Gesture relay

This activity builds group focus and cooperation, encourages active participation and demonstrates the importance of each individual in the group pattern.


  1. Make sure everyone in the group can see each other.

  2. Explain that you will establish a pattern by sending a CLAP to someone and saying their name. They will then send the CLAP to someone else and say their name. Everyone should receive the CLAP one time only. The last person to receive the CLAP passes it back to the facilitator. If necessary, help participants identify who has not yet received the CLAP.

  3. Tell participants to remember WHO they received and sent the CLAP to. Explain that our first goal is to establish a pattern that can be repeated.

  4. Send the CLAP through the group again, SAYING THE NAME of the recipient, while following the same pattern.

  5. When the group has successfully sent the CLAP through the same pattern twice, pause when you receive it. Tell the group you are now going to send through the same pattern, WITHOUT saying the name of the person you are sending it to.

  6. Optional intermediate step: When/if the group masters sending the CLAP without saying the names for 2-3 rounds, announce that after sending the CLAP, you will start sending a second movement in the same order. (This can be a SNAP or something else you choose). Our goal is to keep both gestures moving through the established pattern.

  7. Advanced step: When/if the group masters sending two gestures around consistently, announce that you will add a third gesture. (This can be a WAVE or something else). Try to keep all three gestures moving through the pattern consistently. This will probably take some practice and playing the game a few times.


  • What did we have to do, individually and as a group, to keep the gestures moving around?

  • What is challenging about this game?

  • What skills are we building with this game?


  • It’s best to make sure each gesture is different from the others, so they are clear to see.

  • You can invite participants to suggest the three gestures.

  • Once participants know the game, you can call on a participant to be the lead and start sending each of the gestures.

  • Conversation during the game can confuse things, so point out that if we’re talking, we may lose track of the gesture.

  • Strategy tip: Always keep your focus on the person you are receiving gestures from. (Better to let participants discover this themselves)

  • Keep track to ensure that both gestures continue to move around the group in the pattern. When a gesture gets dropped, you can say “We lost our CLAP movement, I’m going to start it again.”

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