48 Icebreaker Games

Do you find yourself not knowing what to say to people you meet for the first time?

That's because meeting new people is hard.

Our icebreaker games are designed to bring people together, whether it's at school, in a meeting, or in a playground.

Icebreaker Games for Adults Icebreaker Games for Teens Icebreaker Games for Kids
Icebreaker games

Icebreaker Games for Adults

Meeting new people as an adult is hard, but these icebreaker games make it a little bit easier.

Icebreaker games for adults

Who Am I?

Paper Pens Sticky Tape

Though it has been used at parties before, this game is a fun and entertaining way for everyone to become acquainted with each other quickly and without the process feeling forced.

Before everyone walks into the room, you will need to fill out quite a few cards with the names of famous historical people, celebrities, or anyone else who will be known and recognizable by the mere mention of their name. If you need help doing this, just search the Internet to give you a few ideas on whose names you should use.

As everyone enters the room, tape a name card to their back. At this point, nobody should reveal any mystery identities. Everyone in the room will mingle and ask each a yes or no question to try and figure out the name on their back. To encourage interaction amongst everyone, people should stick to one or two questions before moving on to the next person.

They can only remove the card once they’ve guessed correctly.

This is a great game where everyone will get the chance to speak with everyone on an individual basis - rather than in a group setting. If you feel that certain members of your group may be shy or might tend to avoid social situations, it’s a fantastic way to ease them into speaking with others.

This icebreaker game is ideal for groups of children, teens, and adults, as the names used on the cards can be adjusted for any age group. You can use it for the first day of school or a first day at work, as well as any social event you might have in mind, such as a bridal shower or birthday party.

The 3-Minute Mixer

This is an excellent game for a large group of people to get to know each other on an individual basis. It requires no setup or materials, so it’s cheap and easy to implement!

All you do is ask everyone to go around the room and speak with at least ten different people If it’s a smaller group (such as five people), you can go ahead and let each person approach everyone, as it will not be too time-consuming.

The purpose of this exercise is to get people to open up with one another.

Therefore, you should probably give everyone a few ideas as to which topics they might want to use to get their conversation started, or what questions might be useful icebreakers for each pair.

If you have some shy members in your group or people that have problems with public speaking, then this mini-mixer will give them the opportunity to come out of their shell.

At the end of the mixer, you might want to take this icebreaker game one step further, and gather everyone in a group to discuss the game. Have everyone mention something that they thought was interesting about one of the other members, or a fact about that person that surprised them.

This icebreaker game is ideal for the first day on the job or for students to get to know each on the first day of high school or university. If you’re a new manager, then you might want to try this to learn about your employees, and for them to get a chance to get to know you.

The Clue Game

Prize

This icebreaker game is fun regardless of the social situation you may find yourself in! It’s effortless, straightforward and requires very little preparation. Given that so many people love to travel (but may not have had the opportunity to do so as much as they would have liked), this icebreaker game gives everyone the chance to learn about different destinations and cultures in an entertaining way.

This is how it goes: each of the members of your group thinks of a place they have either been to before or wish they could go. Once they’ve figured out their destination, they decide upon three clues that they are going to give to help the other members to be able to guess their city/country/place of interest accurately.

The trick to this game, however, is that they cannot say their clues out loud - they have to act them out. For instance, if their chosen place is Hawaii, they could do a hula dance.

The person at the end of the game who has guessed the most destinations wins a prize of some kind. This is not only a great game to get the members of the group to interact with each other in a fun and creative way, but it also gives them the chance to get to know one another by seeing which destinations they’ve been to or would like to visit someday.

This icebreaker game is ideal for any social event such as networking meetings or parties, in addition to the first day of work or school.

Icebreaker Sentences and Pictures

Paper Pens

Here’s an icebreaker game that requires competency in the written word and basic drawing (or not!), and is great for all sorts of situations, from parties and workplaces, to first-time encounters.

Gather together a group (or groups) of five to seven people. Sit together facing each other (preferably in a circle) with each person equipped with an A4 sheet of paper and a pencil.

At the top of the paper, each person begins by writing a sentence. This sentence could describe the person next to you (John is wearing black socks), something interesting you did that day or week (Yesterday Susan and I went for coffee), or anything else on your mind (I don’t think that thing Annie ate off of the floor was an M&M).

The sentence doesn’t need to be easily drawn, which makes the game trickier and more comical.

After everyone is finished writing their sentence, they should pass their paper clockwise. With new papers, everyone begins a drawing directly below the sentence to (try to) conceptualize it.

Once done, fold the paper, so it hides the sentence (but not the picture) and then pass the paper clockwise again. The next person (seeing only the drawing) should then try to write down a sentence that best describes the drawing.

Afterward, he or she will fold the paper over their drawing and pass it on, so the next person sees neither the first sentence nor the drawing, but only the second sentence.

Continue this process until everyone receives their original paper back, and have everyone read out loud their paper’s progression! The results can be highly amusing.

Icebreaker games for adults

20 Common Things

Paper Pens

Imagine you’re beginning a new job - in other words, practically a new life. In addition to new environments, tasks and norms, you’re also faced with the obstacle of getting to know your new team.

At first glance, it seems your immediate team is already a well-oiled machine. But have no fear - a simple icebreaker game can help ease these initial encounters!

This game is simple; a-piece-of-paper-with-20-lines simple. For this game, divide into teams of three or four, with one piece of paper and pen per team. You should also have a moderator to run a timer, tally final points and judge “point worthiness.”

For ten minutes, each team’s goal is to fill all twenty lines with “things” and “stuff” you and your team have in common.

The winning team will have the most things in common, in consultation with the moderator.

It’s never too late to use this icebreaker game because, more often than not, people continue to learn new things about each other every day. This game only supports that possibility.

True or False

True or false is a game where each player makes a statement, and the other players in the group have to guess whether or not your statement is true or false. This icebreaker game can be used in small or large groups, and the age range can vary from kids to adults!

Each player takes a turn making a true or false statement (i.e. ‘I like to call people’s mobile phones when I know they are at the movie theatre’, or ‘I was a published author by the age of 16’, or ‘I love green beans’). Once the statement has been said out loud, they allow everyone else in the group to decide whether it is true or false before revealing the correct answer. At the end of the game, everyone will know at least one new thing about each other as well as get an idea of how they think.

This game can be played anywhere where there are at least two people that can speak freely with one another. It’s a great game to play if you are in an awkward meeting with another person and you do not know what to talk to them about. Get to know someone quickly with this game and have fun making up crazy things while doing it!

Icebreaker games for adults

Zoom & Re-Zoom

Paper Picture Books

This game will help engage a group to develop communication and problem-solving skills together. This game is based on the wordless, picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai, which has 30 sequential “pictures within pictures.”

You will need some picture books for this game, pulling out the pages from the book and putting them in clear plastic sleeves. You could also laminate each one to protect them and use again.

Hand out one picture to each person in your group, making sure to keep the pictures in a sequence order while handing them out. Let the players know that they can only look at their own pictures and must not let any of the other players see it. They must study the picture that they have received because it is an important piece in solving a problem.

The challenge is for players to sequence the pictures in the correct order, without looking at one another’s pictures. They can only talk to each other to see if their pictures have anything in common without showing each other their picture. The leader can help with the efforts of understanding the story by giving subtle hints and plot points.

When all the players believe they have the pictures in the correct order of sequence, they will then be allowed to turn their pictures over.

This can be played with any age group, including corporate groups. It can also be played indoors and outdoors. If mistakes have been made, encourage the players to sort them out in order. Once they are in order let everyone walk around the pictures to view and understand the story fully.

Icebreaker games for adults

Fishbowl

Paper Pens Scissors Basket Hat or Bowl

This game works best with smaller groups - around 3-5 people - so you should split your group up into teams and play multiple games. It simply requires some pens, paper, scissors and a basket, hat or bowl!

Each individual should proceed to write down the names of 10 people. They may be celebrities, famous athletes or even people that everyone in the participating group knows. Get the participants to cut their pieces of paper up so that there is one name on each piece of paper.

Collect all pieces of paper from participants and place them in a basket, hat, or some sort of bowl. Each group of 3 to 5 people should now have a bowl filled with names, and there should be quite an accumulation in the bowl afterwards.

To begin this icebreaker game, you must choose a team member in each team to pick out the first name from their bowl or hat. Next, that person has to try and describe the person named on the slip of paper to the other members of the group. Once the name has correctly been guessed, another name should be pulled from the bowl immediately.

Names that are successfully guessed by the group are put in a separate pile not to be used again. If a team member gets stuck on a particular name they can choose to “pass”, they should put the name back into the bowl and move on to the next one. Once the first team member has been guessing for 60 seconds, their time is up, and they should move on to the next person in their group.

All of this is continued in 60-second intervals for each person until the last names have been used up or guessed correctly. The team with the most names guessed wins!

Autograph Bingo

Autograph Bingo is a great icebreaker game that is best played in larger groups. To set up this game, it is necessary for you to prepare a Bingo-style game card with four rows down and four rows across beforehand. You will need to fill in each box (16 in total) with interesting statements such as ‘has blue eyes’ or ‘grew up in the country’. These facts can be anything fun or humorous that will give the group a conversation starter and a way for everyone to get to know each other. Photocopy the game card, so you have one to give to every person in your group.

Every person (armed with a pen and their game card) will then walk around and ask each other if any of the 16 statements apply to them. If the answer is yes, that person needs to sign their name in the corresponding box. To encourage interaction, it is best to have a rule where you cannot have a person autograph more than one box on a person’s game card. Of course, if you have a smaller group, you can make the bingo card with fewer boxes. Make it as big or as small as you like to match the size of your group.

The first person with all 16 boxes autographed wins when they shout bingo!

Personal Scavenger Hunts

To play this game, everyone is given a list of things to find on a scavenger hunt! The list can include things such as something you have had a long time, something you are proud of, something that reveals something about you, something you want to share, and something that causes concern or worry. The list can go on and on.

Everyone then has to use that list to find the items on themselves or in their handbag or wallet. They can be items such as wedding bands, photographs, medication, favorite nail polish - anything they can relate to themselves in the way the list requests.

This can be a quick game or a long game depending on the number of people you have in your group. It can be used at work or school with as few as three people to as many as you like and are willing to take the time to listen to.

It can help people connect and find common interests, or open one’s mind to another person’s story or situation. It can be very entertaining and give people a good feeling sharing special parts of their lives with others.

Icebreaker games for adults

Charades

Paper Whiteboard Whiteboard Markers Butcher Paper

A popular icebreaker game is Charades! This game is played with teams and can be played with many different age ranges.

To play the game, you will need to break your group up into teams, with an equal number of people on each team. You will also need a whiteboard and marker for each team, or big sheets of butcher paper. It is possible to not use a whiteboard and marker; you can make the game harder by having people act out the word or action by using their body.

The object of the game is for the team to guess what their teammate is drawing or acting out.

Next, you will need a large pool of objects, actions, and words written on pieces of paper and mixed in a bowl. One team member from each team will stand in front of their group and choose a piece of paper from the bowl. Then, they will draw or act out the word they have chosen.

There is no time limit for how long each team has to guess what their team member is drawing or acting out, however, it is a good idea not to be guessing for longer than a couple of minutes, or the game can last forever. The team who has the most points after every action or word has been chosen from the bowl will win!

What If?

This game is versatile, which makes it a great choice for any occasion! It doesn’t require any prep time or materials and takes very little effort or time to play.

Once everyone arrives, you simply ask each person to brainstorm a few “what if?” questions such as - “what if you were stuck on a deserted island, which four things would you bring?” or “what if you had a time machine, where era would you go back to and why?”. If you feel as though your group might have a hard time coming up with these types of questions, or you're pressed for time - then make them up yourself beforehand.

Once all of the “what if?” questions are figured out, then you all sit down and each person asks their question. You will find out a lot about those in your group by the answers they choose, such as what they think is important and the overall sense of their characters. For instance, if one of the members states that they would take a book, a piano, and an easel with them to the deserted island, you know that they are interested in culture and the performing arts. You might just be surprised at how much you can find out about someone by posing a simple “what if?”.

This icebreaker game is ideal for parties, work events and even one on one situations with someone you’d like to get familiar with. Remember, you never know which of the near strangers that you meet at a social gathering can potentially become a future client or friend, so keep the “what if?’ questions ready, just in case.

Never Have I Ever

In this game, called “Never Have I Ever,” the more participants involved, the better!

You should have the participants form a circle so everyone can see each other’s faces. Each person will then hold up five fingers (or more, if the group prefers a long haul).

Start the game with, say, the youngest person in the room, the person whose birthday is coming up soonest, or with a volunteer. You just need to pick one person to start the game.

The first person will deliver a statement to the group about something he/she has never done before, beginning with the phrase “Never have I ever…” For example, the individual could say, “Never have I ever seen the movie Ghostbusters”.

Next, anyone who has seen the movie will put down one finger. Move on to the next person (on your right or left, either/or) who will then announce his/her testimonial.

The object of the game is to be the last one “standing” with as many fingers up as possible. Not only does this game congratulate those who enjoy the “square” life, but it’s also a great way to introduce and exchange interests for those who “live on the edge.”

Icebreaker games for adults

The Bowl of Sweets Game

M&M's or Skittles

This icebreaker game is super simple, and if you have a sweet tooth – this is the one for you! All you need to do to prepare is place your colored sweets into a big bowl. Make sure you choose something like M&M’s or Skittles, the more colors for this exercise, the better. Have everyone in your group grab a large handful of sweets from the bowl and place them in their lap. Make sure that no one eats theirs straight away; they must resist! For each M&M they took, they will need to answer a question. You will need to assign each color M&M with a question; you can do this yourself or take our suggestion below:

  • Red M&M: Favourite Foods
  • Green M&M: Favourite Movies
  • Yellow M&M: Favourite Hobbies
  • Orange M&M: Favourite places in the World to visit
  • Brown M&M: Favourite Childhood Memory
  • Blue M&M: Most Embarrassing Moments

As the facilitator, you can now shout out a color group (e.g., Red!), everyone will then go around the room and share their favorite food. It should be one answer per one M&M – once the person gives their answer, they can then eat that one piece! You can then go around the room one after the other, changing colors as you go.

If you have a large group of people, this game may be better executed by breaking everyone off into smaller groups to avoid it taking too long and dragging on.

Icebreaker Games for Teens

Some teens are over-confident and others are super awkward, but these icebreaker games can help bring them together.

Icebreaker games for teens

To Tell a Tale

Paper Pen Prize

This icebreaker game involves a significant amount of creativity and an active imagination. It’s bound to bring out some laughs amongst your group, as well as give everyone an idea of the real personalities of each individual.

Here’s how it works: you hand everyone a sheet of paper and have him, or her write down an outlandish story about anything they like (nothing explicit!). They should take their time to craft the best tale they possibly can within half an hour or so. When they are all finished writing, you can collect each short story and read them aloud to the group.

Have everyone vote on whose story they think it is, and the person who has the most correct guesses at the end gets a prize. This game can be time-consuming, but if you have a lot of free time - then it’s well worth it! It gives everyone a feel for each other through their works of fiction.

This icebreaker game is ideal for the first day of University or High School. It is also an excellent option for manager’s to utilize to get their team to become familiar with each other if they are strangers (or to learn more about one another if they are not).

The Truth and a Fib

Paper Pens

This party game is a real classic! It has to be among the top 5 icebreaker games, as it is both entertaining and insightful!

Have everyone in the group sit or stand in a circle. One by one, each person makes three statements to the rest of the group, - two of them being truths and one of them being a lie.

Once each person has finished speaking, the others vote on which remarks they think are truths and which one is a lie. They can make their guesses by either writing them down on sheets of paper or by simply holding up their hands when the statements are repeated.

Everyone gets their turn at telling their truths and a lie, and this can continue for as long as you see fit, given that the group keeps having fun and learning about one another.

Another variation of this is to have each person state three wishes, with one of the statements being an actual wish of theirs, and the other two being things that they made up on the spot. This version gives everyone a chance to be a bit more creative and allows for the others in the group to get a better feel for the speaker and what their ambitions or values are.

For instance, if someone’s true wish is for their daughter to get into a great university when she grows up, you know that they are focused on education and very family-centric.

This game is ideal for any party situation where there are quite a few people, as well as the first day of school or the first day of work. It is so simple and requires so little preparation, that it can be utilized in any social or business situation where people are unfamiliar with one another.

The Four Questions Game

Paper Pens

This game is perfect for team building; it is one of the few icebreaker games that require your entire group (or sets of teams in larger groups) to do a joint activity. It is very straightforward and extremely effective in building team dynamics!

Give each member of the group some paper and a pen and tell them that they need to write down four questions that will all have the same answer.

This will give them a chance to work together to formulate these questions, and involves critical thinking skills without being boring.

If this doesn’t seem to suit your group, try playing the version whereby the group must come up with ten things that begin with a certain letter, or fifteen things within a given category (such as sea animals or fairy tale characters).

By having your entire group work together, you are enabling them to talk amongst themselves and join forces to get the task completed.

This is a much more creative way to have them interact with one another than simply sitting around in a circle sharing their names and likes or dislikes and can lead to significant professional relationships in the long run.

Icebreaker games like this are ideal for any business meeting or team building exercise at work or school. Children may enjoy it during their first day of school, and it could be a good idea to use at parties where few people know each other.

Icebreaker games for teens

Post-Its

Post-Its Pens

This icebreaker game is a fun and creative way of getting to know the participants of your group based on their most fond memories. All that is required is some pens and some Post-It notes!

Everybody is provided with a pen and two Post-It notes. They are required to write down one word on each of these Post-It notes that best describes a beloved experience or memory.

This experience could be a childhood memory, a sport or hobby they used to enjoy, the school or university they went to, or any other cherished memory.

Once each individual has written down their two chosen words, they may then stick the post-it notes to the palms of their hands and proceed to hold their hands up so that everyone can easily view their words.

At this point, every single participant is to stand up and walk around the room.

Next, the leader must ask the people participating in the icebreaker game to form pairs and talk about the words they have chosen them.

This game allows people the chance to get to know intimate facts and stories about one another. These are crucial and meaningful events, stories, and facts that would have otherwise taken months, if not years to find out. It is even a great activity for groups who think they might know each other well already.

The Alphabet Game

This game is for any group, big or small! It is a great game to get their brains working creatively!

Get all your participants to sit or stand in a circle; you will then need to pick one person to start the game. This person will need to produce a sentence out loud using the letter “A” as a focal point. It could be “I like Apples” or “My Birthday is in April.” The next person has to repeat the last sentence as well as producing their own sentence using the letter “B” - their sentence could be “I like the color Black, but only in clothing and cars.” The next person has to repeat the last two sentences as well as producing their own sentence using the letter “C” - their sentence could be “I saw a Caterpillar the other day.” The players will then continue the game in alphabetical order, each producing their own sentence corresponding with the letter of the alphabet they are allocated as well as repeating every sentence from each person before them.

It would be nice to have 26 players, but it is not necessary - just go around the circle until you get to the letter “Z”.

As the game progresses, it will get harder and harder for each member to remember more and more sentences. The last guest will have the hard task of remembering what every single person has said. The group can provide help along the way.

This game is a good icebreaker to get to know each other, and everybody’s likes and dislikes. It can be very difficult towards the end for the last couple of people, but working as a team will help the last person remember everything that was said with each letter. It is a good memory skill game and is a great way to break the ice in a group of strangers and learn how to be a team.

Body Part Duality

This is a great icebreaker game for forming partnerships and having a hearty laugh! Every individual in the group is to choose a partner, with one person from each of the pairs going into the middle of the group to form an inner circle.

While doing this, the other halves of the pairs make a larger circle around the inner circle, thus encompassing them.

The outer circle begins to walk around steadily in a clockwise direction. While doing this, the inner circle is to walk around in a counter-clockwise direction. Next, the leader simply calls out two body parts. For instance, you could use an option like “mouth to the knee”. The inner circle partner is to then find their outer circle partner and match up each other’s body parts according to your instructions. In this instance, they have to put each other’s mouths on each other’s knee!

The very last duo of the group to match up their parts is subsequently eliminated.

The group will then go back to their places, re-form their circle and move in the direction they were going in the beginning. You will then proceed to call out two new body parts, continuing this cycle until there is but one couple remaining.

This game creates a fun tension-reducing environment that allows for humor along the way, as well as team bonding. It can be awkward at first, but gets funnier as the game progresses and people start to loosen up.

Defend the Egg

Eggs Straws Tape Glue Cotton Balls Icy Poles

Defend the egg is a great game to promote teambuilding and introduce everyone to one another, best played with a large group of people.

You should have everyone break into smaller groups, giving each group an egg. The object is to find a way to protect the egg from breaking when dropped from a height.

You will need materials available that can aid in protecting an egg from breaking. Materials may include straws, tape, glue, cotton balls, icy pole sticks and any other materials that group may need.

Next, each group will be given a set amount of time to create a design that can protect the egg from breaking when dropped. Once every group has finished their design, each one will drop their contraption from a height. Generally, someone standing on a chair and dropping the egg will suffice.

The team whose egg does not break is the winner!

This game can also be played outdoors, where each team can be given no materials and can only use anything they find outside. This allows teams to use their creativity and use teamwork to find the best materials that can be used to protect the egg.

Icebreaker games for teens

The Human Knot

The human knot is a great icebreaker game for large groups - you will need a large room with plenty of space to play it.

To start the game, every person will need to stand next to each other and form a close circle. Once everyone has formed a circle, each person will hold hands with people across from each other. Each person’s hands should be holding a different person’s hand.

Once everyone has joined hands, the team will need to work together to untangle themselves and form into a large circle.

No one is allowed to let go of each other’s hand, which may require fancy maneuvering to untangle everyone. This game can be played indoors or outdoors, as long as there is plenty of room for people to move around, and climb over people.

If the group cannot untangle themselves after 15-20 minutes, one person can let go of their partner’s hands, and readjust to another person in order to move the game along.

This game requires ever person to work together and plan each move accordingly, so the group does not become more tangled – this game is a lot of fun!

Social Media Match-Up

In this game, each participant takes a few key pieces of information about themselves that they either include in one of their social media profiles or for those who don’t have any, a few key pieces of information they would be willing to put on a social media profile.

For example, one participant in the game might list the fact that they are an avid soccer player, loves to read, hates sci-fi movies and isn’t opposed to eating ice cream for breakfast.

Another participant might list that they go hunting on the weekends, listens to country music, watches movies to avoid reading books and has an insatiable sweet tooth.

Right away this lets these two participants know that they likely have something in common, like a love of sweets that includes ice cream.

This game can be done with an endless amount of people, though it would work better with an even number of people.

This game is really easy to play and doesn’t require anything but the participants themselves. It can be used with diverse groups of people and might even serve to help people find someone they are a good match with - either on a friendship or relationship basis. Social Media Match Up is a fun way to break the ice!

Which Pop Culture Star Do You Resemble?

In this game, participants choose one pop culture star that they might loosely resemble. The focus of this game is not on whom a person resembles physically, but whom they resemble as far as who they are and what they are passionate about.

For instance, a man might feel he resembles Bill Gates because, rather than looking like him, the man simply has similar interests and goals in life. He wants to become the next giant in the computer industry. He wants to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Gates and create a charitable foundation supporting a cause he feels is worthy.

Now other participants in this game know something about this man’s interests and skill set!

Another participant in this game could feel she resembles Oprah Winfrey. This participant strives to make headway in the area of women in business. She fights for the equality of women and also does her part to help underprivileged children. The participant that feels she resembles Oprah Winfrey is a woman with some pretty big career goals. She wants to conquer the world and do what she can to support those who are less fortunate than her.

This participant has dreams of opening a school for children who have not had the educational opportunities every child deserves.

Participants in this game now know what their fellow participants care about the most and the values they believe in strongly. This is a great game to help bring people together in unity.

Zombie Apocalypse

Paper Pens

This icebreaker takes a little more time, but it’s a lot of fun and totally worth it!

You should break the group up into smaller groups of 3 or 4 (depending on the size of the group). Explain the game to them first - the Zombie Apocalypse has come, and they have to fight back!

The group must decide a few things. Where do they want their battle to take place? What weapons will each person have? Is anyone going to die? If so, how will they die? Do they become zombies? Are they heroes in the end? They can have survivors or not have survivors, their choice.

It may be best to have the leaders of the large group (teachers or trainers) do the activity beforehand. Maybe set up a power point presentation to show the group the outcomes. After explaining the game to the group, the leaders can present their story to give the group an idea of what the activity is and how the stories should come out.

The group must then write a short, creative story on their zombie apocalypse battle. Give them about an hour to come up with the details and write the story.

Afterwards, the groups must present their stories to everyone else. If you want, you can give them more time to set up a presentation with visual aids. This is a fun way for people to work together and get to know each other.

The Compliment Circle

This icebreaker game is very easy to play with no materials required! It will make everyone in your group feel great about themselves for the rest of the day! Read on to find out how.

To start off, you will need everyone in your group to choose a partner. Once everybody in your group is paired off, your group should form two circles – one inner circle and one outer circle – with everyone sitting face to face with their original partner.

Every partnership will then spend 20 to 30 seconds each telling their partner what they like about one other. You should encourage your group to not exclusively list superficial things (such as nice eyes, good dress sense, etc.) and list things such as intellectual, amazing taste in music, good listener. After 30 seconds, the outer circle you have created should then move one person to the left, and the whole process starts again. Continue to spend 30 seconds on each pairing until everyone in your group has exhausted every possible pairing.

As you can see, this game really can be used with a small or large group and will make everyone feel great about themselves afterwards!

Icebreaker games for teens
Icebreaker games for teens

Name That Tune

Paper Plates Paper Pens

This game is a great way to test people’s music trivia while also creating a lot of laughs! To begin this game, you will need to number each paper plate on the back – so that you can keep track of them later. Once the plates are numbered, hand one out to each person along with some crayons and an A4 sheet of paper. Each person will then draw the name of a song with the crayons without using words or numbers, only pictures!

Once the pictures are completed, everyone can then pass their plates on to the next person. Everyone can now guess the name of the song on each plate by writing down their answer with the corresponding number on their piece of paper. Once everyone has had a turn at guessing all the paper plates, you can begin to share the answers.

This can turn out to be a very funny game as people come up with some hilarious guesses. You can have everyone reveal what song they drew at the end once everyone has had a turn to guess. The artists in your group will excel at this game, while the artistically challenged will provide some difficult drawings to guess. This however only makes the game funnier and is a great way to break the ice amongst a newly introduced bunch of people!

Pair of Cards

Packs of playing cards

This icebreaker game is great for larger groups of people who are not overly familiar with one another. The playing cards you will use in this game act as great props to facilitate conversation.

If you have less than 54 people in your group, one deck of cards will be fine – if you have more than 54 people, you will need to provide more than one deck of cards. To begin this game, you will need to have everyone in your group take one playing card from the pile; it is ok to include the jokers if you like.

The first thing to do is have everyone stand in a big area holding their cards. You can then instruct the group to match up with each other according to the cards they hold. For example, you can ask all the spades to find each other, all the clubs to find each other, all the twos to find each other, all the aces to find each other ... the configurations are endless. Once people are matched up into groups, they can introduce themselves to each other, to begin with. As the facilitator, you can then give them different topics to discuss with each other. Ideas for specific topics could include favorite foods, favorite movie, or greatest childhood memory.

You can keep playing this game for as long as you wish by calling out different configurations at the end of each round. This gives your group a great chance to mingle with all the different people in the room without creating an awkward way to pair up!

Bag of Topics

Bag Paper

This is a great icebreaker game that will force your participants to think on their feet. This would be an ideal game for a drama class, but of course, it can be used in any situation! Your group will need to either rely on personal experience or a very creative mind.

To start, you will need to decorate a bag. You can be as creative as you like with this, but the bag should have the words “bag of topics” written on it. Once that is completed, fill the bag with topics written on strips of paper. People will then place their hand in the bag and pick out a random subject you have noted down. They will then get up in front of the group and speak for 30 seconds on the topic. You can choose the topics yourself, but to get you started – here are a few topics we suggest:

  1. What is the ideal season (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring)
  2. Favorite animal
  3. Best book I’ve ever read
  4. The best sport to watch on TV
  5. Something I can’t live without
  6. Best piece of technology I own
  7. The best actress on TV
  8. Best school memory
  9. The best form of exercise to stay fit and healthy
  10. What my perfect day involves

If you do want to make this game more difficult, you can increase the length of time that each person has to keep talking about!

Icebreaker Games for Kids

Some kids are more shy than others, but these icebreaker games will help them get to know one another.

Icebreaker games for kids

The Never-Ending Conversation Game

This icebreaker game is especially great for people who love to talk! It can be quite loud, however, so if you are in a place where noise is an issue – then this game is not for you. If you’re ok with a bit of chatter and loudness, then read on to find out how to play!

To begin, you will need to divide your group into pairs. It is best to have everyone spread themselves about the room so they can hear one another. Once everyone is paired off and facing each other – you as the facilitator can then say “go!”. Everybody in the room then begins to talk to their partner as fast and as long as possible. Whoever in the pair stops talking first will lose the game, and the victor will advance to the next round by pairing up with a winner from another grouping.

This icebreaker game will keep continuing in rounds until there is one winner! The winner will be someone who managed to keep talking to every new partner for as fast and as long as possible. You can make some ground rules for this game – we suggest you allow to people to take quick breaths, but no pauses in talking. Perhaps no lists should be allowed, and no counting – that would be too easy!

If you wish to make the game a little more difficult for your group, you can give them a specific topic to talk about in each round, preferable something they don’t know much about to make sure the rounds don’t drag on too long.

The Superhero Game

Paper Markers

This icebreaker game is truly one of a kind and involves using your creativity in a variety of ways. You will need to give everyone a sheet of paper and something colorful to draw with such as a crayon or marker. You then ask each member of the group to go off into their own corner of the room to think of a superpower they would wish to have. They will then need to draw themselves as a superhero (or villain!) with the paper and marker provided.

Let them know that silliness is key and that you want them to go all out and make it as fun as they can.

Once they have all drawn their super selves, gather the group back up again and have everyone share their super self-portrait, as well as describe their superpower in detail.

This may seem like one of the more silly icebreaker games, and quite unconventional, but it helps to relax everyone.

When they are all at ease with another, you’ll find that they interact more and have no problem conversing amongst themselves.

This icebreaker game is ideal for children and adults alike. For children, the creativity will come naturally. For adults, it will help to bring out their inner child and enable them to be more cohesive as a team. They will learn more about each other’s personalities and recognize each other’s strengths.

Spider Webs

String or Twine

This is a fascinating icebreaker game that will greatly assist your group to discover a large number of facts that they may all have in common with one another. All this game requires is a ball of string or twine!

To begin with, you will need the participants to sit or stand in a circle formation. From here, you will give one of the members of your group the ball of string. This particular person will then need to say their full name and one interesting fact about themselves. An example would be something like: “I have four brothers,” “I love watching old movies” or “I like playing football.”

Then, anyone sitting in the circle that has that fact or trait in common must proceed to put their hand up. The person with the string then chooses a new participant in the group of raised hands, and the ball of string then gets tossed to that person.

This cycle continues over and over until you have created a spider’s web between every member of the group.

This game will hopefully show all of the different ways in which your group is interconnected. It will create a sense of unity among your members, as it visually depicts a variety of commonalities that your group’s participants share.

T.P. Game

Toilet Paper Rolls

This game is a fun and very silly way to break the ice. You will need to split everyone into groups of 5-12 people. Give a roll of toilet paper to one person in the group.

The person chosen from each group to disperse the toilet paper must walk around and ask one participant to tear off as many sheets as they would normally use.

Next, the roll is passed (or even thrown) to the next member of the group to do the same. Do not explain the purpose of the game under any circumstances at this point (the mystery will add to the quality of the game!).

Continue doing this until everyone in the group has torn off their appropriate quantity of toilet paper. You will find some people will take only a few sheets, while others take piles - so you may very well need multiple rolls.

After the roll has made its way around to everyone, the next part is to be explained: For each sheet of paper that has been torn off of the roll, the person participating must reveal one fact about themselves.

This is an excellent game to use as an icebreaker as it allows participants to be silly while sharing important things about themselves.

Icebreaker games for kids

Steal the Keys

Chair Keys Blindfold

This icebreaker game is designed to get all members of your group to interact with each other and also have some laughs. You should have everybody in the group form a circle, with a chair placed in the middle.

One person should be chosen to sit in the chair; they will become the “keeper of the keys.” You can ask for a volunteer, or you can pick the person you want to be the key keeper. A set of keys need to be placed under the chair after the key keeper has been blindfolded and given three pairs of socks (rolled up in pairs). If you don’t want to use socks, you can use something else, but it has to be soft - because they will throw them at potential thieves!

One person in the circle is to be given the task of stealing the keys. They must be very quiet in doing so, so that they don’t give themselves away. The keeper of the keys should then try to guess who took the keys and where they are by throwing the socks (or soft object) at them. They get three tries to do so. Everyone has to be quiet so the keeper of the keys can hear the thief moving around.

If the socks touch the thief, then the keeper of the keys wins. If not, then the thief wins!

Keep playing the game and give others in the group a chance to be the keeper of the keys. Watching as the keeper tries to aimlessly hit people with socks while blindfolded is very entertaining for everyone in the group. It may not be the most sophisticated game, but it does encourage social interaction in a fun way for people who may have just met.

The Barnyard Game

This game works best with large groups, anything over ten people is great. The more players there are, the more fun it is!

First, have everybody blindfold themselves and form a circle. If you don’t want to use blindfolds, you can just ask them to close their eyes and trust them to keep them closed throughout the game.

You will then go around to each person in the circle and whisper the name of an animal in their ear. Explain to them what you are going to do beforehand to not frighten them by going into their personal space unannounced. You will only need the name of a handful of animals depending on the size of your group, as you will be doubling up on animals (whispering the word “pig” in more than one person’s ear for example). Animals that could be used are wolf, cat, pig, dog, horse, lion, monkey, frog… the list is endless! Try to have 3 or more of each animal.

Here is the challenge: Players cannot talk! They can only make noises of the animal that they have been given. Everyone must find all other animals of their own kind by making their animal sound over and over, absolutely no talking aloud.

This game may become loud, but it will gradually become orderly as animals find each other. You should be on the lookout for players, keeping them safe from danger so that they don’t stumble or fall over objects that may be in the room.

Once each member finds the other animals that they belong to, the game is over! It’s quick and easy, but the game forces them to use their listening skills and move in different directions to find fellow like animals.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger List Pens

In this icebreaker game, the group has to get up and actively talk to their peers. You create a long list of things the group has to find in others. Some sample statements could include:

  • Someone who has been to another continent
  • Someone who has more than five brothers and sisters
  • Someone who reads comics, someone who speaks another language fluently
  • Someone who loves country music
  • Someone who is an only child
  • Someone who likes to go camping
  • Someone who likes to sing
  • Someone who has been on a cruise
  • Someone who plays sports
  • Someone who likes Mexican food
  • Someone who likes the color purple
  • Someone who doesn’t like hamburgers
  • Someone who recycles
  • Someone who is wearing the same color shirt
  • Someone who has a twin, someone who can whistle
  • Someone who can’t dance, someone who has gone skydiving
  • Someone who likes to cook
  • Someone who likes animals.

Once you have the list created, hand it out to the people in the group.

Everyone then has to get up and talk to their peers to find people that fit the criteria on the list. This is a great icebreaker because it helps people get to know each other in a relatively short amount of time.

Nightmare Juicing

This is a great game that involves your whole class at the same time – specifically appealing to kids because they love to laugh at silly things! You really can play this with any sized group, and it requires no extra materials other than participants, so read on to find out how to play this easy (but fun!) ice-breaker game.

Line everybody up in two straight lines facing directly opposite each other. The person opposite you will now be your partner. The aim of this game is to simply make the grossest combination of fruit/vegetables that make up a smoothie based on the color of each other’s tops. For example, the first person in the line (let’s call them Person A) might be opposite a person (let’s call them Person B) wearing a red top so that they could say “Tomato!”, then Person B sees that their partner is wearing a Yellow shirt so they might say “Banana!” = thus the combination of the smoothie becoming Capsicum/Tomato resulting in a pretty gross drink!

You should have the class make their whole way down the line, so everybody gets a turn. Once everyone has been covered, you can have one line move down a place, which mixes up the partners. If you’re game (and perhaps have a less rowdy class), you can shout “mix it up!” and have kids swap places however they like!

As you can see, this is a great game that is inclusive of everyone in your class and has no winner or loser! A bonus of this game is it can lead to a deeper discussion about health and nutrition should that be a subject you wish to cover!

Icebreaker games for kids

Pop Goes The Baloon

Inflated balloons

This icebreaker game is super simple, perhaps not suitable for adults in a work environment – but this will depend on the industry you work in! You will only need to have inflatable balloons ready before starting, one per person in your group.

You will need to have your class line up in 2 straight lines, facing each other – each person holding an already inflated balloon. The first person in each of the lines should be given instructions on what to do with their balloon (e.g., balance balloon on the head for 20 seconds straight, balance ball on the head for 20 seconds straight, kick balloon ten times, dribble the balloon to the wall behind them and back). Once they have completed the task you set them, they should sit on their balloon at the front of the line until it pops! When the balloon finally pops, the second person in line can begin the task you assigned them in the beginning.

Once they finish their task, they need to sit on their balloon until it pops – and you continue this down the line. The first line to complete all their tasks and pop all their balloons wins!

As you can see, this is not a highly intellectual game, but lots of fun nonetheless! It doesn’t require a lot of materials or preparation time, so it’s the perfect icebreaker game if you have limited time available.

Circle Tag

This icebreaker game is suitable for larger groups of people, and it’s best for teenagers and children. To start this game, you will need to have everyone in your group (except for two people) arrange themselves in a circle holding each other’s hands. The two people that do not join the circle are now “it”!

The pair that is “it” will now run around the outside of the circle until they feel like tagging someone else. To tag another pair of people, they simply need to tap a pair of hands – once a new pair is tagged, they need to run in the opposite direction to the original pair to try and get back to their spot first, all while still holding hands. Whoever gets back to the empty spots first gets to slot themselves back into the circle. Whoever does not succeed is now “it”.

You can keep playing this game for as long as you like, there will be no eventual winner. This icebreaker game is particularly great for a schoolyard and incorporates a great amount of exercise at the same time!

Icebreaker games for kids
Icebreaker games for kids

Scissors, Paper, Rock Gymnastics

With this icebreaker game, you will need to have everyone in your group form groups of two – they will then need to spread themselves out evenly around the room giving themselves plenty of space to move around.

To begin this game, each person needs to face their partner and place their left foot behind their right foot about 3 to 5 inches behind. They should essentially be in a position to start the splits! Each pair will then play a game of rock, paper, scissors (where rock beats scissors, paper beats rock and scissors beat paper). The winners of the first round will then state one interesting fact about themselves – whereas the loser of the pairs should move their left foot one step back (their right foot does not move), forcing their legs into a deeper split.

The next round follows on almost exactly the same as the last, where the winner of rock, paper, scissors still states a fact about themselves – however, the winner can also now move their left foot back in a step. The loser must still move their left foot back a step.

This game continues until one person in the pair can no longer move their legs into any more of a split (or their pants rip!). This icebreaker game gets very funny, very quickly. The more flexible in the group are going to excel – while those that are not as flexible will fail miserably. The group also gets to learn interesting facts about each other while playing a really fun game!

The Sketch Game

Paper Magazines Newspapers Scissors Glue

A take on Pictionary, but with a twist!

You simply have everyone go off into his or her own space within the room, and provide them with a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.

Ask each person to describe themselves through images, without the use of numbers or letters. Give them a few minutes, maybe five or ten at the most, and then go around the room and gather up the illustrations.

Once you’ve done this and placed all of the paper into one stack - have the group come closer so that they can see the sketches as you hold them up one at a time.

The object of this icebreaker game is for everyone to guess which person drew which picture. After each of them are guessed upon, you have the person who created it describe how their artwork symbolizes them. This is an entertaining way for everyone to show who they are creatively, and for the others in the group to get an idea of how the person perceives themselves.

You can also do a variation on this game by having each person use magazine or newspaper clippings to describe themselves (rather than drawing), so long as the clipping doesn’t contain words or numbers. This version comes in handy for a group that isn’t as comfortable drawing as they are merely cutting images from a media source. It still has a similar effect, however, in that your group will learn a lot about one another through a simple self-portrait.

Post-It Conversations

Post-it notes Pens

This icebreaker game is one of the most simple conversation starter games out there! This is the pick for you if you want a quick and easy way to have your group mingle with one another.

You can start this game by simply having everyone take one post-it note from your stash – they will then need to write one keyword relating to a subject they may want to discuss. For example, someone may write the word “summer” on their post-it as they wish to discuss their favorite season. Another person may write the word “photography” as they wish to discuss their love of their favorite hobby.

Once everyone in your group has noted down their keyword, as the facilitator you should then encourage them to approach someone in the room and begin to discuss what is on each other’s post-its.

You can carry on this game as long as you like by simply having everyone change partners every 5 minutes or so. This icebreaker game encourages conversation and is a great way for people to introduce themselves and also have peers learn some interesting things about them.

You can also of course tailor this game to suit a particular subject you may want your group to discuss. You will just need to have your group write down specific words related to the topic you choose!

Icebreaker games for kids

The Shoe ID Game

Shoes

The shoe ID game is a great icebreaker game for large and small groups of any age - the object of this game is to gain knowledge about the people in your group.

To play the game, everyone in the group will need to form a circle and put one of their shoes into the middle of the group.

Next, each person will pick a random shoe from the pile and then walk around the room to find whom the shoe belongs to. Once the person has found the shoe's owner, they will ask three questions to the person so that they can become more acquainted with them. Once everyone in the group has met the owner of the shoe that they have picked and asked the questions, everyone will get back into the circle.

Next, each person will introduce their person to the group and re-tell the three interesting facts they found out.

Since this game requires a shoe from each person, it is best to play this game indoors. It can be played multiple times, and everyone can learn additional facts about the people in the group, by choosing a different shoe, meeting a different person, and different facts being shared.

Extremes

Stickers

This icebreaker game is aptly named because it is simply a game of two extremes (or opposites). With this very basic icebreaker game, you can get your whole group up and moving, while also sharing their preferences or opinions on a large variety of topics.

First, you need to create an imaginary line from one end of the room to the other, effectively dividing it into 2 sides. Throughout the game, you will be instructing your participants to move to either side of the line to indicate where they may stand on a particular issue you have raised. For example: You may instruct your group to move to the right-hand side of the room if they enjoy chocolate ice-cream, or move to the left-hand side of the room if they prefer vanilla ice-cream. When participants in the group do not have a strong opinion on the issue or topic, they may stand in the middle of the imaginary line you created.

The game can continue for as long as you like with other examples you may have come up with of extremes or opposites. The list is endless - Summer or winter? Smart or beautiful? Football or Soccer? Get creative with your choices and stir up some conversation or even controversy. The premise is to learn about one another and to get a discussion started.

When everyone has chosen a position, you then read out the next one, and everyone must move again. Everyone enjoys expressing themselves which makes this a great game to get individuals to explore and express their opinions on a wide range of fun topics. The great thing about this game is you can tailor your questions to any age group making it the perfect game for any situation.