Small Group Icebreakers, Topical Curriculum

Silent Animal

This game gets difficult with more than 20 people; it's better for groups of 15 or less. Everyone gets in a circle and is given an animal in which they are assigned a hand motion that represents that animal.

Hand Motions (a few examples):

Elephant- hang one arm down with your other arm wrapped around it, holding your nose (like a trunk)
Mosquito- with your left hand hold up a peace sign with the inside of your hand facing you, with your right hand poke your index finger pointing forward and place it in the middle of the peace sign in your left hand; now bring your hands to your face like you have a mosquito nose.
Cow- put your hand at your stomach with your fingers sticking out like an udder.
Deer- point a finger on each hand upward, placing your hands on top of your head (like single horns)
Moose- open your hands with fingers spread wide and place hands on your head with thumbs touching the top of your head (moose antlers)

How To Play:

Lets say that 12 people are playing this game. They are all in a circle. The Elephant, in the 12 o'clock position of the circle is the leader. Then in the 11 o'clock position the mosquito then whatever order you like. The animal is always in the same position- as people move, they assume the animal in that particular seat or place in the circle. The object is to get to be the elephant. As people mess up in this game, they have to move back to the one o'clock position and work their way up again as others mess up.

The elephant starts the game by doing his own signal then another animals signal, such as the cow. The cow must then do his own signal and another animal's signal immediately. A certain rhythm or speed is set by the elephant (by how fast he or she does the signals). Everyone must keep that rhythm- no hesitations. If an individual pauses, forgets to do their signal, or messes up the signal in any way, then he or she must go back to the one o'clock position. Lets say that the cow is always in the 10 o'clock position. If the person that was the cow messes up, then he or she goes to the one o'clock position and is now a snake (for example). The person who was the deer (in the 9 o'clock position) is now the cow and so on down the line. When ever someone messes up, it is only the people below them that are affected and have to move up to a new animal. If the elephant messes up, everyone moves because he is the highest position.

Also see King Elephant


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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