Zip, Zap, Zop!

The Basics:

Players stand in a circle. The goal is to pass an invisible ball of energy around to the group. This is done in a very spacific way. The first person makes eye contact with a person, tilts his or her head forward and says “Zip”. That person, having just been Zipped, makes eye contact with a different person in the circle, tilts his or her head, and says “Zap”. The third person, who just got zapped, must pass the energy in a completely different way. They must step out into the circle, support their right elbow with their left hand, and point to the next player by extending the arm slightly and flicking the wrist so that the hand is directed at the next player, all while saying “Zop”. This should be done in one continuous motion. (Practice as a group a few times until everyone gets it right!) The player who gets “Zopped” now becomes the new player one, and the pattern repeats itself with the goal of moving the energy as fast as possible.

In The Classroom:

  • This seems like a simple game, but remembering to Zop can be a huge problem! Mistakes will happen, just laugh and move on!

  • The actual “Zop” motion can be adjusted, but once it is established make sure it is strictly enforced. The game works a lot better when the group makes a big deal about “proper Zopping procedure!”

  • Remember, the goal is speed!!!

Curriculum Connections:


  • A slight change in this game can create a really fun math review game!

  • Here is how it works— The Group decides on a function fist, the easiest is addition. Then instead of saying “Zip” the first player says a number, then the second player says another number instead of “Zap” and finally the third person must say the sum of the two numbers instead of saying “Zop”, pointing at the player who starts the next equation. So it sounds like this: Player 1: “7” Player 2: “2” Player 3, as he is pointing: “9”

  • If the group had picked Multiplication, player three would have said “14” in that round. Subtraction and division are harder because it requires the players to order the numbers properly, or be forced to use negative numbers or fractions. (7-2=5 so that would work, but if the order was 2 first and then seven it would be -5)

Social Pragmatics:

  • This is a great game for practicing making and receiving eye contact; a huge problem for some kids.

  • Kids need to keep their body focused in the group, make eye contact with another player in a way that sends a non-verbal message, and then do the same with another person.

  • It is rare that one finds a game that can practice such a specific and often overlooked social skill that so many of our students have trouble with. A great game for speech pathologists to keep in their pocket!!!


This is one of those classic improv games that many resources have.