“Is it you? Or YOU?! Who’s in charge here!?” Expect lots of funny pandemonium and crazy theories to emerge as your youth play “Who’s In Charge Here?”
In this game, most players stand in a circle and mimic the changing actions of a predetermined leader while another player in the center attempts to guess who’s in charge.
Quick to learn, ultra-fast to play, and can be played for as many or few rounds as needed, “Who’s In Charge Here?” is a great game to add to your repertoire of “games we can play at any time.”
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Group Instructions (Read Aloud)
We’re going to play a game called “Who’s In Charge Here?” In this game, there is a secret “Leader” within a circle of players who is in charge of the motions made by all of the players, who are known as “Followers.” Meanwhile, a “Guesser” stands in the middle and tries to figure out who the “Leader” is.
We are going to begin by forming a circle while one player, who is the “Guesser,” leaves the room (Pick the first “Guesser” however you like.) After the “Guesser” leaves the room a player within the circle is selected to be the “Leader.” The “Leader’s” identity is known by all the “Followers,” but not the “Guesser.” After picking a “Leader,” the “Guesser” is called back into the room to stand in the center of the circle.
The “Guesser’s” job is to try to figure out who the “Leader” of the circle is, while the “Leader” and the “Followers” try to keep their identity a secret. The “Leader” and the rest of the circle must remain silent, but the “Guesser” can talk to make guesses as to who the “Leader” is.
The game begins with the “Leader” making a movement or gesture of their choice, after which the rest of the circle immediately begins mimicking. The “Leader” can change motions as often as they like within the round. The “Leader” should try to avoid attracting attention from the “Guesser,” and the “Followers” should likewise avoid drawing attention to the “Leader.” For example, the “Leader” might lean forward, bending their right knee, and the rest of the group follows. Or, the “Leader” could start clapping their hands overhead, followed by the rest of the group. The “Leader” must keep changing motions.
The “Leader’s” job is to conduct the rest of the group while avoiding the attention of the “Guesser.”
The “Guesser” has three attempts (or fewer with smaller groups – see “Game Modifications” below) to guess who the “Leader” is. If the “Guesser” is correct on any of the three attempts, the round ends. If the “Guesser” cannot determine who the “Leader” is after three guesses, the round also ends and the “Leader” is revealed.
“Leaders” must make changes to the motions frequently, and “Guessers” must make attempts to find the leader within a reasonable amount of time. (See “Add A Timer” Game Modification).
After ending a round, another “Guesser” is chosen, leaves the room, and the game continues as long as desired.
- Have everyone form a circle.
- Using whatever method you like, choose a “Guesser” who then leaves the room.
- Within the remaining circle, choose a “Leader,” who will remain leader for the that round.
- The remaining players in the circle are the “Followers.”
- The “Leader’s” job is to make fun motions (stomp in place, clap hands, windmill arms) that the rest of the “Followers” will begin imitating the “Leader” as quickly as possible.
- The “Leader” can change motions as often as they like within the round.
- The “Leader” should try to conceal their identity from the “Guesser” and avoid changing motions while the “Guesser” is looking in their direction.
- “Followers” also need to avoid giving up the “Leader’s” identity. For example, “Followers” should avoid staring at the “Leader,” which would be an obvious giveaway.
- The “Guesser” returns to the room and stands in the middle of the group.
- The “Guesser’s” job is to determine who the “Leader” is.
- The “Guesser” has three attempts to guess correctly who the “Leader” is.
- If the “Guesser” accurately identifies the “Leader” the round ends.
- If the “Guesser” cannot identify the “Leader” within three attempts (see “Game Modifications” below) then the round ends and the “Leader” is revealed.
- The game can be played as many times as desired or as time permits.
- If the “Guesser” cannot make a decision and is taking a long time, someone in charge should tell them they have 10 seconds to make a guess in order to keep the game moving.
Instructions for Larger and Smaller Groups
Smaller Groups – If you are playing “Who’s In Charge” with a group of 5-10, you’ll likely want to limit the number of guesses that the “Guesser” can make to one or two. (See “Add A Timer” below for more ideas for a smaller group.)
Larger Groups – If playing with larger groups (30+), you may want to increase the number of guesses that “Guesser” can make in order them more of a chance.
Add A Timer – Another way to play this game is to ask the “Guesser” to stand in the center and simply observe the “Followers” for one minute, recorded with a timer (such as on your phone). When the timer sounds, the “Guesser” then has one (or more) guesses determine the “Leader”. This modification is one way to make the game more challenging and fun for a smaller group.