Action Games

Follow the Leader

Summary: A hilarious copycat game in which people try to imitate one leader’s actions, and the person in the center attempts to identify who is the originator of the actions (the leader).

Ages: 8 and up. Recommended # of People: One group of 8 to 16 people. Messiness factor: Might break a sweat. Materials: None. Setting: Indoors or outdoors.

Rules for Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader (also known as the Copycat Game) is an action game that serves as a good energizer or warmup activity. It can be pretty hilarious watching people mimic the leader, especially if the leader does some wacky movements. There is no preparation needed for the Follow the Leader game. Find a large open space, either indoors or outdoors, and you’re ready to go!

How to Play

Ask everyone to stand and arrange the group into a circle, facing inwards. Ask one person to leave the room for a minute. This person will be the guesser for the round. While he or she is gone, the group decides who should be the “leader.” The leader will be the one who sets the movements for that round. When this person is chosen, invite the guesser to come back. The guesser stands in the very center of the circle.

When the round begins, everyone starts swinging their arms up and down. The leader will eventually begin to do other movements, and everyone else mimics the leader’s actions, without being too obvious to reveal who the leader is. The leader can do just about anything he or she wants, such as:

  • clapping
  • making a kicking motion with his or her leg
  • jumping up and down
  • singing a line from a song
  • patting his or her own head
  • a dance move

Everyone in the circle should be careful to avoid prolonged eye contact with the leader, so the leader’s identity is not given away. The guesser must keep turning his or her head to try to figure out which person is the leader (the person who is starting of all the group’s movements). The guesser is allowed to make up to three guesses. If the guess is incorrect, the round continues. If the guess is correct, the leader becomes the new guesser for the next round. If all three guesses are exhausted and the leader is not correctly guessed, the round ends and you can either keep the same guesser or switch it up.

This action game tends to be hilarious, as people try to copy the leader’s silly movements.  See photos of an example of the game being played below.

Follow the leader game
Person in the middle tries to find the leader of the circle
It can be challenging to identify the leader!

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