King of the Lily Pad

March 14th, 2017

This game is best played silently (although the giggles will happen).


Players are seated in a circle facing each other.

Each player decides on an animal to mimic and one by one tells the others which animal motion they will make.

Some notes:

The motions have to be done while being seated

They can’t take more than a few seconds

They should be easy to remember, and the funnier the better.

Some Suggestions for motions:

  • Elephant (using arm like a trunk)
  • Dog (pant with hands like paws in the air)
  • Cat (mimic licking paws or cleaning whiskers)
  • Giraffe (stretch neck out and look in different directions)
  • Shark (hands for fins)
  • I’ve done this with about 40 students at one time, they can come up with some crazy ideas, so be creative.

How to play the game

One person in the circle is the “King of the Lily Pad” and he/she starts the game.

The motion for the king of the lily pad is like a frog jumping off a lily pad into a pond.

Left hand is face up.

Right-hand claps left hand twice and then dives in the “pond.”

The King makes his/her motion and then the motion of another player.

It is then that players turn to make their motion and the motion of another player and so on.

So it might look something like this:

  • King & Elephant
  • Elephant & Cat
  • Cat & Shark
  • Shark & King
  • King & Cat

The game continues until someone messes up. Maybe they miss their cue or they can’t think of another animal motion to make. Then the game gets interesting.

When someone messes up they have to move to the chair to the right of the king, and everyone else shifts down one chair to accommodate, and here’s the catch, the people that moved have to take over the animal motion of the chair they shifted into. So if they were a dolphin but the chair to the right was a cat, when they moved to that chair, they are now a cat. It gets really crazy and confusing and wonderful!

The goal of the game is to get the king of the lily pad out, and then the game starts over with a new king and new animals.

sara galyonSARA GALYON is the Sr Youth Director for Messiah Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Madison, AL. She has been working with youth in some capacity for 15 years and has an MA in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary. She is a wife to a fellow youth minister, mom to three boys and two dogs, and underfunded world traveler.


This post was previously published by WEEDSANDNERFDARTS.COM.


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