Age Range
Number of Participants
5-10 minutes

Quick overview

A fun game for large groups where young people are either guards or prisoners and the prisoners must escape the guards.

Game type


Supplies you’ll need

Enough chairs for 2/3 of the group.

Game run-through

Begin by giving every member of the group a number: 1, 2 or 3. Try to ensure that the number of young people with each number is roughly equal.

Now have the members of groups 1 and 2 get a chair and place the chairs into one single large circle that is quite spread out. Have the members of these groups stand behind their chairs and now invite those who were given a number 3 to sit on one of the chairs. This will result with half the chairs being sat upon.

Explain that from this point on, those on the chairs are prisoners and those stood behind the chairs are prison guards.

The prison guards aim in this game is to have a prisoner in their chair by the end of the time limit.

To escape from their current ‘prison’, prisoners must make eye contact with one of the prison guards in the room, who has got an empty chair in front of them, and that prison guard must wink at them. Once the prisoner is winked at they must make an attempt to move to that prison guard’s chair. Their present prison guard can stop this by tapping the prisoner with their hand before they get away.

To ensure that the prisoner has a chance to escape, guards are not allowed to move their feet from where they are stood behind the chair. The guards’ hands must be held behind their back and are only allowed to move them if they see their prisoner trying to escape.

If the prisoner is tapped on the back, they must sit back on the seat and wait for another guard to wink at them. If the prisoner escapes, they play the same role as before on the new guard’s chair and their old guard must try and find someone else to sit on their chair.

After the time has run out, congratulate those prison guards who have a prisoner and have all number 3 swap places with the number 2. After the round is done with the number 2s as prisoners, have the number 2s swap with the number 1s – this way all members of the group get to be both prisoners and guards.


Ensure there is nothing that can be tripped up over on the floor.