Heads Down, Thumbs Up

Good for ending a session or party to quieten things down. Works well with young children and slightly older ones. Needs a relatively large group though to work well.

With everybody sitting down on the floor or on chairs facing in the same direction or in a circle. 3 or 4 players are selected and stand to one side. On the request “Heads Down, Thumbs up” those sitting have to put their heads down, close their eyes and put their fists by the side of their heads with their thumbs sticking out. When everybody has complied, the 3 or 4 players previously chosen walk as quietly as possible around the group and choose one person each by touching/gently gripping that person’s thumbs. When a player is touched on their thumb they fold them into their fists indicating that they have already been selected. Players who are caught keeping their eyes open or peeping during the game should not be selected.

When all 3-4 of those walking have selected a player they return to the front of the group to stand in a line-up. The leader then calls “Heads up” and all players sitting can look up. Those players who were touched put their hands up to indicate they were chosen and in turn try to guess which of those standing touched them. If they are right they swap places.

HINT: Ask players not to announce or indicate who was right or wrong until everybody has had a guess, as this gives everybody an equal chance in guessing.

A slightly more complex version of this is “Mafia”

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