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List Circle

A quick, simple, inclusive word-game for virtual / co-located teams

list circle
list circle

This is a simple warm up game that involves standing in a circle when co-located or establishing a numbered order when played virtually.

You'll want at least 3 people and at most 10. If you have a large group, you can potentially make more than one circle though you'll need to spread out to ensure folks aren't distracted by sounds from other circles.

To begin, ask everyone to stand in a circle.

As the facilitator, start by offering a category that people generally encounter in daily life like...

  • Makes of car
  • Types of fruit
  • Items of clothing

The next person in the circle (to your right) will name something in that category.

The person to their right will name another item in the same category and so on around the circle. If we take 'vegetables' as an example category, the sequence might go...

  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • etc...

Continue going around and around until the active player has no ideas left. That person then gets to name a new category and the game starts again.

Tips

  • To begin with, people will usually take as much time as they need to think of an item. As you get used to the game, ask people to name something within 5 seconds. Keep reducing that number until the players have to say something almost instantly. This will force them to start tapping into their instincts a little more.
  • Anyone who offers a category can also decide to change the direction of travel around the circle. This keeps people on their toes.
  • If you're feeling like you particularly want to challenge yourselves, try ending with the category "items we named in previous rounds" (so it's mashup of everything that came before it).
  • When someone doesn't have an item to name, you can encourage them to either make up something (that sounds like it would be in the relevant category) or quickly name a new category. It's important to keep the energy going.