How to Play Heads Up 7Up (and variations of this game)

As a parent (or anyone who has to look after young kids), you can really appreciate the value of quiet games.  And one of the easiest places to start is by teaching your kid(s) how to play Heads Up 7Up.  

It’s a super easy (and more importantly, quiet) game to learn.

Kids love to play it because, every time you play, there’s a different outcome.

There are actually a couple ways to play this game, so we’ll go through both of them below, along with what you can do if you don’t have enough kids for the traditional version of this game.

Let’s get into all of the details.

How to Play Heads Up 7Up

Here’s what you need in order to play:

  1. At least 14 kids
  2. Thumbs

Pretty simple.

Variation #1: The Original

Here are the instructions for how to play heads up 7up in the “original” version:

  • Select seven kids to stand in front of the room.
  • Tell everyone else to put their heads down (usually while sitting).
  • Each of the seven kids walks around the room and taps one kid.  Once touched, that kid puts his or her thumb up.
  • The seven go back to the front of the room and say, “heads up, 7up!”
  • Each of the kids who was touched (and now have their thumbs up) get one guess to see which of seven was the one who touched them.
  • If they guess it correctly, they get to change places with the person who touched them, and now get to be in front of the room for subsequent rounds of the games (until someone else switches with them).

You can predetermine how many rounds are left in the game, and whoever are the seven left standing at the end are the winners.

Variation #2: The “Chosen One”

This example works much like the one above, but there are some important differences:

  • Everyone puts their heads down and the adult/teacher in the room taps one kid – this kid is now “it.”
  • That one kid then walks around and taps another six kids, who the immediately proceed to the front of the room.
  • They then say “heads up, 7up!”
  • The remaining kids have to guess which one of the seven are “it.”

How to Play Heads Up 7Up if You Don’t Have 14+ Kids

Heads up 7up is a fun game, but sometimes it’s difficult to play if you don’t have a large group of kids.

Fortunately, you can scale back the number of people selected and the game still works (although then it really isn’t “7” up, but it’s still the same game).

The key to playing with fewer kids is making sure that you have at least twice as many kids as the number of kids being tapped.

Here’s an example of how it would work if you have 6 kids:

  • Select two kids to stand in front of the room.
  • Tell the other four kids to put their heads down.
  • Each of the two kids walks around the room and taps one kid.  Once touched, that kid puts his or her thumb up.
  • The two go back to the front of the room and say, “heads up, 7up!” (yes, even though there aren’t seven)
  • Each of the two kids who was tapped gets one guess to see who tapped them.
  • If they guess it correctly, they get to change places with the person who touched them, and now get to be in front of the room for subsequent rounds of the games (until someone else switches with them).

Although it’s less challenging than playing with 14+ people, it’s still fun because the kids get to win and switch places more often.

You can get creative and add other things to the game, such as:

  • Instead of tapping the kids with their heads down, the kids who are “it” place an object (could be a toy or anything else) and then the kids who are selected have to give the object back to the correct person.
    • This is more fun than just trying to guess the person because you get to watch their facial expressions as you decide who to give the toy to, which may tip you off as to who tapped you! (you know, let the kids practice their poker faces at an early age)

Still looking for more? Here’s another variation of the game that involves math.

It’s time to play!

Well, that’s all you need to know about how to play heads up 7up. As you can see, it’s a easy game to learn and doesn’t require much to get started.

And it sure beats letting your kids spend all day playing around on a mobile device.

As we said above, you can get creative and add your own unique twists to the game to make it more fun and interesting.

What variations of the game have you tried? Or do you just enjoy playing the “classic” way?  Share in the comments below! 🙂


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