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 – 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.

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 – Complete Your Statement

About | This simple activity induces creativity and humour in the process of helping team members to get to know each other better.

Goal | Encourage team members to share their personal thoughts, experiences or ideas freely.

Emphasis | Icebreaker, Trust

Items | Paper slips containing printed hanging-statements to be completed. See suggestions below.

Size | Any

Setting | Meeting Room

Time | About 15 minutes, depending on number of participants

Instructions |

  1. Prepare enough paper strips with unique printed hanging-statements for each participants and fold them so that the content is not revealed.
  2. Explain to participants that everyone will get to pick a strip, read out the  printed hanging statement and complete is as creatively as he can spontaneously. If there are too many participants but not enough time, select volunteers instead.
  3. Encourage participants to be as truthful possible to a degree that they are comfortable in sharing and revealing to the rest of the team members.
  4. Ask participants to limit their sharing to one sentence only, which is to complete the selected hanging statement.

Suggestion on hanging-statements (for Work context):

  1. I most enjoy about work when…
  2. I least enjoy about my work when…
  3. I hate it when my boss…
  4. I like it when my boss…
  5. Working in my current team…
  6. Customers would be happier…
  7. We could improve…
  8. My under-used potential…
  9. To be more effective, I…
  10. People leave because…
  11. I like it when…
  12. One complaint about my work is…

Debrief |

Not necessary but you can highlight that it is important for team members to know and understand each others’ feelings and motivation at work in order to strengthen the bonding and cooperation amongst them.

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