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5 minute fillers

Ever find yourself at a loss for something to fill those few minutes between activities, or at the end of a meeting (when a speedy tidying up miracle has occurred)? Then look no further than some of the brilliant ideas from the 5-minute filler session at County Day.

We grouped the games by sweet ‘themes’, with the caveat that, as the Trainer, I had selected them based on my own sweet preferences (before anyone gets upset at my thoughts on turkish delight)!

Dairy Milk - the classics

Pictionary - give a theme, girls then guess what one team member is drawing.

Clapping numbers - number the girls, who then have to keep a clapping rhythm going whilst calling “their number to someone elses’s number”, for example “7 to 4”, then “4 to 1” and so on, all whilst keeping the clapping steady.


Key game - girls sit in a circle. One girl, blindfolded, sitting on a chair with a large bunch of keys under it. Others take it in turns to try and steal the keys. If the blindfolded person hears something, she points in the direction of the noise. If she points at the person trying to steal the keys, the thief sits down and someone else tries.

Zip zap boing


Cat and Mouse - larger group required. Girls stand in a grid, arms outstretched to form corridors. Cat starts at one corner, mouse diagonally opposite. Cat and mouse have to run up and down the rows to try and catch each other. Leader shouts “change” and the grid turns 90 degrees to change the direction of the corridors.

Wink murder

Starburst - similar game, different name

Persian market - Scavenger hunt - ask the girls to bring you an item, first to bring it to you gets a point. Could be a fork, a shoelace, something to drink from...extra points for creative thinking!

Fishes in the sea - fruit salad - traffic lights

Brownie Bus - Musical chairs - Instead of having your chairs back to back in a row, lay them out like bus seats and the girls have to dance on the bus through the front door, and off the bus through the back door, then back round to the front door again!

Simon Says - Brown Owl says

Norwegian Song - 90 - Old Maid - Starting with an odd number of girls, get them into pairs, holding hands. The odd one out joins hands with a pair, and the girl on the other end of the now-three, has to let go and join a different pair. For every change that happens, count down from 90 (or another number to suit your group size!). Whoever ends up without a pair when you get to zero is the Old Maid. Apparently there's a Norwegian song you can use instead of counting, but no-one was able to sing it at the training!

Honeycomb Kitkat - best kept secret

Glowstick noughts and crosses - makle

Knife, fork, spoon - one from the Girlguiding website that lots of units used on zoom, but could be used face to face...especially out of a plate bag at camp!

Stacking girls - girls all sit on a chair in a circle, facing inwards. Leader says something like "move 2 seats to the left if you've got an older brother". Anyone who has an older brother moves, and sits down, even if it's on the lap of another girl. Keep asking questions, moving different numbers of seats in different directions and see how high you can stack the girls! Up to you whether people lower down the stack can move every time or if they have to wait until they're top of the pile before they can move...

Pass the snort - can you be snorted at without laughing? Girls take it in turn to snort at their neighbour in the circle (pig-like, so breathing in not out!). If you can receive the snort without laughing, you can pass it on. If not, you sit out and get to laugh while the others try...snorts can get quite elaborate towards the end of the game!

Carparks - some of the girls sit on the floor with their legs apart. The others leave the room and the leader picks some 'carparks' (sitting girls) to be illegal. The other girls, the 'cars' come in, drive around for a bit and on a signal from the leader, pick a carpark (you can have more than one car in a carpark). Illegal carparks then close their legs and any cars parked there are out.

Sherbert dip-dab - needs some equipment

Dice exercises - roll 2 dice, add up the numbers, and do the corresponding exercise from a prepared list.

Who dun it - Cluedo style scavenger hunt.

Elephant football - girls stand in a circle with their legs apart, feet touching the neighbouring person. Using clasped hands as a trunk, football is pushed between the legs of other girls. If you concede a goal through your legs, you step out and the circle gets smaller.

Poison ball - dodgeball but rolling balls rather than throwing them.

Pin the tail on the donkey - or any other on-theme creature/creation!

Parachute games

Chocolate game - roll a 6 on a dice then put on hat, scarf and gloves before cutting single squares off a bar of chocolate...all before the next person rolls a 6!

Malteaser race - transfer Malteasers from one bowl to another (on a table or at either end of a course) using chopsticks.

Icecream cone/volcano - using the small sports cones with holes in the top, set them on the floor with a mix of right way (volcano) and wrong way (icecream cone) up cones. Divide the girls into 2 teams and the aim is to get as many cones your team's way up by the end of the time.

Hoops - spread hulahoops on the floor and call out a number. Each hoop needs to have that many people in it, with no-one touching the floor outside the hoop!

Islands - place a sheet of newspaper on the floor and play as per hoops (above). Generally the initial enthusiasm will end up with torn newspaper (smaller islands) so getting the right number of people on it gets harder...or you can tear the islands yourself!

Flowers and bees - place a set of flower pictures on the floor. Girls leave the room and some bees are placed under a few of the flowers. Girls return and choose a flower...anyone who's been stung (sitting on a flower with a bee under it) is out.

Turkish Delight - no idea why it’s popular

Duck duck goose

Pegs - start with 3 clothes pegs attached to the back hem of your top. Try to steal other people's pegs whilst protecting your own. Can be done as a running around game, or a longer-term stealth exercise.

British Bulldog

Hop and Crossed - hop, with your arms crossed over your chest. Try to nudge other people off balance so they put their other foot down.

Numbers - count to 10...sounds simple until you're not allowed to look at each other and only one of the group is allowed to say each number! If more than 1 person says the number, you start back at 1 again.

Name game - girls are in a circle, facing inwards. Choose someone to start - they point at someone else, but say their own name. Good for getting to learn new names without the pressure of having to remember everyone.

After Eights - leaders favourites

Lighthouse - one girl stands on a chair (or on the floor) at the front of the room, with a torch (lights off). The others start at the far end of the room and try to creep up to the front without being seen. If the 'lighthouse' (at the front) hears movement the shine the torch in that direction. If the mover is caught by the torch, they sit out. (Grandmother's Footsteps in the dark)

Pathways - lay out a grid of 'stepping stones' on the floor (could be paper, card, carpet tiles, or a marked off area of floor if you've got a tiled floor). A leader chooses a route through the grid but doesn't share with anyone. First girl steps onto a stepping stone, leader says yes or no, depending on whether that stone is the start of her chosen route. If yes, the same girl continues to her next stepping stone choice. Leader says yes or no, as per her route. If the answer is "no", that girl leaves the grid and the next has a turn. Can the girls remember which stones were yes or no on previous turns so they move forward more quickly?

Sleeping lions

Beach pegs - scatter tent pegs (or similar) on the beach (or field). Girls start lying on their front behind a line, facing away from the playing area. On the whistle, girls jump up and have to claim a peg and return to the staring line. Is it better to risk not finding a nearby peg in the crowd, or to run further but take longer?

No mate - girls sit in a circle, facing inwards. First person taps their feet on the ground and counts "1, 2" as they do so. Next says "3, 4" with their foot taps, and so on. Foot number 8 says "8 no mate" and gets tucked away, and the next foot starts at 1 again. Keep going until there is only 1 foot left - the winner!


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