Stretch & Twist

Name Roulette: Stand in two circles right next to each other. Call out “clockwise” or “counterclockwise.” The groups hold hands and turn in that direction. Yell STOP! The two people back-to-back turn and face each other –- the first one who can name the other, steals that person to their team. Tons of fun!

Peek-A-Who: Use a tarp or sheet you cannot see through. Very similar to Name Roulette, except each team hides behind a tarp. Choose one person to put their nose near the middle of the tarp. The facilitator and another tarp holder counts “one, two, three” and drops the tarp. The first person that can name the other, again steals them to the other side.

Wampum Tag: Use a wampum stick (a soft foam sword or noodle). Sitting in a circle, toe to toe, one person calls out somebody’s name. The person with the wampum stick in the middle tries to tag the feet of that person called before that person calls out another name. If tagged, switch positions. Lots of fast fun!

Name Toss: Very similar to Group Juggle. The facilitator starts by tossing himself (relatively speaking), across the circle to meet another person. That person follows up by tossing their person to another, and so on. Mix it up by tossing yourself while the pattern is halfway complete. Madness! Try introducing saying your name backwards!


Is it time yet? People are sitting together with the same leg crossed. Question is continually asked, “Is it time yet?” “No, not yet.” Finally, the question is asked and it is time so everyone switches to crossing the other leg.

Who Sneezed? Line of people trying to be quiet and sneaky. Someone sneezes and the leader wrongly accuses the person behind her. It is denied but the person is gotten rid of anyway. After doing this several times, the person who sneezes is confronted and admits sneezing where upon the leader says, “God Bless you.”

Mommy Mommy! A cake mix commercial is being filmed and the director sets the scene for the audience. After each take something is wrong — not enough emotion, too slow, too fast, too sad, and so on. So the director wants it redone, faster, slower, happier, sadder, whatever, with the cast taking his instructions to the extreme.

Suckers on a Line: You are trying to telephone your friend to tell him about your fishing trip but the reception is not very good. After each attempt to place the call someone is picked from the audience to stand with their arms in the air as if holding up the telephone lines. After several attempts, and several audience assistants later, the reception is fine and the friend explains the fishing wasn’t very good. All he got was a few suckers on his line (Yuk Yuk).

Echo Valley: It is explained how we get really unusual echoes here and you will prove it. Three people scatter around out of sight of the audience. The announcer yells something and each hidden person repeats it, simulating an echo. Finally, after several successful demonstrations the announcer yells out, “Baloney!” but it is only echoed twice, so another phrase is tried such as, “Your school is the greatest!” This is echoed twice and the third person echoes, “Baloney!”

Infantry: People run in excitably saying the infantry is coming. After several times someone comes in with a small tree and proclaims the infant tree is here.

Important Papers: A king is on the throne asking for important papers. A loyal subject brings in a newspaper. Not it. Next time a map is brought. Not it. Next some sandpaper. Not it. Each time the king is more impatient. Finally a paper bag is brought in. The King looks in smiles, pulls out a roll of toilet paper and runs off.

The Reporter: A newspaper reporter is going to jump off a bridge because she has failed to get a good story. Just before jumping she is stopped by someone with another sad story who decides to join her. After being stopped, then joined by four or five people, they all jump except the reporter who yells, “I’ve got my story!”

The Clothing Store: Someone walks by in some garish dress and is stopped and asked where the beautiful garment came from. The reply is J.C. Penny. After several such encounters, each time it being a different article of clothing, someone wrapped in only a towel comes in and introduces himself as J.C. Penny.

Jeff Merhige is the executive director of YMCA Camp Kern, Dayton YMCA, Dayton, Ohio.

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