Back to
Games Index


Gotchya! (Grab the Finger)

Description of Icebreaker Activity

James Neill
Last updated:
13 Nov 2004

Gotchya! (Grab the Finger or Cheese)

  • Handy icebreaker and attention-grabber for kids thru corporate group programs.

  • Stimulating group activity to get people together, focused, challenged, having fun and ready for action.  Useful to get focused attention when people arrive, get off the bus, or to fill 5-10 minutes.

  • Works with any size groups, indoor and outdoor.

  • Participants stand in a circle, arms out to the side.  Left hand palm up, right index finger pointing down and touching on neighbor's outstretched palm.

  • "When I say the word go, do two things.... grab the finger in your left hand, and prevent your right finger from being grabbed... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... [add suspense] ... Go!".

  • Repeat several times.

  • Tom Leahy advises "put big energy, and your own style to never fails to grab everyone's attention, bringing them immediately to the present...Provides perfect off the bus spark for the day....Good for 10 minutes".

  • The trick is dramatizing the "Go!", the build up of suspense, and most will jump the gun, adding to the fun.

  • Try a different trigger word, e.g., "Cheese", and mention lots of other "eeze" words for humor - peas, sneeze, wheeze, please and freeze.

  • Or use the word/theme of the day e.g., "outdoor" to help get people listening to every word.

  • Can transition to talking about "assumptions" and "temptation", etc.

  • Acknowledgement: This game was discussed by Tom Leahy, Mike Anderson and others on the ROPES discussion list, February, 2004.

Equipment: None.

Time: ~5-10 minutes

Brief Description: Fast-moving 5 min. group activity to get people together and focused.  In a circle, right finger on next person's left palm.  Try to grab a finger before yours gets grabbed.