Thumbs up game in kindergarten

I had forgotten about this familiar “thumbs-up” game until I walked in this classroom the other day and saw it in action!

To play this game, start by choosing two or three students to come to the front of the room.  (They can leave the shoes on by the way:)

The remaining children sit at the table with their heads down, eyes closed, and one thumb up!

The children up in the front of the room then go around the room and select one child to tap on the thumb. When your thumb is tapped you put it down!

After each child has tapped a thumb, they go back up to the front of the room.  Now the children are told to open their eyes and anyone who was tapped on the thumb is to stand up.

Now the children who just stood up are to try and guess who they think tapped their thumb!

Oh, and yes – the teacher can play too!

We do not play this as a win lose game. After every child has made a guess as to who might have tapped their thumb, then they get to go to the front of the room and the others sit down. Now we play the game again for as long as the children are enjoying the experience.

By |2010-08-20T06:00:11+00:00August 20th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Cathy @ NurtureStore August 20, 2010 at 11:19 am - Reply

    It’s such a treat to discover a game which is completely new to me – going to try it next time we have a gang of friends round to play. Thank you so much for sharing with the Play Academy Deborah.

  2. Teacher Tom August 20, 2010 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hey, we did play this game when I was in elementary school. I’d forgotten about it too!

  3. Scott August 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder of this game. I may need to use this with the children’s choir I help with.

  4. Amy M August 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I think we called this Heads up 7 Up when I was a kid.

    • Deborah J. Stewart August 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      Yes – that is the name of this game! I couldn’t recall the name of it so thank you:)

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