Best for: Group of at least 10ish.
What you need: Just a room for everyone to sit down in a circle (on the floor is fine). And enough people to play – I’d say about ten.
How to play: First, choose someone to be it. Let’s say it’s Bobby. Bobby leaves the room and closes his eyes and ears while everyone else in the circle quietly picks someone to be the Monkey. Once the Monkey is chosen, Bobby comes back into the room, but make sure everyone keeps the identity of the Monkey a secret!
Bobby stands in the middle of the circle. Then the game starts, and the Monkey starts making repetitive or continuous little hand motions or small movements (like patting their hands on their lap, rubbing their tummy, little dance moves, you know). Everyone else in the circle has to copy exactly what the Monkey does, but carefully, because Bobby’s job is to guess who the Monkey is, while the Monkey and everyone else tries to keep it a secret.
So a good strategy for the Monkey is to choose slow, quiet hand movements that give everyone else a few seconds to catch on. (If the Monkey starts clapping all of the sudden, for instance, it could be pretty easy for Bobby to pick out who the Monkey is.) It’s also smart for the Monkey to change hand motions when Bobby’s back is turned.
A good strategy for the rest of the players is to not stare right at the Monkey, but only glimpse now and then when Bobby’s not looking so he can’t tell who everyone is looking at. It’s a fun balance between being inconspicuous, but looking at the Monkey often enough so you can follow along.
Once Bobby guesses the Monkey, he or she is the new It and leaves the room and a new Monkey is chosen.
Variations: This game is a little like signs, but it’s better suited to younger players because it’s a little simpler. It can still be a lot of fun for older kids or teens, though!