Yes and No Communication Icebreaker Game

by Carol
(Cedar Park, Texas)

This communication icebreaker game challenges our language skills by making you think hard about what you say and break out of ingrained replies to questions.


Set a timer for one minute. Have a list of questions prepared ahead of time that usually require a yes or no answer.

The rules are that the person who verbally answers the questions can't say "yes" or "no", nor any variations of those words (such a "yep", "nope" or "uhuh"). They can't repeat their answers either, and they can't use foreign language word variations for "yes" and "no".

Start the clock, and start bombarding the person with questions, such as "Are you married?", "Do you have any children/brothers and sisters?", "Did you see the latest Batman movie?", etc.

Now, the fun begins as you watch the person struggle as they try to answer questions without saying "yes" and "no". Those words are used a lot in our conversations, and not using them becomes a very difficult and challenging task.

This ice breaker game is great fun and can be made a bit more competitive by for example counting how many yes/no answers are given by mistake in the one minute time-frame. Alternatively you could simply time how long each person goes until they make a mistake (but from experience people are much much worse at this game than they think, even when they've watched a few people do it).
This is simple, requires no special tools or complicated planning, and is so easy to play for any age group or any type of group.

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