New Games for Staying In, final week 4

New Games for Staying In, final Week 4

While things are beginning to open up with seeing other people, but we are still being asked to practicing distancing. There are still quite a few New Games we can play, some with a little adjusting. To play these games, we are assuming that you are doing them with the people you are living with or are allowed to visit, though as the rules of contact change, you will be allowed to have closer contact with others.

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!

We start off with some games for as few as 2 people, though in most cases there can be more than 2.

Make 11

(2 to 50+ players in groups of 2 or 3, low activity)

Group members face each other and at the count of 3, put out one hand with a number of fingers extended, trying to reach a total of 11. (Naturally, with 2 people, you use both hands.) They repeat this until they get it. Then, using both hands, they repeat, trying to total 21. (Or with just two people, some other number under 20.)

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


(2 – 30 players, low activity)

Players can gather loosely. The materials needed 4″X5″ paper or larger and a pen or pencil. The object is to depict “3” (or another number chosen) in different ways such as a 3 leaf clover, tricycle, or three balloons. Each person draws or writes their idea in a corner of the paper, crumples the paper and throws it on the floor. For the next round, players pick up someone else’s wadded paper, undoes it, and writes another new depiction of “3” in different corner. Do this four times, once for each corner. After the fourth time, players again pick up a paper, un-crumple it, but this time one player says what they see in each corner. Other players relate things that differ from what the first player has told.


(2 – 50+ players, moderate activity)

Players form pairs (or with an odd number, one group of three), approximately the same height. One person is in front and is the car, the other is in back and is the driver. The car must put her arms up in front of herself in a relaxed fashion with hands open as “bumpers” to protect herself from objects and other cars. Bumpers may be needed because the car then closes its eyes and the driver (with eyes open!) then guides the car carefully.

After a few minutes, everyone is asked to stop: car and driver then switch roles. With kids, it might be good to have a repair station if they collide (a gentle way of giving a short “time out” that is part of the game). If you don’t want to touch or be touched for safety reasons you find other ways to control your car. For instance, you can use a sticks to tap the shoulder of your car to get them to turn in that direction. Tapping both shoulders to stop. Or possibly a skip rope can loop around the front of the ‘car’ under their arms and the driver can pull in the direction they want their car to go, pulling both ends of the rope to have their car stop.

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

Two Truths and A (one) Lie

(5-30 players, low activity)

All players sit in a circle. Then players are asked to think up 3 statements about themselves: 2 that are true and 1 that is false. When the game starts, a participant volunteers to say his/her 3 statements. For instance, they could say “I have been hot air ballooning. I have 3 cats. I was born in Wisconsin.”

The player says them once, then repeats them so they are clearly in everyone’s mind. Finally, the player says their statements one last time, and people vote on which statement they think is a lie. The object is for the one making the statements to fool as many people as possible. Therefore, it’s good to include unlikely sounding things that are true and a very likely thing that is not. This game is a good way to learn something about each other.

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

Clothespin Tag

(5 – 50 players, active)

Everyone takes 3 clothespins (or less or more, depending on how many players and clothespins) and attaches them to their shirt sleeve by the shoulder no lower than their elbow. At a given signal, everyone tries to get as many clothespins as they can from others, taking only one at at time. When a player gets one, they get three seconds to attach it. The player who took a clothespin counts out loud “One, two, three,” so other players know they can’t take one from him just then.

There is no guarding of your own clothespins – you can’t knock other player’s hands away. All you can do to protect your pins is to move away. The game goes on for about a minute or so. For fun, see how many pins everyone has at the end.

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

Sleeping Lions

(5 – 50 players, low activity)

A safari leader is looking for lions, and to start, everyone other than the safari leader is a lion. The lions can keep from being seen by not moving, save for breathing, blinking and moving the eyes (which must be visible and open) and swallowing. The lions faces must also be visible and easy to see.

If the leader sees a lion move, the lion is caught and must join the safari leader searching for other lions. Searchers may not touch the lions, shout in their ears or spit on them, but otherwise they can do what they will to get the lions to move. Usually it’s best to try to get lions to laugh, but a smile is all you need!

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

No Teeth

(5-10 players, low activity)

Players hide their teeth with their lips while speaking. Each player chooses a card with the name of a fruit or vegetable on it. The first player starts by saying to another player, with their teeth covering their lips, “I don’t have any fruit (or whatever food is on the other player’s card), could I have your apple?” to which the person with the ‘apple’ says something like “Why yes you can have my apple,” and gives the asking person the ‘apple’ card.

Then the person who has just passed their card says to another “I don’t have any fruit or vegetable, could I have your (name’s the fruit or veg that the other player has)?” To which the player with the fruit or veg replies in an affirmative sentence and passes their card over to the asking player. Th process repeats until someone shows their teeth while speaking, at which point everyone points at the player whose teeth have been exposed and says “Teeth, teeth, teeth!” After this, continue. If a player is having trouble keeping their teeth covered, after they have had the “Teeth, teeth, teeth!” chant, pass on to another player.

The object is to try to get someone to show teeth while speaking.

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

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]. This is the last week, next week we’ll do a best of the best and find your favorite lockdown game!

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