team building activities

17 Team Building Activities That Don’t Suck

Team Building Activities That Do Not Suck

You may play any number of games and do team-building exercises in the office, and each of these exercises will help you team learn to work together while having fun. You are creating an environment in the office that is a bit more playful than normal, and you will notice that all the different parts of the office may learn to work together using these activities. You may drag your workers out of the office for team building exercises, or they may play these games at their desks. Make them as much fun as possible, and your workers will look forward to this process.

#1: Blindfolded Dodgeball

You can play this game with any number of people you like, but you must have an even number to participate. You will split your office into pairs, and the pairs will play the game together. Your teams will have one person who can see and one person who is blindfolded. The person who is blindfolded has the ball, and they will throw the ball at other groups. They get their direction from the person who can see, and the team that manages to avoid being hit is the winner. This is an easy way to learn to communicate, and it helps your staff learn how to shorten their communications to the most-effective words. You may set a timer, or you may play short games until one team is left standing.

#2: The Book

The book is a common item in the office, and you will place it in the middle of the office where everyone may access it. Anyone who has grievances in the office may bring them to the book. Anyone who has ideas may bring them to the book, and you may check the book to learn how your staff is communicating. They will learn to settle their differences quickly simply because they must be civil in the book. You will settle differences quickly, and you will avoid entanglements that could cause your company to lose much of its productivity. Try the book to help your staff talk, and it may go by the wayside when they all learn how to talk to one another. These team building exercises for work are ongoing for all the people on your staff.

#3: Three Truths One Lie

You will write down three truths and one lie on a piece of paper, and the people in your group must figure out which one is the lie. This is a fun ice breaker for the office, and it is a simple game to play because you may sit around a desk. You will get to know the people around you, and you will have fun trying to figure out what the lie is. You will laugh with the people who are sitting around the desk, and you will find that the people in the office learn funny things about one another. This is a bonding experience that will make your work more fun, and you may laugh quite a lot about the things you learn. You may play this game for as long as you want, or you may challenge your team to do it as fast as possible.

#4: Desk Product Logo

Creating a logo and slogan for a random product on your desk is a fun game for your office staff to do. You may put your staff in pairs or trios, and you will find that the people in each group will be quite creative. They will build a new product logo and slogan for this random item, and you will hear wild ideas that you may use in your business going forward. You should not cast aside anything that could be considered the next best idea from your business, and you will learn about the creative minds of the people in your office. This is a simple game to play, and you may do it on a timer in just a few minutes.

#5: Draw Blind

Team building activities for work and communication games are fun only when there is an element of surprise of stress involved. There are many different people who may play this game, and you are free to break your office into as many different teams as you need. The person who is drawing must draw blindfolded, and they are told what to draw through descriptions. Their teammates will tell them what lines and curves to draw, and they will see if they can get close to what the actual image should be. You may play this game in lightning rounds that only take a few minutes to play, or you may play this game as part of your lunch break. Bring food in for everyone, and you may play this game for as long as you like. All you need is a whiteboard, markers and an imagination.

#6: Don’t Step There

This is the classic lava game you may play with the people in your groups, and you may designate tiles on the floor that are hot lava. The people on each team must cross the room, and you will find that they must come up with creative ways to cross the room. They cannot simply jump from one tile to another, and all the people on each team must cross. You may leave the game with no time limit, or you may ask them to complete the game in half an hour. You may make the game even more difficult with every round, and you will find your staff members doing quite a lot of interesting things to cross the room.

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#7: Be Resourceful

You may start a short game with your staff members that requires them to be resourceful. You may force the people in the office to make a phone call without a phone, or you may ask them to close a deal without your email account. You must come up with ridiculous tasks for them to complete, and you will learn who works well under pressure and who does not. There are certain people in your office who will perform well simply because you gave them a hard task to complete, and you will find that there are a number of people who cannot do tasks like this. You may send certain people on difficult jobs based on their performance in this game, and you may send other people on simple tasks because you do not want to stress them out. This is a clever way for you to learn how all the people in your office work.

#8: The Traditional Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are quite a lot of fun, and there is not a person in the office who will not enjoy this task. The games may be created for a number of purposes. You will find that you may send your staff on a scavenger hunt for information that is required for your business, or you may send them on a scavenger hunt for information about their colleagues. You may learn quite a lot about the people who work in the office because they are hunting for particular pieces of information, and you will find that the staff members get to know one another simply because they have sought out this information.

The scavenger hunt is quite a lot of fun because you may send your staff on this hunt for the balance of the day, and you may ask them to do this work quickly. You may go so far as to ask your staff to complete the hunt without a phone or computer, and you may choose to ask your staff to find something physical in the building. You may not realize how much time it takes to find some of these things, and you will learn who works the fastest after you have asked everyone to complete these assignements. It is quite improtant for you to ensure that you have a scavenger hunt that produces good information for the business, and you must be certain that your staff is motivated to finish it. Offer prizes for the winners, and you will learn quite a lot about everyone who works for you.

#9: Do This With One Question

This is one of the most-interesting games you may play in your office, and you will test the problem-solving skills of everyone in your office. You will tell your staff to complete a task in one question. You may think that the tasks are quite hard to finish because they have so many moving parts, and you will find that the task may be completed by someone who maximizes their one question. You may not realize how someone works until you learn which question they ask, and you will watch them complete this process in a team. You need to have a few different people working on the same task, and you will watch teams in your office work together on this game. They will complete a difficult task using one question, and you will be shocked at what they are capable of.

The question game may take only a few moments, or you may give the staff until the end of the day to get the job done. You will find that there are a number of different things your staff members may do during the day to win, and you will learn of a number of creative solutions that were used. You may learn something new from the winning person or team, and you will find that they are asking interesting questions. You want to see who is the most-efficient at using their time, and you will learn who knows how to communicate with others.

This is especially effective on a sales team because a salesman may only ask so many questions before they annoy the customer. Ask your staff to play this game to improve their conversion rate.

#10: Silence

Nonverbal communication is far more effective than verbal communication, and you will find that the office becomes more efficient when your staff is not speaking. They must learn how to communicate with one another in unique ways, and you will find that they are quite good at learning how to speak to one another when they are not allowed to talk. This is a game of gestures, and it helps your staff cut down on the noise in the office. Your office may be quite a loud place, and you will find that the staff is more efficient. They are getting work done that moves the business forward, and they are using less energy. Someone who is not talking during the day will get more done, and you will reduce the noise in the office to a level that is quite low.

The silence game may be tied to other games that your employees are playing. Asking your staff to do their work in silence is a way to value body language, and your staff will learn that the silence they maintain helps them focus. Concentration will improve in the office, and you will see your teams communicate better because they have been asked to be silent. There are quite a few different people who will learn how to use their words less, and you will see your office grow quieter every day imply because you played once game that asked your staff to stop speaking. Play the game all day, play the game for five minutes or use silence as part of another game.

#11: Dream Trip

Dream trip is the perfect activity for a staff that wants to daydream a bit. You are doing much more than taking a dream trip, and you will find that team building activities such as this will help you only when your staff must solve problems. You will start with a dream trip that someone on your staff would love to take. They will show you the trip as they envision it, and you will ask your staff to book the trip in five minutes or less.

There are many complications to get through, and you will find that your staff goes into action hoping to move as fast as possible without wasting any time. This is the game that lets you learn something about the people on your staff, and it is the game that will help you learn how your staff works. The people who complete the tasks will be asked to take a number of steps to get the job done, and you will learn which person is most-capable to complete certain jobs.

#12: Lilly Pads

Lilly pads is a game that is much like the lava game from earlier. You may play this game with questions at each pad, or you may ask your staff to make their way across the room using only the Lilly pads. You must ensure that you have taken the time set up a game that does not take much time. You may want to limit this game to an hour so that your staff may get back to work, and you will teach them something about your company or their jobs when they are jumping from one Lilly pad to the next. You may play this game across your office, or you may play it in the break room. You are asking your staff to participate in something that is fun for them, and you are giving them a good time that cannot be replicated.

#13: Dining Room Challenge

The dining room challenge is a game that allows you to use your lunch break as a team-building exercise. The dining room challenge is quite a lot of fun for people in the room because it allows you to learn about the people who work with you. The dining room challenge is a game where you ask everyone in the room to order for the person next to them. These people are trying to get as close to their preferred meal as possible, and you will see who comes the closest. It is fun to know what someone would order ina. Restaurant, and your team will grow closer simply because you all know these simple facts about each other.

#14: What’s in My Coffee

What’s in my coffee is a game that helps you place coffee orders in the morning, but you play it much like the dating game. You are guessing what your partner puts in their coffee, and they have it written down on a card. They will reveal their favorite things to put in coffee, and you will learn who is the closest. This game only takes a minute, but it is one of those team building exercises that anyone can do. You are allowing to learn more about one another, and you will find that someone in the office is ready to take everyone’s coffee order.

#15: Tug Of War

Tug of war is easy to play with one rope and the length of your office. You need to split your office into two teams, and you will find that they are prepared to fight to the death in some cases. The people who are in your office working every day are learning how to work together through the games you have them play, and this game will give you a number of opportunities to learn how they work in teams. You are learning just as much as your staff, and you will find that they are willing to work very hard to pull a flag across a line. This may seem like a simple game, but five minutes of tug of war will go quite a way to building your team.

#16: Exercise Challenge

The exercise challenge is a simple way to get your staff to get in shape. The people that work for you may be tasked with walking so many miles per week, or you may ask them to go on a run as a team. You are building a group that knows how to work together, and team building exercises for work that get everyone into shape are worth every second they take. You may send everyone off for a walk during lunch, or you may give everyone a pedometer to see who walks the farthest during the week. This is a fun challenge that sees your employees comparing themselves to others, and they will have fun trying to be the person who walks the farthest.

#17: Sales Challenge

The sales challenge is the last on the list, and it is a challenge that will see your staff vying to be the person who reaches a sales goal the fastest. You will see these people work quite hard on new selling tactics, and you will notice that they are increasing their productivity in the process. You may learn a new sales technique that is helpful for the office, and you may put your staff in teams. Someone on each team may give their teammates a better selling strategy, and they will work hard on that strategy hoping to win. This may go on for a day, a week or a month. You may allow the employees to do the challenge alone, and you will find that certain people have a gift for sales while others do not.

These team-building activities will take your business quite a long way going forward. You may show your workers how to function as a team, and they will learn about each other as you send them more games to play. Put each of these 17 games in a rotation, and you will never bore the people who work for you. They will happily play along, and they will learn something new every time you roll out a new game or activity. This is your opportunity to learn about the staff while they learn about themselves. Make sure you check out our list of 51 team icebreakers as well as our list of indoor team building games.

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Indoor Team Building Games

17 Fun Indoor Team Building Games

There is nothing more important than a group of people having the ability to work together as a team, especially in the work force. It is, however, not always easy for all persons to work collaboratively. Team building games really help to promote and foster relationships in which the individuals trust one another and work together in a positive and productive manner.

There are many options for great indoor team building games and exercises. Below, I’ve compiled 17 of the best!

1.) 3 Truths and a Lie

In this fun, getting-to-know-you team building activity, each person gets a chance to state three truths about themselves and one lie, to the rest of the group. The truths may be as fun and creative as you would like, or as simple as you may choose. The lie must not be so far-fetched that it is completely unbelievable (i.e., “I swam the English Channel with my arms tied behind my back and a shark chasing me.”). Everyone should discuss what they believe are the truths and which is the lie. After they come to a united decision, the speaker will reveal if they are correct or not.

This is a great game to help everyone become acquainted with one another. It also helps the quieter people of the group who may more easily remain mum if allowed, break out and get to be known by others. In addition, it allows for the participants to learn a bit about themselves as well as others based on the lies they believed to be true.

2.) Scavenger Hunt

An oldie but a goodie: you likely remember this game from your childhood. Small groups should be made to create teams whom work together with the common goal of finding the objects or answers needed from their scavenger hunt list. The answers or items being sought out should all be work or event-related. A time limit should be given for the groups to find as many objects and answers as they possibly can. Some will be quite easy, but others will really require them to work together as they will be a bit more difficult.

This promotes united teamwork. When the game is done everyone will have been reminded of different work/event procedures and policies as they will have been incorporated in their lists for answers or items to find. This is ideal when large indoor spaces are available. 

3.) Hello My Name Is

Write adjectives describing someone’s mood or personality (i.e., happy, grouchy, negative, prankster) on name tag stickers. Be sure there is enough for each person to have one. Then randomly hand them out or let each person draw one from a hat. Each person must then put the sticker with their assigned adjective on to their shirt and wear it, behaving as their assigned adjective during all interactions for a certain amount of time.

This is a great activity that shows each person that when we define them by a feeling – “Boy, you’re really grumpy today!” – it can actually lead us to take on that persona, whether we were feeling that way or not. This of course can be a good thing or a bad thing – acting happy can in fact make you feel happy!  This shows how behavior and actions can actually define our feelings, not the other way around.

4.) Big Foot

This is a fun, albeit tricky game, in which everyone must stand up in a single file line. All the players are then blindfolded so that they cannot see. They are then instructed to put themselves in line in order of smallest foot to biggest foot. Caveat: they cannot ask or state anyone’s shoe size.

This is a great game that demands teamwork to communicate efficiently in order get into line properly without the use of sight or verbalizing the most basic and obvious of information: shoe size.

5.) See What I Mean?

In this challenging team building activity one person draws a picture using only basic shapes and a volunteer than describes the picture drawn to everyone else. Without seeing the picture, each person much try to reproduce the picture based solely on what the volunteer is relaying to them with the ultimate goal being that they are able to create the same picture.

In this game it is unlikely that anyone in the group will reproduce a carbon copy – some pictures will be more similar than others. This activity emphasizes how very important verbal communication is, and also how it can be vastly interpreted by different people. To really drive the point home you could do a few rounds of this game, which would also exhibit how some people interpret directions and communication differently from others and how certain methods are more easily understood than others.

6.) Zombie Escape

In this thrilling game everyone will be “locked” in a room with a “zombie.” One person will be the zombie, complete with outstretched arms and zombie noises, and they will be tied to a rope in the corner. Every five minutes the zombie will be given an extra foot of leeway on the rope, eventually being close enough to “eat” the other players. Before the zombie gets that far, however, the group will have a series of puzzles, riddles, or clues they must complete in order to find the key and escape the room intact.

This activity fosters collaborative teamwork and creative problem solving skills, as everyone must work together to figure out the clues in a high-stress situation in order to get out. This also helps to show which individuals have a more difficult time in stressful situations, which people flourish in them, and helps to bring out real team leaders.

7.) What’s My Name?

Write the name of famous present or past figures, or of people types such as nurse, geek, blind, homeless on to a name tag place one on to the back of each person in the room so that they cannot see the name tag, but everyone else in the room can.

The group then may socialize with one another for a set amount of time, asking questions in order to try and figure out who they are. Others will treat them in stereotypical ways based on who their label says they are. Each person can use the answers to their questions, as well their treatment, to ascertain who they are. Once they have correctly identified their label, they may leave the game until everyone has finished.

This is a really great ice-breaker game, but also allows each person to confront stereotypes in the questions used and the answers given, as well as by how they treated others and other treated them based solely on their label. It permits each person to get a better idea of how we erroneously perceive people, as well as how it feels to be so narrowly characterized by a simple label.

8.) Get to Know Me!

In this activity request everyone to pair off into twos with people they were not sitting near and/or do not know well. The pairs will then ask one another three questions: 1.) Name something that you are very proud of in your work and/or personal life. 2.) Tell something about yourself that very few people know about. 3.) Interviewers choice: any question can be asked. Afterwards, each person will share with the large group what they learned about their partner.

This is a fun and effective way to get to better know your colleagues, especially those whom you may not interact with often.

9.) Kid’s Stuff

For this creative challenge, you will all work together to create a board game based on the work your business or event conducts. Using basic and limited supplies, such as poster board and markers, everyone will work together using their imaginations to create a fun and interactive game. The game may include questions focused on the business that must be answered at certain game spots, ways to earn/lose points or move forwards/backwards. Perhaps a dice will move you forward? The sky is the limit.

This exercise will force each person to work collaboratively and give their input in order to create a board game that is fun for everyone.

10.) Spider Web

In Spider Web have the group form a large circle. It may be standing or sitting; if it is a very large group, you may prefer to sit. One person will hold a large ball of twine and then tell the group an embarrassing story about themselves. Afterwards, they will then hold onto the end of the twine and throw it to someone else in the circle, extending the twine from themselves to the next person. That person will then also tell an embarrassing story about his or herself and throw the twine to another person while keeping a hold of it as well. This will continue until the twine has been passed to each person and each person has had the opportunity to humor the group with an embarrassing story of his or hers own. The end result will produce a “spider web” out of the twine, connecting everyone to each other.

This team building game shows how each person, no matter how different, is connected in one or way or another to each other person. It also allows each person to see how everyone may have vastly different experiences, but they all experience the same emotions and feelings. Though you may be very different people, you are also more alike and connected than you realize.

11.) Group Timeline

Create a large timeline on a white board, bulletin board, or whatever other means you may prefer. Mark the very beginning of the timeline back to either when the oldest participant in the group was born, or when the business or event was first founded; whichever occurred first. Then mark off any major milestones for the business or event, such as “Change of Name” or “Celebrated 50 years,” etc.

Then allow each person in the group to mark four important moments for them on the timeline; whether it be personal or business/event related; it is completely up to them.

When the timeline is completed it will show a visual representation of your whole team and their generational experiences. This allows for dialogue on generational and cultural differences and how they affect work and communication, as well as general differences and similarities.

12.) Plane Crash

In this team building activity you will imagine that your group was in a plane crash and are now stranded on a deserted island. This can be done as one large group, or you can break off into smaller groups. The group must then choose 12 items that can be found in the building that they believe to be the most useful for their survival on their deserted island, and rank them in order of most importance to least.

This focuses on teamwork and collaboration, as well as creative problem solving and thinking outside of the box, as they may very likely have to make do with items they would not pick if not so limited.

13.) Watch Where You Step

Make a polygonal shape on the floor using masking tape that is at least 12 feet by 6 feet. Make the outline of the shape a tad complicated, selecting a shape that is stretched out as people will be making their way from one end to the other. Be sure there are starting and stopping points marked. Put a handful of squeaky dog toys inside of the taped shape, and at least double the amount of sheets of paper, each with a huge X on them, inside of the shape. The papers are mines.

In groups of two, each person will be blindfolded and must make it from start to finish through the minefield. The only direction is from the verbal instructions coming from those whom are outside of the shape and not blindfolded. The blindfolded participants may not step outside of the shape enclosure, nor may the step on a mine. If they do, they are frozen until someone else steps on a squeaky toy in order to unfreeze them. This occurs until the entire group has had a turn to make it successfully through the minefield.

This teambuilding exercise works on communication and teamwork, as well as clear diction and the ability to be vigilant of numerous actions at once.

14.) Use What You Have

In this fun game, split your group into two equal groups. Or if needed, several equal groups. Give them clear instructions for a goal in which they must create something: the something is completely up to you. It may be that they must create a way to move a marble from point A to point B without the use of electricity or rubber bands; it can really be anything. Each group has the same goal and the same restrictions.

The teams are then given a specific amount of time to work and complete the mission with a particular set of supplies. They are not allowed to use any other materials, but how they use the supplies available to them is entirely up to them. The big reveal at the end is an exciting event, and allows for friendly competition.

This activity requires teamwork in creative problem solving with limited options. It allows for the groups to see how each person thinks and works abstractly and in a time-crunch.

15.) Find the Common Thread

Divide everyone into groups of three or more. They will talk and get to know one another long enough to find a common thread amongst them, such as they all love zombie movies or they’re huge football fans. They will then write a list of common stereotypes attributed toward people who tend to enjoy those sorts of things.

The groups will then come together and proclaim who they as a group are. For the rest of the day each group will behave as their stereotype: perhaps the zombie-lovers will be overheard making zombie apocalyptic plans, or acting like zombies. Football aficionados may randomly cheer for their team. At the end of the day discuss stereotypes and how they often limit how we view people and their abilities. Also discuss how each group came about discovering their common thread.

The purpose of this teambuilding game is to help everyone see how silly and limiting stereotypes are, and how if people truly behaved the way we often write them off to act, things would be vastly different. It also shows how a group of seemingly very different people can have great commonalities that bring them together.

16.) Someone You Admire

This game is as straightforward as the name. Each person will take a turn stating someone whom they admire; it may be a current person or someone from history. You could also spice it up a bit and make it be someone within the group. Each person must also tell why they admire that person; what traits, attributes, and/or accomplishments make that person worthy of admiration.

This exercise really helps everyone get to know one another better and have a stronger sense of each other’s values and what attributes they find to be important. It also can help bring people closer together as they realize they respect and admire the same people.

17.) Classify This

Collect at least 20 different items and set them on a table. The broader the category, the better (i.e., jewelry, office supplies, etc.). You want for these items, at first glimpse, to have no obvious connection to each other.

Then break everyone into equal teams, armed with a pen and paper. They must then classify the objects into four groups. They may do this however they choose, working together, not allowing other groups to hear. Once all the groups are finished they will each get a turn explaining how they opted to group the items. Each group may have vastly different conclusions, grouping by size, material, color, etc.

This activity encourages teamwork and creative thinking. It forces them to think outside the box and rethink everyday objects and problems, and find connections to things that they would typically view as entirely unrelated.

There you have it, 17 indoor team building games. Make sure you check out our other icebreaker games as well.

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Improv Games

13 Fun Improv Games

We’ve all experienced the sometimes awkward process of getting to know new people, especially in group settings. More often than not, improv games are a great way to allow people to get to know one another in a fun fashion. Improv games are essentially games that are designed to improve on an individual’s improv acting skills in the theater. These games also make great icebreakers and are just plain fun for anybody to play. Children love the interactive rules of improv games and are much more likely to have fun because of the unpredictable nature of these games. Since there are a great variety of games, kids are not the only ones who can participate. Corporate outings and company team building exercises are also implementing improv games to encourage unity and cohesion among employees. Take a look at these 13 fun, energetic, and creative improv games from improvencyclopedia.org that can be used in a variety of settings.

Game #1: Imitation

This first game is simple and fun for any group, kids or adults. The game starts with everyone forming a circle. Someone will start by performing some kind of action, small or big, such as snapping or a dance move. The player can also opt to make a sound of some sort like a dog barking or whistling a short tune. The goofier the better. The next person in the circle will then do their best to imitate that sound or action and the next person will imitate that person and so on and so forth. The game is similar to telephone. You might think it should be simple to imitate a sound or action, but as more people attempt it, the more distorted and amusing it becomes.

Game #2: Ten Strikes and You’re Out!

This next game can be played by any age group and in small or large groups. Each individual holds up each of their fingers, representing the number of “strikes” they get before they are out. One at a time, each person will state something that is true about themselves but is hopefully not true about the other group members. For example, I could state that I own a dog. Whoever can say “I too own a dog” is safe. But whoever does not own a dog has to put a finger down. When someone runs out of fingers, they are out. The last person to have a finger up, wins. The goal is to say something that is true of you but NOT true about others, so the more unique you can make it, the better. This game encourages players to pay attention to and learn about the other group members so they can plan their turn strategically.

Game # 3: Rocks Ahead!

This game requires some props, really anything that can be placed on the ground as an obstacle such as a shoe, pillow, toys, chairs, etc. One person is picked as the Captain who is at the wheel of the “ship” but cannot see anything due to heavy fog (this member is blindfolded). The rest of the group are the mates who are on the lookout for any obstacles that might sink the ship like rocks, reefs, etc. which are represented by the various obstacles placed on the ground throughout the room. The group, using only their words, will do their best to navigate the blindfolded Captain through the obstacles without touching any of them. If so desired, you may allow the “ship” 1 or 2 brushes against an obstacle to make the game a little easier.

Game #4: Back to the Future

This game involves 2-4 players who will take a few minutes to improvise the plot for a short scene, but will not act it out. Then the audience will decide if they want to see what preceded that scene or what happens after. This game promotes teamwork among the actors and is just plain amusing for the audience.

Game #5: Turn and Trust

This next game is great for building trust and teamwork. Have the group form a circle with everyone standing really close together. The instruct the group to make a quarter-turn to the left. Then ask everyone to move in, standing even closer together. Next, ask the whole group to sit down simultaneously. If done properly, each group member will end up sitting on each other’s knees. If you really want to challenge them, instruct them to walk while sitting by telling them which foot to start with.

Game #6: Octopus

This next game is simple and is great for children. The group starts in either a circle or a line with each player holding hands. The group then moves around with an inevitable tangle of people forming. For added fun, have the group then try and untangle themselves.

Game #7: Jabbering Jargon

This improv game is structured around an individual, with audience participation. The individual starts calling out any words he/she wants with the goal of saying as many words as possible that have no association with the previous word. For example, I could say, “baseball, sky, bed, dog, lamp, light bulb” but at light bulb I would stop since there is an association between lamp and light bulb. This game encourages creativity and focus from the individual and vigilance from the group since they will be the ones stopping the individual when an association is made.

Game #8: Fast-Forward/Rewind

In this game you will need to pick a “director” and the rest of the group will serve as actors. The actors will act out a scene and at any point the director can “rewind” or “fast-forward” the scene at which point the actors will adjust their scene accordingly. This is a great game for improving impromptu skills and also forces the actors to work in unison, especially in the “fast-forward” portions of the game.

Game #9: Active Audience

This game is played with 1-3 players as the “story tellers” and the rest of the group provides assistance when the story tellers look to the crowd for creative ideas. For example, a story teller may say, “I like Italian food but my favorite food of all time is…” At this point the audience could yell out “dirty socks” or “beach towel” and the story teller would continue, “I like Italian food but my favorite food of all time is dirty socks. Dirty socks just really hit the spot when I’m famished.” The story can go for as long as you like. This is a great improv game that encourages the story tellers to tap into their creative side. It also leads to some great jokes that can be referenced for a long time.

Game #10: The Voice

This next game is great for an improv class or just a fun game for anyone to engage in. It can take place on a stage or anywhere there is ample room. The group, minus one, will come up with a scene to act out. One individual will not be acting but will instead be the voice of an “invisible character” whom the rest of the actors will have to incorporate into their scene. The “voice” is a supposed invisible character whom the actors can see but the audience cannot.

Game #11: Rumor Has It…

This is a great war-up game for any group. All players sit in a circle. The first person points at an individual and whispers, “Did you hear…?” to the person next to them. That person affirms and adds to the silly rumor. For example, the game might start with a player pointing to the person across from them and whispering to their neighbor, “Did you hear Joe has reverse aging disorder and is actually over 200 years old?” The neighbor might then gasp dramatically and whisper to their neighbor, “Did you hear Joe has reverse aging disorder and is actually over 200 years old and is from Mars?” This would continue until the person sitting next to Joe would tell the audience the collective rumors she/he heard about Joe. This game encourages creativity and emphasizes memory recall and is also sure to lead to some fun inside jokes.

Game #12: In Sync

For this game you will need to come up with three things that can be easily mimicked with hand gestures. For example if you picked a king, the sign could be to use your hands to form a crown above your head. If you picked a chicken, the sign could be to bob your head and cluck. You can pick anything, just make sure all the players know the three things agreed upon and what their signs are. At your signal, each player will pick one of the three things and will make the appropriate sign. The game continues until everyone in the group picks the same thing to act out. It is fun to watch who leads the group in which thing to act out and who is stubborn in following!

Game #13: Group Mime

This last game involves group coordination to mime a group activity. For example tug-o-war, rowing a boat, peddling a 10 person bike, etc. This game encourages suggestions from the audience and team work from the players. If there is no audience then simply ask any one of the players for a suggestion of what to mime.

There you have it, 13 fun improv games. Still need more fun game? Make sure you check out our extensive list of dice games as well.

small-group-icebreakers

Icebreaker Bingo

How To Play Icebreaker Bingo

 Icebreaker bingo is a game that can be used for any newly formed groups to become more familiar or comfortable with each other. It is almost virtually a free resource for groups to use in order to become closer. This game can be employed in many different settings and institutions, such as schools, sports teams, and other various instances where icebreakers can be useful. The steps in playing the game are also very understandable and easy to do.


Here, I am going to discuss the steps that Icebreaker bingo takes in order to be one of the most successful icebreakers game for a group.
Step One: The first thing that the game needs is for the leader or leaders of the game, the people that want to implement this to a new group, to make a five by four grid on a piece of paper.

Step Two: You will then have to fill in the squares on the grid. These squares are to be filled in with certain facts or interesting information from different members of the group. It is very important that some of these facts be exclusive to just a few group members. It is also important that every group member has at least one square that applies to them.

Tip– Examples of some of the things you can put in a bingo square are stuff like, ‘Has brown eyes,’ or ‘Knows a foreign language.’ It can be a physical characteristic, a hobby or a skill, as long as it relates to at least one of your group members.

Step Three: The next step is easy, and is the part the requires the most materials. The game leaders will make copies of the finished grids, so that each group member receives a ‘bingo card’.

Step Four: Now comes the part where the actual game begins. The group will get together with their bingo cards, and each individual will talk to other group members in order to find whichever grid fact they need to cross out. If they find a person that relates to a certain square, they have that person sign off on the square.

Step Five: Give the group around ten minutes to complete the activity and cross out as many squares as possible. Then have them all come together to share some of the interesting facts that they found out about each other.

If you follow the instructions above, the game should go smoothly and act as an excellent game to break the ice within newly forming groups.

Make sure you check out the rest of the site for more great icebreaker ideas.

team-icebreakers

15 Christian Icebreakers

Christian Icebreakers

Pastors, Christian youth groups, and women’s and men’s fellowship leaders at one time or another need quick ideas or activities to provide a little relaxation, inspiration and stimulation for their members or group participants. Icebreakers are one way to get the juices flowing no matter the makeup of the group or the topics to be studied or covered. There are a number of Christian-oriented icebreakers that can be used with almost any aged group and 15 suggested ones are listed here.

1. What Makes Me Blessed?

In order to put group participants at ease and to help them get acquainted with others in the group, particularly with those who may only know one another casually, good Christian icebreakers initially involve getting to know others and creating a level of comfort for whatever the group is going to be discussing or the time allotted.

One of several ways way to do that is to ask everyone in the group what makes them blessed? Ask them to write out the first letters of their name on a colorful piece of paper or on a white erase board. If need be, let each person pair off with another in the group so they can strategize for words with their names that equate with being blessed, such as the name Joan = joyful, Fred = fortunate, Aaron = anointed.

The same idea can be used with how the letters of a given name describe the person personally. Tom = Talkative, Objective and Motivated. Provide dictionaries and thesauruses for extra word help.

One more twist on this icebreaker is asking group members whether their first or middle names have major significance in any way such as whether their first or middle name was taken from another family name or family tradition of assigning and carrying on names.

2. The God Question

Asking God questions is another good approach to easing awkwardness in a group setting as everyone wants answers to questions that remain unanswered, particularly in the most blatant of circumstances and situations. This activity could be done individually, with a partner or as a group with everyone providing an answer and an appointed person writing out the questions on a white erase or chalkboard with discussions that follow.

3. The Lottery

Winning the lottery and what a person would do with the winnings seems to be a universal kind of icebreaker. The question could be administered individually or done on a group basis with everyone providing answers as to what a person would, should or could do with a major win. A second part of the question could include whether a winner should tithe (10%) of the winnings to a Christian organization?

4. Bible Character and Scripture Matching

Christian icebreakers usually involve activities affiliated with the Bible and scriptures, and one idea that is always enjoyable to use with members of younger groups is identifying bible characters through specific scriptures and actual character cutouts. Biblical characters, such as Moses holding the Ten Commandments, can be placed on a magnetic board and a scripture attributed to them matched with the character. Ask group members to identify the character and put the right figure with the quoted scripture. Mix and match a number of characters and scriptures to make the activity varied and fun. For example, take the scripture from Exodus 9:1 “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” In this case, the character being instructed is Moses.

Another take off on scripture matching is to provide more prominent scripture passages with a significant word or words left out one within the scripture. Ask group members to fill in and provide the missing word. This activity can be accomplished more quickly in pairs using a white erase board and access to scriptures with a matching word list for access with the appropriate fill in words.

5. Miraculous Happenings

If you could be part of any miraculous or other happening recorded in Christian history, what would it be and why? For example, how would you feel if you were in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus, or in the midst of the parting of the Red Sea or amongst those who were miraculously healed at the Grotto in Lourdes, France in the 19th Century and beyond?

6. God Thoughts

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God? This could be another activity where everyone participates on both an individual and group basis with either writing out the answer on a separate sheet of paper or on a white erase or chalkboard with answers being given in a spontaneous fashion. A twist with this activity would be what was your first thought of God as a child?

7. Greatest Christians (past and present)

Who do you were some of the greatest Christians alive today or from the past. With this question, the answers can span from the time of the New Testament to the 21st Century. Examples could include great pastors, prophets, theologians, saints, etc. For example, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and Norman Vincent Peale. Try to come up with at least ten (10) individuals from the past and present that have had major influences in Christianity.

8. Me, Myself and I

In looking at yourself in general, what are three things you really like about yourself? Another twist on this same topic could include what would you change about yourself that would help you become a better Christian?

9. Testimony

What event, occurrence, or circumstance in your life led you to become a Christian? Was there a major turning point that led to acceptance? This could be either an individual or group activity that would help to put others at ease and to compare answers that might be similar in nature.

10. What’s My Line

The old television program from the 50’s and late 60’s provides interesting input for Christian icebreakers. Everyone in the group is asked to jot down three different things about themselves and their line of work or vocation that is unknown to the others in the group. At least two of the items are true and one is not. Each group member presents their facts to the group and then everyone takes a vote as to which item about the person is not true. This activity can have surprising turnarounds as well as help others to get to know one another. It can be done with an erase board approach or with individual note cards or colored paper.

11. Christian Books & Movies

What Christian book or movie that you read or viewed recently, or in the past, would you recommend to others in the group that best represents Christian life today and true biblical history? Let the whole group brainstorm and come up with the top five books and movies that have had a major impact on Christians and others.

12. Biblical Person Encounter

If you were able to visit heaven, what biblical person would you talk to besides Jesus? For example, the Apostle Paul would be someone from the New Testament era that would provide hours of dialogue and inspiration.

13. Christian Influence

What Christian person that you have met and known has had the most influence in your life and why? That person could be a pastor, close friend, stranger, or mentor. Think about whether that individual caused a turning point in your Christian walk.

14. Christian Church Dilemmas

Today’s Christian church faces many problems. If you were able to have influence over just one of those problems, what would that problem be and how would you try to change it? Many would probably want to talk about the persecution that Christians face around the world today, the banishment of prayer or the tearing down of Christian monuments.

15. Weekly High-point

Looking back on your week (or the past few days), what was the most enlightening event or encounter that struck you as memorable and lasting? Perhaps a smile, handshake or a few encouraging words brought a feeling of well-being and confidence to your week. Maybe interfacing with a less fortunate person in a positive way or helping someone facing difficulty would be a reminder of what a Christian outlook can do for others outside of your inner circle

There are hundreds of ideas and variations of ideas and activities that can be used as icebreakers for most any Christian gathering. They usually take up a small amount of time at the beginning of a get-together but are meant to put those in attendance at ease and more comfortable with the subject matter that is going to be discussed or studied later on in the meeting. One way to help people to intermingle with one another and know more about each other is with the use of short and interactive activities, and some of those listed here can help get a group get off to a good start.

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17 Get to Know You Games

Get to Know You “Icebreaker” Games

When it comes to fun get to know you games for breaking the ice and enjoying each other’s company, there are 17 classic getting to know you games. In fact, there is a view that today’s electronic society has hindered such things as face-to-face human communication and the ability to relate to people in real life. Thus, there is a real need for these special-purpose “icebreaker” games to help facilitate communications and good times.

The common criteria for icebreaker games is linked to a view that all sharing should be fun, non-threatening, very interactive, simple and easy to play and results oriented. At the same time, the location for such activities should always be in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with members wearing comfortable clothing and someone chosen to lead the group. Meanwhile, the facilitator or leader should always be concise and clear when sharing details of these 17 get to know you games with easy to follow directions.

Get to know you games

At the end of the day, the view about games to help break the ice and get to know another person is they are great “facilitation exercises.” This is the view of longtime counselors and life coaches who commonly present these games to warm a group up to the idea of socialization and simply getting to know each other. It is all about “collaborative” communication, said a counselor sharing ideas on a social networking website.

The common focus for each of the following 17 icebreaker facilitation game includes sharing such things as hobbies, interests, personal data and even one’s dreams.

Game 1 – Introduction Icebreakers

This is one of the most common ways and means for people wanting to know one another. The game is often used by human resources when helping new employees get accumulated about the co-workers and supervisors. The game begins when people are gathered in a room or around a table. A moderator kicks things off by introducing themselves and then asking others in the group to do likewise. The flow can go to the right or left; while the idea is to simply go around the room and share something personal after an introduction that includes one’s name, job title, family history and personal interests.

Game 2 – Team Building

There is a longstanding point of view in the US military that an organization is only as strong as the members in its team. Thus, there is a lot of emphasis in military basic training for team building exercises that also serve as dandy icebreakers for new members of a team or group. A typical team building exercise first involves members of a group being divided up into teams. The teams are then given tasks to build trust, aid group dynamics and communication while also developing ways and means to work best together.

Game 3 – 20 Questions

There is a fun party game called “20 Questions” that literally involves asking members of a group this long list of questions as a way and means for others to get to know you. For example, a member of a group is asked a series of questions that focus on the who, what, when, where, how and why? The response to each question results in more personal data shared for greater group sharing and understanding, says counseling professionals commenting online.

Game 4 – Party Icebreaker Fun

This popular party game has often been used by counselors as a sort of “fun” icebreaker. The idea is to create questions that get people to laugh and then converse freely. The party questions are always somewhat personal but not too personal. For instance, a party member is asked about their favorite or not so favorite blind date experience. The questions should enlist a somewhat humorous response; while also being opened ended so the person can elaborate on the subject.

Game 5 – Tasks Presented as Icebreaker Games

This tasks focused icebreaker technique is often used in elementary and middle school to help new students get into the flow of the classroom or subject being studied and discussed. The student or individual is asked to perform some task so as to not only talk about something, but to “show” it as well. It is one of those “don’t tell me, show me” sort of challenges that involves questions being asked and tasks being performed to satisfy the challenge. For example, a member of a group is asked to tell a story about their recent summer vacation using images drawn on a blackboard or even a piece of paper. The idea is to get the individual involved in some act that helps communicate someone personal about themselves.

Game 6 – Interviews

This game is linked to what reporters do for a living when they interview someone for news or feature story data. The aim is to get someone to open up about themselves by simply asking them a series of questions: when did you move here? What is your favorite color and why? What are your life dreams?

Game 7 – Truth or Lie

There is always a very “human” need to keep certain details from family and friends. This is especially true, say mental health experts, when people are placed in a group of strangers. The result is something that is trending online called “Truth or Lie.” The goal is to share a “truth” and a “lie” with a group so as to inform and entertain. The participants can also make several statements and then ask the group what they think is true or untrue? In turn, the true and false answers are later revealed during a fun and casual sharing meeting.

Game 8 – My Little Known Fact

This game is popular with young people and seniors who have some “fun” or little known fact that they share in a group setting. For children it is all about some “awesome” experience or something they discovered that is just too fun to keep to oneself. At the same time, this fun fact is a great tool when it comes to opening up a group to also share other fun stuff. There are many Baby Boomer and senior groups that often use “My Little Know Fact” as a way and means of bonding about an aging or health issue, or some data about retirement that might benefit the group.

Game 9 – Bounce the Ball

This game features a facilitator who gathers people in a circle where a ball is bounced from one person to another; while the game is to share something personal when the ball bounces your way. This bounce the ball fame is also a great team building exercise because it challenges each member to be creative while discussing something that will personalize each member to the group. A ball is bounced to a member of a group who is asked to share his or her views on why such and such will win during the next bowling or basketball tournament. The fun and icebreaking perks of this game is all about group involvement because each person is tasked with either bouncing the ball or receiving the ball with some question or response. The overall goal is to simply get people to share stuff when prompted to do so.

Game 10 – The Spider Web Challenge

The game features a leader or facilitator who uses a ball of yarn as a way and means to create a physical “spider web,” while the game are to toss the ball of yarn from one group member to another. The game gets interesting when there is this massive spider web of yarn string that has “connected” each member of a group as ONE; while the sharing is the aim. As the ball of yarn is passed, each person must share some detail of their life. The result, after playing for about an hour, is a huge connected string of yarn that is now linked to lots and lots of personal tidbits that otherwise might not have been shared.

Game 11 – The Relationship Game

This game, as the name implies, is all about one’s personal relationships. It can be about one’s brother or sister, or longtime partner or best friend. The aim is to learn something about an individual based on their personal family or friendship relationships. Meanwhile, there is a longstanding point of view that relationships between two people or a group have the makings for lots and lots in very human and interesting details that can go a long way in making people happy or more open about themselves.

Game 12 – The Guessing Game

The best icebreaker games involve a question and an answer; while the classic “guessing game” has long been used by parents, educators and employers to help build group dynamics. In fact, the act of guessing something about another person is one fun way to literally “break the ice” because one is placed in a position to reveal their own values or ideas when posing a question about something. For instance, a good guess would be “are you married?” The response will be either yes or no; while it is the details of the answer that help the group when it comes to really getting to know another individual.

Game 13 – What My Eyes Can See

This is a classic technique and a very human “game” that we all play when viewing something about another person. While it may prove embarrassing to say, “I see you are wearing that old red jacket,” the plus of “what my eye can see” as a fun icebreaker game is to simply acknowledge that someone is doing or wearing something that you question for whatever reasons. Meanwhile, it is the act of asking a question during this game that results in needed community group sharing.

Game 14 – What My Ears Can Hear

This is another aspect of a classic get-to-know-you technique that addresses what an individual says or shares with a group; while the aim is to offer feedback questions about what was heard. The act of listening is in play during this game that allows members of a group to really focus on what someone is saying and why.

Game 15 – The Story Game

This is another relationship game that is designed to enlist stories about one’s personal history, life goals or just to tell a very human story. A story is how ancient people’s communicated; while children and adults always enjoy a good story as the best way and means to get to know someone or something.

Game 16 – He Said/She Said

This game is played with males and females because there are very clear differences in the sexes when sharing details about one’s life experiences. The goal is to have a male tell a story about some event happening today, and then asking a female in the group to add to that story or tell a related tale. The idea is to share how men and women, boys and girls, may have a different take on things; while the results are always fun and helpful when it comes to knowing what others think and feel.

Game 17 – The Game of Life

This is a simple group relationship game or exercise where members each share their life stories as an effort to help build group dynamics through common life experiences.

Getting to know you games

Overall, there has never been a better time to help others hooked into machine to “unplug” for a bit to enjoy sharing personal information with others in games that help people get to know each other. Make sure you check out our big list of icebreaker questions to help you with your next group facilitation.

human-knot-icebreaker-game

Human Knot Icebreaker Game

Human Knot Icebreaker Game

The human knot icebreaker game is a great one to play when you are thinking of ways to make friends at a meeting or a party. There are people who have never done this before, or they might have only seen a description of it. You have to get in your mind how much fun it is going to be to play, and then you are going to be able to get to know people while you are playing. You might see some people say that you can do this with a really large group, but you are going to get better results by breaking up your group into chunks of about ten people.

Starting Out

Starting out is a very simple process, but you have to be willing to break people up into groups. The groups that you make for all the people around you are going to be helpful because they will have just a few people together that can learn each other’s name as they go. Make sure that everyone has a name tag on, and then make your own human knot.

Holding Hands

Everyone needs to be holding hands, and you need to make a knot that connects people in a twister sort of fashion. The twister setup that you do for the game is going to be easy to untie, but you have to make sure that you have done all that you can to make the knot complex. Everyone is going to keep holding hands, and they will need to untie themselves. This is where everyone has to get to know each other because they have no choice.

The first step for making the knot is to make sure that you do not turn anybody around while you are doing it. They might have to twist and turn when they are untying the knot, but they kind of need to be facing each other as you start the game.

Starting the Game

You are going to ask everyone to start to untie the knot, but they are not going to be untie the knot unless they keep holding hands. Holding hands is going to be hard for everyone to do when they do not know all the names around them, but they are going to share their names when they are untying the knot. This might be kind of hard for some of the people in the group, but it is hard to keep untying the knot when people do not know names.

Waiting

You have to remember that they are going to wait sometimes when they do not know how they are going to be able to get the job done. They have more time to talk because this game can get kind of complicated. These people know that they are going to have to work hard at it to get it done, but they might take a break just to talk. This can be kind of helpful, but everyone is going to learn names as they go.

Pushing The Group

There will come a time when you need to push the group because you know that they are going to have to actually finish. It might be funny to leave everyone in knots, but you might need to have them to keep working on the knot. You can actually show them what to do, and then you can let them keep going on their own to get done. This means that they can get the knot finished with some help, but these people already know each other’s names.

A group that moves really fast is going to have a chance to go back and try a harder knot, and that could be really fun because it is your first chance to get them to do something that is even harder. You might not have an idea if they can do the bigger knot, but it will be fun to try. People are going to learn names, and they are going to have a chance to work out their brains on something that is really complex.

Doing It Blindfolded

You cannot do the whole game blindfolded, but you can blindfold every other person or even just one person in the group. This means that the people who can see have to give direction to the people that are blindfolded, and you also need to remember that it is going to be easier for these people to learn names because they have no choice.

You are going to have a lot of fun playing the human knot icebreaker game at every meeting, and it is still going to work when you are trying to get your team to work together. The person that is going to be the best at this is going to be good at problem solving, but the people that like to socialize will enjoy it just the same.

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41 Fun Youth Group Icebreakers

Youth Group Icebreakers

Many church leaders who work with youth choose to start a service with an “icebreaker.” These can be questions, get-to-know-you activities, or even just silly games. However, youth group icebreakers should always come with a purpose. Even the most absurd of games can lend to the theme of a message of that day. They also have the added benefit of expelling some of the energy that would later lead to distractions during the service. Enjoy these fun activities with your youth group!

Name-Games

Sometimes when a lot of new kids have begun attending service, it is good to welcome them to the group with a name game.

1. Whomp Em

 Whomp Em is a fun circle game. Have everyone stand in a circle. One player is chosen to stand in the middle with a pillow. The player in the middle can only get out by hitting someone in the knees with the pillow before they can say their name and someone else’s. This game is great at relieving excess energy, and can go on for a while without getting old.

2. Bumpity bump bump bump

Just like Whomp’ Em, in this game everyone but one stands in a circle. The person in the middle says the name of someone in the circle followed by “Bumpity bump bump bump.” The person whose name has been called must say the names of the people on either side of them. Pick a random word (spaghetti, ribbit, etc.) that either a facilitator or the person in the middle can shout out at any moment forcing everyone to move elsewhere on the circle and learn new names.

Getting to know each other

Even the most close-knit of youth groups will face the drama that comes along with being a young person. Playing get-to-know-you games can help the kids in your youth group remember their similarities and teach them to work together.

3. Speed friending

Speed Friending is much like speed dating! Have several small tables set up with two chairs. Players get a set amount of time to talk to each other before the facilitator blows the whistle and they must move on. Provide some topics for discussion on the table in case the groups aren’t sure what to talk about.

4. Question web

Provide a list of questions (like “Where in the world would you most like to travel?”) that everyone can see. There should be at least one question for each player. Have players sit on the floor, with one having a ball of twine or yarn. Have that player answer a question from the list. Then have them look at another player, call their name, and throw the ball of yarn at them while holding on to an end of the yarn. By the end, everyone will know a little more about everyone in the group and you will have formed a “friendship web.”

5. If

Provide notecards and pens for everyone in the group, then have them write down one or two If questions (such as, “If your house was on fire and you could only save one possession, which would it be?”). Shuffle the notecards while scanning for naughty questions, set them in a pile in the middle of the circle, and then have everyone pick a question to answer.

6. Name that person

Divide the group into two teams. Have everyone write down five things that few people know about them, in order of difficulty. Gather the cards, keeping them separated by team. The other team gets to guess who it is, receiving five points if the first guess is right and one point less for each clue after that. The team with the most points at the end wins. This game can be a great way to talk about how no one really knows a person all the way except God.

7. Flags

Provide the group with paper, paints, markers, and other craft supplies. Have each person design a flag that represents them. At the end, have everyone share their flags with the group and discuss why they choose the symbols on their flags.

8. Line up

This game is best with a large group. Tell the group that, without speaking, they have to line up in order of height. Once this is done, try alphabetically by first name, alphabetically by last name, or even birthdate. The group will have fun figuring out how to communicate with gestures, and will have a hard time not laughing!

9. Sit Down If

This game is great if you need to keep your audience in a sitting formation. Have everyone stand up. Then proceed with to say statements that start with “Sit down if. . . ” The statements can get pretty silly, such as “Sit Down if you have two pillows on your bed.” The last person standing gets a prize!

10. Seven word biographies

Explain to the group that they must sum up their entire life in seven words. For example, “Born. Boring career. Found God. Changed Forever.” Many ice breakers ask for opinions, but few ask about a person’s entire life. This is great for the group to get to know each other, but also for the leaders to better understand where the members of their group are coming from.

11. Shuffle your buns

Have the group stand in a circle, and then place their shoes in front of them. One pair of shoes is removed, making one less spot than there are players. One player stands in the middle and says, “Shuffle your buns if. . .”, ending the statement in something that applies to them. Everyone who agrees with the statement must run to a spot not next to them. Whoever is left without a spot is the next person to say “shuffle your buns. . .”. As a group, come up with a funny catch phrase to say to make everyone shuffle their buns!

12. Concentric circles

This game is great for large groups. Form two circles, one within the other, of equal size. Players across from each other are partners. A leader asks a question such as, “which activities are you involved with at school?” The partners give each other the answer to that question. Then the leader says, “Switch!” The outer circle revolves one spot, giving everyone a new partner. A new question is asked, and the game continues until everyone has spoken to each person in the other circle.

13. Toaster

The group sits on the floor in a circle. A toaster is in the middle, along with a facilitator, bread, and several toppings. Everyone takes turns stating facts about themselves. Whoever is talking when the toast pops up must eat the toast with one of the toppings.  With each piece of toast, the toppings will get stranger and players will state facts more quickly to avoid them!

Entertaining

Before a more serious service, it can be good to play something lighthearted. More silly youth group icebreakers can help everyone feel more comfortable around each other and keep them coming back each week.

14. Chomp

Have everyone sitting or standing in a circle. In the middle of the circle, place three articles of clothing, such as a large sweater, a scarf, and a hat. Also place some delicious but difficult to chew food, such as marshmallows or chocolate. One player receives two die. When he rolls doubles, he passes the die, runs to the middle of the circle, puts on the clothes there, and attempts to eat as much food as possible. Make it even more difficult by making players pick up the food with a fork or chopsticks. The only goal of the game is to eat some of the food before its gone!

15. Ping Pong Ball Messages

Write the letters to a message on ping pong balls, and place them in a bucket. The bucket can be filled with water or slime, depending on how gross you want to make it. To make the process go faster, also include blank ping pong balls for the spaces in between words. If you have a larger group, have the same message in several buckets, and have the team that unscrambles the message the fastest win! This is a great way to introduce the verse of the day.

16. Octopus tag

Have everyone form a pair that links elbows. One pair is it and has to chase after all the other pairs. When they catch another pair, the pairs link elbows, forming a group of four. They must stay together for a tag to count, and only the people on the end can tag. The winners are the pair of people who are still free!

17. French charades

This game is a mix of Telephones and Charades. There are two teams, with each person on each team numbered. The first person on each team goes outside of the room to hear a situation that they must act out without words. The second person on the team goes outside of the room to see the first person act out the situation. Then the third person watches the second person act, and so on. It goes down the line and the team that is closest to guessing the actual story at the end is the winner.

18. Best meme contest

Bring funny pictures of the leaders along with any submissions from the youth. Have the players look at picture and then write a clever meme. Establish a point system for first, second, and third funniest memes. Bonus points for humorous and appropriate biblical references. The player with the most points at the end wins!

19. Sock Wars

Everyone takes their shoes off and leaves them to the side. Now players must crawl around, trying to pull off other people’s socks. The last person to still have one or both socks on wins!

20. Church scavenger hunt 

A church scavenger hunt requires a lot of advanced planning, but it’s great for having kids who only come to church on Wednesdays to get to know the place better.

21. Clothespin mixer

Each player attaches five clothespins to their sleeves. The goal is to get their clothespins off of their sleeves and onto someone else’s by the end of the night. If this game is played at a lock-in or other more laid-back event, it’s a great way to keep an on-going source of competition.

22. Encore

Break everyone out into even groups. The facilitator yells out words that are frequently featured in popular songs. Groups win a round by singing a song with that word in unison. This game is sure to be popular with anyone who has watched Pitch Perfect!

23. Act and React

Players pick a scenario from a hat and the player must act out the emotions from that event. For example, someone who picked “about to get married” might act fluttery and nervous. Other players guess what is happening. To make the game even harder, make the rule that the actor can’t talk.

24. Birdie on a perch

Everyone pairs up, and decides who will be a birdie and who will be a perch. Then form concentric circles, with the birdies on the outside and the perches on the inside. Have the birdies walk clockwise and the perches counter-clockwise to music. When the music stops birdies must run to their perch (their partner’s knee). The last pair to find each other is out. The winners are the pair that find each other first in the last round.

25. Cinderella’s shoe

In this game, partners sit next to each other in a circle. One partner is blindfolded. The partner who is not blindfolded must throw their shoe in the middle of the circle. The blindfolded partner must go to the middle of the circle to receive the shoe with only their partner’s voice to guide them.

26. Mummy

Have out several rolls of toilet paper and a few people who volunteer to be mummified. Form equal teams around each mummy. The first team to completely wrap their mummies with toilet paper wins! Be sure to take some pictures.

27, Freeze dance

An oldie but a goodie. Play some funky music and have everyone dance. When the music stops, the players must too. Anyone caught moving with no music playing is out!

28. Strange disease diagnosis

A player who has volunteered to be doctor leaves the room while the patients decide what cooky disease they have. Explain that it should be fictitious. Something like thinking they are goats or being allergic to air. Bring the doctor back in and let the insanity ensue!

29. Weird Talent Show

This is a great game to bring people up to the front. Host a talent show for people with weird talents or attributes. This a chance for youth group members with extremely long fingers or an ability to burp the alphabet to finally be in the spotlight.

30. Zoom in game

Here is a short game to bring attention to the front of the room. Project an image of a zoomed in object. Have everyone guess what it is and throw prizes to whoever guesses right first.

31. Barnyard

Everyone is blindfolded and assigned to an animal. They have to make that animal’s sound and group themselves with other people around them who are the same animal.

32. Screamer

Everyone sits in a circle, looking at the ground. On “Heads Up,” they must look up into someone’s eyes. If two people are staring at each other, they must both scream and get out of the circle.

33. Killer Wink

In this game, one of the players is selected to be the murderer. Do so in such a way that players cannot tell who is chosen, perhaps by handing out slips of paper, one indicating that the player is a murderer. Players can either form a circle or just mingle about. Any player who is winked at by the murderer must wait five seconds and then die a fantastic theatrical death. A Player who thinks they know the murderer can raise their hand and say, “I accuse.” They ask for someone to second them without either naming who they will accuse. Then both accusers count to three and point to who they would like to accuse. If the two point to different people or both accuse an innocent person, both accusers die. Two accusers must point to the killer for the killing spree to end.

Outdoor Games

If your church has an outdoor space, make the best of it! Outdoor games are great for expelling excess energy, and you will notice the improvement in behavior during the service!

34. Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is a great outdoor game, even for kids somewhat intimidated by sports. It’s non-contact and quite simple. To start, a team is chosen to pass the frisbee to the other side. The holder of the frisbee cannot take a step, although they can pivot. Points are only scored when a player passes a frisbee to a teammate in the end zone. Vary how many points are needed to win by how much time you have.

35. Big Bad Wolf

Have one player volunteer to be the wolf. The wolf stands apart from the other players (“the sheep”). On go, the wolf runs and tags as many players as possible before they cross an established safe line. Players who are tagged help the wolf tag more sheep in the next round. The winner is the last sheep left whom the wolves haven’t tagged.

36. Constant Contact

This game is great for smaller groups or for large groups broken up into teams. Have everyone on a team in a line with their feet touching. The goal is to cross a finish line. The catch is they can’t move forward unless everyone’s feet are connected to the group. A third party watches and blows a whistle when anyone has broken contact. At this point, the entire group must go back to the starting line and start over again.

37. Ostrich tag

Choose 1-2 hunters (depending on the size of the group) to try to tag the rest of the group (the ostriches). When an ostrich senses a hunter nearby, he must stick his head into the snow and thus avoid getting captured (or maybe just the top of his snow cap, depending on the weather). Make sure that it is a warmer day and the snow is soft.

38. Lawn twister

Play a giant game of twister! All you need are stencils, spray paint, and a lawn. This is a great summer game—just make sure everyone is dressed modestly.

39. Frozen T-shirt game

Play this game on hot summer day! Soak t-shirt for each contestant in water and freeze it overnight. Each contestant receives a bag with a frozen t-shirt. Whoever can get the shirt on the fastest is the winner.

40. Giants, Wizards, Elves

Essentially a giant game of Rock Paper Scissors, this game is a riot to play. Divide the group into two equal teams. Instead of rock, paper, or scissors, a team can choose to be giants, wizards, or elves. Giants stand on the toes and roar, wizards cast a spell and say “shazam,” and elves cup their hands over their ears and say “EEE!” Giants beat elves by crushing them, elves beat wizards by outsmarting them, and wizards beat giants by casting a spell on them.  Before a round, teams huddle and choose a creature. Then the troops gather across from each other. The team that chooses the winning creature runs and tags as many of the other team as they can. Tagged people join the other team. The team that captures everyone is the winner!

41. Everybody’s It

In this version of Tag, everyone tries to tag everyone else. Everyone who is tagged must sit down, and the last person standing is the winner. It can go by fast, so it can be fun to hold several rounds.

There you have it, 41 Youth Group Icebreakers. Check out our extensive list of icebreaker questions.