Organise yourself and the players on chairs in a large circle. You hold a pair of scissors. When the activity is about to begin, stare at the scissors as if you are studying them hard, to distract and confuse the participants. Then pass the scissors to the player seated in the chair next to you. As you pass the scissors, simply say the word „crossed“ or „uncrossed“. As the players saw you intently studying the scissors, they will probably assume that the words „crossed“ and „uncrossed“ have something to do with the scissors. The word really refers to the position of your legs when you passed the scissors. You said „crossed“ if your legs were crossed or „uncrossed“ if your legs were uncrossed. After you passed the scissors, tell the participants to study the scissors and say the correct word while passing them safely to the next player. Give no other clues about the activity; the participants must work it out! As each player passes the scissors, tell him/her whether he or she got it right. See how many rounds it takes before each player has figured it out. If most of the players have not figured out the game by the end of a few rounds, you can start to make it more obvious by changing the position of your legs just before passing the scissors. Instruct participants not to say anything as they figure out what is going on. To keep players from revealing the secret of the game, you might let them tell some of their peers whether they are correct as the scissors are passed.

Material needed

  • 1 pair of scissors