Custom Built Team Building and Leadership Initiative Training

Chicken Noodle Circle – A Great Way to Round Up a Group

Have you ever had a hard time getting your group into a circle? We all know that circles are the best way for a group to communicate, and sometimes we need the group to get into different sizes of circles depending upon the activity. I picked this fun way to circle up a group on a day at the ropes course at OSU Outdoor Adventure.

I typically will introduce this activity as an opportunity for the group to learn a valuable tool in group communication…forming a circle. I will introduce on circle, practice it a few times, and then introduce a new circle. Each time we playfully form the different circles until the group has learned the different ways to circle up.

Chicken Noodle Circle

Ryan Eller

The most common and effective way to organize your group is to round them into a circle. Use this quick and fun activity to help your participants learn how to efficiently circle up.

Number of Participants: 5-75
Time:  5 minutes
Activity Level:  Moderate
Props:  None

Objective:  To get into a circle quickly and effectively.

Description: Teach the participants these five circles:

  1. Chicken Noodle: Ask your participants to get into a circle “Chicken Noodle Style,” which is a shoulder to shoulder circle (this is a small circle).
  2. Chicken Wing: The participants place their hands on their hips and elbows out as they imagine being a chicken wing. The participants will touch elbows around the circle. (This is a medium circle)
  3. Chicken in Flight: Participants spread out for this large circle by stretching their arms out wide, standing on one foot, and leaning over like a chicken flying through the air. (This is the largest circle)
  4. Free Range Chicken: Everyone finds their own spot in the room, sticks their hands straight out to their sides, and spins in a circle. If they have enough room to spin without touching another person, they have officially became a free range chicken. 
  5. The Great Chicken Turnabout – Everyone stands in a Chicken Wing circle, and at count of three everyone turns around and faces the outside of the circle. 

Ask the participants to learn the five circles, and then randomly challenge the group to get into the circles as quickly as possible when you yell out the type of circle. At any point in the day you can ask the participants to get into any of the types of circles depending on the needs of the group.

I have seen a couple different types of Circle Up activities in different books. Check them out for new ideas and references. 

The Hundredth Monkey by Nate Folan and friends – Circle Up pg. 54
Raptor and other Team Building Activities by Sam Sikes – The Great Roundup pg. 103 

Do you have any circle up activities that work with small – large groups? 


One response

  1. Hey Ryan, I love this variation of what I know to be Velcro Circle ( ) – which I learned from Nate. I tried it out this new chook version on a group today, and I think I had them laugh more from my attempt to remember what I read on this blog this morning, so having it read again now, Ill give it another go tomorrow 🙂 Have FUNN…

    July 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

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