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Key Game


The players sit in two rows of chairs facing each other, holding hands behind their backs. The coin flipper sits at one end, equal distance from the front two players. At the opposite end of the two rows, set another chair (a full arms reach of the last two players) and place the keys on it.

The aim of the game is for players in teams to race to send a hand-squeeze pulse down the line as quickly as possible. When the pulse reaches the last person on the end, they grab the keys to win.

To start the game, the coin flipper on the end flips the coin and shows it only to the nearest two players at the same time (one from each team). If the coin shows tails, the first two players from each team do nothing. But when it shows heads, they squeeze the hand of the person next in the line. The other players have to face towards the keys – otherwise it’s easy to cheat and watch the two front people and squeeze from further down the line nearer the keys.
When the final person grabs the keys, they move from the end of the row to the start of the row and everyone in their team shuffles along. The winning team is the team which rotates fully first – so the person who started at the front ends up back at the front. If one of the teams squeezes when they shouldn’t and therefore someone grabs the keys at a point when they shouldn’t then they go back the opposite direction as a penalty for cheating or making the mistake.

One group advises:

  • introduce a penalty for anyone who squeezes too early
  • the last two players nearest the keys keep their hands on the chairs – not hovering over the keys
  • the keys should be adjusted back to the centre of the chair after each go
  • if you have an odd number of Venturers, the extra person could be the coin flipper or look after

the keys (adjusting the keys and ensuring that everyone apart from the front two are facing them).


After a few rounds, the teams will start to get jumpy with anticipation, and you might want to make it more challenging. One leader says, “I count down the release of the coin so there is some expectation as to when to squeeze but sometimes I reveal the coin earlier to the front two to cause some indecision. You can also put obstacles between the last two players and the keys (i.e a bench to run across or a mat to do a somersault etc)”.

Resources Required

A chair for everyone, a coin and a set of keys.


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