One might wonder what sets an icebreaker game apart from other types of icebreakers. Icebreaker games are longer and a bit more complicated than other icebreaker exercises. Many of them need some advance preparation. Some of the best icebreaker games work for any size group and any age and have modifications and variations to help them work for any occasion.
Additionally, an icebreaker game can be “played” just as any other type of game can be. Our group of icebreaker games includes some for teams as well as whole group games. Getting-To-Know-You icebreaker games take a while and are excellent at the beginning of an extended group activity such as a conference, class, or camp where you want members to get to know each other thoroughly. We have icebreaker games that challenge thinking, require creativity, and some that simply provide many laughs. You are sure to find the perfect icebreaker game among the following.
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Adult Icebreakers for Parties
Whenever a group of adults gets together, an icebreaker game is an excellent way to get everyone familiar with everyone else. Even those who think they know everyone well may be in for some surprises when you use our icebreakers for adults. Use them for parties, meetings, or anytime you have a group of adults getting together for any purpose. We have arranged our list into two categories – Adult Icebreakers for Parties and Adult Icebreakers for Meetings – to make it super simple to find the perfect adult icebreaker for any occasion.
Icebreaker games for adults are a fun way to start a party and keep it going. You will find one for introductions, one for adults to get to know each other, and some that are simply crazy and fun.
How Much Do You Use
A fun adult icebreaker game, this game can provide plenty of laughs.
- Have the participants sit in a circle and tell them that you are going to pass around a roll of toilet paper.
- Invite players to “take as much as they will need to get the job done.”
- After every one has had a good laugh over the amount of paper they took, tell them that for every piece of toilet paper they ripped off, they must tell the group one thing about themselves.
Crazy Questions and Answers
An adult icebreaker game that can take quite a bit of time, Crazy Questions and Answers is perfect if the party is slow to start or bogs down halfway through.
You will need two index cards for each adult that will participate. If you collect and keep the cards, you can use this game multiple times.
- On half of the cards, write as many questions as you have adults, and on the other half, write answers from our list.
- Stack the cards in two piles, one for questions and one for answers.
- The first player chooses a question and reads it aloud.
- The next player chooses an answer and reads it aloud. These two cards are set aside.
- Continue the game until all the questions have been asked and answered.
You can use the questions and answers below or create your own:
- Would you like to be a millionaire?
- Would you like to find yourself in a harem?
- Do you often visit restaurants?
- Do you go to work with pleasure?
- Do you wear a wig?
- Have you any shortcomings?
- Do you like music?
- Are you always so polite as today?
- Are you able to love?
- Do you like to dance?
- Would you like to sit next to me?
- Do you love children?
- Do you often have appointments?
- Do you love me?
- Do you behave decently while drunk?
- Are you jealous?
- Are you sorry that you are married?
- Are you modest?
- Would you like to have many new friends?
- Do you often tell lies?
- Can you flatter?
- Can I rely upon you?
- Do you smoke?
- No, once I tried, but it ended up a disaster.
- Being on the verge of despair only.
- We are not angels. Things happen.
- It is my life’s work.
- I do it with the greatest pleasure.
- Once, but only in a weak moment.
- I am not capable of such a stupid thing.
- I have only one dream and that is it!
- No, I’m well bred.
- I will answer you in private.
- I must plead the 5th amendment.
- Only in the bathroom.
- Every other day.
- By no means!
- If it is cold outdoors.
- On a payday
- It is quite necessary on Saturday.
- To while away the time.
- Only while having a rest in the health resort.
- People do not speak about it aloud.
- During my lunch hour.
- I’ll do it if you will do it.
- I dream about it after dinner.
A rather noisy, but very fun adult icebreaker, this game is sure to relax the group.
- Divide the group into 3 Teams – Betty, Popeye, and the Wolf.
- You are going to read the following story and when you mention “Betty” that team stands up and says, “Boop-Boop-De-Doo” (with hip action).
- When you mention “Popeye” that team stands up and says: “Well, blow me down”(with arm waving action).
- When you mention “Wolf” that group stands up and gives a “Wolf Whistle.”
- Make sure you pause for group action each time you mention Betty, Popeye, or the Wolf.
Once upon a time, there was a charming young lady named BETTY who was loved by a sailor called POPEYE. BETTY lived near a great forest in which there roamed a big WOLF. One day BETTY decided to visit her grandmother who lived in the heart of the forest where the WOLF lived. POPEYE wanted to go along, but BETTY would not listen and would not let POPEYE accompany her. Soon the WOLF followed BETTY. The WOLF crept closer and closer, but behind him came POPEYE! Just as the WOLF was about to leap on BETTY, POPEYE killed him with his trusty club and saved BETTY’S life. Thus ends the story of POPEYE, BETTY Boop, and the Big Bad WOLF.
The Magic Word
This great adult icebreaker game can be played with many different variations. You can even have this game last throughout an entire party (or conference meeting).
- Hand a lei, cheap bead necklace, or some party favor to each of your guests when they first arrive.
- Give each of them a “magic” word they cannot say at any time during the party.
- Choose words that are commonly said in regular speech to keep people paying attention.
- Each person is to listen for their magic word and collect leis, necklaces, or favors from other guests who say them.
- They can also trick people into saying their magic word.
- The winner is the person who collects the most trophies.
If you wish, you can give a small surprise at the end of the game.
Put an adult twist on this well-known game.
- Divide the group into teams of up to five.
- Provide them with a list of items to find.
- Choose items that can be found in the immediate area, pockets, purses, or on-line. For example: a credit card, a digital photo of a bald man’s head, a pair of reading glasses, a baby picture, a recording of a toilet flushing, and the address of a donut shop in Miami, Florida.
- Tell participants to use the many types of technology that adults carry on a daily basis – cell phones, PDAs, laptops, etc. The team that finds the most items wins.
Belly Balloon Break
This adult icebreaker game is best played by pairing couples, or at least people who know each other well. The goal is to try to break a blown up balloon between two bellies. Have at least three blown up balloons for each pair. Have everyone stand or sit in a circle, with the blown up balloons in the middle. They are to begin when you say, “Go!” The pair who burst the most balloons wins. You can set a timer for a specific amount of time – five minutes works well – if you wish.
Adult Ice Breaker Games for Meetings
Yes, I Have Done That!
Make a list of 25 or more icebreaker questions for adults with lines after each for a signature and pass it out to everyone. You need to have at least one question for each person. Adults circulate, asking questions until they find someone who can answer, “Yes, I have done that!” That person signs their name on the line next to the question. Once they get at least one “yes” from each guest, they are allowed to obtain multiple “yes” responses from any guest. People may find they cannot find a new someone to answer “yes” to a particular statement. In that case, they must backtrack and remove the name of someone’s “yes” response to a particular statement in order to answer another statement “yes”. The first person to complete their list wins. You can use the list that follows or make one of your own.
- Have you ever been to Europe?
- Have you ever ridden on a motorcycle?
- Have you ever lived in another state?
- Have you ever met a celebrity?
- Have you ever been to Disney World?
- Have you ever planted a vegetable garden?
- Have you ever been a car salesperson?
- Have you ever planned a wedding?
- Have you ever ridden in a limousine?
- Have you ever driven a riding lawn mower?
- Have you ever participated in a marathon?
- Have you ever gone mountain climbing?
- Have you ever been to a chiropractor?
- Have you ever been a member of a sorority or fraternity?
- Have you ever participated in a beauty contest?
- Have you ever had a dog compete in a dog show?
- Have you ever been somewhere while an earthquake occurred?
- Have you ever been somewhere while a tornado took place?
- Have you ever been somewhere while a hurricane occurred?
- Have you ever been on a college sports team?
- Do you speak a second language?
- Have you ever played an instrument?
If I Could Have, I Would Have
Books and movies abound with stories of people seeking different paths in their lives, and almost everyone has wished at some point that they had done so. Ask each adult to state their name and what path they have been on – personally or professionally – and what path they would have taken if they could start over, if they knew then what they know today.
- Before the adults get together, write sentence starters on slips of paper.
- Have each person pull a slip from a bowl and write their name, read the sentence starter, and then complete it.
- They should also provide several additional sentences of information that coincides with their sentence starter.
- Read the completed slips when everyone has arrived to help everyone get to know each other.
Variation: Have the adults sit in a circle and pull one slip at a time from a bag, basket, or box. Read the sentence starter and have each person take turns completing them.
The following is a sample list of sentence starters:
- Although most people don’t find…
- I am…
- I have never…
- I love it when…
- I love to…
- I think I have the best…
- I would never…
- My idea of beauty is…
- The best thing I ever did for my child is…
- The best way for me to relax is…
- The best way to save…
- The biggest and best…
- The funniest thing that ever happened to me was…
- The greatest thing my child ever did was…
- The lowest…
- The most important decision I ever made in my life was…
- The most unbelievable thing…
- The thing that makes me laugh is…
- There is nothing I enjoy more than…
- When I think of prunes…
Everyone, including adults enjoy stacking cups! Have plenty of durable plastic cups on hand and a sturdy, flat tabletop completely empty. Every person that walks through the door must take one cup (or more if you do not have that many people coming) and stack them one on top of another. As more people arrive, the mountain and the difficulty of not knocking everyone else’s cups down intensifies. If they are all knocked down and many people are still arriving, you can start over.
Paper Balls can be played by the whole group, or you can divide the group into teams. Groups of from three to five adults work well. Pass out a sheet of newspaper to each person and tell them to roll it into a tight ball. Have the participants stand at the far end of a room with a basket of some kind on the other side of the room. The object of this adult icebreaker game is to roll the balls as close as possible to the basket. Those who do so score points.
Team Icebreaker Games
A good icebreaker game, this one can be as long or as short as you wish. Divide your group into teams of five to ten people. The goal of this game is for players to reorder themselves as quickly as possible. You can use your own category or one of the following:
- From shortest to tallest – how many letters are in your first name.
- From farthest away to closest – birthplace.
- From least to most – how many brothers and sisters you have.
- Shortest to tallest – height.
- Beginning to end of year – birthdates.
Once a team has arranged themselves, the leader of the group makes sure they have done so correctly. The first team to do so wins.
Protect the Egg
Protect the Egg is a great icebreaker game to promote team building and requires creative problem solving. This game works best with a large group of people.
- Divide the group into teams and give each team an egg. Have available a variety of materials each team can use to build a way to protect their egg when it is dropped.
- Place the materials where all teams can choose what they need. Straws, cotton balls, tape, glue, pop sickle sticks, and paper all work well. Additionally, this icebreaker game is fun to play outside with no materials provided. Players use whatever they can find outside to protect their egg.
- Set a specific amount of time for teams to design and make a contraption to protect their egg. Then, someone in each group stands on a chair and drops their team’s egg. The team whose egg does not break is the winner!
The name of this game comes from the two long lines of players resembling electric pulsing.
- Form two teams using whatever method you prefer. Have the two teams form lines facing each other.
- Instruct the teams to hold hands forming two long human chains.
- At the end of the two lines, place a chair with a small object on it – a tennis ball works well, but you can use any object you have on hand.
- A referee stands at the other end of the lines, facing the chair.
- Tell everyone in the lines to close their eyes and downward face.
- The referee then flips a coin and quietly shows it to the first players on each team.
- If the coin is heads, the two people at the front of the lines squeeze the hand of the next person in line as quickly as possible.
- Each person, whose hand is squeezed, squeezes the person’s hand next to him or her.
- The goal is to be the team with the “electric pulse” passing all away along the line first.
- The team that does so wins a point.
If the team makes a mistake and tails was actually the result of the toss, they lose a point. Set a total number of points as the goal for winning the game – ten points for a short game works well.
Getting-to-Know-You Icebreaker Games
Pick a Straw
Good for any size group, you can vary the questions used to cover a variety of topics, groups, and situations.
- Before the group arrives, count out straws or pop sickle sticks, one for each person. If you decide to use this game at the last minute, no problem. You can simply use post-it notes or small slips of paper.
- Place them in a cup, basket, or bag after marking 20% of them, i.e. two for every ten.
- Have each member of the group draw one and, if the one they draw is marked, they answer a question.
You can use any set of questions you wish, or choose one of our Icebreaker Questions. You can repeat this process as many times as you wish.
String a Story
An introduction and conversation icebreaker game, this game gets people to tell each other about themselves. You can make this game as short or as long as you wish and use it for any size group. For a large group, you can divide into teams. It also works for any age, from children to senior adults.
- You will need to get a big roll of yarn or string. Color or multi-color string is fun.
- Cut the string in various lengths from 12 to 30 or more inches.
- Bunch it all into one big clump.
- To play, ask a volunteer to pull a piece of string from the clump and slowly wind it around their index finger.
- While they do so, they must introduce themselves and then talk, either about themselves, or you can choose a topic if you wish, until the string is completely wound up.
- The fun part is that some people get a long string and must keep talking.
Whose Story Is It?
This icebreaker game lets you hear some fun, fascinating, and surprising stories.
- Pass out paper and pens and have everyone take a few minutes to write a personal experience, the stranger the better.
- Fold the papers and put them into a bag, basket, or box.
- Have three people at a time sit in front of the group. The leader randomly picks a slip of paper, and hands it to the three people.
- Each member of the trio reads the paper aloud and then adds some details to the story.
- The group guesses if the story really belongs to one of three and, if so, to which one.
This continues until all the slips of paper are used. At that point, each person tells his or her own story with additional details.
Simply Fun Icebreaker Games
Act and React
A funny icebreaker game, players use paper and pen to write down an event, or you can prepare papers ahead of time. Some examples you might include are:
- Winning the lottery
- Meeting a large, aggressive bear in the woods
- You just got fired from your job
- Your boyfriend just broke up with you
Put the papers in a bag, box, or basket. Have players randomly select a piece of paper and react to the experience using words, gestures, and facial expressions. Players try to guess what happened. Set a time limit for the players to act out their event. You can give a point for each correct guess. You can also vary the game by making players act out their event without talking. This icebreaker can work with any group size and any age.
This game is fun for any age.
- Begin by having all the players sit in a circle.
- Tell all of the players they have to remain as solemn and serious as they can throughout the game.
- Pick one player to start the game, saying “Ha” once.
- The player standing next to him says the word “Ha” twice.
- Following this pattern, the third player says “Ha” three times.
As the game progresses, eliminate any players who laugh or make noise when it is not their turn. The player who avoids laughing throughout the game wins.
Hodge Podge Word Game
One of the best icebreaker games for fun and to get a group relaxed and ready to work with each other, this icebreaker game takes no materials or preparation and is excellent for any size group.
- Have the group stand or sit in a circle.
- Choose a person to start the round or do so yourself.
- Slap a relatively slow rhythm – both legs on the first beat, clap hands on the second beat, thumbs-up on the left hand for the third beat, and thumbs down on the fourth beat.
- Everyone in the circle matches the rhythm and then the leader says with the rhythm, “Hodge podge, hodge podge, hodge podge, hodge podge,” and then the first world for a sentence.
- The second person is another word to build the sentence and so on around the circle, with one word for each beat. If a player wants to end a sentence or insert punctuation, they do so.
- When a sentence ends, the next player starts a new sentence. The goal is to create a story.
- If a player makes a mistakes, in unable to say a word with the beat, says something illogical or grammatically incorrect, they have to start the next round.
The stories are sometimes silly, but always fun.
Active Icebreaker Games
Picture Scavenger Hunt
An active icebreaker game and teambuilding activity, this game takes some preparation and lasts quite a long time. However, it is well worth it as it is fun for those 15 and up.
Make a list of 12 to 15 interesting places, things, and circumstances that players can capture in pictures wherever you are. For example, on a college campus, the following would work:
- A group photo with in the chemistry lab
- A very relaxing place
- Something big and purple
- A big tree
- A photo with a green car
- The funniest thing you can find
- Seven things with the letter “P”
Make copies for each team. Divide the group into teams of three or four people and give each group a digital camera. The goal of this game is to find everything on the list within a set amount of time. When teams get back together, award one point for each photo taken and bonus points for extra effort or creativity.
You may also be interested in Mall Scavenger Hunt Game
Icebreaker Games for Groups
Before beginning this icebreaker game, gather items whose names only have one syllable. You need as many items as you have people. Some good items are fork, spoon, pen, shoe, etc.
Have the group form a circle. Choose one person as the leader. The leader chooses one of the objects – let us say a fork – and hands it to the person to their right saying, “This is a fork.”
The conversation continues moving from person to person as follows:
Person #2 – “A what?”
Leader – “A fork.”
Person #2 – “Oh, a fork!”
Then Person #2 passes the fork to person #3 and the same conversation occurs again. Meanwhile, the leader takes another object and begins passing it, saying the same thing, for example “This is a pen.”
The leader continues to take new objects and pass them and the objects make their way around the circle with the same conversation repeated by all players as they pass and take an object. If a player messes up, they are out of the game. You may wish to pass the items around the circle more than once.
Camping Trip takes concentration and a good memory. Have your group form a circle. Choose a pattern the words used in the game must follow. Some suggested patterns are:
- Things that start with a certain letter of the alphabet such as the letter D (diamond, dog, drink, etc.)
- Things that end with a certain letter of the alphabet
- Words with two vowels or consonants together (wheel, pizza, book, etc.)
- Words with a certain letter or sound at the of the word such as the letter K (rake, book, coke, etc.)
- Items consisting of two words (hot dogs, baking dish, waffle iron etc.)
- Items of the same color
- Items with the same number of letters
- Items that begin with the last letter of the last item mentioned
Choose a person to begin the game. They say, “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m going to bring ______.” The player picks anything they would like to bring on the trip that follows the chosen pattern. For example, if he pattern is “things which begin with the letter C,” they might say “cookies.”
You will need a pattern for the players to follow, but only have one player know the pattern before you start. This will make the items they suggest on bringing that much harder to think of.
Let us assume that the pattern is things that begin with the letter ‘S’ so the player says “socks”. Players who have figured out the pattern will say things that begin with “S.” All the players who know the pattern will say, “Okay, you can bring that on the camping trip”. However, a player who does not get the pattern might say, “Apples.” At that point, the players who know the pattern say, “No, you can’t bring apples.” Play continues around the circle until all players have figured out the pattern. If a player thinks they know they pattern, they begin their turn by whispering to the leader what they think the pattern is. The leader will say yes or no. Sometimes players think they know the pattern, but they simply guess something that happens to fit.
Make your pattern choice according to the age and composition of the group. Some are more complicated than others are. You can also use more than one pattern at a time.
Good icebreaker games provide fun and help people feel relaxed if they are with people they do not know well. The icebreaker games in our list do not need to be limited to a specific length of time. You can play the same game for more than one round. You can also use variations to meet specific needs. Try all of ours; you will find that your favorite icebreaker game is whichever one works best for you.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.