Stationary Games

Signs Game

Summary: Signs is a simple party game involving stealth, silliness, and not getting caught!  Players seated in a circle attempt to “pass” a sign (hand motion or gestures) to each other while a guesser tries to catch the person who currently has the sign.

Ages: 12 and up.  Recommended # of people: Groups of 10-20 people.  Messiness Factor: No mess!  Materials required: None.  Recommended Setting: Indoors.

Instructions for the Signs Game

The Signs Game is a fun game involving stealthiness that tends to work well with medium to large sized groups.  This stationary game works well with both kids and adults, and in many settings: parties, youth/college group settings, camps, etc.

Setup for the Signs Game

Have everyone sit in a large circle, facing inward towards each other.  Every player seated now must choose a “sign,” some kind of movement or motion that is unique to them.  A sign must be easily detectable by others, although not too obvious to attract a lot of attention.  Good examples of possible signs could include:

  • waving your right hand
  • squeezing your nose
  • patting the top of your head twice
  • sticking your tongue out
  • making two thumbs up

Once everyone has created a sign, he or she announces and demonstrates their sign to the rest of the group.  You’re now ready to play the game.

Playing the Signs Game

The goal of Signs is to be stealthy and to try to keep passing signs to other players as long as possible, without getting caught by a guesser who must stand in the center of the circle.  The guesser tries to figure out where the sign is within the group and catch the person who currently has the sign at that specific moment.

To play a round, choose one person to be the “guesser.”  Have the guesser close his or her eyes.  Have the group silently choose one person in the circle (randomly) to be the person who begins with the sign.

Player 1 (who starts with the sign) now “has” the sign, and his/her goal is to “pass” the sign on to any other player without being caught by the person in the middle. To pass the sign, Player 1 must perform his own sign and then any other player’s sign.  For example, if Player 1’s sign is make two thumbs up, and if Player 3’s sign is to pat the top of his head, Player 1 must make two thumbs up and then pat the top of his head in order to “pass” the sign onto Player 3.  Player 1 is now safe and Player 3 has the sign.  Player 3 now must do his or her symbol and then someone else’s symbol in order to continue “passing” the sign.  The process continues, whil the guesser (the person in the center) attempts to catch a player who currently has the sign.  The guesser constantly looks all around the circle, trying to detect any movements.  The guesser is allowed 3 guesses.  To guess, he or she points to one player and asks, “Do you have the sign?”  If he or she is correct, then the guesser wins the round and the person caught with the sign becomes the new guesser.  If he or she makes three wrong guesses, then the guesser loses the round.


In some versions, players must “receive” a sign first before it is officially transferred.  To receive, the player must perform their sign as acknowledgment.

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