Busted Activity

A fun energetic game that generates lots of laughter.

 Ice Breakers
 Having Fun, Problem Solving
1 – 5 minutes
1 – 8, 9 – 16
Children, Youth, Adults

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Let the group form a circle, they either sit or stand.
  • Everyone must be in such a position, so they have eye contact with everyone
    in the group.
  • To start, have them all close their eyes.
  • Anyone in the group can now open their eyes whenever they want to. The aim is to notice someone else who also has their eyes open.
  • The person who first catches someone else with their eyes open must
    immediately shout out the words – “Caught Ya Peeking” and mention that
    person’s name.
  • The person who has been caught out must put their hands on their heads and
    step backward out of the circle. They are permitted to keep their eyes open
    for the rest of the game.
  • The aim of the game is to see how long you are able to remain in the circle.
  • Play the game until you are left with a winner, or until you notice that the
    excitement amongst the participants has faded.

How to Play

Get the group to form a circle, they can be sitting or standing. Everyone must be able to make eye contact with the whole group. Once they have settled, get them to close their eyes and let the game begin.

Tell them that the purpose of the game is for everyone to open their eyes whenever
they want to. The aim is to see if they can surprise someone else who also has their
eyes open. They may catch another person looking straight at them, or even looking in the opposite direction. However, the person who catches someone else with their eyes open first, should shout out “Caught Ya Peeking”, and then call out their name.
It goes something like this, “Caught Ya Peeking, Tommy”.

Say both people catch each other at exactly the same time, then the person who
shouts out the correct words first is the winner (remember they must also shout out
that person’s name). Remember that whenever you open your eyes, you expose
yourself to an attacked by someone else. Another player can quite easily call your
name out before you have an opportunity to catch them.

The purpose of the activity is for you to remain in the game for as long as possible.
As soon as a person is caught out, they must put their hands on their heads and step
back from the circle. They can then either sit down or stand up away from the group.
This is done in order for those remaining in the game to see who is still “alive” and
who has been eliminated. Members who have been eliminated are permitted to keep
their eyes open and enjoy the rest of the game.

The game can go on until you have a winner, or if you observe that the ‘fun factor’ is
starting to fade.

Useful Framing Ideas

Do you enjoy watching people? Are you the type of person that has pleasure in
viewing the world pass by? Most of us enjoy doing this and it is amazing to watch
and see how different people act. Most are usually totally unaware they are being
observed. If you do this for long enough, you will be astounded at the unusual things
people get up to. In this game, you will be able to be a “people watcher” and enjoy
what happens next.

Have you, at any time, been able to catch a person watching another person? It is
absolutely hilarious. Nobody enjoys being caught out, looking at another person, but
it does sometimes bring a smile out. ‘Busted is all about this kind of experience.

Practical Leadership Tips

Keep a lookout on the group and see if there are those who keep their eyes closed all
the time. This strategy may be the safest, but it certainly takes out all the fun of the
game. This type of attitude can be treated as a lesson, compared to our daily lives.
You will always find disagreement amongst players, as to how open your eyes must
be in order to be positively trapped peeking. The fact is, as soon as someone’s
eyelashes begin to move, they will be able to see, even if their eyes are not properly

In order to successfully have anyone eliminated, you need to catch them with their
eyes open. Once their eyes close, it is too late to say they were caught peeking.

If you do come across the situation where someone keeps their eyes closed all the
time, they cannot be eliminated. Try to incorporate one of the variations below in
order to prevent this. The best method to include would be to have a winner, try to
catch somebody in next 20 seconds. This can help encourage members to participate

Debriefing and Reflection Tips & Strategies

Here are some questions to ask the group, which will help them to process their
experience of the game “Caught Ya Peeking”:

  • Did it make you feel ridiculous standing in a circle with your eyes closed?
  • How did it make you feel being caught out by someone else, especially
    someone else you weren’t looking at?
  • How did you react when you were eliminated?
  • Do you think there were any skills needed for playing this game? Give an

Popular Variations

  • Three Lives: In order to persuade people to peek more often, allow each
    player to have 3 lives.
  • Compulsory Peeking: To stop people keeping their eyes closed all the time
    during the game; bring in a rule where everyone has to open their eyes for a
    minimum of 10 to 15 seconds intervals.
  • The game “Winker” is another fun peeking game.


  • Fast pace
  • Fun
  • Good time-filler
  • Encourage critical-thinking
  • No props