Signs: A Great No-Prep Game


My students play this game throughout retreats, mission trips, and open nights at church.  It’s one of those games that you’re surprised they play over and over again!

Set up

  • Sit in a circle.  We have done circles of 6 to as large as 20.
  • Each student needs to come up with a simple sign they can make using their hands but making no sounds.  For example: swipe across the forehead, awkward turtle, pulling on their ear, scratching their elbow, etc.
  • After signs are chosen and shared so that everyone is aware of each other’s signs, one person goes into the middle.

Point of the game:  To share signs around the circle without the person in the middle catching you.  If you are caught on your turn, you go into the middle.

Note: As students get good at being sneaky, the person in the middle can be there a while.


  • Signs need to be silent
  • You receive and send signs.
  • If you are caught, you go in the middle.

To Play

Someone is chosen to start. Then, the person in the middle closes their eyes and counts to 10 so the signs can begin.  While the middle person is counting, the signs begin. The starter makes their sign and then “sends” a sign by doing the sign for someone else. That person “receives” the sign by making their own sign then “sends” by doing the sign for someone else.

After counting, they open their eyes and watch for signs being sent and received.  They can turn and move around the circle as needed.  When they think they know “where” the sign is, they can guess who has “it.” If they are right, they trade places with the person who was caught. They can ask as often as they like until they are right.

This can take some time because you might receive your sign my making it but then have to wait a while until the person in the middle turns or isn’t watching. This continues randomly around the circle until someone is caught between the “receive” and “send” or making a sign.

It is your turn until the person you have sent the sign to receives it – therefore just because you have sent the sign does not mean your turn is over.  If you are asked if you have the sign, you must say yes and go in the middle if the receiving of the sign hasn’t happened.


Betsy has worked with students for over 24 years and has served at Cornerstone Church in Caledonia, MI for nineteen of those years. Currently, Betsy is the Director of Family Ministry while still holding the high school ministry hat. Betsy also teaches women’s ministry at Grace Bible College as an adjunct professor. Betsy has been married for 27 years with a son in college and daughter in high school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, laughing with her family, and date nights!