the lighter player must fall further than the heavier player to keep a balance.) Partners stand facing each other an arm’s length apart with their feet together. Partners hold up their hands extended in front of them, fall together to catch each other by the hands, and then push each other back up so as each will not lose her or his balance. When done, try stepping a little step back and trying it again. Keep moving back until partners reach their limit. No need to go too far and fall on your face. When you feel uncomfortable, stop.

This is on my Best Cooperative Games download/DVD, click to purchase.

Why? Because

(2 – 35 players, low activity)

Everyone needs a sheet of paper and pencil. Tear paper in 2 pieces. On one, write a question you would like answered that begins with “Why”. It does not have to be sensible, but can be silly. On the other piece of paper, write an “answer” to your question. It can be completely unrelated to your question. Collect all the questions and answers, keeping them separate. Mix up the questions and pass them out. Do the same for answers. If someone gets actual answer to the question, have her exchange. Then have each person in turn read their question and answer out loud.

For 2 people: Just exchange answers and read out loud the questions with the new answers.

This is on my Best Cooperative Games download/DVD, click to purchase.


Here are some games that require a few more people. Some can be done with fewer, but 5 or more is better.


(5 – 35 players in a circle, low activity)

First player starts by saying “one duck,” second player says “has two legs,” third player: “it falls in the water,” and the fourth player says “bloomps.” (The “sound” of a duck hitting the water.) The fifth player starts over with “Two ducks,” the sixth player says “has four legs,” seventh says, “they fall in the water,” eighth says “bloomps” and the ninth says “bloomps”. Only one bloomps per player. They carry on, usually stopping at 10 or 15.

This game can be done with as few as 3 people: Everyone has to really be paying attention!

This is on my Cooperative New Games Leadership download/DVD, click to purchase.

Borrow It

(5 – 50 players, active)

How this was originally played was to arrange the group into equal teams of between three to five players. Give each group a hula hoop and five objects. Place hoops on the ground in a circle an equal distance from each other and with the objects in the hoop. The object is to get the most objects in your teams’ hoop in one minute. A player can take only one object at a time, and no guarding your objects: you can only go to get objects in other hoops. Also, each player who gets an object must place it in their hoop: no throwing. To start, have everyone put a foot in their hoop and say “Go!” Of course, if you don’t have hoops, improvise! Boxes work, or…. Game usually goes on around a minute, but if everyone needs more exercise, go on a bit longer.

With 5, or even as few as 3 people: Each player can be their whole team. Same basic rules apply.

This is on my Best Cooperative Games Leadership download/DVD, click to purchase.

My Aunt Comes From …

(5 to 50+ players, moderate activity)

Leader starts by saying to group, “My aunt (uncle, cousin, any relation or friend) comes from Wisconsin (or any other place you can think of in the universe) and she walks like this.” Leader proceeds to demonstrate an exaggerated “walk” that the whole group copies for at least 10 seconds. Any unusual movement will do, as long as others can do it, too. Then anyone can clap, go to the front of the group, and show a new “walk” of one of their relatives. This is one way to energize walks and make them fun.

I remember one time I was doing this walking down a small street with a group in Germany, and a police car came up from a side street. The police were quite surprised and we all had a laugh – but we kept the ‘walk’ up.

This can be done with as few as 2 people.


If you enjoyed these, why not buy a comprehensive guide book or download video lessons.

Vote for the games you liked best here .. drag them around until your favorite is at the top, then scroll for [OK] and [done]. If you join in we’ll do this every week for a while and then do a best-of and find a winner!

Create your own user feedback survey

Leave a Comment