The Animal Game

3.5 stars

Each person begins by selecting an animal, and a noise/action associated with that animal. 

The Animal GameFor example:

Elephant: Hold nose and make a trunk with arms, and make elephant noise!
Lion: Show claws and roar like a Lion!
Snake: Join arms together, twist them like a snake and go Hiss...

Once everyone has their animal (you may need to help some of the more shy group members come up with theirs), sit everyone in a circle.  Pick one animal (suggest the Lion) to be the most "senior" or king of all the animals.  The positions get more 'junior' as you go around the circle in a clockwise direction.  The aim being to get to the Lion's seat. 

The game starts with the Lion making his noise/action, then the noise/action of another animal.  It then becomes that animal's turn to make their noise then that of another animal and so on.  The turn ends when someone makes the wrong noise/action or doesn't respond within 3-5 seconds.  That person moves to the most junior of the positions and everyone moves up one seat. 

It is quite similar to the old Matthew Mark, Luke John game.   

The more outragous the animal noises/actions, the better this game works.  It becomes a great game when some of the more shy group members come out of their shells!

  • Free / Low Cost
  • No equipment needed
  • Night
  • Ice breaker
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Small area
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

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

  • Longer (30-60 mins)
  • Medium (11-29 mins)
  • Short (1-10 minutes)
Submit your vote:



this is an amazing game. by the second rouind most shy kids are out off there shells. at our club its called scum cuz the one animal the a bottom is scum lol its a bril gaame
- craig (9 Feb 2008)

question... do you switch animal sounds/actions when you have to switch positions?
- Jan McKay (16 May 2010)

yes animal sounds and actions are switched when you switch positions! makes it more interesting.
- Tom (28 May 2010)

We have played this game for over 30 years in our youth group. In ours, this one is called "Noah's Ark" and the elephant is the king of the forest, because that is the hardest motion to do.
- Skip (25 Sep 2010)

I have played this many times with the Elephant as the king because, as Skip says, its the hardest. Also, the amoeba is the lowest position and its action is waving its arms and legs about. It usually makes a 'weeb weeb weeb' noise. Also, turtles go 'Wahoo!' Fact.
- Jon (14 Mar 2011)

We havn't used this yet but it sounds great!!
- Mguy (5 May 2011)

haha i was just trying to do the elephant it is hard XD

- Diana (20 Jan 2012)

my husband and I disagree there is no clapping rhythm in between animals, just the two animals right?
- ecannon (9 Feb 2012)

Correct - so as an example, if it goes from Dog, to Cat, to Snake, it'd be like this:

Dog: Dog noise, Cat noise
Cat: Cat noise, Snake noise
Snake: Snake noise, (noise of animal he/she wants to pass to)

- admin (12 Feb 2012)

We call it 'King Pig' and have 'wiggly worm' at the bottom. Any hesitation at all and you go down to the bottom to be wiggly worm (wiggle little finger and go 'i, i..). A rule we added to this was not to go directly back to the person (or animal) who made your noise. Ie you can't go Dog, cat, dog...

- honza (3 Sep 2012)

We play this game with the teens in our group except we use a clapping rhythm in between each animal that is kind of like concentration and other than the beat we play it as a silent game. It is a super awesome game either way though :)

- Kay (12 Feb 2014)

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