Here are a few examples of Ice-Breakers that can be a lot of fun
Ape, Man, Girl Game
Both "Ape, Man, Girl" and "Elves, Wizards, Giants" are funnier team variations of the scissors, paper, stone game.
Have people pair off. Then, when the signal is given each person strikes a pose like an ape, man, or girl. Be sure to demonstrate what each looks like ahead of time (and you can decide that!). The ape beats the girl, man beats the ape, the girl gets the man. Eliminate the losers and pair the winners until you get a champion.
Posted on the Christian Youthworkers egroup
Tie a balloon on a string (at least two feet long) to each person's ankle. The objective of the game is to be the last person with an un-popped balloon around one's ankle. Note: this game takes some prep work. Balloons must be blown up and string cut in advance. It is a fun game, though. Don't try in someone's living room if you want to be invited back!
Try the "Line up game" this way....
Give everyone a number. They have to arrange themselves in numerical order communicating with each other without speaking or holding up fingers. They make up their own sub-language or sign-language and it often is pretty amusing. Round two. Have people arrange themselves in order of birth or in calendar months.
Posted on the Christian Youthworkers egroup
Have everyone in your group pair up and face each other. Each person holds up zero to ten fingers behind their back. On the count of three, have them pull their hands from behind their backs. The first person to yell out the correct sum of all the fingers wins. Do best two of three. Then the winners play each other until you have a champion.
The Math Game
Competitors hold just one hand behind their back, revealing the number of fingers at the signal. Whoever yells out the sum of the fingers wins the first round. For Round 2, multiply the fingers. Round 3 is the difference between the two numbers. Rotate through as many rounds as you want, but or the championship round (between the two survivors) have them square the total of the two sets of fingers. For example, Person A shows three fingers, person B shows four, so the winning answer is 3+4 = 7 * 7=49
Everybody mingles, constantly moving until the leader shouts out a number. All players must then try to get into groups of that number, any group/s that don’t succeed are out.
Players find others who have things in common, such as same shoe size.
Elves, Wizards, Giants
Another team version of the old game of `Scissors-Paper-Stone’, but has funnier actions and noises which each team has to act out. Each character (Elf, Wizard, Giant) has a specific action or noise. Elf Squatting down and imitate pointed ears by holding two fingers up by your ears (similar to making bunny ears). Make "Eeeking" noises while doing this.
Giant Standing on tip toe, arms raised in frightening posture making growling / roaring sounds
Wizard Standing normally but with arms outstretched as if casting a spell. Make appropriate spell casting noises.
As with Scissors-Paper-Stone each character/icon can win against one character or loose against the other. In this case if wanted teams can make the appropriate actions for winning or loosing.
Winning team: Action/s:
Elves shoot Wizards: Elves win Elves pretend to shoot an arrow, Wizards make dramatic gestures as though struck in the heart.
Wizards frazzle Giants: Wizards win Giants pretend to shrink.
Giants squash Elves: Giants win Giants pretend they are squishing something small.
Each team finds a quiet corner and decides on a character to be as a team, after choosing their character each team stands facing each other with hands behind their backs. On a given signal (e.g. the count of three) the whole team acts out their character with the points going to the team that chooses the winning character. If both teams pick the same character there is a draw.
"This is a game I have had to do when training for youthwork and find it helps to make the group interact and start getting to know each other in a friendly non threatening way."
Create a bingo card grid from a sheet of A4 and dividing it into a grid of fairly large squares (say 3 or 4 cm minimum) using a thick pen/pencil and a ruler. In some of the squares write a phrase such as "Has climbed a mountain", "Rides a bike", "Has run a marathon", "Works for a charity", Etc. Things that it would be interesting to know about someone. The number of squares you fill in is up to you but the more you create the more time it'll take to complete. Blank out all remaining squares by colouring them in and then photocopy enough copies so that everybody who'll be there can have one.
At the start of the session/meeting give each person a copy and tell them to find one person who has done each thing. I.e. ask the other players whether they have climbed a mountain or whatever. If the player being asked has done that activity they sign their name to that box. Players can only each time they meet a person one question before moving on (but they can meet the person again later and ask another question.).
Keep going until someone has all of the boxes filled in.
[Kit: - If you have time or the opportunity it might be interesting to ask participants before turning up to the meeting to something about themselves and use that information.]
Sent in by Ruel Acupan, Jesus Reigns Ministry in the Philippines
Each person thinks of an adjective (or two!) that describes themselves, however, the catch is that the adjective should start with the initial of their name. Eg " I am romantic Ruel" or "I am merry Mary".
I Have Never
Find this and other games at Jonathan's Resources.
Another good game for finding things out about others....
Have everyone sit in a circle except one person. The person in the middle says something that they have never done (ie. I have never drank. or I have never worn a dress). All the people who have never done that have to get up and find an empty seat (from someone else who just got up). The person stuck without a seat is now in the middle. This game has no time limit.
Have your kids pick a partner (preferably one they do not know, and they will be needed to find out that persons name), then have them take their hands and hook them pointing at each other with the index finger. After they have done so tell them that the object of the game is to poke each other (as if you have a light saber : note in appropriate places) once you have been poked you sit down and the partner that’s left finds a new partner and so forth until it comes down to two and one will be the ultimate champion… its quite a fun icebreaker and lets your kids get to know one another.
Line Up Game
[Very simple and frequently used good icebreaker]
Get in groups of five to ten people each. First group that gets itself into order according to the category you name, wins. For example first letter of middle name, shoe size, height, birth date, etc. Just be sure to pick subjects that people can line up easily.
Pass around a bag of M&M's and have each person take as many as they want. For each colour of the M&M's have a question that they have to answer. For instance, red can be, "Describe your first crush."
You can play this with Skittles or other coloured candies.
Prep one or people before the meeting but don’t let anybody else know. Give each of these mystery person/s a different number that they have to remember. Now run a game that gets everybody mingling (such as Ape, Man, Girl). At the end have the mystery person/s remember who they met on the number you gave them. Announce to the group who the mystery person/s was and the person they met on the number you gave them. Give both a small prize if you wish.
Quick and easy game to set up, similar theme to "2 truths and a Lie"
Don't tell anybody what is going to happen, but get a roll of toilet paper and tell all those playing not to take to much but to take however much they want. One all the players have taken the number of sheets they want each has to tell one thing about themselves for every sheet they have.
Before starting prepare in advance a largish ball such as a blow up beach-ball or a bouncy one and write questions on it using a marker pen. E.g. What's your favourite colour, favourite food, favourite cartoon, etc. When you start the game throw the ball to any person, when they catch it where ever their right thumb is that is the question they have to say aloud and answer. The game can go on for a long time and be used a time filler.
Posted on the Christian Youthworkers egroup
Instead of creating a Bingo board with numbers, create a Bingo board of things anybody could have done or might have in their possession. Give each player a copy of the board and get them to go around asking the other players if they match any of the details on the squares. If a player does they have to sign their name in that square/s (For example, one square can be, "Find a person with 3 brothers & sisters," another can be, "find someone who forgot to brush their teeth morning"). Give players a time limit. The winner is the first person who gets a row or at the end has most names.
Group Scavenger Hunt
Have audience break into 3 - 4 groups. Leader calls out different items or activities for the groups to produce. The first group (the entire group does not have to go) to come up to the front with the item gets a point. Group with the most points at end wins.
Suggested items and activities:
< Red (or another colour) shoelace - to be removed from the shoe
< Pen with a chewed cap
< Penny or any coin with a certain date
< Paper clip
< Family picture
< Guy wearing red lipstick
< 2 people with their shoelaces tied together
< Gum in the wrapper - MC thanks the person and then eats the gum
< Key chain with at least 8 keys
< Church bulletin
< Book mark
< Store receipt
Divide the crowd into 3 or 4 groups. Give a topic or theme (such as songs mentioning a colour or a girl's name). Then have each group, in order around the room, loudly sing the appropriate line from the song. No repeats are allowed. Last group left with a song is the winner.
[Kit: This could be used as an ice breaker if group is allowed to mix and have to swap with each person they meet. Leader periodically then calls on two people to carry out the actions described on the pieces of paper.]
One person is selected as the leader (who remains out of the game) all players then get into a circle and each gets given a piece of paper to write a silly thing to do on with out letting others see what they have written (e.g. Bark like a dog or sing a song). Each player then crumples their paper up so that the contents cannot be seen. On the leaders command players then start to pass the pieces of paper around the circle waiting for the command to stop. When this happens two people are chosen to carry out the instructions on the pieces of paper they have, without laughing. Those who laugh are out. Repeat until only two people left.
Sit Down if...
Have a list of questions (with the next one getting wilder, and the wilder the better) beginning with the phrase, "Sit down if you (blank)". Find out who remains standing after each round. [Kit: If you want a good idea of how this games works in action and perhaps some types of question being asked this was used by Graham Norton at the start of his shows.]
A good way to have new people meet everybody. Everyone takes off one of their shoes and throw it into a big pile. Then each person picks up a different shoe from the pile and finds the person it belongs to. Works well for large groups.
Get into pairs and face each other. Place your palms on other's palms between you a little above shoulder height. Both partners close their eyes and pull their palms apart (approx. 12 inches) while keeping their palms at that height. Both then turn around on their respective spots 3 times at the same time. The goal is to reconnect palms after spinning while keeping your eyes closed.
String Toss Game
Get a spool of string or yarn. Have each person answer a question of some sort when they have the string in their possession. They then hold on to string and throw the ball/spool to another so they can answer the question. You eventually create a web of some sort. In the end, describe how the web analogous to the group in that we all play a part in creating the web, and that if one person was gone it would look different. Likewise, it is important that we all take part to make the group what it is, unique and special.
Tell a Story
The leader starts a story that begins with something funny... and then passes it on to the next person who adds on to the story. If desired it could be about people in the group. Continue until the last person finishes. This one is a good way to bring humor into group settings and finding the humor in story telling.
Two Truths And A Lie
Have each person write 2 truths and a lie about themselves. They then pass the paper to the group and have the others guess which is the lie.
What kind of animal are you?
Have all participants stand in a circle. Talk about parents in the animal kingdom ie, the lioness and how she ferociously protects her young. Then have each of them say what kind of animal they would be and why. Brings out interesting ideas about parenting and how we see ourselves.
Who am I?
Prepare a card for each of your guests and write on it the name of a famous man or woman. On arrival, pin a card on the back of each guest who must then ask questions of each other in order to find out their identity. When they succeed, the card is pinned on the front of them.
A BAG OF FUN
* Equipment: 6 Pairs of old stockings, 2 blindfolds, 2 pairs of gloves, and 2 paper bags. * Ask for 2 volunteers. Ask them to remove their right shoe. Blindfold them, and have each put on a pair of gloves and give them a bag containing several pairs of old nylon stockings. Award a prize to the one who succeeds in getting all the stockings in the bag over their foot. It is a riot of fun because the gloves make it difficult to tell the top of the stockings from the foot. The other guests get the laugh of a lifetime. Just try it!
Divide the group equally. Give each one a piece of paper (at least A5 size). Have one Group write down any 3 problems, any advice needed, how to...,need to know something. eg. "How do I stop my dog from chewing my shoes." "How do I grow spiritually" or "I have a problem with... (in the following area (weight etc....") They should not discuss it with any one. Solutions to the Problems: Have the other group write down solutions to any problems, give advice or explain how to.... (they should not discuss it either) eg: "Fast three days a week" " Go on a diet" "Put your trust in God, He will come through for you" Once everyone has completed: Partner them up. All one member from the first group: (Problems) read their first Problem or advise needed: then let their partner in the Solutions group read his first solution: It should go something like this: "How do I stop my dog from chewing my shoes." Solution: "Put your trust in God, He will come through for you" Let each one then continue: the aim of the ice-breaker is to understand that man (many times)will never have the rgiht answer concerning you, but we should consult God - who has our lives, plans and solutions in his hand.
Divide your cell group into two teams. You can play guys against girls if you like. You need to use a table for this one so make sure it’s okay to use the coffee table. If the people are really sticky about furniture this game can also be played on the floor. The game is played just like soccer except instead of kicking a soccer ball around a soccer field, you’re blowing a ping pong ball around a table. The ends of the table are the goals, each team needs a goalie and three players to come up at a time. Once they have played against each other for five minutes changeover with four other members from the teams. (You’ll need a timer and a score-keeper.) The changeovers need to be quick because fast teams may blow the ball through the goals if the other team’s goalie is not ready yet. Play like this until every member of the team has had a few chances to play.
You will need a banana for each of your teams (about 4-5 per team), for some odds and ends you can use cocktail sticks, bits of fabric, lentils, peas etc. Basically the point of the game is to make your own person using a banana and the items you have been given, you must give it a personality and a style, at the end of the allotted time, one member of your team must tell everyone else about your banana person, what it likes, it's name and what it does etc.
Can you follow instructions
A READ AND DO TESTS Time Limit: 3 min.
1. Read all that follows before doing anything.
2. Write your name in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
3. Circle the word "corner" in sentence two.
4. Draw five small squares in upper left hand corner of this page.
5. Put an "X" on each square.
6. Put a circle around each square.
7. Sign your name under line 5.
8. After your name, write "yes, yes, yes".
9. Put a circle around number 7.
10. Put an "X" in the lower-left-hand corner of this page.
11. Draw a triangle around the "X" you just made.
12. Call out your first name when you get to this point.
13. On the reverse side of this paper add 6950 and 9805.
14. Put a circle around your answer.
15. Now that you have finished reading carefully, do only number 1 and 2.
PLEASE BE QUIET AND WATCH THE OTHERS FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.
CROSSING THE RIVER
* Equipment: Folded newspapers. Here is a blindfold game which is great fun. The demonstrator places a number of folded newspapers on the floor with spaces between. These represent rocks across a river and the guests have to try to cross without getting their feet wet. Each guest, one by one, in turn is started on their way with feet firmly on one "rock", carefully noting the position, and if they get their feet wet more than 2 time, they are disqualified. The position of the "rocks" may be changed from time to time. The guests who safely "cross the river" win prizes.
Do this and add something
Get everyone in a circle. One person starts off by performing an action (e.g. scratching his head). The person on his right must then repeat it and add another action. The game goes on with each having to repeat all the previous actions in order, then adding one. If a player misses an action or gets fouled up, he is out. You can go as many rounds as you want.
Equipment: T-shirts -one for each team. In preparation for the game, soak the t-shirts in water, fold them in a ball, and put them in a freezer for longer than 3 hours. When you want to play the game, take the t-shirts out. The first team with a t-shirt on a person wins. Because the shirt is frozen, this game could take 15-20 minutes!
Gargle a Song
Things to prepare for each group: a bottle of 1.5L of drinkable water, a cup for each member. The facilitator will ask a member to hold some water (almost a mouth-full) in his mouth, then show him the song title. The member will have to gaggle the rhythm of any church or comptempory songs with his head titled up and mouth slightly open. His team will guess the name of the song. Each member can gargle at least 2 songs at a specific amt. of time e.g. 1 min before the team member's turn. The team that guess most songs correctly wins. Option: Player can tie plastic sheet as a bib in case the water spilled while gargling. Have fun!
* Equipment: A ball of string. Divide the guests into two teams. Give each guest a piece of string. At the give signal the first guest ties her string to the next player's piece of string and on to the next, continuing until each member of the team has added their piece of string. The winning team is not the first to finish but the team with the longest piece of string.
Invite everyone to stand up and spread out (approximately an arm's length apart). Tell them that to make sure they are awake and receptive to the forthcoming session, you will lead them in an exercise designed to help get their blood moving rapidly, and stimulate the nerve endings in their hands.
Direct them to stretch their arms out and their sides (horizontally from their bodies). When they have all done so properly, then ask them to rapidly bring their hands together, then back to their sides (repeating the two-step sequence about 10 times in rapid succession). Conclude by telling the group that you aren't sure how much better they feel now, but that you feel really good, because this is the first time that you have begun a session to a standing ovation!
Why and Because
Something we like to do is hand out two small pieces of paper to everyone in your group. Tell them to write a question starting with "Why" on one piece of paper and an answer starting with "Because" on the other paper. The "Because" does not have to answer the "Why" it can be completely random. Next collect all the "Whys" in a bag or hat and mix them up. Do the same with the "Becauses". Pick a person to be the "Why" reader and another person to be the "Because" reader. Then one at a time read a random "Why" and a random "Because". When the "Why" and the "Because" come together you can be in for some hilarious moments. It may be dry and non-humorous for a while, but be patient. There is usually at least one combination that makes the whole game worth it. The last time we played we got the following combination. Why do women shave their legs? Because that's how they say hello. Enjoy!
THE SHOE PILE
Works well with medium to large sized groups. Turn out the lights and get everyone to take of one of their shoes and place it in the middle of the room. Then, once everyone has removed their shoe, tell everyone to walk into the middle, pick a shoe that isn't theirs and find the owner. This can be a funny game - especially if paired with a crazy commentary from the youth leader.
Pass a roll of toilet paper around to everyone in the group. Tell each person to take however much they want. They can take a little or they can take a lot. After everyone has torn off some paper, tell them to separate them into individual sheets. They have to tell something about themselves for each sheet of paper they have.
Arrange everyone in a circle. Someone say the name of any country, city, river, ocean or mountain that could be found in an atlas. The person next to him must then say another name that begins with the last alphabet of the word that has been given.
Example: First person: Durban
Second person: Nelspruit
Third person: Tarkastad
Each person has a definite time limit (e.g. 3 seconds) and no name can be repeated.
Give everybody a few minutes to make 3 appointments - 3 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm. After that have everyone stand in a circle. When you shout "3 pm", everybody meets their 3 pm appointment and find out 1, 2 or 3 things about each other. After a short while shout, "6 pm" and then "9 pm". After that have people share what they find out about each other. This game can be used for introduction where people introduce other people, instead of themselves.
Divide the group into two teams. Give each team five large garbage bags and as many blown-up balloons as possible. Have them create a huge human figure by putting the blown-up balloons in the bags and attaching the bags together within a definite time limit. The best sculpture wins.