Human Rock-Paper-Scissors is a fun, quick energizer activity that can be used to get everyone moving and laughing. Many people are familiar with the classic hand game, rock-paper-scissors. This is a variation of the game, but requires people to get on their feet, move, and act as a team, rather than an individual.


Running the activity: 

  1. As a group, decide on a full-body pose that will signify each element (e.g. Rock – each person of one group will bend down and hug their knees and curl into a ball so they look like a rock; Scissors – each person of one group will stand with legs shoulder-width apart and both arms up and hands behind the head so they look like a scissor).
  2. After the poses are decided, break participants into two groups. For each round, each group will need to do one of the poses (everyone in each group will need to do the same pose). Each group will have 20 seconds to strategize.
  3. Once all of the groups have their poses decided, ask the two groups to face each other and count down from 3 (i.e. 3… 2… 1… SHOOT). On “SHOOT”, each group will need to strike one of the three poses. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock.
  4. Best out of five rounds wins.

This activity is especially fun because it can be modified to many different themes and variations. Have you heard about the great Canadian variation: Cowboy, Bear, and Ninja? Ninja kills the cowboy; cowboy kills the bear; bear kills the ninja.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Share with the participants a remote board with three columns (rock, paper, scissors). Select the participants for each round. Instruct them to add their play (for instance, a sticky note with their name) under the respective column and submit it after a countdown (“3, 2, 1, SHOOT!”). It is more fun if they keep their video on and strike a pose to represent their play. Consider doing a tournament (three participants at a time) where the winners go to the semi-finals or finals (depending on the team size).

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