House, Tree, Neighbor

  1. Recess Games
  • Large Group (10 and up)

  • Grades 3-5

  • None

  • Under 10 minutes

Development Goal

To practice listening, readiness, and teamwork skills

Before You Start

Form players into a circle

Set Up

Can be played outside in a gym, or in a classroom. Find a space where the students can easily form a large circle and put cones, polyspots, or chalk, where they are to stand, or use already-painted circles on the floor.

How to Play

  • The leader of the game will stand in the middle of the circle.
  • At each round of play, the leader will point toward one player who is in the circle, and say either “House,” “Tree,” or “Neighbor.”
  • If the leader says “House,” the person who he/she points to has to crouch down, and the player on either side of him/her has to turn toward each other and form a “roof” over the frame of the house (the middle player) by giving each other a high-ten over the player’s head.
  • If the leader says “Tree,” that player must stand like a tree trunk, straight and with his/her arms to his/her side. The two players on either side then form branches by facing away from each other and form arches with their arms away from the trunk.
  • If the leader says “Neighbor” to a player, that player must cross their arms and hands in front of his/her body, reaching out their hands to the players on either side of them. The players on the sides then quickly shake the middle player’s hands.
  • The speed of the game can get faster as it goes on and players get better. If a player makes a mistake, they can do jumping jacks and get back into the circle, distract or cheer for the remaining players in the circle, or if it is played at the end of a game time, be eliminated and go back to their seats/classroom.


Be creative and think of other items you can form using 3 players!