Crowd Games to Entertain an Audience
1. Sticker Madness
For real crowd-pleasing fun, Sticker Madness brings strategy, humor, and social interaction together in a tactile way. Players in this game have a number of stickers (1-10) that they need to place on one another without being caught. The number and size of the stickers can vary of course. But, the designs or patterns of these stickers need to be unique for everyone who intends to play. Otherwise, it’s kind of difficult to tell whose sticker gets place where.
If you catch another person trying to place a sticker on you, they have to take one of yours for their own collection. No specific time limit applies. The objective of the game is to be sticker free, which frees a participant from the interaction as a winner. For Sticker Madness, there aren’t many rules to follow. Outside of no telling on others at all times during the game, the only rules are don’t get caught and play fair with honesty.
Naturally, certain conditions and environments can make this game more enjoyable. Sticker Madness is something of a party game to fill the fun gaps within a larger event or gathering. It’s probably best to play with trusted associates or in familiar circles. Scalability and flexibility make it a classic way to pass the time. Everyone at a picnic or family reunion, or just a few members present, can participate. The number of people involved doesn’t affect the fun, and it’s a good way to enterain a crowd.
2. Earth Wind and Fire
For some team action and completely harmless competition, Earth Wind and Fire provides potentially limitless interaction with plenty of tension. The premise of this game is similar to the rock-paper-scissors model. Players face off in teams and throw out a hand gesture of a fist (earth), flat palm (wind), or spread fingers (fire). Earth blocks wind, wind blows fire, and fire melts earth.
However, consensus amongst participating parties makes things a little more interesting. In this crowd play situation, the entire gathered audience splits to form two equal groups. It doesn’t matter who wants to be on the same team because everyone is going to interact with all the other players eventually either way. With the teams established, each one huddles together and decides on which gesture every single team member is to throw.
One person decides for the whole team. This person is decided by an Earth Wind and Fire mini tournament within the huddle. The champion decides first with the runner up going second and so on. The team that wins the face-off takes the decision maker of the other side. These face-offs continue until everyone is on the same team or everyone has had a chance to choose their team’s gesture. To spice things up a little, players can act out different gestures for the choice they make. For example, the decision maker can throw the hand gesture while others act like flames burning, wind blowing, or stand like statues to represent rocks.
3. Rhythm Nation
For collective fun that doesn’t pit players against one another but instead exhibits individual talents, Rhythm Nation is a game designed for engaging participation. It combines personal creativity with group effort in style. The game starts with a group of players who stand, or sit if desired, in a circle facing in towards one another.
The objective of Rhythm Nation is to have each person perform a small bit of choreography in random order that makes up a longer routine. This routine is thought up turn by turn from each participant. The challenge is to finish the routine without any breaks in the order, or else the whole thing has to start over from scratch. For example, the routine starts out with one person snapping their fingers twice and pointing to someone else who is specifically not the person directly across from them. That person then snaps their fingers twice, adds three short hand claps, and chooses the next person to add an expression. The third player snaps, claps, and taps their foot once before pointing to someone else. This goes on until everyone contributes.
As each person does their thing, everyone has to keep in step. So, each player has to perform their part, pay attention to the addition, and repeat the whole routine. From the first to the last person chosen, everyone has either something to do or watch for until the sequence ends. With enough practice and familiarity, players can use this game to entertain a crowd on the fly.
4. Match Maker
Many people can recall the childhood fun of playing memory-match audience games, but this mental sport is not just for kids. Under the right conditions, children of all ages can enjoy can enjoy the fun of testing their memory power. This version of Match Maker starts with a group of players who are given different multi-colored tags to wear. For example, one person has a white tag with the color BLUE written in green ink on it. At the same time, another player has the color YELLOW written in white ink on a brown tag, etc.
Each player has the chance to remember the colored tag on the others by walking in a staggered infinity loop. Once everyone has seen all of the tags two or three times, it’s time to cover them up. With their tags concealed, players arrange themselves into an even square or rectangle. Each person is then handed a tag with the exact same letter and coloring as one of their fellow participants. Row by row players take turns placing the tag they have in hand onto the person they remember wearing the same one. They then return to their spot in the square.
Once everyone has a chance to make a choice and get back in order, the first tags is compared to the second. If the tags match, that player simply stays still and watches the rest of the game. If the tags do not match, players have to place the tag given to them on the person they think is wearing it. This continues row by row until all the tags have been placed correctly.
For something that calls for a little more muscle power than mental prowess, Centipede hits the spot every time. Other audience games can be played with a small or large amount of people involved. However, Centipede requires something of a large group to get the most fun out of it. Starting the game play simply requires players to lock wrists arm to arm in no particular order to form an uninterrupted line. In fact, the more jumbled and disorderly the line the more fun the action becomes.
After locking wrist, the designated head of the centipede starts things going by walking around to find the tail. Every person has to be in motion before the head and tail are allowed to make contact. Once that happens, the person at the front of the line first grabs the tail and lets go of the second in line to become the end.
The centipede then has new leader who now has the job of starting a completely different pattern of their own before finding the tail. And, the process starts all over again. There are no real rules to follow other than safety protocols like not allowing the line to move too fast. However, the action feels more fun when the twists and turns of the centipede coils have a bit of whip appeal to them.
6. Bubble Blow Face Off
Providing whimsical delight and in a good clean challenge, Bubble Blow Face Off takes a usually meaningless pastime and turns into a team sport. Split a group of people into two teams and design boundaries. If you’re already in doors with a big enough space just split the room down the center. The point of this game is for one team to have every player reach the other side of the room before the competition.
Have each team go to their side and advance towards the center. It sounds simple enough, but a few conditions apply. For one, each player can only move as fast as they can blow bubbles and move those bubbles in the right direction needed to win. Also if a player lets an opposing team member’s bubbles hit them, it’s back to the starting point. The bubble blowing begins anew for them. But, the person whose bubble hits an apposing player remains where they are and continues to advance. Players from one team who make across the room are not allowed to blow bubbles on opposing team members starting over.
Players may not stand still to bubble blast the opposition. You must be in motion heading one way or the other unless trying to get other player with a bubble. Bubble contact between friendly team members doesn’t count for anything. If enough players on both teams traverse the field, it can be split in two; so that another round can begin.
7. Rainbow Rubber Band Rain
Rainbow Rubber Band Rain is a one of those crowd games that mixes suspense, action, and little bit of color. With players standing in a cloud grouping of no particular shape, each person receives anywhere from 15-30 rubber bands of one color. Meaning that number-one player has a bunch of blue rubber bands while number-two player has pink, etc.
Players place the bands around one wrist. Then it’s ready, set, fire. The bands go into the air above them letting a rainbow of color fall down. The object of the game is to collect all the other colors of rubber bands that touch you as they fall to the ground like the rain. The different colors of rubber bands collected go on the opposite wrist. Players are not allowed to move their feet, collect bands from the floor, or touch anyone else.
The cycle of rubber band firing and rain repeats until each player has only one of their original color bands left. After that, any bands that are on the floor are collected by the shooter. As in, number-one player collects all the blue, number-two player collects the pink, etc. Once the bands are gathered, players remain where they are and the game continues as before until everyone has a rubber band rainbow on their wrists.
8. Balloon Tie Olympics
Balloon Tie Olympics is a game of friendly competition, skill, and speed. This would be a great game to play with an Olympic themed day or event. Players, of any number, gather around a pile of different colored twisting balloons. Circled around the players in a larger ring, other twisting balloons of different colors are tied together three or four at a time with a pile of chips next to them. For example, one set of tied balloons consists of the colors red, white, and blue. Directly across from that, another set of tied balloons is made of red, black, and green, etc.
So from a bird-eye view, the pile of twisting balloons, players, ring of balloon ties, and chips resemble a target or dartboard. The object of the game is simple. Players shift through the center pile of balloons to pick out the corresponding colors of the tied balloons around them. They then tie their balloons in the exact same order as the ones encircling them and place them next to the originals. Players also have to gather a chip from the ties as proof of their work.
The first player to gather all the chips from the tied-balloon circle wins the game. There should be plenty of space between the center pile and ring of balloons to allow for freedom of movement between players. To avoid unnecessary conflicts, be sure to clearly have more twist balloons than the players need to win the game.
9. Knock Your Socks Off
Knock Your Socks Off easily compares to other audience games due to its playability. This is a game that can be adjusted to bring a crowd of people together for a collective common goal, as a competition game, or have individuals play side by side. The game starts with a balloon placed in a cardboard box. A bigger box and smaller balloon makes the playing action better.
The rules and objective of Knock Your Socks Off are to toss or throw brand-new rolled up socks into the box until the balloon falls outside of it. If the balloon ends up popping before the objective is met, players must empty out all of the socks themselves and start the process all over again.
There are different ways to arrange the players in relation to the box. They can surround it for collective winning. When playing in teams, the boxes are to be placed next to each other with rules about socks from an apposing teams getting in the wrong box. When this happens, the team throwing the misplaced sock has to stop for 30 seconds. As a strategic measure, each team has three golden socks. For each time a team drops one of the gold socks in the competition’s box, it places that other team in a temporary time out. Of course, dropping your sock in someone else’s box while popping their balloon results in their having to start all over with no penalty for you.
10. Hide a Sheep
Hide a Sheep is a new twist on the classic crowd pleasing hide-and-seek game that many people know and love. And just like traditional hide and seek, the more people to play the more fun they all have. In Hide a Sheep, one person is “it” and the others are “free”.
While the person who’s it has their eyes closed or back turned to the crowd, the others take a small stuffed animal sheep and hide it. But, there’s a catch. The sheep has to be with one of the free players at all times. The sheep can be concealed or passed amongst the free players but never abandoned. While the person who’s it tries to find the sheep the free people attempt to return the toy to “home” without being caught. Anyone caught with the sheep becomes the new person to be “it”. But, anyone who makes it back “home” without being detected is exempt while the process starts all over again.
The free people play by a few rules themselves. You cannot deny someone from passing off the sheep to you. Physically touching the person seeking the sheep automatically makes you “it”. There’s no talking allowed between the free people. Creating distraction is cheating in this game. Players must use stealth to win it.
11. Flight of Lights 11 Hundred
Like other simple yet exciting indoor games, Flight of Lights 1100 is a game that may cause a little bit of ruckus and running about. There’s no team spirit or collective goal involved. It’s all about individual skill and competition as players stand in an outward circle, or single line, in the center of a room with an array of push lights on walls.
Each player is given ten bean bags of ten different colors to toss at the lights before them. Each color represents a point value from 10 – 100. For example, a red bean bag is worth 10 points while green yields 20 and so on. Players compete to see who can reach 1100 points first. But just too make things interesting, bean bags can only be tossed for ten seconds at a time. Moreover, all ten of the bags have to be thrown within the time limit, or none of the points count for that round.
Players can only throw one bean bag at a time, and there’s a one turn penalty for anyone whose bag touches the floor before hitting the wall. Hitting any other player’s push light takes away the point value from your total. Players can reach a negative-point value from penalties. Any player to reach – 1100 points is automatically disqualified.