Ships and Sailors Game

Ships and Sailors Game

If you're looking for a fun and exciting game to play with your friends and family, look no further than the classic Ships and Sailors game. I remember the first time we played it at my son's birthday party. The kids had a blast and loved the game.

So here I will share with you some tips and rules of this fantastic game. By the end of this post, you'll be ready to hoist the anchor and set sail on your own Ships and Sailors adventure!

What is the Ships and Sailors Game

The "Ships and Sailors" game is a a fun and popular group game which is often played at parties and in classrooms. Similar to Simon Says, it is a game that requires quick thinking, coordination, and the ability to follow commands. The game can be played indoors or outdoors in a space large enough to accommodate the players.

In the game, one player takes on the role of the "captain," and the remaining players are the "crew." The captain issues various commands, and the crew must follow these commands as quickly and accurately as possible. The game typically involves nautical-themed commands and actions, adding to the fun and excitement. 

Kids playing outside

What You'll Need:

  1. A group of players: Ships and Sailors is best enjoyed with a group of friends or family members. You can play with as few as four people, but the more, the merrier!
  2. A clear space: Find a room or open area where everyone can move around without any obstacles. The more space, the better.
  3. A leader or captain: Appoint someone to be the game's leader or captain. This person will call out the commands and keep the game moving.

Setting the Scene

Before we dive into the rules, let's set the scene. Imagine you and your crew are on a mighty ship, sailing the high seas. The captain (the game leader) will shout out various commands, and it's up to the crew (the players) to follow them quickly and accurately. The goal? To avoid being "out" and stay in the game as long as possible.

Ships and Sailors Commands

The game begins with the captain calling out various commands. These commands can be anything related to sailing and ship life. Some common commands in the Ships and Sailors game include:

  • "Captain's Coming!" - Everyone must salute.
  • "Man Overboard!" - Find a partner and carry them to safety (in pairs).
  • "Shark Attack!" - Players must climb onto an object or surface, like a chair or table, to stay safe.
  • "Swab the Deck!" - Players must kneel and pretend to scrub the floor.
  • "Pirate" - Players must hop on one leg
  • 'Hit the Deck" - Everyone must lie on the floor on their stomach
  • "Ships" - Everyone runs to the right
  • "Sailors" - Everyone runs to the left
  • "Lookout" - Everyone pretend to look through binoculars. 

Kids Playing


You can add your own creative commands to keep the game fresh and exciting. Just be sure everyone knows what each command means.

Ships and Sailors Rules

This game is perfect for all ages as there are not many rules to follow. To stay in the game, players must follow the captain's commands exactly. If you make a mistake or fail to follow a command, you're "out" and must sit down. The last person standing wins!

Tips and Tricks for Ships and Sailors Game

Having played my fair share of Ships and Sailors, here are some personal recommendations to make the game even more enjoyable:

Kids dressed as pirates

  1. Stay in Character: Embrace your inner sailor! The more you get into character, the more fun the game becomes. Dressing up in pirate or sailor costumes adds an extra layer of excitement.
  2. Safety First: While the game can get rowdy, safety should always come first. Make sure the play area is free of hazards, and be cautious when climbing on objects during commands like "Shark Attack."
  3. Mix It Up: Don't be afraid to get creative with your commands. Encourage everyone to come up with their own commands and set these as the game commands before the round. You'll discover new and hilarious ways to stay in the game.
  4. Keep the Energy Up: Ships and Sailors is all about high energy and quick thinking. Play some lively sea shanties in the background to keep the mood lively.
  5. Prizes for Winners: Consider offering a small prize for the last player standing. It adds a competitive edge and makes victory all the sweeter!

So, there you have it, me hearties! With these tips and a little bit of imagination, you're ready to embark on your own Ships and Sailors adventure. It's a game that's sure to create lasting memories and bring endless laughter.

So gather your crew, hoist the anchor, and set sail on this unforgettable journey of fun and camaraderie! 

More Fun party Game Ideas:

Are you having a pizza party and looking for some fun games to keep everyone entertained? Then we have you covered.

Pass the Parcel is a super fun party game that people of all ages love. But guess what? You can make it even more awesome with these modern ideas. Keep reading to find out how to add a fun twist and have a blast at your next party!"