Jul 2, 2009

Top 10 Best Icebreaker, Mixer, & Party Games

  1. Positive Reinforcement Cards Game
    Whenever a participant arrives to class on time from breaks, lunch, etc. give them one playing card. You can also hand out cards to people who volunteer for activities, are helpful, answers a difficult question, etc. At the end of the day, play one hand of poker. Give a small prize to the best hand (you can also pick the top two or three hands if you want to give away more prizes). Note that the more cards a person has, the better the chance of winning.
  2. The Talent Show
    Everyone selects one talent or special gift that they possess and can demonstrate for the group. They introduce themselves, explain what their special talent is, and then perform their special talent for the group.
  3. Paper Airplane Game
    Everyone makes a paper airplane and writes their name, something they like and dislike on it (You may also want to add additional questions). On cue, everyone throws their airplane around the room. If you find an airplane, pick it and keep throwing it for 1-2 minutes. At the end of that time, everyone must have one paper airplane. This is the person they must find and introduce to the group.
  4. Favorite Animal Game
    As the guests arrive, and before you write their names on a name card, ask them to tell you their favorite animal and three adjectives to describe the animal. As they tell you, write the three adjectives on a name tag BEFORE their name (omit the name of the animal). Ask them to mingle with the crowd, sharing why these adjectives best describe their own personality. EXAMPLES: Loyal, cuddly, playful Dan
  5. Marooned Game
    You are marooned on an island. What five (you can use a different number, such as seven, depending upon the size of each team) items would you have brought with you if you knew there was a chance that you might be stranded. Note that they are only allowed five items per team, not per person. You can have them write their items on a flip chart and discuss and defend their choices with the whole group. This activity helps them to learn about other's values and problem solving styles and promotes teamwork.
  6. Human Bingo Game
    Before the meeting, make a bingo matrix and at the top of each square put something that someone in the group might have done-for example, voted for Ross Perot, served in the Peace Corps, etc. Everyone gets a copy and is asked to circulate, getting other group members to sign one square that is true of them. The first person to get "bingo" wins the prize (a candy bar or some other small thing).
  7. Out on the Town Game
    If you have a two-day meeting and need a quick warm-up for day two, ask everyone to pantomime something they did the night before. Individuals or groups can act out a movie they went to, describe a meal they ate, or recreate a scene witnessed at a bar.
  8. Four Facts Game
    Each person writes down four facts about themselves, one of which is a lie. Each person takes turns reading their list aloud and the rest of the team writes down the one they think is the lie. When all are done reading the lists aloud, the first person reads their list again and identifies the lie. The team sees how well they did.
  9. Kangaroo Court Game
    Try this if there's an incident that irritates members of your group. Announce that a kangaroo court will be held to properly try and prosecute all guilty parties. After you make the announcement, everyone will begin to view the incident in question with a contagious sense of humor. Name the defendants. Select a lawyer for the defense, as well as a prosecuting attorney. Write up formal charges and submit them to the judge. Appoint a bailiff and court recorder. Screen and swear in your jurors.
  10. Make a Date Game
    Give each participant a paper plate. Have them draw the face of a clock on their plate with a line next to each number (no digitals!). Then have participants walk around a find a "date" for each hour, writing their name by the hour. The catch is no one can make a "date" with more than one person per hour. After everyone has made their dates, speed up time and allow 1-3 minutes for each hour. The facilitator then asks a question for discussion on each date. The pairs will have a chance to get to know one another.

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