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.

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.

Game – Go Team Walking

About | This game requires everyone in the team to move from one point to another as a team. The catch is each member is handicapped and they will have to work together to reach the set destination.

Goal | Demonstrate that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the way to success is by complimenting and supporting each other

Emphasis | Cooperation, Communication, Trust

Items | Blindfolds and ropes in 2 feet lengths (Get a large piece of dark coloured cloth and cut it into smaller pieces to make the blindfolds and ropes equivalent)

Size | 6 onwards

Setting | Go Outdoors

Time | About an hour

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of 5 to 12 people. If the group is small, make it just a team.
  2. Have each team line up in a single file at the starting point.
  3. Tell them that their mission is to walk to the set destination together as a team.
  4. However, they have to get into the following team setup: Bind one hand (at the wrist) of the 1st to the 2nd member’s. Then bind one leg (at the ankle) of the 2nd member with the 3rd’s. Next bind the 3rd member’s hand with the 4th’s and the 4th’s leg with the 5th and so on. Once they are done, blindfold the 1st and every other members in the team!
  5. Now that they are ready, let them start walking as a team to the set destination.
  6. You can create some obstacles along the path which you want the team to traverse or use the outdoor terrains and trees to add fun challenges to the walk.
  7. The first team that reaches the destination together first AND safely (no casualties or complaints) wins.
Debrief |
  1. How is the team setup similar to actual team characteristics and members’ strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Was the team walk easy or difficult? How was your individual experience?
  3. How did you manage to walk as a team to the set destination with the different handicap imposed on your team members? (Answer: cooperation, communication, tolerance)
  4. What are the important elements of communication in this activity, especially for those who were blindfolded? (Answer: clear instruction & need trust)
  5. What can you learn from this team walk which can be applied to actual team seating?

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

Game – Our Common Links

About | This ice breaker provides a platform for participants to get to know each other especially when the team is coming together for the first time.

Goal | Build basic relationship between team members as a foundation for cooperation

Emphasis | Icebreaker, Communication

Items | Pen and a piece of paper for each team

Size | Preferably 6 onwards

Setting | Meeting Room

Time | 20 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 3 members each
  2. Ask each team to discuss amongst themselves and come up with 5 to 10 different traits that are common and share by all of them. List them on a piece of paper.
  3. The objective is to identify as many common links that they share which are unique to their team. For example, all of us are married, or all of us are from Kuala Lumpur.
  4. The common links should not be too general or merely stating the obvious. For example, all of us have two eyes!
  5. After 5 minutes or an appropriate amount of time, get their attention, stop the discussion and have each team in turn to share their common links.
  6. Every time a common link is shared, check with other teams if they have the same link listed. If the link is unique only to the sharing team, then a point is given. Otherwise, it is a strike-off and no point is awarded.
  7. The team that scores the most points wins

Debrief |

Not necessary but you can share that although each of them are individuals, there will always be common grounds upon which they can start and build their team relationship on.

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

Game – Pass It On

About | This game involves passing water on paper plates over each others heads. Fast pace and exciting, but expect to get very wet!

Goal | Show team members that communication is a two way traffic and why trust is important to a team

Emphasis | Communication, Trust

Items |1 – One Pail and Bottle (about 1.5 liter volume). 2 – Disposable paper/plastic plates for each participants

Size | 6 onwards

Setting | Go Outdoors

Time | At least 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of 6 to 12 people. The more there are in a team, the more challenging it will be.
  2. Have each team line up in a single file from front to back all facing you.
  3. Once they are all in line, get everyone to squat or if they prefer, sit.
  4. Place the pails (fill up with water to about ¾ full) in front of the first person of each team.
  5. Place the empty bottle in front of the last person of each team.
  6. Everyone in the team is given a disposable plate.
  7. Participants are to transport the water down the line from the pail in front to the empty bottle behind by using the disposable plate.
  8. The water on the disposable plates must be passed over the participants’ heads.
  9. Participants must maintain their heads looking straight front without turning sideways during the water transfer.
  10. Let the participants know that they have 10 minutes to fill up the bottle to a level.
  11. Play until the bottle at the end of the line is filled to a predetermined level or stop once the time set is up.
  12. The first team that achieve the predetermined water level or has the highest water level wins.

Debrief |

  1. Was it easy to transfer the water to the person behind you without getting wet?
  2. What did you do to ensure that more water get into the plate instead of the head?
  3. What are the important elements of communication in this activity? (Answer: two-way & need trust)
  4. What did you learn about communication between team members?
  5. What did you learn on trust between team members in achieving the objective?

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