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This is a physical exercise that is a lot of fun and gets people involved. It can also be done outdoors.


  • All the participants stand on the ground or floor. They form groups of three. Two participants hold their hands facing each other and lift their arms to form a “house”. The third person, the “resident”, stands inside the “house” with the arms of the other two above them. The arms in the air are then lowered as protection around the resident in the house. The number of houses with a resident inside will correspond to the number of participants.
  • One participant stands alone in the middle of the room with the houses around them. This participant then calls out “house”, “resident” or “earthquake”.
    • If this participant calls out “house”, the participants forming the “house” raise their arms, leaving their “resident” (still together) and find a new “resident” to lower their arms around.
    • If the participant calls out “resident”, all the people standing in the “houses” leave them and try to find a new “house”. All the participants acting as “houses” raise their arms to allow the “residents” to enter and leave. 
    • If the participant calls out “earthquake”, all the “houses” with people inside fall apart, and everyone tries to form new “houses” with new “residents” in them. 
  • The person standing in the middle who has called out “house”, “resident” or “earthquake”, also joins the game and tries to find a place as “house” or “resident”. This means that one participant will be left without being a “house” or “resident”. This participant will now be the one to call out “house”, “resident” or “earthquake”. And the game goes on.

The energizer has been taken from "Bygg broer, ikke murer - 97 øvelser i menneskerettigheter, flerkulturell forståelse og konflikthåndtering" [Build bridges not walls - 97 exercises in multicultural understanding and conflict management] (Humanist forlag 2007)

(English translation: John Anthony)