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Icebreaker Games/ Warm-up Games

Icebreaker games are not true getting-acquainted games, but rather games for the group to “warm-up” to each other. That is why they are sometimes called warm-up games. Fun is the main theme here. Some games are used mainly as party games, while others can be used during the breaks between music at a celebration.

  1. Monkey-Man-Woman Game

    This game is similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors. The group divides itself into pairs that stand opposite each other. On the leaders command, the couples must assume positions needed to show: a monkey hitting a girl, a man hitting an monkey, or a girl hitting a man. These positions are chosen and demonstrated before play begins. The winners make up new pairs. The game is over with one player having won all rounds.

  2. Elf, Giant, Magician,

    This game is similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors. The group divides itself into pairs that stand opposite each other. On the leaders command, the couples must assume positions to show the character and they must also make the sounds of that character. Each character has a specific sound.

    • Elf: assume a squatting position and holds hands with index fingers pointing upwards to resemble elf ears. The elf sound is “eeeeking –eeeeking…”
    • Giant: stand on tip-toes and cross arms in front of chest. The giants sound is a deep bellowing tone.
    • Magician: stands in a normal position with arms outstretched and uses a secretive, poetic voice to say his spells.

    Who wins? What happens next?
    This game is similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors with this variation:

    • an elf hits the magician by shooting an arrow at him.
    • The magician makes a dramatic fall clutching his heart (where he was shot).
    • The magician hits the Giant who “shrinks” while making shrinking noises, like a balloon losing air.
    • The giant hits the elf while pretending he is very small.
  3. Clusters

    All players move about the room. The leader calls out a number. The group must then make clusters of players to match that number. Whoever doesn’t get into a cluster is out. Variations can be clusters made of players with the same shoe size, the same sock color or the same eye color, etc.

  4. Elimination Game: Apple – Pear – Orange

    On pieces of paper, before the game starts, write the following: before the apple, the apple, after the apple, before the pear, the pear, after the pear, before the orange, the orange, after the orange. The papers are put into a pot. Three pieces of fruit are given to three players. The fruit is passed person to person while music is played. As soon as the music stops, one paper will be drawn from the pot and read out loud. The players who have the positions as described on the paper are eliminated from the round. Example: for “before the apple, the person who is closest standing next to the apple holder is eliminated. For “the apple”, the person holding the apple is eliminated.

  5. The Tickle Game

    Two teams are made, maybe one of boys and one of girls. The first team takes off their shoes and socks and kneels. The other team stands behind and tickles the feet of the first team. The team doing the tickling must guess who is being tickled. To hinder peeking, a blindfold or a curtain could be used.

  6. Animal calls

    Players make groups of 4-5 persons. Every player gets a paper with the name of an animal. Each group has the same animal. The players spread out in the room and then the light are turned off. Using only the sound of the animals (no talking!), the players must find their respective groups. The winner is the group who is the fastest group to be complete.

  7. Who am I?

    Every player gets a card and writes the name of a person or character on it that he will act out. (Mouse, idiot, Batman, Elvis, a tree, a car, Michael Schuhmacher, …). Then the players walk about the room acting out their character. Each player is only allowed to act out their character once for each person in the room, answering YES or NO for each guess. The first person to correctly identify the character is the winner.

  1. A Blind Pair

    Two players face each other to make a pair. They place their hands against each others hands at about shoulder height. Now they close their eyes and turn around in a circle and try to find the other players hands again, placing them as before, while continuing to keep their eyes closed.

  2. Statues

    All players move about while music is playing. As soon as the music stops, everyone must “freeze” in the positions they are, like statues. The person who moves last is eliminated from that round. To make the game more difficult, the players can be told what movements they should do while the music is playing.

  3. Sit Down Quick

    All players move about while music is playing. As soon as the music stops, everyone must quickly sit down (on the seat of his pants) on the ground. The last player to sit down is eliminated from the round.

  4. Soft Catch

    Players make groups and each stands in circles. Each player in the circle takes a soft item and throws it in the middle of the circle where two players are waiting to catch as many items as possible before they fall to the ground. Seldom does anyone catch all the items, but this is fun anyhow.

  5. Partners

    All the players chose a partner. The group is divided into two groups of pairs. Each group forms a circle, one inside the other. As the music is playing, each circle walks in a different direction. When the music stops, the leader will announce two body positions. Example: “lift right leg and hold it with the left hand”. Everyone assumes this position and tries to find his partner. Pairs will be eliminated who do not assume the correct position. In the next round, the music will be played shorter than the round before and new body positions will be named. The requirements for play can be made more difficult and more humorous to watch with similar positions as:

    • Place big toe in mouth
    • Place tongue in armpit
    • Place foot behind head
    • Fold legs up over abdomen
    • Walk on all fours with abdomen facing up
  6. Rescue Islands

    With a piece of chalk, draw different large circles on the ground. Each circle represents a “rescue” island where many players can go to be “safe”. Player move about as music is being played. As soon as the music stops, every player must find an island. Those players who can’t find an island, or can’t fit on the island is eliminated from the round.

  7. Bicycle Inner tube

    A bicycle inner tube is held at hip height. One after the other, all players in the group try to get in the inner tube. How many will fit? Object: Everyone will be taken in the middle of the group, the inner tube will hold together, although it looks so small.

  8. Names, Hobbies and Dislikes

    Boys and girls make two circles, one inside the other. Both circles walk in opposite directions as music is being played. As soon as the music stops, the circles face each other and the ‘pairs’ introduce themselves to each other, saying their names, naming one or two hobbies they enjoy and two or three things that they don’t like.

  9. Widest smile, most evil grin

    Which member of the group can pull the widest smile or the most evil grin?

  10. Blind dance

    In this dancing game a volunteer is blindfolded. The dancing partners are swapped while the music plays. When the music stops, the volunteer must guess who they have been dancing with.

  11. Spoon grab

    Only using 2 table spoons, a blindfolded member of the group must try to recognise another group member.

  12. The chickens are clucking

    For this game you should prepare pieces of paper in the same quantity as the number of players. On the cards are pairs of animals. The cards are spread out randomly in the room. Markers mark out the edges of the playing area (tyres, benches or boxes). There should be one less marker than the number of pairs. On the command, each member of the group looks for a card and walks like the animal on the card. Once a player finds his partner, the pair is allowed to find a marker. The pair who does not find a free marker is out of the game.

  13. Lions, hunters, mothers-in-law

    The lions roar loudly, the mothers-in-law flap wildly with their arms, the hunters load their weapons.

    The lions beat the mothers-in-law, the hunters beat the lions and the mothers-in-law beat the hunters.

  14. Airport game

    This game is an ideal ice breaker for larger groups of between 30 to 80 people, and even at a youth camp or something similar. It should only be played once.

    In each corner an A4 sized poster with various names of airports is hung up (this could also be countries or objects however this loses the joke of the aeroplane flying around. The children or teenagers spread themselves around the room and then a name (or with larger groups) two names of airports are read out. On hearing the names the players have to run as fast as possible to the correct poster. Whoever is last to arrive is out. With larger groups either call out 2 names or the last 2-3 players to arrive at the respective poster are out.
    Sent in by Ronnie Berzins

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