Ice breaker games for large groups

Good ice breaker games get meetings, training and team building off on the right foot. This is the second ice breaker article – these activities are designed for large groups.

The first part of the article is 5 icebreaker games for small groups which can be adapted to suit by splitting your large group into smaller groups and running the activity concurrently.

Maybe take a few minutes to read the article on how to choose good ice breaker games, or just dive straight in and select from the following tried and tested ice breaker games.

Ice breaker Game 6 – Ha ha ha!

An informal ice breaker for groups of 7 or so. Do not play with people with sense of humour by-passes.

Have each person lay in a line on the floor side by side, like sardines in a tin. Each person must lay their left hand lightly on the stomach of the person on their left. (Assuming all their heads are on the same side!)

Person 1 says “HA”. Person 2 says “HA HA”. Person 3 says “HA HA HA” and so on up the line. Any gigglers must be taken out the line and people left shuffle along to fill the whole. Start the game again with Person 1 and keep going until everyone has giggled and no-one is left.

In the unlikely event that you get to the end of the line without any gigglers, send the HA’s back to Person 1, but carry on the count of HA’s – “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA….” I guarantee it won’t be long until the concentration lapses and giggling ensues.

Ice breaker Game 7 – Catch!

Ideal for groups who need to learn names quickly. Not ideal for groups of complete strangers as it relies on knowing at least one or two of the group’s names!

Get your group to form a circle. The purpose of the game is to learn names by throwing the ball. Each person must throw the ball 3 times.

Start the game by throwing the ball to someone you know – say their name as you throw the ball. This person throws the ball to someone else and says their name. And so on, until each person has thrown the ball 3 times.

If some poor soul is left out, take the lead and throw the ball to them asking their name.

Ice breaker Game 8 – Secret Lives

An ideal ice breaker game for groups who work together remotely or who need to build relationships quickly.

When sending out invites to the meeting, ask each person to send back a secret fact about them. You’ll find all sorts of hidden talents, escapades or achievements – one hit popstars, matchstick collectors or maybe a kissogram!

Prepare a document with all the secrets written out, and a blank next to each for the owner. Make sure you print out enough sheets.

At the meeting hand out the secrets sheets, and ask the group to mingle and figure out which secret belongs to whom. If the group is mixing well, be flexible about the timing and maybe let the exercise go on slightly longer.

Take the completed sheets back and mark them quickly. As you are doing this, ask each person to confess their secret to the group. Announce the “winner” and maybe give a small prize.

Ice breaker Game 9 – Human Knots

An ideal game for when you want a quick energy boost.

Get your group to make a circle, and face center. Have group shuffle up close, shoulder to shoulder and close their eyes. When all ready, ask them to carefully reach out and clasp hands, any hands, with people in the circle.

As facilitator, open your eyes and check that each hand is joined to only one other hand, and that there is a healthy amount of intermingling.

When you’re satisfied they’re ready, ask the group to open their eyes and start un-tangling the knot without letting go hands.

Eventually the group will untangle into a perfect circle, maybe with a breakaway smaller circle. Get everyone to clap and congratulate themselves for a job well done.

Caution – this is a physical activity so ensure that people are suitably dressed, physically able and willing to take part.

Ice breaker Game 10 – Quick Fire Improvisation

This ice breaker game is best for 10 or so people.

Bring 5 random items to the meeting and place them in the centre of the group. Each person is encouraged to come up with an alternative use for the item, or to come up with a phrase associated with the item.

Item ideas; toy dog, cardboard box, chair, wooden spoon, picture, scarf or anything else around the home or office.

Creative uses; flip toy dog over and say “dog tired”, hide the dog and say “dog-gone”, use cardboard box as handbag, you get the idea…

Have a few prepared to start the game off.

See also How to choose meeting ice breakers