How to play Pulse, a simple and fun team game that promotes hand eye coordination

This simple team game builds community, develops hand eye coordination, and is a fun challenge for a group. Replace the bean bag with a unique item, such as a rubber chicken or stuffed animal, to add even more excitement to the game. The Game of the Week is Pulse!

Group Size:  Large group (10 or more)

Age Group:  Grades 1-5
Length of Activity:  Under 10 minutes
Developmental Goal:  To develop quick reflexes and awareness
Equipment:  Bean Bags

Before You Start: 

  • Get a coin with a heads/tails differential.
  • Review that the game is a silent game. All players except for the first two in line must have their heads down and eyes closed
  • Split players onto two teams and have them face each other while holding hands. The ball or small object will be at the end of the lines in the middle of the two teams
  • Demonstrate gentle hand squeezing and consequences for not doing so

Set Up: 

Place a beanbag or small object on top of a chair

How To Play: 

  • The objective is for a team to grab the small object before the other does by passing the current down one person at a time.
  • The judge will flip a coin; if the coin lands HEADS then the players at the front of the line may start the current by gently squeezing the hand of the person next to them. The team whose end person grabs the ball first gets a point.
  • If the coin lands TAILS then no reaction should occur and after a few seconds the judge should flip the coin again. In the event a team grabs the ball on a TAILS coin flip, that team will have a point subtracted from their total.
  • After the round, the person at the front of the line will move to the end of the line and everyone will move one spot up. Everyone should have an opportunity to be the grabber as well as the initiator, depending on group size.
  • First team to 10 points wins.


  • Instead of gently squeezing, players can also raise hands and perform a “wave” effect.

Alternate Names of the Game: 

  • Electrical Current


Find more new and exciting games in our games library!

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks Trainers are equipped with oodles of tools and tips to help you get a recess and play program going today. Check out our professional development programs and bring Playworks to your school or afterschool program.

More Resources

woman and child smiling
woman and child smiling

August 17, 2022

How Adults Best Create Supportive Play Communities ›

With over 25 years of experience working with kids in schools, our staff and coaches have learned many things about how to set up the most positive, inviting, engaging play…

students in circle playing game with ball
students in circle playing game with ball

August 17, 2022

Helping kids to find new friends and feel included ›

Play is a natural, safe way that kids can interact with people who are different and rejoice by achieving shared goals. Interacting with people who are different at a young…

two girls playing rock paper scissors
two girls playing rock paper scissors

August 17, 2022

Empowering Kids to Create Their Own Happiness ›

By Playworks and UNICEF Kid Power® When kids’ minds and bodies get active, either while playing or participating in service learning, they experience physical and mental benefits (and support positive…