Improv Games for your Team: Count to 20

A simple game with a big impact, this game is about listening and teamwork.  Your team will learn how to tune into to non-verbal cues, demonstrate patience, and work together towards a common goal.

Goal: Count to 20 as a group.

How to play:

  • Assemble the group in a circle, ideally with no table in the middle

  • Someone starts by saying “one”

    • Don’t identify the person to start, just wait to see who kicks it off.

  • Someone else continues by saying “two”...then “three” and so on.

  • Only one person can say a number at a time.

    • If two or more people say the same number at the same time, restart at zero.

  • When you reach 20 without any faults, celebrate!

Great for teams of 4-10 and can be done anywhere!


Watch this video to see how it’s done. We recommend you stand relatively close together (shoulder to shoulder or nearly). People can look at a spot on the floor without being quite as hunched over as a few of the participants in this video.


The first few attempts will always fail because the game is new to most people and because it takes time to learn to work together as a group and really listen to each other.

As your team attempts to count to 20…and there will be plenty of attempts…they will begin to pay closer attention to each other.  Eventually, by patiently listening for those unspoken cues and working together, they’ll reach their goal.

Victory is sweet! When they finally hit that magic number they’ll experience a great sense of accomplishment, ready to tackle new challenges together.