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Attention Grabbers

Car Wash Clap


  • Standing in front of all of the participants, the leader will start to clap the melody to the tune ‘car wash’
  • As the participants start to hear the clapping, they start to clap too and come toward the leader, forming a circle around the leader.
  • Continue until everyone is clapping the tune and standing in the circle.


Catch Phrases


  • Teach the group a catchphrase or a two-part sentence that they think is fun, and then periodically when you need to get the attention of the whole group, yell your part of the catchphrase, have them freeze, respond and remain quiet for the next set of instructions. A couple of examples include:
    • To Infinity... AND BEYOND
    • Shark Bait... HOO HA HA
    • I’ve got a starfish... CHUCK IT
    • Two hands-on top (place both hands on top of your head as you say this)... This means stop! (the kids place their hands on their head as they respond)
    • Alright, stop... Collaborate and Listen
    • Peanut butter... Jelly time
    • Mac and Cheese... EVERYONE FREEZE


Dead Beaver


  • When the leader calls “Dead Beaver”, participants have to play dead (lie on the ground, being quiet, not moving, etc).


If You Can Hear Me...


  • The leader quietly says “If you can hear me clap once”, children respond with a clap.
  • The leader says “If you can hear me, clap twice”, children respond with two claps.
  • Continue until all children are paying attention.


Minute Zappers Clapping Game


  • Standing in front of the group, the leader passes their hands back and forth across each other for all to see.
  • Participants must clap at the exact moment the hands pass each other
  • Keep going until everyone is clapping if you are trying simply to get the participant’s attention.
  • If you would like to keep going with the game, follow these rules:
  • If a participant claps early, late, or doesn’t clap at all, they are out.
  • If the leader stops before the hands pass, whoever claps is out. The last person wins.


Nose game


  • When the leader wants the participant’s attention, they put their pointer finger on their nose. When participants see that the leader has their finger on their nose, they put their finger on their nose and stay quiet. The leader will keep their finger on their nose until everyone is touching their nose and is quiet.


Quiet Spray

  • Materials: Spray bottle (empty or filled with water on a hot day)


  • Squirt bottle with water labeled as Quiet Spray, spray into the air to get attention.
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