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8 Games Like Rock Paper Scissors

If you're looking for screen-free games like Rock, Paper, Scissors (and other variations) then you've come to the right place! Games like these are simple and cooperative. Some of them work well with two people while others can be played by groups.

These rock, paper, scissor alternatives are a great way to spend time with friends or family while having some high-quality fun together! Also, kids can play them on their own with friends, once they know the rules.

Best of all, they give everyone a chance to win, while also learning that you can't win every time.

ROCK PAPER scissors alternatives

Games that are variations on Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors Tag Game

Two players start in spots a few feet away from each other, and a designated "safe spot" is chosen. The players play Rock Paper Scissors and whomever is the winner chases the other player, attempting to tag them before getting to the safe spot!

Rock Paper Scissors Addition Variation

This is a great way to practice addition with kids in kindergarten and first grade as they're building fluency for math facts (which means they need to add small numbers fast). Instead of rock, paper, or scissors, children put up a number of fingers between 0-5. Whomever can yell out the sum of the two numbers first is the winner of that round! You can even make the sum their points and add up round after round.

My friend Erin of shows us how to play and build addition and one to one correspondence skills while waiting in the car.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

Yes, that's a real game! It's a bit more complicated than rock paper scissors, but it works the same way. Players either choose one of the five hand signals: rock, paper, scissors, Spock, lizard.

Each signal kills/eliminates 2 other hand signals. For the full rules and hand signals you can check out this explanation.

This version was popularized by The Big Bang Theory but was developed by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla. Hand signals too complicated? You can use these dice!

Rock, Paper, Scissors Hula Hoop Showdown

This game had me feeling all the feelings when I first watched a PE lesson where children were playing. What a great group, team building activity.

Kids are divided into teams that need to navigate a hula hoop path, jumping from hoop to hoop. Whenever you encounter a person (coming the opposite way) you stop and play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Whomever wins continues on the path while the other team's player exits the path and a new team member starts again. It's easier to watch it, so check out this Youtube video!

Other games you can play in place of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Thumb war/Arm Wrestling

Another common way to decide a quick "winner" is through arm or finger wars. You know the common adage, "1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a thumb war!" As two players grasp hands, whomever can keep the other player's thumb down for 5 seconds in the winner!

rock paper scissors alternative game: arm wrestling

First to laugh

This one is similar to the eye contact game. Stare at the person in front of you and be as silly as you can but DO NOT, under any circumstances, laugh. The first one to laugh is the loser, but are they really? Laughing is the great medicine to many a bad mood.

Eye Contact Game - Don't blink (for my Dr. Who fans, what what!)

Siblings have played this game since the dawn of time. Whomever can go the longest without blinking while staring at the other person is the winner. Get ready for red eyes, because IT'S ON!

eye contact game like rock paper scissors

Concentration Categories

This one has a bit more thinking as part of it, but is a great two or more person game. First start with the rhythm "clap, clap, snap, snap" that everyone goes along with.

Think of a category and take turns saying things that are part of the category. For example: The category is articles of clothing. Go around in a circle (or if it's just two people, take turns) saying an article clothing to the rhythm of the clap, clap, snap, snap. If a player cannot say a new item that fits the category by the end of the two snaps, they're out!

Benefits of playing quick and competitive games like Rock Paper Scissors:

- Games like these are cooperative so all the players need to follow the rules for them to work. This is great for children who are learning to follow multistep directions.

-They give kids multiple chances to win or lose and to deal with the emotions that come with that. We all know someone who can be a sore loser (ahem, my oldest), but losing more often can actually help us realize it's not a reflection of anything negative. There are so many chances to win too.

-They teach perseverance. Just because you didn't get it this time, doesn't mean you won't the next!

-Many of them require motor planning- which is the ability to plan and execute a sequence of actions in order to succeed at something. These types of games give kids practice with this important skill!

- Games like these require communication, so they build social skills too!

-They're fun ways to pass the time and connect with another person.

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