Bun shuffle

3.5 stars

Arrange chairs in a big circle.  Choose someone from the group to be 'it', and that person stands in the middle of the circle.  Have the rest of the group sit on the chairs, and make sure you have one spare chair. 

The aim of the game is for people sitting down to prevent the person that is 'it' to take a seat.  They do this by shuffling their 'buns' left or right to occupy the empty chair before the person who is 'it' can sit down.  Players are only allowed to move left or right (ie. not run across the circle).  Eventually once the person who is 'it' gets a seat, the person to their  left or right (whoever was slowest) becomes 'it'.

For bigger groups, you may need to have two or three empty seats

  • Free / Low Cost
  • Sharing, Get to know you
  • Night
  • Ice breaker
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Primary or Elementary School
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

Group Size
  • Small Groups (1-9 people)
  • Medium (10-29 people)
  • Large groups (30+)

  • Medium (11-29 mins)
  • Short (1-10 minutes)
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If the group likes to horseplay, or everyone knows each other well enough to sit on them you shouldn't use fold up chairs. They sometimes get broken with our group. Oh and I like the idea of more than one empty chair.
- James H (4 Aug 2008)

awesome game,i didnt think it would be so funny until i had some kids play it.
- silas (12 Dec 2008)

we played this at our fellowship and at first i thought it was gonna be weird or too hard. but it was sooo fun and hilarious. its a great game
- maika (28 Jan 2009)

great game, thought it was going to be a little bit lame, but it worked very well. We played with a group of 25 and found it helpful to have 2 or 3 empty chairs.
- Jay M (11 Feb 2009)

My group loves this one. We play it often. It's great fun. One problem though - we have one young woman who gets really motion sick because the game tends to get going in one direction around the circle. We havce sort of a small group, so I think it might change directions more often if the circle were larger.
- Betsy (11 Mar 2009)

My youth loved this game but it is very physical, we had a couple minor incidents. But they thought it was hilarious.
- Holly (3 Sep 2009)

I admit that I didn't think this would work with my mostly Sr. High youth, but they loved it and asked to do it again. I enjoyed watching it too.
- David (16 Sep 2009)

My youth group played this game...except, we didn't use an extra chair. Therefore, some people got stuck sitting on someone's lap...
- K (16 Sep 2009)

It took a few minutes for them to get the hang of it, but when they did, it was a riot. The one searching for the chair didn't have time to look around before it was gone. They started moving so quickly simultaneously. It was a lot of fun with a lot of laughs.
- LMS (30 Sep 2009)

Our group loved this game, but we eventually had to stop playing it because it always resulted in an injury or broken chair.
- Nicole (28 Oct 2009)

This game was so much fun for my 1st and 2nd grade group! They loved it and wanted to play again and again!
- Kim Anderson (28 Oct 2009)

Played this game with our youth group of 35 middle and high schoolers. It was fantastic!
- Pam (28 Jan 2010)

My Youthgroup loved this game. It is simple and fun.
- Judah (1 Sep 2010)

A fun variation on this game is that "it" can call out "switch" and the kids have to change the direction that they are shuffling.
- Tim (14 Sep 2010)

Excellent game. We have played it many times over the years with our group and it is always fun.
- Billy Hart (30 Sep 2010)

This has become a favorite at our teen center. The kids love it. The broken chairs are worth it when we hear them say "Do you remember that one time we played the buns game and so and so's chair broke?! That was so much fun!! Actually, it's one of my boss's favorites. He gets intense with the kids. haha.
- TC (17 Dec 2010)

We play this quite often in our youth group of around 30 people. We also added a twist where the person who is supposed to move to the empty chair can choose to "tap" the chair and thereby change the direction of the flow from going clockwise to counter-clockwise, and vice versa.

I do agree on the folding chair part, we've had a few chairs broken that way. The extra empty chair is a good suggestion, we will have to try that
- zbb42 (19 Dec 2011)

This game is awesome!!! My youth group loved it. I did take them about 5 minutes to really get the flow of it but once they did everyone had a blast.

We did use folding chairs and at first it was okay, but when the game picked up the pace I understood the recommendation to use regular chairs. The teens in our youth group are comfortable with each other so they and the chairs were being knocked all over the place. They loved it!!!
- Marisa (29 Apr 2012)

It rocked, my class loved it
- Kathleen (27 Jun 2012)

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