09 fun games – every one can play
1. Candy Introductions
Candy Introductions is a get-to-know-you game that helps people learn new facts about each other in an easy way. They select various pieces of candy from a bag, and each candy variety is associated with a fact about themselves which they will introduce to the others. This game also goes by other names, including the M&M game, Candy Confessions, the Skittles Game, the Gum Drop game, among others. Candy Introductions can work with any group size. The icebreaker works best when the group size is limited to 12, so if you have more than 12, divide the larger group and run the icebreaker within the smaller sized groups. This icebreaker works best indoors, and is well suited for classrooms or meeting rooms.
Materials required are: candy with about five different variations (color or candy type), and an optional chalkboard/whiteboard.
Setup for Candy Introductions
Purchase several variety packs of candy, enough for each person to be able to have at least five pieces. They can be any candy type, but not too many choices (limit it to around five or six different varieties). Alternatively, you can buy gummy bears, life savers, gum drops, skittles, m&ms, or any other candy that already has a variety of colors.
Instructions for How to Play
Pass around the candy and tell each participant to choose anywhere from 1 to 5 pieces of anything that they want. Instruct them not to eat it yet, though. After they have chosen their candy, you will tell them what each candy type/color represents.
If there is a whiteboard or chalkboard present, write on the board the following:
- Red – Favorite hobbies
- Green – Favorite place on earth
- Blue – Favorite memory
- Yellow -Dream job
- Orange – Wildcard (tell us anything about yourself!)
If you don’t have the above colors, change the above to match the candy types that you have. Each person takes turns introducing himself or herself, beginning with their name and then saying one fact for each candy type that they have. This easy introduction game should go relatively quickly (assuming they weren’t greedy and that they didn’t take too many pieces of candy!)
2. Fabulous Flags
Fabulous Flags (also known as the Personal Flags Activity) is a useful icebreaker activity to help people convey what represents them or what is important to them. Each person draws a flag that contains some symbols or objects that symbolizes who they are or what they enjoy. This get-to-know-you activity is best done indoors. Any number of people can participate. The recommended age is 7 and up.
Materials required are: several sheets of paper, pens, and colored pencils/crayons/markers.
Instructions for Fabulous Flags Activity
Pass out a sheet of paper, pens, and colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers to each person. Explain the activity: “We’re now going to draw flags that represent or symbolize us. Please design your own flag of you – include some symbols or objects that symbolize who you are or what you find enjoyable or important.” You can show your own sample flag if you like. For example, you could draw:
- a guitar (representing your passion for music)
- a tennis racket (someone who enjoys sports)
- a country like India (representing your affiliation with a country)
- a cross and a heart (representing Jesus and His love for the world)
Give everyone a set amount of time to draw (e.g. 15-20 minutes or so) and then reconvene. Ask for volunteers to share their flags and explain the meaning of what they drew. If it is a large group, you can divide everyone into smaller groups and ask them to share their flags with each other, or you can just ask a small number of volunteers to share.
After everyone has finished sharing the individual flags, as a big group you can ask everyone to brainstorm ideas on what to draw for a large class-wide flag. Proceed to delegate individuals to draw certain parts of the class-wide flag. Alternatively, you can collect the individual flags and paste them onto a board to create a “quilt” of individual flags, representing unity.
3. Did You Know Bingo?
Did You Know? Bingo (also known as the Autograph Game) is an icebreaker that helps people learn interesting facts about each other. People walk around the room and mingle until they find people that match the facts listed on a bingo-style sheet.
This game is a get-to-know-you style icebreaker. The recommended group size is: large or extra large. The game works best with a group of about 25 people. It can be played indoors or outdoors. Materials required are: printed bingo sheets and pens. Ages 12 and up.
Setup for Did You Know? Bingo
The objective of this game is for people to wander around the room and to obtain the signatures of people who have the facts listed on the bingo sheet. Once a person successfully obtains a full row (5 in a row), whether horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, he or she shouts “BINGO!” and wins. This game requires a little bit of setup. Prepare a 5 by 5 table, with interesting facts written inside the boxes. These facts can include funny or bizarre things. For example:
- Likes anchovies
- Has been to Hawaii
- Speaks more than two languages
- Has never been on a plane
- Has more than four brothers
- Has gone without a shower for more than three days
Be creative! You can mark the center square “FREE SPACE” like traditional bingo games. After you have prepared the table, print out enough copies for the number of players you are expecting.
Instructions for How to Play
Pass out a sheet to each person, along with a pen. Explain the objective of the game and the following rules: (1) each person you talk to may only sign your sheet once, and (2) to win, you must get signatures to form 5 in a row horizonally, vertically, or diagonally. Say “Go!” and ask your participants to begin. Once someone shouts “Bingo!” everyone returns and the person must introduce the people who signed his or her sheet. If desired, you can ask each person to explain their fact. This icebreaker game is fun way to get to know humorous or unique facts about people. Enjoy!
4. Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is an icebreaker game that helps people get to know each other better. Everyone sits in a circle and take turns saying something they have never done. Each player starts with ten fingers showing. Each time says something that you’ve done, you drop a finger.
The goal is to be the last player remaining. This get-to-know-you game can be played indoors or outdoors. The recommended number of people for this game is ten to fifteen, but all group sizes can play by dividing into appropriate sized groups. Recommended age is 8 and up. No special materials are required.
Instructions for Never Have I Ever
Instruct everyone to sit in a circle. If you have an extremely large group, tell people to form smaller circles of about ten to fifteen people. To start each round, each player holds out all ten fingers and places them on the floor. Go around the circle and one at a time, each person announces something that they have never done, beginning the sentence with the phrase “Never have I ever…” For example, a person could say, “Never have I ever been to Europe.” For each statement that is said, all the other players drop a finger if they have done that statement. So, if three other people have been to Europe before, those three people must put down a finger, leaving them with nine fingers. The goal is to stay in the game the longest (to be the last person with fingers remaining). To win, it’s a good strategy to say statements that most people have done, but you haven’t.
Playing this game, along with the benefit of getting to know each others’ experiences better, can be very humorous (e.g. saying silly statements such as, “Never have I ever skipped a class in school” or “Never have I ever ripped my pants.”) Have fun!
5. React and Act Game
React and Act! is a funny icebreaker in which players randomly select a sheet of paper that has an occurrence on it (for example, winning a million dollars in the lottery) and they must react to the occurence using animated expressions, gestures, and words. After a set amount of time, other players try to guess what happened that caused those reactions and actions. React and Act is an active icebreaker game that can work with a variety of group sizes. It can work for small groups of five people, or adapted for very large groups by selecting volunteers. This game is best played indoors. Materials required include paper, pens, and a bag. React and Act works with all ages, including adults.
Setup for React and Act
React and Act involves some preparation; however, this is part of the fun! Pass out sheets of paper and pens to the players. Have each person write an event. Tell them to be creative!
Examples of events can include:
- Being surprised by a large, aggressive bear in the woods
- You just won the lottery
- You have just been proposed for marriage with an engagement ring
- You just got fired by an incompetent boss
- Making the game winning pass to win the Superbowl
- You just fell in love
Once everyone writes an event, fold the paper once and place it into the bag. Divide the group into two teams (or select five volunteers if it is a very large group).
Instructions for How to Play
Ask five people on each team to randomly select an event from the bag. Instruct them to react to this event, without explicitly giving away what the event is. Choose a time limit (usually 30 seconds to a minute works well) and when you say “Go!”, have all five people to simultaneously react to their event using exaggerated gestures, facial expressions, and their voice. For example, the person who has just won the lottery could raise his or her arms and scream excitedly, jumping up and down. The person who has just confronted a bear might make a terrified look, shake in fear, and call for help. And so on. Each of the five actors can interact with each other, but they must stay “in character” and continue reacting and acting based upon what their sheet said.
After time expires, the other members of the team try to guess what happened for each person. If you wish to keep score, each team gets a point for each correct guess. This game is a great way to break the ice, while watching people act out silly (and usually hilarious) things.
6. Sort and Mingle
Sorts and Mingle is an interactive icebreaker that helps people recognize common and unique interests and preferences. The speaker calls out various categories and everyone moves toward various parts of the room, finding people with similar tastes as them.
This game is classified as a get-to-know-you icebreaker with a little bit of active movement (walking around the room, meeting and talking to others). Recommended group size is:
medium, large, or extra large. Can be played indoors or outdoors, but indoors is ideal. No special materials are required. No mess. For ages ten and up.
Instructions for Sorts and Mingle
There are two parts to this icebreaker. The first half is the “Sorts” game. The moderator tosses out two contrasting choices and everyone must move either east or west of the room (for example. “Do you prefer Nature or Cities?”) Then the moderator shouts out two more choices
and everyone moves north and south of the room. In this way, each person must move to somewhere and can’t get “lost” in the crowd. Some sorts that work well include: dogs vs. cats, books vs. movies, sweet vs. salty, casual vs. dress up, inside vs. outside; be on the stage performing vs. in the audience watching, and so on.
The second half of the icebreaker, the “Mingle” game, works as follows: The moderator shouts out a general category and the group is asked to mingle around to find others that have the same answer and they clump up to form a larger group. After about thirty seconds to one minute, the moderator asks each group call out their answer. If a person is unique and is the only one with an answer, that’s okay. Examples of mingles: your favorite place on Earth; your favorite dessert; the kind of animal you like best; if you could have dinner with someone, who would you choose; your favorite hobby; if you could be anyone, what would it be? Both halves of this game help people introduce themselves in a fun, interactive format
7. Superlative Game
The Superlative Game is a simple icebreaker that asks players to line up in ascending order for various different categories (e.g. height, birthday month, etc.). It’s very easy to learn and play, and it doesn’t require a lot of time. This game can be classified as a get-to-know-you style icebreaker. The recommended group size is medium, large, or extra large groups. Players will be divided into multiple teams of at least five people. This game can be played both indoors or outdoors. There are no special materials required to play. It works great with all ages.
Setup for the Superlative Game
The facilitator of the Superlative game needs to prepare a list of categories. These categories can be surface-level categories such as height (in ascending order), birthday month (in ascending order, from January to December), shoe size, number of siblings (least to most), etc. or you can also make deeper categories, depending on your goals.
Playing the Superlative Game
Split the group into at least three teams. The ideal team size is at least five players per team, but preferably no more than nine. Explain the rules and consider using one of the variations below (such as the no talking rule). Read the first category aloud, such as “Line up by increasing order of height. Go!” Each team scrambles to get in the proper order. When a team thinks they are done, they must all sit down and raise their hands. At this point, the facilitator checks the team and verifies that they are in the proper order. If they made a mistake, they get awarded zero points that round and the facilitator checks the next group that sat down. The first team to correctly get in order and sits down gets awarded a point. The facilitator then reads off the next category, and this process repeats until the game is over (no more categories).
There are many variations to this game that are worth considering. These include:
- No talking allowed. All players must rely on body language and hand gestures to get in the proper order.
- Head and feet only. You can only use your head and feet to signal where to go. No talking oruse of arms/hands to communicate.
Telephone Charade Game
Telephone Charades (also known as Charades Down the Line) is a hilarious icebreaker in which a person acts out a charade only for the next person in the line, who in turn acts out for the next person. The last person standing in line attempts to guess what the original clue was. This is in active icebreaker that works best with a group of five or six people. It can also be implemented for larger groups by taking five or six volunteers per round. This game is best played indoors. No special materials are required other than sheets of paper with the clues written on them. Telephone Charades is for people age 10 and up.
8. Setup for Telephone Charades
Telephone Charades or “Charades Down the Line” is an active icebreaker that combines charades with the “telephone down the line” game. To prepare for the game, write a list of humorous actions to be acted out. Some examples are:
- a pantomime
- a nerd’s first date
- a cat bathing itself
- going skydiving
- fishing and catching a huge fish
Instructions for How to Play
Choose five or six people (or ask for volunteers) and ask them to line up in a row, facing the left side of the room. Ask the first person to turn around to see the first clue to be acted out. Reveal the clue to the person, and display the clue to the audience as well. The first person turns around and taps the next person in line on the shoulder. He or she then acts out the clue using classic charades rules (no talking or noises permitted). The second person then taps the third person and acts out his or her understanding of what was acted out. This process continues until it reaches the last person in line, who must guess what the action is. This game is funny because the acting tends to warp and get distorted based upon each person’s interpretation of what is going on.
A good variation to try is to have two teams line up and act out the same clue simultaneously. The teams that guess the clue correctly (or most correctly) wins the round
9. Lost on a Desert Island
Lost on a Deserted Island is a team building activity that also helps people share a little about themselves. Given the scenario that everyone is lost and stranded on a deserted island, each person describes one object that they would bring and why. This game is a team building and get-to-know-you icebreaker. The recommended group size is medium, although small and large group sizes are possible too. An indoor setting is ideal. No special props or materials are required. This icebreaker works well for any age, including adults and corporate settings.
Instructions for Lost on a Deserted Island
The situation is dire — following a shipwreck, everyone has been stranded on a deserted island! Each person is allowed to bring one object to the island — ideally something that represents them or something that they enjoy. The first part of this icebreaker is simple: each person is asked to describe what object they would bring and why. This need not be realistic; if someone loves music, he or she might choose to bring a guitar, or an animal lover might choose to bring a dog, a food lover might choose to bring sirloin steaks, and so on. Encourage people to be creative. After everyone has introduced their object and why they have chosen that object, the teambuilding portion follows. Divide into smaller groups and ask everyone to work together to improve their chances of survival by combining the various objects that they introduced. If necessary, you can add more objects, but be sure to use all the objects that everyone mentioned. If you wish, you can reward the most creative group with a prize. Lost on a Deserted Island is an approachable way to get people to open up and share a little bit about themselves and what they enjoy or value.