Bang! | Get Ready For a Standoff in This Popular Drama Game

Bang is suitable for children aged six and up and remains a favourite into adulthood! You’ll be surprised by how many years your students will continue to request this simple game.

If you’re unhappy playing the game with guns, switch them for custard pies and say ‘Splat!’ instead of ‘Bang!’.

COVID-19 Update!
If you aren’t able to have your students two metres apart in a circle, why not try doing smaller rounds of the game or give this one a miss for now.


  • Ask students to stand in a circle.
  • Students must put their hands behind their back like pistols.
  • The teacher stands in the centre of the circle as a sheriff.
  • If the teacher shoots a student and says ‘Bang!’, they must duck down and the students on either side should shoot each other and say ‘Bang!’.
  • The student who shoots last is eliminated and must sit down in the circle.
  • If the person shot at by the sheriff does not duck down they are eliminated.
  • If a student other than the three in play says ‘Bang!’ they are eliminated.
  • Continue playing until only two students remain.
  • Stand the final two back to back and give them categories, eg. fruits and vegetables.
  • When you say one category they take a step forward and when you say the other they shoot, eg. apple-step, banana-step, carrot-shoot.
  • the first person to shoot and say ‘Bang!’ is the winner.

Top tip: Allow the winner to be the sheriff in the next round. Often so many students are focused on becoming the sheriff that they will not tire of this game for many rounds.

Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.


  1. I actually find this game disturbing.
    Calling a child’s name to be shot. Then the student had to duck down to not be shot but if the do another student gets shot. I saw this game played for the first time today and I was disgusted.
    I feel it is glorifying shootings.

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment. I actually don’t disagree with you about this. I first learned this game early in my career and I didn’t give it a second thought at the time, but as the years have gone by, I have also become increasingly uncomfortable with the shooting aspect of the game. That said, almost all of my students LOVE it and it’s really, really effective at regulating energy levels when the class needs a lift of to refocus. Personally, I no longer play the game with guns or the word ‘bang’ but instead opt for the custard pie version, ‘splat’ (noted at the top of the post). The format still works in the same way and has the same popularity and benefits, but without glamorizing shootings. Following your comment, I do think it may be time for an update of this post to switch to ‘splat’ as the primary format, and just make reference to the fact that it is a new version of the more outdated game, ‘bang’.

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