The 5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1,000

If you are a fan of popular PC games such as League of Legends and Fallout 4, you are going to want to have a well-suited rig to get as much enjoyment from your games as possible. Most PC gamers will tell you that a desktop is the best way to go, but a desktop keeps you rooted to one place like a ball and chain. Laptops, on the other hand, give you portability. With a laptop, you can take your gaming experience anywhere. The list below features some of the best gaming laptops money can buy for under $1,000.

1. Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch


Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5-5200U, 8 GB RAM, 1…

  • Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2 GHz (3 MB Cache)
  • Windows 10
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM

Coming in at the lowest price among the midrange laptops on this list, the Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Laptop packs plenty of bang for the buck. Acting as a suitable desktop replacement, this laptop offers a strong performance and plenty of incredible features that any hardcore PC gamer would appreciate. The 1080p display provides stunning visuals of all your gameplay sequences whereas the discrete NVIDIA 940M video card with 2 GB of memory reduces any video latency that might otherwise ruin your gaming experience.

The laptop comes in a sleek and stylish case with a textile pattern. Two 3.0 USB ports ensure fast transfer speeds when you need it most, whether you are transferring personal files or important data for work. The backlit LCD display optimizes your viewing experience whether you are gaming or streaming videos. The Intel Core i5 processor means this laptop is nothing short of a powerhouse that is capable of running even the most detailed games and graphics.

The Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Gaming laptop makes connectivity based games, such as MMOs, and web browsing a cinch thanks to its 802.11ac wireless card featuring some of the latest and greatest technologies. When paired with an 802.11ac router, you can experience connectivity speeds that are up to 3 times faster than normal to help boost the performance and streaming capabilities of your games and videos.

No PC gaming experience is complete without sound quality. Luckily, you can enjoy an immersive sound experience thanks to the addition of Acer TrueHarmony, which diminishes audio distortion and provides rich tones and incredible base. In addition, you can customize your sound experience using the custom equalizer settings to ensure that all of your games and movies sound just the way you want them to.

With a 1 TB sized hard drive, it will ensure you that it will have plenty of room for all of your favorite PC games whereas 8 GB of RAM ensures that this laptop will keep up with anything you throw its way. You can also opt for different specs such as different processor or perhaps a larger screen for an additional price. However, this particular Acer provides any PC gamer with exactly what they need in a gaming system while offering the portability and other benefits of a laptop all rolled into one.

2. Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch


Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (6th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ…

  • Intel i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz Quad-Core (6M Cache, Turbo up to 3.2 GHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
  • 8 GB DDR3L / 256 GB Solid-State Drive

The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is ahead of its class in many ways. Despite being a midrange gaming laptop, it is certainly capable of keeping up with some of the big boys. The Dell features the latest and greatest Windows 10 OS, which allows you to enjoy a number of enhanced and new Windows features. For instance, Windows 10 provides quick startup and even faster resumes than its predecessors. In addition, you can hookup an Xbox controller and enjoy some of your favorite Xbox games from your Windows 10 Dell laptop.

If that isn’t enough to whet your whistle, keep in mind that this laptop provides you with an enhanced gameplay experience thanks to its Intel i5 Quad-Core processor that ensures both your gaming and video streaming experience is as smooth as possible. Combine that with the laptop’s powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M video card with 4 GB of memory and you will be amazed at how well this midrange laptop can handle even some of the most detailed and resource hungry games.

As an added benefit, this laptop is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD in order to ensure plenty that you have the space and power needed for all of your PC games. If that still isn’t enough, then you have yet to experience the pleasure of the wide angle, 1920×1080 display that provides you with anti-glare capabilities. Never again will you have to tilt your head or your screen at an odd angle just to improve your viewing experience. The backlit keyboard ensures that you keep with your games chat capabilities even well into the late night hours.

As with any laptop or computer, one of the most important you need to realize is that resource hungry games can make your PC run hot, which can quickly ruin it. Fortunately, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop stays cool throughout your gameplay experience thanks to its internal thermal cooling design. The laptop prevents overheating thanks to two internal cooling fans combined with three exhaust vents and a total of 240 thermal fins. For an additional price you can acquire both the laptop and an included gaming mouse.

3. ASUS XPC


XPC ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Gamer Notebook (AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, 32GB RAM,…

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Quad Core (2.3GHz-4.0GHz)
  • RAM: 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (Seq. Read 2000MB/s, Seq. Write 1750MB/s)
  • Keyboard: Illuminated Chiclet RGB Keyboard (White Backlit) | Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

ASUS is quickly becoming a popular brand of PC in many households and with good reason. The ASUS K501UX 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is a perfect example of what a gaming laptop should be. The laptop features 8 GB of RAM and a 256 SSD in order to power its way through even the most powerful and detailed gaming applications. The Windows 10 operating system provides you with additional features such as the ability to enjoy some of your favorite Xbox games. In order to get the most of your Xbox gaming experience using your ASUS laptop, you can easily connect your Xbox controller.

If you are not quite feeling the Windows 10 experience, you can purchase the laptop equipped with Windows 8.1 instead for a lower price. No matter the OS that you choose, the laptop itself will still arrive with the same incredible specs that allow you to get the most out of your gaming experience. For instance, this powerhouse delivers in gaming performance thanks to the Intel Core i7-6500 2.5 GHz processor. Better yet, the processor is capable of turbo speeds up to 3.1GHz so that it can keep up with even the most resource hungry games and applications.

The 15.6-inch matte HD display offers an impressive 1920×1080 resolution that brings all your games and videos to life while remaining easy on the eyes to decrease fatigue. As if that isn’t enough, this laptop also features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 M graphics card with 8 GB of RAM, which helps to decrease any video latency and lag in your video game graphics. A backlit keyboard allows you to play your favorite games well into the night without missing a single stroke.

For all of your games that require web connectivity, the ASUS K501UX 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop features Gigabit Dual-Band 802.11AC wireless capabilities that allow you to get the most out of your internet connection speed. This laptop is all about speed, which is further proven by the addition of 2 3.0 USB ports for the fast transfer of files between your laptop and a 3.0 device such as a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to pair your devices with the laptop seamlessly and easily. For instance, you can pair your favorite pair of gaming headphones or a Bluetooth-enabled gaming mouse to your laptop in seconds.

4. MSI GF63


MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX -615 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-9300H,…

  • Display: 15; 6 inches FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS Level, 60Hz, 45 percent NTSC, Thin Bezel
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 9300H 2; 4: 4; 1GHz
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G GDDR5

The MSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop certainly deserves recognition for being an incredible machine, particularly for hardcore PC gamers. The laptop features a powerful Intel i5-6300HQ Quad-Core Processor that ranges from 2.3-3.2GHz. With processing power that big, this laptop can keep up with any game you can think of. If that doesn’t seem like enough power for you, you can always upgrade to the Intel i7-6700HQ for an additional price.

The laptop includes 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB sized hard drive, which ensures plenty of space for even the largest of game collections. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX950M delivers stunning graphics with no noticeable latency while streaming videos or playing video games. The 17.3-inch HD display has a non-reflective feature so that you never have to tilt your screen or change positions just to see clearly. All of your videos and games seem to come to life right before your eyes.

Another nice featured provided by the MSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop is its Steelseries keyboard, which offers you a full spectrum of colors and sleep silver lining print. As an added bonus, hardcore gamers will love the fact that they can customize their hotkeys in order to create a gameplay experience that best suits them.

5. ASUS Vivobook


ASUS M580VD-EB54 VivoBook 15.6″ FHD thin and light Gaming Laptop…

  • Powerful & efficient 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ quad-core 2.5GHz (Turbo up to 3.5GHz) processor, standard…
  • 15.6″ Full HD, anti-glare display and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB graphics for flawless visuals and portable gaming
  • 15″ wide and 0.8″ ultra thin chassis for a portable footprint; Illuminated keyboard; 8GB DDR4 RAM and fast 256GB M.2…

The ASUS K501UW-AB78 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop might be the last on the list, but it is certainly not the least. This ultimate power house is everything a hardcore PC gamer could ever want in a gaming laptop. This laptop offers a sleek appearance thanks to its glacier grey casing and stunning matte HD display in a 1920×1080 resolution. Watch as your gaming experience comes to life thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with 8 GB of dedicated RAM memory.

If you wish to really immerse yourself in your gameplay experience, then you will enjoy the audio delivered by this laptop, which features ASUS SonicMaster technology. SonicMaster creates a fine-tuned balance between the laptop’s hardware, software, and tuning in order to deliver incredible, precise sound that is music to your ears. Powerful output speakers provide rich tones, louder volumes with pitch-perfect accuracy, and a deep bass delivery. You can also fine-tune your audio experience just the way you like it for added clarity and noise cancellation.

Thanks to the latest technology, namely the Intel Core i7 processor, this laptop is capable of more than just the basics. You can enjoy hours of endless gameplay and streaming. Additionally, you never have to worry about the laptop overheating thanks to its smartly designed dual-fan cooling system. The fans are dedicated to keeping both the CPU and GPU cool no matter what games you play or for how long. Combine that with the ASUS IceCool Technology, which boasts a carefully planned internal layout and you have a laptop that stays cool to the touch at all times.

The multi-touch pad is Smart Gesture capable, which increases the accuracy of everything you do from scrolling to pinching and zooming. Allow your fingertips to control your experience thanks to the intuitiveness of the touchpad, which follow your natural finger movements efficiently. ASUS further increases the impressiveness of their laptop by featuring a 1-year accidental damage protection plan that covers you in the event of electrical surges, accidental drops, and spills.

Featured Image via Unsplash

13 Fun Road Trip Games for Adults

Before the days of smartphones and tablets, people used road trip games to have fun in the car during long journeys.  Instead of being glued to a screen, you can learn more about your friends or family and create some fantastic new memories.  They are a great way to stay occupied and share a few laughs while on the road!  To help you get started, here are a few of the best road trip games for adults.

Never Have I Ever…

This classic game also works well for car trips.  A person in the car makes a simple a statement starting with “Never have I ever…” and anyone who has ever done that action in their life must take a bit of a donut.  Play continues around the car in a clockwise direction.

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation is a theory that everyone in the world is connected via six or less relationships.  In this game, one person names two different film or television stars and the other people in the car must try to find a link between the two in six steps or less.  For example, you might say William Shatner and Hale Berry.

They are linked by:

William Shatner starred in  Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock starred in  Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman starred in Australia with Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman starred in X-Men with Halle Berry!

21 Questions

This game is great fun for people of all ages.  Have a passenger think of a person, place, or object.  The other passengers then have 21 questions to find out what they are thinking of.  Questions should only be asked once.  The questioner who correctly guesses what the person thought of gets to start the next round.  

Don’t Say It!

This is a simple game that tests the memory of players during a long car ride.  Pick 5 common words that passengers are not allowed to say during the journey.  They should be common words used when traveling like “arrive”, “look” or “car”.  Whenever a person says one of the five words they are penalized in some way — either they donate a coin to the “road trip snacks fund” or they have to perform an annoying task like filling the car with petrol or running an errand.

Fictional Families

This is a great game to get your imagination going during the car ride.  Simply pick out a vehicle that is sharing the road with you and have everyone take a good look at the occupants.  Everyone should then collaborate to give these people an imaginary back story based on how they look, what kind of car they drive and how they are dressed.  Some really funny backstories can be invented!

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Human Jukeboxes

This is a great game if everyone in the car loves music.  It is started by one passenger singing a line from a well-known song.  The next person must connect the last word from that lyric to another song. For example:

“Love, love me do, you know I love you…”  (The Beatles)

“…Give love a bad name…” (Bon Jovi)

“…That’s not my name, that’s not my name!” (The Ting Tings)

Would You Rather

Another simple and funny road trip game that will help the time go faster.  Simply think of two strange or disgusting activities and ask your fellow passengers which one they would prefer to perform.  For example, “Would you rather have no arms or no legs?”  Everyone should put some thought into their responses and have a couple of funny reasons why they made the choice.

The Movie Game

This is a great game for people who love movie trivia.  It starts by a person mentioning the name of a random actor.  The next person has to answer with a film that this actor starred in.  The next person has to answer with the name of another actor who starred in the film and so on.  The key to winning is thinking of obscure movies and actors.  If someone gets an answer wrong, they are out of the game until the next round.  For example: “Sean Bean” — “Game of Thrones” — “Lena Headley” — “Judge Dredd” — “Karl Urban” — “Star Trek”

Fortunately/Unfortunately

This game requires a bit of creativity, but it can be quite fun for adults to play.  The first person thinks of something fortunate about the trips or what has happened that day.  It can be something true or something fictional.  The next person must follow it up with some unfortunate event tied to the first event.  For example:

“Fortunately, we are going to arrive at our destination sooner than expected!”

“Unfortunately, it has been invaded by the Chinese military”

“Fortunately, we all like Chinese food!”

“Unfortunately, they have no fortune cookies”

Couples Padiddle

In this game, participants have to call out “Padiddle” every time they see a vehicle with a headlight out.  The last one to say padiddle has to do something for the other person.  In the couples version of the game, this might be to give them a kiss or give them a neck massage.

Image via Unsplash

Hot Seat

This game involves one person in the group being asked five questions by anyone else in the car.  The person in the hot seat has to answer at least 4 out of the 5 questions.

Radio Roulette

As you drive across the country, you will keep finding new (and unusual) radio stations with some interesting and entertaining content.   Radio roulette involves randomly choosing a new radio station every 10 minutes so you get to hear what is out there.  You might find yourself listening to everything from smooth 80s jazz through to evangelical Christian radio!

Explain a film plot badly

This is another fun game for film buffs!  In this game, one person explains the plot of a film very badly and the other passengers attempt to guess which film it is.  For example “A boy befriends a bearded hermit and two gay robots, goes into space, snogs his sister and kills his dad”.  Know the answer?  Star Wars!  Here’s another one — “Bloke punches himself. Encourages others to punch him. Leaves his job. Shaves his head. Bad influence on Meatloaf”.  That’s right, it is Fight Club!

So try a few of the above road trip games for adults — you’ll be surprised by how fun the journey becomes! Want more road trip games? Check out our bonus list of 35 family road trip games.

Featured image via Unsplash

7 Board Marble Games

Do you feel like you’ve lost your marbles as of late? Have you sat around feeling bored and wondering what could possibly keep you entertained while challenging our brain at the same time? Perhaps you’ve lost your marbles over the fact that your kids are equally as bored and in need of something to do. Luckily, you can get your marbles back with the help of 7 board games with marbles.

Board marble games are a fun way to pass the time. You can play board games no matter the weather outside, and some board games you can choose to play by yourself or with someone else. The list of board games below can help you choose those that best suit you whether you are looking for a game for you or perhaps your children.

1. Solitaire

Sale
Marble Solitaire - Made in USA
  • Board measures 8-1/2" in diameter.
  • Made from solid cherry wood.
  • Each game is finished with a clear non-toxic finish for long lasting durability.

Pass the time away with this single player board game featuring a round wooden board with 37 round grooves and 36 marbles. The goal of Marble Solitaire is to clear all but one of the marbles off the board by jumping one space over a marble using another marble. While that might sound relatively simple, directional movement limitations make this game both fun and challenging at the same time. For an entertaining brain teaser, this marble board game is highly recommended for one person looking to pass the time.Enter your text here…

2. Aggravation

Sale
Aggravation
  • WHATS IN A NAME: Aggravation, comes from capturing an opponent's piece by landing on their space, known...
  • THE OBJECT: Two to six players compete in this classic game of race around the board from base to home....
  • THE PLAY: Take shortcuts to “zip” ahead. Or, try the super shortcut and shoot across the board! There...

Aggravation is a classic marble board game that was first introduced in 1962. The game is fun for 2 people or an entire family of 6. Aggravation challenges players to move their marbles around the board from their base positions to the home area. The first player to get all of their marbles to the home area wins the game. Keep in mind that challenging players can capture your marbles, which makes this a challenging, competitive, and fun game to play.

3. Chinese Checkers

Sale
Brybelly Wooden Chinese Checkers | Made with All Natural Wooden Materials | Includes 60 Wooden Marbles in 6 Colors | All Ages Classic Strategy Game for Up to Six Players
  • SECOND TO NONE QUALITY: Our Chinese Checkers board is made from Natural Wood and sports an 11.5"...
  • A RAINBOW CONNECTION: Playset comes with 60 wooden marbles in six distinct and brilliant colors
  • MASTER CRAFTSMANSHIP: Expertly drilled holes ensure that every marble fits snugly in each space on the...

Of the 7 board games with marbles found on this list, Chinese Checkers is perhaps one of the most well-known. The game offers a natural wooden board that is 11.5 inches in diameter and 60 wooden marbles in 6 different colors, including red, green, white, black, blue, and yellow. Chinese Checkers provides fun and challenging play for up to 6 players, a player for each set of colored marbles. The goal of the game is to move your colored marbles across the board to the adjacent triangle. 

You can move your marbles in any direction you would like, but you can only “hop” one space to an empty adjacent space. You are allowed to hop over the marbles belonging to other players as long as there is an empty space just beyond where their marble sits. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to jump over more than one marble at a time. All-in-all, this class marble game can provide hours of intellectual challenges and entertainment.

4. Mancala

Classic Mancala Game
  • Great game For Counting and Strategy
  • Challenging but simple game for adults and children
  • Wood board unfolds to 5-1/4” x 17-3/4”with storage sleeve

Mancala is yet another classic, yet well-loved, well-received game. The game is played on a wooden folding board with 48 beautiful glass gemstones or slightly flattened marbles. The game encourages strategic and fun gameplay among 2 players. To play, place the board long ways in front of you. You should have 6 holes on your side of the board and 6 holes on your opponent’s side of the board. Take the 48 marbles you have and place 4 in each of the empty holes.

The goal is to move your marbles in a counter-clockwise direction. You grab all of the marbles at once but you are only allowed to drop one at a time into the hole next to your gems. The first player to get rid of all of his or her marbles wins the game. In other words, losing your marbles in this instance is a good thing.

5. Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos
  • Classic Hungry Hippos game has 4 hippo heads and bodies plus marbles for them to chomp
  • 20 marbles included
  • One golden marble, cleanup is a snap with the marble and hippo storage

Most of the other board games mentioned above are for older children and adults. Young children might find the brain-teasing, mentally challenging games above too difficult for their liking. Fortunately, Hungry, Hungry Hippos is the perfect game for young crowds. The goal of this game is to get your designated hippo to swallow as many marbles as possible. Whoever manages to get their hippo to swallow the most marbles wins the game.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos supports up to four players. Each player chooses their designated hippo and the 20 small marbles are placed in the middle of the board. Players then send their hippos into a feeding frenzy in order to swallow as many marbles as possible. This game is great for groups of young children or even a fun, family-friendly game night.

6. Ker Plunk

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Kerplunk Game
  • Ker Plunk is a blast from the past with a cool look and attitude
  • Create a "lattice" of sticks midway through the translucent tube and place the marbles on top; players...
  • ​Players take turns removing sticks while trying to prevent the marbles from dropping through

For over 35 years, Mattel has used a combination of marbles and strategy to create a fun game known as Ker Plunk. In order to play, players must push 30 of the included thin sticks through the small holes in the middle of a plastic tube. You must then pour the 32 included marbles on top of the sticks. Players take turns removing sticks one at a time, but you must do so carefully. The player who causes the marbles to fall to the bottom loses the game. This blast from the past is a fun game to play for 2-4 players.

7. Screwball Scramble

Sale
TOMY Screwball Scramble Games for Kids
  • EASY TO SET UP: This maze game for kids is easy to set up but not easy to master
  • MANEUVER YOUR MARBLE: Use skills and hand-eye coordination to guide your marble through the crazy...
  • BEAT THE CLOCK: Challenge yourself to beat the clock on this time game or challenge a friend to see...

Screwball Scramble might be an older marble game, but it is still a goodie. This fun game encourages young players between the ages of 5 and 10 to race against the cock as they scramble to get their marble through a maze of obstacles. From a moving platform to jumping through hoops, this game can provide hours of entertainment with just one marble and some careful thought process. The game is just challenging enough to be fun and yet simple enough that young children will enjoy it, too.

The list above provides you with some of the most entertaining board games played with marbles that there are. Luckily, you can now use one of the games mentioned to prevent you from losing your own marbles. You can keep yourself, your family, and your children entertained for hours with any one of the games mentioned above.

Featured image via Unsplash

17 Math Activities for Preschoolers

It is very easy to overthink all of the ways that we, as adults, can teach math to our preschool-age children. Mathematical functions and concepts can be shared in the simplest ways to even the youngest children. Numbers can be explored all over the place in a child’s world! Teaching these ideas can be fun, highly interactive, and entertaining for kids, you just have to find the right way for your preschooler.

17 Activities to Try with Your Preschooler:

Look for patterns…EVERYWHERE:

Patterns are a great way to work on math with your preschooler. Kids clothing often has a great display of patterns – think about stripes! Also consider patterns around your home – tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, patterns in the fence, or in a piece of home decor. If your child loves music, there are plenty of patterns to recognize in children’s songs. Help your child to identify and copy simple clapping and rhythm patterns in their favorite songs.

Investigate Shapes:

While investigating shapes, children can discover the ways that different shapes fit together to build the items that we use or see everyday – cars, tall buildings, and eventually puzzles. Work together using yarn to create various shapes – circles, squares, triangles – as a budget friendly way to teach shapes. You can even use learning about shapes as a means to create some artwork together.

Encourage Estimation:

Help your preschooler learn about making guesses based on what they can see! Fill jars with buttons, candies, beads, or any other small items that you can find and ask your kids to guess how many of each of the items is in each jar. After they guess, they can count how many of the items are in the jar. Over time, children’s guesses will get closer to the actual amount of items in each jar, but this is a great way to get them started with educated guessing.

Introduce Sorting:

Anything around us can be sorted; pens, pencils, socks, shoes, cups, mugs, glasses, silverware, you name it – it can be sorted! Get them to help you out around the house by helping to sort the recycling. Even little kids can help sort papers from plastic and glass. This is great way to teach children how to organize items down to small and more manageable amounts.

preschooler cooking

Image via Pexels

Let them “cook”:

Encourage your preschooler to help you in the kitchen! Your child can help with measuring and counting our ingredients (two eggs, three scoops, etc.). You can also supervise the usage of knobs and buttons on the stove. This is also a great opportunity to have them help pack their daily lunches or snacks as they can help portion out the foods they eat each day. For example,  “I eat 5 carrots and 3 grapes at snacktime!” Think about having your preschoolers count out their Cheerios, Halloween candy, or even Easter candy! The options for counting food have no bounds! They can even help out with feeding pets if you have any!

Play a “look out” game:

While out on a walk or riding in the car, ask your child to count how many fun things they see! Those fun things could be any item that your child chooses to count – stores, fire trucks, dogs, or anything else that the child might recognize. With this activity, they can practice counting and talking about all of the fun things that have counted.

Track your child’s measurements:

Get out the ruler or yardstick to mark your child’s height on the wall. Talk about how big they are in comparison to their siblings or favorite animals – this helps them to think about themselves and the world around them. This is a great chance to introduce your child to units of measurement and help them compare and contrast the marks on the wall to see how much they’ve grown from year to year.

Use the phone:

Learning how to use the telephone has more than just a mathematical benefit, it’s also good for emergencies! Next time you’re making a call, write the number down and have your child help you dial it into your phone. This helps them to see the numbers being used, but also gives them a chance to practicing reading them from left to right. Your child gets bonus points if they can memorize the number!

Plant a Garden:

Preschoolers love helping outside when they can. Have your child assist with counting out the seeds and then making sure they put the set amounts in the right rows or pots. Once the plants start growing, they can count out the leaves and petals as well! This is also a great place to introduce science concepts about plants and plant growth.

preschooler gardening

Image via Unsplash

Color by Number Sheets:

Most young children love to color! As their number recognition skills continue to improve, they can learn to match the colors with the numbers, but early on they may need help identifying what number goes with what colors.

Dominoes:

Aside from playing a tabletop game, dominoes can be used to teach simple math concepts! Children can count the dots on each domino, children can sort matching tiles and create stacks, and they can create shapes and towers with matching dominoes. Dominoes are a cheap game that can easily be found at most stores.

Tell the Time:

Reading a non-digital wall clock is something that even little kids can do! Clocks are everywhere, so this is something that can be worked on at almost any time! Practice reading the numbers and telling time to the quarter and half hour as they are able. Once they have reading a clock down, you can compare and contrast a digital clock and wall clock together for another great conversation about time and numbers. Don’t forget to mention that there are sixty seconds in one minute and sixty minutes in one hour!

Read a Number Book:

There are many amazing books for preschoolers! Some of the most popular include: City by Numbers by Stephen T. Johnson, Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin & Michael Sampson, or How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague. Number books are a great way to practice numbers and counting, but books like these also introduce your child to other educational concepts. Not to mention a little bit of reading practice for your child. Check with your child’s teachers or even the local children’s librarian if you need more ideas, they are a wealth of knowledge about great counting books for kids!

Mark the Calendar:

Introducing your child to a standard calendar is a great way to introduce the concept of days and passing time. Have them highlight special days on the calendar (birthdays, holidays, other celebrations) and create countdowns to those special days. Working with calendars often helps children to understand days of the week and how the sequence of days happens each week. You can also have them help in creating a calendar – learning about leap years, but also how many days are in each month.

child making calendar

Image via Unsplash

Pay for Purchases:

Whether at a real store or while “playing store” at home, teaching children about counting money is never a bad idea. This is also an opportunity for them to practice reading numbers on price tags and counting their own money! Kids can even help search for matching items to coupons inside the store while shopping! It’s never too early to squeeze in a few lessons about money management as early as possible. Tip: Don’t take the little ones into a busy store to practice counting their money, go on a slower day to avoid a line and many waiting customers.

Play Card Games:

Who knew that teaching math concepts to your preschooler could start with a standard deck of 52 cards? Games like Memory (teaching kids to look for similar cards and pairs), War (teaching your child about numbers that are bigger and smaller), or Go Fish! (helps your child to identify and talk about numbers) are fun to play, but also have some educational value. You can also play games with various flash card decks or other game decks (like Old Maid).

Popular Phone Apps:

Let’s face it, kids know how to use some apps better than many adults! Capitalize on that and let your child practice their math skills on your phones and tablets. Some popular math apps include: Preschool Math Games for KidsCounting Caterpillar , and Hungry Fish. These are all interactive apps that are entertaining for kids, but also give them a chance to practice math functions and number identification. Who knows? Maybe they’ll find math exciting when they’re bored! Use that screen time to their (and your) advantage.

For preschoolers, learning about and exploring numbers should be all about fun and play. Work with them to discover how numbers can fit into their everyday lives. As they see those numbers in action, they’ll get more and more comfortable with the math concepts around them. Have fun exploring those numbers (and concepts) together!

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13 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages

When it comes to the great outdoors, there’s plenty of games that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, and in some instances, even the adults. As well as children being able to enjoy the excitement that a vast selection of outdoor games is able to deliver, there are also a number of other benefits associated with outdoor games.

Playing outdoors ensures our children are getting the necessary amount of exercise, and helps develop muscles and coordination of children as a result. What’s more, engaging in outdoor games allows for the development of other important life skills, such as social interaction.

In this regard, we look at some outdoor games that have become popular with children. Some games are more classic, while others have been introduced quite recently.

List of Outdoor Games for Kids

Potato Sack Race

We begin the list with an instant classic, one of the best outdoor games for kids, that was first introduced back in the 1800s, also known as ‘gunny races,’ potato sack races become the main attraction at many a carnival. They say a classic never dies, and this is true for the much beloved potato sack race.

The game can be played with a minimum of two players, the maximum is completely up to you. The player simply line up while standing in potato sacks, and upon the blow of the whistles, have to hop their way across the finish line.

If you don’t have any potato sacks, the pillow cases will do. Failing that, you can actually purchase burlap sacks for this very purpose.

A fun-filled outdoor game that even adults can join in with.

Balloon Volleyball 

We’re all familiar with the game of volleyball, and while a real of volleyball could be chaotic in some instances, Balloon Volleyball is a much more laid back affair.

All that is needed for a game of Balloon Volleyball is some balloons and a piece of string. Players lie on their back and must simply kick the balloon back and forth over the lines without dropping it. Should the balloon touch the ground, then the other player is awarded a point.

If you don’t happen to have any string, then a row of toys or a sheet makes an ideal alternative.

Outdoor Games for Kids: Boochie 

Boochie is game that takes elements from a series of different ball games, and combines them into one action-packed game that provides hours of fun for adults and children alike.

The Boochie set comes complete with 4 rings, 4 bean balls, 4 wrist trackers and 1 twelve-sided Boochie ball, and all of this can be transported within the carry bag included.

Boochie turns the world of ball games on its head, by offer children a series of fun throwing challenges that’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours due to the variety of different games available.

Hide and Seek 

As well as being a tried-and-tested classic, Hide and Seek requires no investment whatsoever, just somewhere with plenty of hiding places. Days out in the park can become much more enjoyable with a simple game of hide and seek, as children just love hiding from others.

In order to play one player must cover their eyes and count up to a specific number, the higher the number the more chance the other players have of finding a hiding place. Once the number has been reached, the child must then go and seek out the others.

If you want to mix up things a little, you can instill a ‘home base’ which can people can retreat to if they feel they have been hiding for too long.

children playing outside

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Kick the Can 

If the kids have enjoyed a good game of hide and seek and are looking to take things to the next level, then why not consider a game of Kick the Can?

All that is required for a game of Kick the Can is a can, bucket or anything that can effectively be kicked over. A holding pen is then designated for all the captured players to be held.

Like Hide and Seek, a player is allocated as ‘it’ and must cover their eyes and count while their friends seek out hiding places. However, when players are captured, they are placed within the holding pen. If one of the un-captured players are able to kick the can that is placed in the middle of the play area, then all captured players are released.

The game is over when all those hiding have been placed into the holding pen.

Swingball 

Although a staple in many homes, there are those who may not be aware of how much fun Swingball actually is. You may be asking yourself how much fun can a ball a string really be, but literally millions of families turn to Swingball for some much-need respite and bonding time.

Whether there’s only one of you, or ten of you, a simple game of Swingball is not only energetic, but helps fill an otherwise mundane weekend.

Lawn Scrabble 

Scrabble is a popular word game that’s been part of many get social gatherings and Christmas celebrations. Playing the game on the lawn could prove to be troublesome, due to the uneven surface and the size of the playing pieces. However, if you’re still keen to inject some learning while the children are outside, then why not play ‘Lawn Scrabble.’

All that is needed for a game of Lawn Scrabble is some large pieces of cardboard and some marker pens to make up your letter pieces. Once complete, simply turn the lawn into a giant Scrabble play area, using the same rules as its smaller counterpart.

Not only is Lawn Scrabble a lot of fun, but it’s also very cost-effective.

We R Memory Keepers DIY Piñata 

Although piñatas are built for destruction, that doesn’t stop them being a lot of fun, especially for children. Often a staple of children’s birthday parties, piñatas can also be used to entertain children at a loose end while out in the garden or park.

We R Memory Keepers DIY  Piñata not only allows children to enjoy a game of piñata when the fancy takes them, but they can also decorate them to their own specifications. If you have a birthday party coming up, why not ask the children to help you with the making of the piñatas’.

Red Light, Green Light 

Red Light, Green Light is one of those games that’s so simple, anyone can pick it up. Children stand behind a starting line, and another child will stand about 30 feet in front of them, with their back turned. They will then be responsible for shouting out two commands, one being red light, the other green light.

Like the traffic lights that inspired the game, the children at the starting line must respond to these signals. So when green light is shouted, the children must try and tag the child shouting the commands. However, as soon as the child shouts red light, all children must stop. The child will then turn around, and if they catch anyone moving, that child will be sent back to the starting line.

Red Light, Green Light is a true test of nerves as well as a game that really raises the excitement level. Trying to reach the child before the stop signal is announced can really get the blood pumping, adding to the fun factor of the game.

children playing outside

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Mabua Ring Toss Game 

Ring toss games have always been enjoyable, whether you play them at the fun fair, or at home. Finding things for children to do while exploring the outside world can be challenging, especially if you’ve exhausted other avenues. However, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a fully mobile bundle of fun that will keep the children entertained for hours.

Complete with its own carry-case, the Mabua Ring Toss Game can be transported to a number of outdoor venues. So whether you’ve a weekend of camping ahead, or lazy Sunday in the garden with the family, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a great investment that will ensure you’re never at a loose end while enjoying the great outdoors.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a game that has been enjoyed by almost every generation. While today’s world is filled with a number of entertainment channels, it can be hard to believe that such a simple game can still be enjoyed by children. The fact is that many children love a game of hopscotch, and it all it takes is some creativity.

If you have a paved area in the back garden, then your child can create a hopscotch playing area with some chalk, which can be easily washed away afterwards. Similarly, if you’re looking to play the game in the back garden, you may want to create a play area by investing in a hopscotch play mat.

The basic rules behind hopscotch is that an object, such as a small stone, or beanbag, is aimed towards the number 1 grid in the play area. The player must then hop through the squares, ensuring they do not miss any or step on any lines. On the way back the player retrieves the object and then passes it to the next player. On the next turn, the child would aim for the number 2 on the grid, and simply repeat the process.

The other reason that hopscotch is so popular is the fact that the play area can be fully customized as you see fit. So a game of hopscotch can be as easy or as challenging as a child wants it. Different playing areas allow for a series of different outcomes.

Fun Air Scoop Ball 

Ball games are always a popular choice for keeping children entertained while they’re outside, but sometimes the same old ball games can become monotonous. Fortunately, the Fun Air Scoop Ball play set allows children to enjoy the excitement of catching a serving a ball, while improving their hand-to-eye co-ordination.

The Fun Air Scoop Ball set is a set that only requires a small investment. It can be used for a number of outdoor activities. So regardless of whether you’re visiting the beach, or playing the back garden, this fun little set will provide players with hours of fun.

Simon Says 

What could be more fun that having a child telling other children what to do. This alone could be why the game Simon Says is played globally and enjoyed by children of all ages. Some may not have experienced the game yet. Seeing as the game can be played without spending a dollar, it’s certainly worth considering. If you’re looking for some inspiration for outdoor games this is a solid option.

A selected child will issue a set of requests to the other children, such as ‘put your hands on your heads’ or ‘touch your nose.’ However, the demands must be started with ‘Simon says’ otherwise any requests carried out will mean that child is out of the game.

This is a game that’s not only fun, but actually promotes how children process information before they act on it, really giving their brains a workout in the process.

KanJam

KanJam was first introduced as Garbage Pail Frisbee in the 80s, but fear not, the game has been cleaned up a lot since its first guide. Now known as KanJam, the aim of the game is to aim your Frisbee into the can of your opponent, while trying to defect any Frisbees aiming towards your can.

KanJam can require a slightly larger space to be played, so if you’re planning a day out in the park or on the beach, then this can be the ideal travel companion to ensure boredom is kept at bay.

While Kanjam is slightly more expensive than some of the other games available, the price is reflected in the quality of the product. The tins are highly durable, so there’s very little chance of the cans being damaged in the first one or two games.

Final Thoughts

These are just a mere selection of the many outdoor games for kids available. Some of the games require very little investment, it won’t be long before you have a vast selection of outdoor games in your arsenal.

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9 Icebreaker Games for Adults

Icebreakers are group facilitation techniques which can help people communicate, learn more about one another, relax and enjoy themselves.  They are an excellent way to foster a creative and friendly environment that is ideal for learning or collaboration.

Groups of adults can really benefit from icebreakers, particularly if participants are meeting for the first time.  Icebreakers can be used in a wide range of environments including classrooms, conferences, parties and meetings — wherever you want a group of adults to relax and communicate freely.

This article will share a few reasons why icebreakers are so useful and a few of the best icebreaker games for adults.

Why are Icebreakers so Useful for Adults?

Icebreakers can reduce inhibitions or tension in a group

Many adults are fairly inhibited and reserved when they meet new people. They often don’t communicate freely with people they are meeting for the first time and require a “getting-to-know-you” period.  Icebreakers can speed up the getting-to-know-you process, encouraging participants to start communicating freely with one another.

Icebreakers can make a group event fun!

Many group icebreakers are focussed on helping participants relax and feel comfortable within the group.  This is usually achieved through the use of fun activities that encourage participants to talk to one another.  These “fun” icebreakers can be used by group facilitators to introduce people or to simply give the group a break from a tough activity.  Fun icebreakers can also be used to start a meeting or conference with a few laughs.

Icebreakers can energize and motivate participants

Using an icebreaker at the start of a meeting is a great way to excite and motivate participants.  A fun icebreaker can turn a stale meeting or class into something that participants look forward to.  Icebreakers can also be used midway through a meeting or class to energize participants.

Icebreakers can help a group learn more about one another

If you are working with a group of people who have never met each other before, “introductory” ice breakers may be useful.  They are activities which encourage participants to learn each other’s names and personal details.  It can help create cohesion within a group and familiarity between participants increases user engagement.

Icebreakers can improve the ability of people to learn

Researchers have discovered that adults learn better when they are mentally, physically and emotionally stimulated.  This is because they become fully engaged in the activity and the people around them.  You can use icebreakers in a classroom or seminar environment to really make sure the participants are learning.

Icebreakers help the facilitator learn more about the group

The facilitator can also gain some useful insight from using icebreakers.  In addition to helping you learn the name of participants, you can gain insight into the background, interests and skills of participants.

Icebreakers increase the sense of community within a group

If you are working with a group that is sharing personal details, it helps to foster a sense of community and friendship among participants.  This helps people open up and share intimate details.  Icebreakers can be very useful in fostering a sense of trust and community within the group.

Icebreakers get everyone involved

An icebreaker can help passive participants contribute more to the group and feel more comfortable about expressing themselves to others.

Icebreakers foster creativity

Many icebreaker activities ask people to be imaginative and creative.  Once participants are in this mindset, you can harness it during the class, meeting or seminar that follows.

The Best Icebreaker Games for Adults

People Bingo

This is one of the most popular icebreaker games for adults because it is simple to explain and very effective.  It is ideal for use in classrooms, seminars or meetings.  It can be used for groups of up to 30 people in size.

If you already know a few things about the participants, create a list of interesting facts about them, like “plays guitar” or “always does the morning crossword”.  If you don’t know the participants very well, use more general descriptions that probably apply to multiple people, like “is fanatical about coffee”, “has been on holiday to Europe”.

Now create bingo cards where each number square has one of these descriptions written in it.  These sheets are handed to participants who will then talk to each other in an effort to find someone who matches one of the squares.  When they do find someone who “is fanatical about coffee”, that person signs their bingo square.  The first person to reach 10 signed squares wins.

2-Minute Mixer

This is another common icebreaker for adults that is very effective for introducing people to one another.  Have participants find a random partner and form a large circle, with one partner standing closer to the center of the room.  Each participant will then spend 2-minutes talking to their partner.  They will discover each other’s name and something about their background — where they work, what they like to do, why they are attending the class.

After the 2-minutes has expired, the people on the edge of the circle will rotate clockwise and spend two-minutes talking with the next person.  The session can continue until the circle has done a complete rotation.  By this point, each participant will have met half of the class.

Expectations

This is a simple and fun icebreaker for adults that encourages them to be creative.  Each participant is asked three simple questions:

  • What is your name?
  • What do you hope to get out of the class
  • What could be the craziest thing that could happen if their expectations of the class are met?  Encourage participants to think of a crazy and interesting outcome after completing the class!

For example, a student attending a computer class might say “My name is ted,  I expect to learn how to program computers and understand computer hardware.  If I can learn those skills I will use them to become the next Steve Jobs, marry Charlize Theron and buy the island of Hawaii”.

Two Truths and a Lie

This icebreaker is usually quite popular with adults and can lead to some funny responses.  Each participant in the group says three things about themselves — two truthful things and one lie.  The other participants can guess which one is the lie and give a reason why thick so.  You can elicit some very funny, creative and interesting responses from the group!

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Guess Who

Each participant in the group writes a very interesting or unusual fact about themselves on a piece of paper.  The group facilitator then reads out the responses and the group guesses which person wrote the interesting fact!

All My Neighbors

This is a simple icebreaker that helps people communicate with one another and learn more about each other.  The group is seated in a circle with one person in the center.   The person in the center says “I like all my neighbors who…” then mentions some characteristic like “wears glasses” or “has brown eyes”.

Everyone in the circle who matches that characteristic will switch spots with someone else.  The person in the center will also try to find an empty spot.  The participant who doesn’t find a spot will have to ask the next question!  It is a simple, fun and easy icebreaker for adults.

The Toaster Game

This is a useful game for meetings where participants may turn up hungry!  It requires the facilitator to bring a toaster and a large assortment of condiments.  Insert a piece of bread into the toaster and while it is browning ask everyone in the group to reveal one thing about themselves.  The person who is mid-sentence when the toast pops up is challenged to eat a piece.  The catch is — the group decides which kinds of condiments they have on their toast!  They may decide to have peanut butter, chilli flakes, and mayonnaise!  Just make sure the participants aren’t allergic to any whacky condiment combinations you think of.

Toilet Paper Game

The very premise of this game will get the group laughing.  The group facilitator passes a roll of toilet paper around the room and asks each member to tear off how much they normally use when going to the toilet.  After everyone has their tiles paper, ask them to tell the group one interesting fact about themselves for each piece of toilet paper they have.

Question Ball

Buy a large beachball and write some icebreaker questions on its surface.  Things like “What is your favorite place to go on holiday?”, “What is your perfect Sunday morning?”.

Throw the ball to a random participant in the group and ask them to answer the question that their right-hand index finger falls on.  You can elicit responses from the entire group and help them learn more about one another.

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There are many more icebreakers for adults available!  They are a great way to start your group activity or to energize participants.  You can modify any of the icebreakers above to suit your specific group and the participants involved.  Remember to stay flexible and have fun!

5 Large Group Icebreakers

It can be difficult for a single facilitator to manage groups this large!  Ideally, you should have assistants who can help you organize groups and provide instructions to the group. Icebreakers for large groups are usually team-orientated and can be a lot of fun.  Here are a few of the most fun large group icebreakers.

The Shoe Game

This is a simple icebreaker to get a large group mingling and talking to one another.  Ask the participants to take off their right shoe and toss it into a big pile in the middle of the room.  Participants are then asked to pick up a shoe from the pile and find the owner!  Once they find the owner, they must stand next to them.  The end result is the group collaborating to form a large circle.

Celebrity Heads

This is a fun icebreaker that is very simple to organize.  To begin, write the names of different celebrities on post-it notes.  Place a post-it note on the forehead of each participant without them seeing the name of the celebrity. The participants will them be told to mingle and ask “yes or no” questions of other participants.  They are only allowed to ask a single question of each person they talk to.  The first few participants to correctly guess their celebrity win a prize!

Organize Without Speaking

This is a simple game that tests the collaborative skills of participants.  Ask them to arrange themselves in a line ordered by their birth year or how many years they have been living in their current house.  The only catch — they can’t speak, they have to use hand signals!  Participants will have to organize themselves and pay attention to the signs from other people in the group.

True or False Running

This is a great icebreaker for energetic groups of young people

Have the group stand in the middle of the room.  Place a marker on the right side of the room and on the left side of the room. Nominate the right side as the “true” side and the left side as the “false”.

The facilitator then asks a series of true or false questions of the participants.  They could include questions like “Small dogs live longer than big dogs” or “The capital of Australia is Sydney”.  Participants then have to choose true or false for the answer.  If they get the answer right they are given a token or their score is recorded on a scoreboard.  After twenty icebreaker questions, the person with the most points wins a prize!

Simon Says

Sometimes the silly games that you played as a child can bring back some great memories!  The facilitator rapidly yells “Simon says” orders to participants to get them moving.  Remember that participants should only do what the facilitator says when he includes “Simon says” in the request!  Shout the commands rapidly to see if the participants are paying attention and thinking quickly.

Collecting Autographs

Participants are given a worksheet that includes 20 questions on it.  They must find other participants who answer yes to that question.  Participants will then sign their name next to the question.  Participants can only sign once per sheet, so people must walk around the room to find 20 different people to answer “yes” and sign their worksheet.

Questions can include things like:

  • I have been to France

  • I know how to play guitar

  • I have rode an elephant

  • I am wearing a brown shirt

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Icebreakers for High School Students

Teenagers can be awkward; this is especially true when it comes to meeting new people and making friends. If you are a camp leader, after school worker or a teacher; you may want to put in place some icebreakers. This will help your students get used to each other and perhaps even encourage them to get to know one another and forge friendships.

With this in mind we have put together some of the best icebreakers for high school students.

Crossword Names

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This icebreaker is ideal for a group that has literally just met. It encourages them to walk around and speak to one another, as well as learn names too. Give each person in the group a pen and piece of paper. Ask them to write down their first name, in capitals, in the middle of the paper. They will then need to move around the room asking other members of the group to add in their name where the first letter matches a letter on the paper; just like a crossword puzzle. This game is timed and the aim is to see who can add the most names before the time runs out.

Freeze Frame

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One of the biggest things about icebreakers is that they are designed to relax people and make them feel less self-conscious. Games that get them up on their feet and moving about are best for this, just like Freeze Frame. This game involves the group moving quietly around the room, waiting for your instruction. As they are walking you will need to call out the name of your chosen “activity”. This could be different sports, different animals, or perhaps emotions. The group then need to freeze in a position that acts out that activity. In no time at all you will have every member of the group smiling, laughing and ready to have some fun. An even better thing to do is take a picture of some of the freeze frames and display them in a common area, just so they can remember this early bonding game.

Who is the Best?

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This particular game involves the group working together to score the most points. It may involve discovering more about one another and even uncovering some hidden talents that they might not realise they had. Split the group into even teams and move these teams into different sections of the room (or outside space if you have one available).

The object of the game is to be crowned the best at whatever activity or question which is put to you. An example of this is, “Who is the tallest?” The groups will then have 30 seconds to decide who is the tallest in their group and put them forward into the centre of the space; whichever team puts forward the best will win a point. The questions can vary; “Who has the loudest scream?” “Who has the most brothers?” even things like “Who can hold a plank the longest?” It really does depend on the type of group you are.

So there you have it, just some ideas to get your high school students letting their guard down and getting to know one another. All with the power of icebreakers!

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5 Fun Team Building Icebreakers

When you bring a group of people together to work you might find that the range of personalities can take time to mould together. You can speed up the process even further by putting in place a number of team building exercises so that every member can get to know each other.The thought of an icebreaker may make some people roll their eyes and sigh, but the truth is that they are an effective tool in making people feel at ease with each other.

With this in mind we have put together 5 of the best icebreakers for team building; giving you some great ideas to create a cohesive and effective team.

Dancing Names

Not only is the “Tell me about yourself” part of any team-building event more than just a little bit tedious, many people will struggle to remember all of the names that they hear. The Dancing Names ice-breaker is not only a fun way to get everyone warmed up but also provides a visual reminder of all of the names. Everyone has to stand in a circle looking inwards at each other. Each person in the circle will say their name and follow it with a dance move. The rest of the group will then imitate this dance move and repeat the name 3 times. There are some groups that may be a little shy to start with, but once they get in the swing of things you will have people bringing out the worm and the running man, to name but a few dance moves.

Ask a Question

This is a relatively simple icebreaker which puts the group in charge. It allows them to find out more about their team-mates and is a great way to get to know each other. Ask everyone in the group to write down a question that they would like to ask other people in the group. These can be a variety of questions such as “where is the most interesting place you have been?” “What is your biggest passion?”. All the questions are then popped into a hat before being pulled out and answered one by one.

Back to Back Drawing

If you have a team that perhaps already know each other but need to work on their communication, then this icebreaker is a great idea. The group will need to split off into pairs, with each pair sitting back to back. One of the pair will have a clipboard, piece of paper and a pencil, whilst the other will have a template of a shape. The objective is that the person with the template has to get their partner to draw an exact supplicate of the shape, only using verbal pointers. It may seem easy but this can be a tricky one to get right.

The Big Calm Down

Towards the end of the session you might want to calm the group down and create a relaxed environment. A great way to do this is with an ice breaker that asks them to focus on calming thoughts. Ask them to get comfortable and close their eyes. Tell them to take 5 minutes to reflect on the words that they hear. These words are of course down to you and can be tailored towards your business; however some great ideas include “beach”, “sail away” or perhaps “green meadows”.

After the five minutes is up you can gather the group in one circle and ask them to talk about what images came to their minds.

Baby Photos

Are you bringing together a new team for the first team in the workplace? If you are then this baby photo based icebreaker is a great way to bring them together. Ask every member of the team (yourself included) to bring in a baby photo of themselves. These are all then pinned to a noticeboard and everyone is asked to guess who each baby is. You can do this as a week long game or perhaps split people into teams and give them half an hour to work out the answers; it is entirely up to you.

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51 Fun Team Icebreakers

Everyone will most likely recall the first day walking into a new workplace, college, marketing team, or corporate meeting. The new environment comes with its challenges, and one of them is having to introduce oneself to a bunch of strangers. While the regular introduction is one of the ways to get acquainted with team members, it is not the most efficient method; that is where icebreakers come in handy.

Icebreakers are designed to help familiarize people and mainly involve sharing of names, background information, and other personal/professional information. They help introduce team members in an informal, yet intimate way, while helping participants relax and ease into a meeting or training.

Icebreakers break through the shy, awkward feeling that most people encounter when around strangers. These activities can be used in a number of surroundings: social gatherings, schools, work settings, and sport teams.

The group leader should consider the age/size of the team; whether the topics in question are familiar or unfamiliar to group members; or whether participants hail from different backgrounds. When choosing team icebreakers, it is necessary to be conscious of the team dynamics. The selected activities should accommodate every team member, and no one should be forced to reveal information or participate in an uncomfortable event. In addition, the icebreakers should be in line with the topic of discussion or the goal of the entire team.

This list of icebreakers is recommended for team members; whether they know each other or have never met before. The list is detailed and is sure to provide some of the best team icebreakers. The games are not in any particular order, but can be tweaked to suit the goal of the day or to suit the given environment. In most cases, these icebreakers will require the guidance of a team leader or facilitator.

Introductions / 
Who am I?

Members pair up and are given five minutes to share vital information about each other. Each member is then asked to introduce a partner to the rest of the team.

Fact or Fiction
 

Every team member is required to write down THREE things on a piece of paper. Two are true, and one is false. Every member should then read out the three ‘facts’ while the rest of the group votes which ones are true or false.

Networking Bingo

Each contestant is issued with a pre-printed bingo card and a pen. The card should have 5-7 unique characteristics. Each member is then required to move around (network) the room and identify another team member who fits the details in the sheet. That person then signs the box. Once a player has all of his/her choices filled, that person yells BINGO! And everyone stops to allow that person to read the traits. One rule is that no name should be used more than once. Once a winner is determined, the winner’s card can be used to introduce the rest of the team members

Seating Plan

Ask contestants to arrange their seats according to their first name or in order of their birthday.

Wallet/Purse Introductions

The contestants have to pull out an item from their purse or wallets and explain how the item represents them.

Lollipop

Pass out lollipops to every group member and ask the participants to read the flavors. For every letter appearing in the flavor, members should say something about themselves to the group.

Summer Activities Name Game

Team members introduce themselves and disclose their summer activity. Members are required to present themselves with their first names. They should then reveal any activities that they partook in summer that starts with the same letter as their first names.

Name and Number

Members write down their name on one side of a card and number on the other then tape the card to their shirt with only the names showing. They then walk around and introduce themselves to as many people as they can. After some mingling, everyone is required to turn his or her card so that the number shows instead of the name. Team members should then write down – on a numbered piece of paper- as many names as they can recall, to the corresponding number.

Gossip

The group sits in a circle, and the team leader shares a secret with the next person in the circle. The secret is then shared across the circle, but should not be repeated twice to the same person. Once the secret is back to its source (team leader), it is shared with everyone, and a comparison is made with the original information.

Would You Rather?

Would you rather (eat peas or bananas? Use a bus or airplane? Read a book or watch a movie?). Questions may range depending on the motive of the team. First, the contestants straddle a tape then jump left or right depending on their answers.

Famous Pairs / Faces

Team members are required to identify the names of famous persons/celebrities. The nametag of the famous person is then taped on the back of each group player – the member should not see the tape on his/her back. The members are then asked to identify who they are. Each participant is allowed to loiter in the room and ask questions that can only be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

I Have Never

Each participant starts with some candy then goes round the circle completing the sentence, “I have never…” If a member has done what the leading contestant has never done, they have to give that contestant some candies.

Hog Call

Divide the team into two pairs and ask each pair to choose two things, either a machine or animal. The members must decide who is which: animal or machine. Each pair then distributes to opposite sides of the room, and everyone is required to close their eyes. Every individual is required to identify another by the sound that person makes. The task requires some supervision.

Pile of Hats

The candidates are required to gather as many hats as they can and place them in the middle of the room. Group members should then sit in a circle around the hats. Each member is then given a chance to pick a hat of their choice, giving a reason why the hat represents them and how they feel at that moment. Everyone is given an opportunity to select a hat and give an explanation.

Marooned

Members should answer how many items – limited to five – they would have brought with them if they were to be left behind on an island. Members are only limited to five items per team and not per person.

Pat on the Back

Each person is required to draw an outline of his/her hand on a sheet of paper, which is then taped behind one’s back. Every team member then writes something positive on the back of another member.

String Necklaces

The objective of this game is to get as many strings as possible on one’s neck by getting other members to say “no” to one’s questions. Tie a necklace or yarn around everyone’s neck and ask some questions. If anyone responds with a “no,” he/she has to surrender his/her necklace.

Demographics

Brainstorm background data that the contestants may be interested in knowing about each member (for example, age, education, etc.). In reference to the demographics, have every participant choose who they are.

Where Are You?

Before members meet, the team leader needs to pick a date and ask everyone what they were doing on that date.

We Are One

One member provides a classification upon which all the other members organize themselves. For example, the member can ask those wearing black shoes to stand together.

Human Knot

Participants stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, and stretch their left hand into the middle of the circle to join with another person (not directly to his/her left or right). Each participant then places his/her right hand into the circle to join hands with another person. After their hands have tangled, they are required to untangle without breaking grips within the group.

Partner TV Commercials

Members are divided into groups of two and asked to interview each other within a limited time- say 3 minutes. Each member is then given a minute to come up with a television commercial marketing the other partner.

Uncle Fred’s Suitcase

In a circle, the first person (a volunteer) starts the game with “I packed Uncle Fred’s suitcase with………..” then names some object or item. The person seated next to the first person must then repeat what the volunteer has said, and add his/her item. The game continues around the circle, and each participant is required to recite the previous object/items then add another. The members are allowed to help a partner who forgets some object. After the last person has repeated the details and added his/hers, the entire group then stands to recite what is in the suitcase: “ I packed Uncle Fred’s suitcase with…..,…..,……..,……., etc. The object/items can be replaced with the member’s names.

Contrasting Statement

The leader comes up with a list of contrasting groups, for example, day/night. After each pair is revealed, the entire team should divide into two and join the group that they best relate to (for example day). Within each group, members are asked to explain their choice.

Hometown

A large outline of state or country is placed on the floor or wall, and participants are required to put their hometowns and names on the map. Participants then proceed to share more information about their hometowns and how they joined the team.

M&Ms / Pass It Around

A bag of M&Ms is required for introducing groups to each other. One group sits in a circle, and the bag is moved around. Team members are expected to help themselves with the M&Ms, but not to eat them. Once the bag has been around the entire circle, each member must reveal one thing about himself/herself for every M&M taken. This activity has some variations.

The Question Web

Members stand in a circle. The leader holds the end of a spool of wool or string and throws it to one member to catch. The member then chooses to answer a question (from a list of already prepared questions). Holding the string, he or she then releases it to another team member who repeats the same method (chooses another question to answer). In the end, a web is created, and team members learn more about each player.

All Together Now

Divide the team into groups depending on the number. It can be groups of three, four, or five. Colleagues in each cluster are then required to talk about themselves (including their dislikes and likes). The aim is to find three things in common to the other members of the group.

Superlatives

Each participant is asked to study the group composition and decide on a superlative adjective that describes themselves in reference to others (fastest, most organized, happiest, etc.). The participants then give more details about their choice.

All Together Now

Divide the team into groups depending on the number. It can be groups of three, four, or five. Colleagues in each cluster are then required to talk about themselves (including their dislikes and likes). The aim is to find three things in common to the other members of the group.

Superlatives

Each participant is asked to study the group composition and decide on a superlative adjective that describes themselves in reference to others (fastest, most organized, happiest, etc.). The participants then give more details about their choice.

Balloons

Use small pieces of papers to prepare questions and put those questions inside a balloon. Have each team member pop a balloon to retrieve a question and answer the question to the group.

Name Tag

Every member needs to make a nametag that includes a picture. The picture (symbol, cartoon, building, nature) should be able to say something about that person. Alternatively, people can write answers to specific questions (for example, where do you live?) in the corner. Every person should then be given a chance to explain his/her drawing.

Common Ground

Give the team members a specific time (say 7 minutes) to write down a list of all the things they have in common, but they should avoid the obvious. Once the time elapses, each group should disclose the number of items they have listed and reveal any unusual details.

Blanket Name Game

The entire team is divided into two groups and asked to sit on the floor facing each other. A blanket is placed between the groups so that each team cannot view the other. A member from one of the teams is quietly asked to move to the blanket until all members face each other – but cannot view each other because of the blanket. On the count of three, the blanket is dropped, and each person is expected to remember the name of the person facing him/her.

Chaos / Toss a Name

Organize contestants in a circle and ensure everyone introduces himself/herself. One player then begins by tossing an object to another, saying, “Hi, Name of Person.” Once the other person catches the object, he/she says, “Thanks, Name of tosser.” The receiver then calls upon another person before tossing the object to him or her. After the ball has been thrown for some time, a second ball can be added to make it more interesting.

Talent Show

Team members are given a chance to name and share the talent of their choice. This game enables the members to share the skills they have.

Conversations

Every contestant is given a sheet of paper with some instructions. The instructions should be structured in a way to ensure every member speaks to everyone around.

Personal Coat of Arms

Every person is given a sheet of paper with a blank coat of arms. Each participant is required to respond to specific statements/questions in each quadrant. Each participant is then asked to draw a motto or symbol about his/her shield that is representative of him/her. Participants should then share their results with the group.

Interview / Fun Facts

Divide the team members into pairs then ask them to interview each other. Each interviewer should aim to find three unique facts about their interviewee. Everyone should then be asked to present the three facts about their partner to the rest of the team.

Paper Plate Dates

Each participant is given a paper plate and asked to draw the face of a clock on the plate. With a horizontal line next to each number, each member is required to walk around to find a ‘date’ for each hour. Once everyone has found a date, he/she is required to write his/her name on the line. The whole point is that no member can have a ‘date’ with more than one person per hour. The date can only take place if each pair has the same time available. The team leader can then speed up time to allow a few minutes for each hour after everyone has made a date. Each pair should get the chance to know each other. For this exercise, gender is not an issue.

Personal Coat of Arms

Every person is given a sheet of paper with a blank coat of arms. Each participant is required to respond to specific statements/questions in each quadrant. Each participant is then asked to draw a motto or symbol about his/her shield that is representative of him/her. Participants should then share their results with the group.

Interview / Fun Facts

Divide the team members into pairs then ask them to interview each other. Each interviewer should aim to find three unique facts about their interviewee. Everyone should then be asked to present the three facts about their partner to the rest of the team.

Who’s Done That?

Prepare a list of around 20-25 skills or experiences that are relevant to the team. Make enough copies for everyone and ensure there is sufficient space below each item. Let every person find someone who can sign one of the lines. The signee should leave their name and contact information.

Ball Toss

Everyone should stand up to form a circle and face each other. Toss a bean bag or ball to a person and have that person share an interesting fact. That person then throws the ball to another player who is also required to share some facts.

Dear Dolores

Participants sit in a circle, and each person starts by giving their name accompanied with an adjective that begins with the first letter of their name (E.g. Industrious Ian, Happy Helen). The next contestant repeats the person’s name and adjective followed by his or her name and adjective. The process continues in the circle.

Lifelines

A ‘lifeline’ is drawn across a massive sheet of paper, and each member is required to mark a date (each date needs labeling for explanation) on the line that represents specific moments in their lives: turning points, lows, highs or other significant events. Each member then shares their dates with the other players. The group is then given a chance to ask questions about each other’s lifelines.

Did You See It?

Members take turns asking each other questions about their environment (college/workplace/home). For example, what is the name of the new receptionist? The game investigates how much attention people pay to their surroundings.

Traffic Lights

Divide members into teams and draw traffic lights on a chart in front of the room. The lights are representative of action plans: what they need to stop doing (red light), what they should minimize doing (yellow light), and what they should continue doing (green light). Each participant should then write his/her traffic lights and explain it to the group.

Me Too

Each contestant is given ten scraps of papers or pennies. The first person then states what he/she has done, and everyone else who has done the same thing must admit and put their paper or penny in the middle of the table. The second person states something else (e.g. I have never gone skiing) and anyone who agrees puts another penny in the center. The game continues until one person runs out of pennies.

Important Item

Participants are required to bring something of significance with them. Every member is then given a chance to explain why that thing is necessary. In some cases, players can be given an opportunity to guess the owner of a given item.

Animal Imitation

Arrange chairs in a circle and label each chair with the name of a particular animal. The team members are required to replicate the gestures and sounds associated with the animals in question. Members then rotate and imitate the animal labeled on their new chair.

The Shoe Game

One participant is selected to receive positive feedback from the other team members. Once that person has received feedback from everyone, another person is chosen. There are a number of ways to perform this activity.

Progressive Story

This exercise requires that members know each other and feel comfortable discussing personal issues. For this game, listening is crucial, but members do not have to sit in a circle. The team leader begins the story and in no special order, another group member picks up the story adding another element to the plot. The main idea is to ensure everyone adds something. The progression of the story is representative of the member’s emotions.

Positive Bombardment / Feedback

The group is required to stand in a large circle, shoulder to shoulder. Members are then expected to remove their shoes. At the team leader’s command, every member runs to the middle of the circle and throws their shoes in the pile. The first person then chooses a pair of shoe- that is not his/hers- and makes a statement about the owner based on the appearance of the shoes. The shoe owner then comes forth and introduces himself/herself to the other members before picking another pair of shoes to ‘analyze.’ The process is repeated until everyone has been introduced based on their shoes.

The team leader should come up with some follow up questions for each icebreaker. The questions should be used to rate the effectiveness of each. 

If you enjoyed these 51 Team Icebreakers you might also want to check out our 76 Icebreaker Questions.

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