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Chair Shuffle


This is a great ice-breaker game which also breaks up the group from sitting with their friends or by gender. Nominate one person to stand up inside the circle. That will leave an empty chair which the person in the middle must try to sit on. To stop them sitting down, one of the players next to the empty chair then slides across into it. This leaves a spare chair on the other side of them, which the next person tries to jump into – and so on. There’ll be a Mexican Wave of people moving around the circle shifting from chair to chair. The aim of the person in the middle is to get onto the empty chair. It is not as easy as it sounds!

If they do manage to sit down, the next person in the circle, who should have filled that seat first has to stand up in the middle. The trick is to aim for a chair ahead of the speed of the circle – or you will always miss it.

This game warms everyone up and breaks up any cliques. It can be fast-paced and energetic, so use chairs with backs to avoid people falling off and make sure there is nothing around the chairs which anyone could trip over or hurt themselves on. A chair might fall back when someone lands on someone else – all in the spirit of the game of course!


You can change the direction of play by hopping into a seat and then back into your original seat thus reversing the flow.
In large groups of 20-30 people you can put two people on in the middle with only one chair missing.

Resources Required

a chair for every person, arranged in a circle.


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