Game – Where am I?

About | This ice breaker game promotes interactions among participants before you move them on to more serious matters on the agenda

Goal | Break the ice, at the same time illustrate the importance of effective communication

Emphasis | Ice Breaker, Communication

Items | 3 x 5 index card, double sided tape

Size | 6 or more

Setting | Meeting Room

Time | 20 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Before the meeting, prepare 3 x 5 index cards with names of famous city. Include easy ones (Paris, London, Tokyo, Rome) as well as some harder ones (Dublin, Helsinki, Manila, Belgrade).
  2. Have all the participants to stand up and have their backs facing you.
  3. Get an assistant and stick the index cards on the back of each participants.
  4. One this is done, have the participants circulate in the room to mingle and ask each other questions.
  5. The objective of the game is to find out which city you are located (according to the index cards).
  6. However, participants can only ask close-ended questions, those that can only be answered with either a YES or NO to identify the clues that will help them find out the city on their index card.
  7. Participants can only ask each person one question and then they have to move on, mingle and ask a different person another one question.
  8. After circulating for about 5 minutes, stop the game and have each participants guess the city they are located.

Debrief |

  1. How many questions did they need to ask before arriving at their answers? Find out who ask the least questions and congratulate them.
  2. Selectively ask participants how the derive their final answer, does not matter if they got it right or wrong.
  3. How difficult or easy was it to work with only close-ended questions?
  4. What can they take away from this experience that can be applied to real life situations?
Instead of cities, you can also vary the category depending on your audience. Some ideas here:
  • Celebrities
  • Movie titles
  • Participants name within the group
  • Fruits and vegetables

If there are any parts of this game you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

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Game – You are Nuts

About | This is a simple ice breaker that gets the teams working together for some fun and laughter.

Goal | Break the ice, ease tensions and have a good laugh

Emphasis | Ice Breaker, Fun

Items | A packet of groundnuts (peanuts in shells) for each team

Size | At least 2 teams of 3 participants each

Setting | Meeting Room

Time | 20 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the participants into teams of 3 to 5 people.
  2. Ask each team to choose their leader and give the teams a packet of groundnuts each.
  3. The game is simple. Each team has to decorate their leader with the groundnuts.
  4. How? By splitting the groundnut slightly at its top tip and allow it to pinch back on any parts of the leader’s face!
  5. The objective is to decorate and hang as many groundnuts as possible on their leader’s face – try the ears, mustache, lips, hair and any skin folds.
  6. Parade the leaders up front for comparison and laughter. The team that has the most groundnuts clinging onto their leader’s face, wins.

Debrief |

Not necessary, as long as everyone had a good laugh. Remember to take team photos as they post with their ‘mascot’ leader. This simple game should break down walls if any, and provide a good start to the team.

If there are any parts of this game you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

Game – Arrange Your Team

About | This game requires participants in the team to arrange themselves according to the criteria given. The catch however, is that nobody is allowed to speak!

Goal | Get to know team members better while promoting communication and cooperation

Emphasis | Ice Breaker, Cooperation, communication

Items | None

Size | At least 2 teams of 5 participants each

Setting | Open Space or a Meeting Room with sufficient space to move around

Time | 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 5 members each. You will need to have at least 2 teams in order to introduce the element of competitive fun.
  2. Get the teams to line up facing you as you give the instructions.
  3. Tell the teams that the objective of this game is for them to arrange their team according to the criteria you provide, as fast as they can.
  4. However, the most important rule of the game is, nobody is allow to speak! Teams will have to find alternative ways of communication.
  5. For example, give them a warm-up trial run by asking for a team arrangement according to HEIGHT – Shortest to tallest.
  6. When you say start, team members to scramble, reorganize themselves and get back into their line matching your criteria, all without uttering a word.
  7. Note the sequence of the teams completing the arrangement. Check if the arrangement of each team is correct. You can increase excitement by involving other teams to be collective co-judges as you verify the arrangements.
  8. The team that completes the arrangement correctly and fastest wins a point.
  9. Now that they get the idea, move on to other criteria. Make it harder and more challenging as you go along.
  10. Some criteria you can use are listed below. Think of others that might be suitable and fun for your group.
  • SHOE SIZE – Smallest to largest
  • HAIR LENGTH – Shortest to longest
  • BIRTH DATE (Day and Month only) – Earliest to latest in the year
  • FIRST NAME – Alphabetical order
  • YEARS OF SERVICE – Most to the least months/years

Debrief |

  1. How was the experience of arranging your team without speaking to one another?
  2. How did you communicate with each other in your team?
  3. Were there miscommunication resulting in wrong team arrangements?
  4. How could you have avoided the miscommunication or improve your timing?
  5. Can you identify real life experiences where you go through the same constraint and how can you do better in the future?

If there are any parts of this game you want to clarify, leave me a comment.