From ‘101 Drama Games and Activities’

Age: 5 to adult
Players: Pairs
Time: 5-10 minutes
Skills: Concentration, Group Dynamics

A quick and easy warm-up game which involves counting from one to three – but takes a lot of concentration.

This is a fun introductory warm-up and concentration game. You can begin sitting down or standing up. In pairs, face each other. Start counting from one to three between yourselves, over and over. Once you get the hang of that part you are ready for the next stage. Instead of saying the number “one”, you should clap your hands – but you would still say “two” and “three” aloud.

Once everyone has mastered that, the next step is that instead of saying “three”, that person should bend their knees. You should still clap your hands for the number “one”. This is a bit like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time – in fact, you could try that afterwards!

A: “One” (Claps hands)
B: “Two”
A: “Three” (Bends knees)
B: “One” (Claps hands)
A: “Two”
B: “Three” (Bends knees)

Tip: Make sure you allow time to encourage pairs to show everybody else how they are doing after each step. It’s fun watching people trying to concentrate, especially if it goes a bit wrong!

  • If you have extra time, pairs can make up their own movement and/or sound for the number “two”
  • For language teaching, ask players to make up a word or phrase plus an action to replace the number two, for example ‘cup of tea’, ‘umbrella’ or ‘smile’

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