Sleeping lions

Sleeping lions game

“Sleeping Lions” is an engaging and entertaining children’s game that combines stealth, humor, and strategy. In this game, one child takes on the role of the “hunter,” while the rest of the children become “sleeping lions.” The objective of the game is for the “hunter” to use their wit and creativity to make the “sleeping lions” laugh or react without physically touching them. As the game progresses, the challenge intensifies as more lions join the hunt. It’s perfect for kids’ birthday parties and gatherings.

Game sheet

  • Number of players: from 6 children
  • Ages: from 6 years old
  • Supplies: none
  • Played indoors or outdoors
  • Play time: about 10 min

Sleeping lions Rules

  1. Choosing the Hunter: Designate one child to be the “hunter.” This child will be responsible for trying to make the “sleeping lions” laugh or move.
  2. Preparing the Sleeping Lions: All other children assume the role of “sleeping lions.” They lie down on the floor in various sleeping poses. Once they are lying down, they must remain completely still and cannot move voluntarily.
  3. Hunter’s Objective: The “hunter” walks around the room, observing the “sleeping lions” and devising creative ways to make them laugh or react. The goal is to make the “sleeping lions” move without any physical contact.
  4. Methods to Make Lions Move: The “hunter” can use various tactics to achieve their objective. They can tell jokes, make funny faces, perform silly dances, or use gentle and amusing gestures. The “hunter” can engage in light-hearted conversation, share funny stories, or imitate animal sounds.
  5. No Physical Contact: It’s essential to emphasize that the “hunter” must not touch the “sleeping lions” at any point during the game. The challenge lies in using verbal and non-contact methods to provoke a reaction.
  6. Lion’s Response: If a kid reacts by laughing, giggling, or moving in response to the “hunter’s” antics, they are considered “awakened.” The “awakened” lion must then stand up and join the “hunter” team.
  7. Winning Condition: The game continues until all the kids have been awakened and joined the “hunter” team, or until only one “sleeping lion” remains. The last “sleeping lion” remaining on the floor wins the game.


  1. Blindfolded Hunter: In this version, the “hunter” wears a blindfold, relying solely on their voice and creativity to make the lions laugh. This variant enhances the challenge and adds an element of surprise.
  2. Team Play: Divide the players into two teams – the “hunters” and the “sleeping lions.” The objective for the “hunters” remains the same, but the “sleeping lions” can assist each other in not reacting to the antics of the opposing team.
  3. Limited Movement: Introduce a rule that allows “sleeping lions” to move slightly while staying in their designated spots. This can add a twist to the game, as “sleeping lions” may choose to adjust their positions strategically to avoid reacting to the “hunter.”
  4. Silent Hunter: In this variant, the “hunter” can only use non-verbal methods to make the other kids react. This could involve using props, acting out scenarios, or using gestures.
  5. Reverse Roles: Instead of one “hunter,” have multiple hunters who need to work together to make a single “sleeping lion” react. This version encourages teamwork and coordination among the hunters.

“Sleeping Lions” is a game that fosters creativity, laughter, and friendly competition among children while emphasizing the importance of controlling one’s reactions.

The educational advantages of the Sleeping lions game

  1. Imagination and Creativity: The game encourages children to think creatively and use their imagination to come up with funny gestures, jokes, and stories that will make their peers laugh. This boosts their cognitive development by promoting outside-the-box thinking.
  2. Verbal Communication: Players must communicate effectively to make the “sleeping lions” react without touching them. This enhances their verbal communication skills as they experiment with different words, tones, and expressions to elicit responses.
  3. Social Interaction: it promotes social interaction as players engage in light-hearted conversations, share stories, and work together to make each other laugh. This helps children develop essential social skills, such as active listening and empathy.
  4. Emotion Regulation: the game teaches children to control their reactions, enhancing their emotional regulation abilities. They must resist laughing or moving, even when faced with amusing or silly situations, which can be valuable in various real-life contexts.
  5. Non-Verbal Communication: As players aim to make “sleeping lions” react without touching them, they learn the importance of non-verbal cues and gestures. This enhances their understanding of body language and non-verbal communication, which are crucial aspects of interpersonal skills.
  6. Empathy and Understanding: it helps children develop empathy as they consider the feelings and reactions of their peers. They learn to tailor their approaches to different personalities, fostering a deeper understanding of others.
  7. Strategic Thinking: Players must strategically plan their actions to provoke reactions from “sleeping lions.” This cultivates strategic thinking and planning skills as they analyze each situation and choose the best approach to achieve their goal.
  8. Cooperation and Teamwork: In team variants, children collaborate to accomplish a common goal – either to awaken all the “sleeping lions” or to prevent them from reacting. This promotes teamwork, cooperation, and coordination among players.
  9. Patience and Self-Control: Remaining still while trying not to react requires patience and self-control. Children learn to manage their impulses and emotions, which are vital skills for both academic and personal growth.
  10. Positive Reinforcement: The game reinforces positive behavior, such as laughing and reacting to humor, in a fun and lighthearted manner. This can boost self-esteem and create a positive association with social interactions.
  11. Reducing Fear of Embarrassment: Through playful interactions and laughter, children become more comfortable with self-expression and may overcome shyness or fear of embarrassment. This can lead to increased confidence in various situations.
  12. Cultural Awareness: When players share jokes, stories, or gestures, they might draw from their cultural backgrounds. This can introduce children to various cultural perspectives, promoting cultural awareness and diversity.

Explore our array of engaging games and effortlessly host the most memorable party for your kids with our printable game kits!

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