Jumping Beans

a fast-paced, physical game that’s excellent for large groups.
1 chair or hula hoop per player (minus one, see Setup)
Slips of paper with bean names (download our free template); 1 for each player
Bucket, bowl, or hat to hold slips of paper

1. Place chairs or hula hoops in a circle. You will want one less chair than you have players.
2. Print our template and cut out the strips, or write the names of different kinds of beans on slips of paper (pinto bean, black bean, refried bean, red beans). Place one slip of paper per player into a bucket.
3. Have players choose a slip of paper -- this is their bean.
4. Choose one player to be “it” and have them stand in the center of the circle.
5. Have all the other players take a spot in the circle (either standing in hula hoops, or sitting in chairs).

How to Play

The object of the game is to stay out of the center of the “pot” (the circle formed by the players).
1. To start the game, have the player in the center yell out the name of a bean -- either black, red, pinto, or refried. Whomever has been assigned that bean must leave their chair or hula hoop, race to the center, and locate a new chair or hula hoop to occupy.
2. In the meantime, “it” races to one of the open seats or hula hoops and claims it.
3. Whoever is left without a seat/hula hoop is the new “it.”
4. At any time “it” may yell out “Jumping Bean!” Everyone in the circle must leave their chair/hoop and find a new one.
5. Play as long as you like!Additional Rules
1. Only the person who is “it” can call out a bean.
2. No one may move from their seat unless their bean is called.


1. Add a bit of bounce by making everyone “hop” to their new seat/hoop.
2. Use spices instead of bean names.
3. For younger groups, designate a leader who yells out the bean names instead of “it” -- this will make the game run smoother and faster, as little ones often get shy about calling out the beans. “It” still stands in the center, they just don’t have the pressure of calling out the bean name.


1. Make sure players are careful when running to avoid collisions.
2. Keep the game moving -- as soon as it’s established who the new “it” is, have them yell out the next bean. The faster, the better!

Activity Length
5 - 15 minutes
Either/or (can be played either way)
Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Mess Factor
Clean and tidy
Noise Level
Number of Players
10 to 20
Prep Time
5 - 10 minutes
Team Division
Every man for himself (individual players)