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Surf’s Up

By Amy Harder

This exercise is a fun characterization game that takes a bit of concentration and requires silly physical movement. Use this as a fun warm-up to get blood flowing and giggles going. There are other similar games like this out there, but this version is my kooky twist on the standard. Have fun, dudes.

Set up. Spread out across the room, making sure each player has room to move without smacking his neighbor (think aerobics class). This is an elimination game. The last person to complete the required task is out. The game continues until one player is left standing.

Action. Call out one of the following phrases. The players have to perform the appropriate action. Last one to do it is out.

  • Jellyfish MoveSurf’s up: all players down on floor as if swimming their boards out to sea
  • Catch a wave: everyone hops into surf stance, with legs apart front-to-back, knees bent, and arms out to sides
  • Jellyfish: players in groups of two standing side by side, outside arms up over their heads holding hands (to make the jelly head), inside arms and legs become the wiggling tentacles
  • Shark attack: players can choose to be either a shark (arm over head and bent like a dorsal fin), or a scared boarder (shrieking in terror watching the sharks move around them)
  • Wipe out: players in groups of two, one person is the surfer, the other player is the wave that washes over and wipes out the surfer, both players end up flat on the floor
  • Beach party: all players begin to do 50’s era dance moves

Wrap up. Remember this improv game is designed to encourage concentration and help players warm up physically and mentally. But this game also teaches players to cooperate and work together as they create jellyfish and wipe outs. Even the shark attack requires players to work together and play off each other. It’s a fun exercise that’s beneficial on a number of levels. Enjoy!


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