Monkeys In A Barrel - Rules

Monkeys In A Barrel – Rules and Instructions

This game is quite famous and almost everyone knows about it even if they haven’t played it. Monkeys in a Barrel was initially created by Leonard Marks with toy inventor and school mate Milton Dinhofer. They name the game Chimp to Chimp, but as the game progressed named barrel of monkeys after a funny incident.

When the game was shown to Lakeside Toys, the Vice President of Lakeside Toys James R. Becker was also in attendance. He liked the game and said that the game was “more fun than a barrel of monkeys”. After that, the game was released with a cardboard barrel with it.

Monkeys In A Barrel - Rules
Monkeys In A Barrel Instructions

What You Will Need To Play the Game

  • At least one player aged 3 +
  • A Playing Surface
  • Barrel of Monkeys game

What You Need to Do in the Game.

You need to create the longest chain of monkeys in order to win this game.

How to Start The Game.

First, shake the barrel then place out all the monkeys on the playing surface. The instructions that come with the game say that the player with the next birthday will make the first move. You can choose any way to figure out the first player or simply play age-wise.

How to play Monkeys in a barrel?

The first player has to use one monkey to grab the arm of the second monkey from the pile. If the player is able to grab one monkey then they’ll get another chance to grab the third monkey. If any monkey falls off from the chain then all monkeys will return to the pile and the next player will try to build the chain of monkeys

Winning the Game

The player who is able to create the longest chain will be the winner. In some cases, you might witness a tie then the player who made the chain faster is declared the winner.


There are many variations of the game. The most common one is the time game. The player who chains all the monkeys in the least amount of time will be declared the winner.

You can also dump all the monkeys together and the players to make the longest chain will win. Make sure you have 2 or more sets of the game to play this variation, the game won’t last long with just a single set. Choose whatever variation you enjoy the most and play this game with family and friends. All age groups will enjoy this game.

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