< Back to Classroom - Designing Instruction

Tip the Fruit Basket

Tip the Fruit Basket

Props/Prep: No
Time: 20 min
Audience: Any
Physical: Yes

This activity is very lively, requires participants to pay close attention and physically move quickly. This activity has several purposes. It can be used as a ‘break’ from sitting and listening, or as a team builder, or curriculum game. It may be done on chairs or on the floor. Explaining the rules of the game ahead of time is crucial. If in chairs, care and instruction must be given to safety so that the game is not played too fast. Using the sentence, if you don’t find a chair you “get to be in the middle” rather than you “loose and have to be ‘it’” help reduce the speed and competitive nature. It is perfect for students who can’t sit still and who love activity. This activity can be modified to fit many different applications in the classroom.

Time Requirement: 20-30 minutes

Materials needed: None

Have the group sit in a circle. Walk around the circle and label each person by pointing to one and saying a fruit name, ‘apple’, ‘peach’, ‘pear’, ’plum’, ‘banana’. Continue around the circle until everyone is a fruit. 

One person (perhaps you the leader) is designated to be in the middle for the first round of the game. That person is looking for a spot to sit in the circle. In order to do that, the person calls out one of the names of fruit.

Everyone who is labelled that specific fruit must get up and switch chairs with someone else who is that fruit. During the switching of the chairs the person in the centre of the circle who called the fruit, hurries and tries to sneak in and get a spot in the circle by sitting in a chair. This means one of the others won’t have a seat. That person gets to be in the middle for the next round of play.


  1. Call out one fruit. i.e. Apples. All the apples must move.
  2. Call out more than one fruit. i.e. Apples and pears. All the apples and pears must move.
  3. Call out “Tip the fruit basket”. All players must move at once.

Function in Class: Content review, getting acquainted, energy booster, team builder, to decrease group barriers, etc. The activity can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of a class time. 

Other Options:

Change the game for other purposes in your classroom such as vocabulary content, definitions, etc.

Instead of labelling everyone ahead of time, have the person in the middle call out the parameters using information you may know or want to find out about each other.

Therefore you would change chairs if you fit the condition the person in the middle called out. Examples listed below:

  • Anyone who ate Cheerio’s for breakfast.
  • Anyone who loves dogs.
  • Anyone who was not born in Canada.
  • Anyone who hates country music.
  • Anyone who is wearing skate shoes.
  • Anyone who likes anchovies on her/his pizza.