If you’ve ever been in a room full of strangers, I’m guessing you probably wished you had an easy way to get to know them better that didn’t leave you feeling completely awkward. Well, you’re not alone. There are tons of people out there who feel the same way to do when in a larger group of strangers and that’s why there are so many different type of icebreaker games for adults.
Icebreaker games are used as a means to diffuse the awkward tension in a room from not knowing one another and to bring people closer together so they can begin getting to know each other better. If you don’t know what type of icebreaker games there are to play, we’re here to help! Here are some of the best icebreaker games for adults.
When to Play and Ice Breaker Game
The very best time to play an icebreaker game is at the very beginning of a group meeting/get together. You don’t want people to sit around nervous and unfamiliar with their surroundings until the very end, right? By doing a short introduction and then introducing the icebreaker game, you’re allowing people to relax more because they know that they’ll shortly be introduced to everyone and they’ll be able to get to know them more.
Icebreaker Games for Adults
Whoever said icebreaker games were only for kids is completely wrong. They’re just as fun for adults to play and they actually help make work meetings or large events much more enjoyable. These are some of the most fun icebreaker games for adults to play that’ll leave everyone feeling happier having gotten to know their peers better.
- Camping Trip
This game is a really fun way to get the group interacting with one another when they normally would be standing far away from each other! All you have to do for this game is to stand in a circle. Now, the leader gets to choose a pattern that everyone else has to follow for the whole game. Some example patterns would be: words that start with the letter a, words that end with a certain letter, fruits only, desserts only, things you would find in a bathroom, etc. Now, the first person, who is also the leader, starts by saying “I would bring ______ on a camping trip.” The next person has to guess what the pattern is and say the same thing. If they figured out the pattern, the leader would then say, “Yes, you can bring that,” or, “No, you can’t bring that.” Keep going until the entire group knows the pattern. This is a fun way to get everyone thinking on the same page!
- A What?
This game is a fun and interesting one that will have everyone laughing by the end! First, you have to collect items around the room that have one syllable. Things like a fork, a spoon, a pen, a shoe, and such will work perfectly for this icebreaker game. From there, you all stand in a circle and one person starts the game by passing an object to the person next to them and saying, “This is a fork.” The other person replies with, “A what?” and then the first person repeats, “A fork,” then the receiver says, “Oh! A fork!” and proceeds to repeat the same thing to the person next to them. As this keeps going on, the first person keeps adding new items that are to be passed around. When someone makes an error and says the wrong item, they’re out of the game! This is such a fun way to get closer to others and to feel better about opening up with them.
- Picture Scavenger Hunt
If you want a game that takes a long time and brings people so much closer together, this is the game for you. Although it does take some preparation time and careful planning, this game is worth it because it’s so much more than just an icebreaker. I’m sure you all know what a scavenger hunt is. Basically, you put a list together of 12-15 things that would be a little tricky, but could still be found by groups of people. You have to make sure these items can be found no matter where you are. For example, if you’re on a college campus you could put the following items on your list: something large and red, a blue car, the biggest clock on campus, 10 things with the letter R, etc. Now all you have to do is split everyone into groups and send them off to take pictures with all the items on the list. The group who finishes the fasts and with the most pictures that follow the rules are the winners!
- Hodge Podge Word Game
If you want a game that takes no preparation at all and is great for any size group, this is the one for you. This game is great for creating a comfortable atmosphere and even instilling some creativity in the group, as well. All you need for this game is a bunch of people and a large room. Sit everyone down in a circle first and then have someone start. All they have to do start is create a rhythm for the group to follow. This can be down by clapping their hands together, then slapping them on their knees, etc. The point is to create a unique rhythm with your hands that the rest of the group has to follow. Then you begin by saying, “Hodge podge, hodge podge, _________.” This word will be the first in a new sentence. Then the next person repeats the same thing and fills in their own word after yours to create a sentence. It continues this way throughout the game until you create complete stories! If someone messes up the rhythm or forgets a word, they’re out! Continue until there’s only one left.
- How Much Do You Use?
This is definitely a game to play if you want to laugh and get the group in a pleasant mood. For this, all you need is a roll of toilet paper and a willing and able group of people who want to get to know each other better. Sit in a circle and pass the roll around. Everyone takes as much toilet paper as they would use in the bathroom. However, don’t tell people what the toilet paper means until after everyone has taken it. After everyone has collected their amount, each person has to count the number of squares they tore off. For each square, they have to tell one thing about themselves to the entire group. This is perfect if you have a very new group of people who don’t know anything about each other! Not only that, but it’s also really funny to see how everyone reacts with how much toilet paper they grab!
- Crazy Questions
Playing this game will be really fun and entertaining for everyone. It’s definitely meant as a means to loosen up the group and make them not as uptight and tense with each other. This will allow everyone to speak more freely and allow for easier bonding between those who don’t know each other well. All you have to do is get two sets of index cards. With one deck, you’ll write a bunch of outrageous and funny questions. With the other deck, you’ll write just as crazy and funny answers that aren’t directly related to the questions (examples below). All you do for this is have one person grab a question card and read it aloud and then have another person grab an answer card and read it aloud. The goal of this is for the answers to be hilarious in relation to the questions and to get the whole group laughing together.
Do you want to win a million dollars?
Do you go out to restaurant’s much?
Have you ever wore a wig?
Do you like to dance?
Do you like children?
It’s my life’s work.
One time during a weak moment.
I plead the 5th.
I don’t talk about it out loud.
Eh, things happen.
- Betty Boop
This game is not only really fun, but it’s perfect for getting the group up and moving together. Keep in mind that this game can be pretty loud so you might want to make sure to steer clear of any areas that require it to be quiet. This team building exercise will connect a group more so than if they were just put together and sent on their way. To play, you have to split the group into smaller groups. There will be one group for Betty, one for Popeye, and one for the wolf. Now have one person get up and read the story (below). Every time the name “Betty” is mentioned, that group will stand up and say, “Boop Boop De Doo,” with hip action and everything. When the name “Popeye” is mentioned, that group has to stand and say, “Well blow me down,” just as Popeye would. When the “wolf” is mentioned, that group has to stand and make a wolf howling noise. The point of this game is to get everyone out of their shell and participating together. Don’t forget to take pauses during the story that allow for these actions!
“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.”
- Magic Word
If you want a fun game that’s not as big of a deal but still gets the group talking to one another, this is the one to play. This game can be played during an entire meeting or event and is sure to keep people on their toes and ready to interact with one another. All you have to do for this game is give each guest a small party favor. This can be a necklace, a few clothespins, or even a lei, just something that they can easily hand over to someone else. Then you also give them a word they’re not allowed to say. The best way to make sure everyone else knows this word is to write it on a nametag and stick it on them. Choose words that are fairly common in everyday speech so they’ll be sure to pay attention. Now, whenever someone hears a person saying the word they’re not supposed to, they get to take that person’s party favor. The person with the most part favors at the end of the meeting or event wins a prize! This game is designed to get people talking and paying closer attention to what another person is saying.
- Scavenger Hunt
I’m sure you all know what a scavenger hunt is by now. It’s a really fun way to get a group of complete strangers to work together and become closer. The whole point of a scavenger hunt is to work with one another to find objects faster than the other teams and win! Of course, everyone loves to win these types of games and that’s exactly why it’s perfect for getting a group to work together. This also helps people get to know one another better by opening them up to each other. For this icebreaker game, you’ll need some preparation and to compile a list of objects that the groups can find. Make sure to be realistic when making the list so the groups can actually find the items. Then split them up and set them free to look! This shouldn’t take too long, but it should take a decent amount of time so it allows the individuals time to get to know each other and work together.
- Belly Balloon Break
Here’s a game that will surely bring people closer together and diffuse that awkward tension from not knowing each other. This is a really simple game you can play that really only requires a group and some balloons. Blow up the balloons until they’re really big and will pop pretty easily. Now you have to pair people up so it’s 2 people with one balloon between them. Next, they have to try and pop the balloon between the two of them without using their hands as a means to pop it! Basically, they have to push their bodies up against each other and squeeze the balloon in the middle. This obviously makes for many laughs and a really good time. They’ll also feel much closer and will be able to open up to each other much more easily with this icebreaker!
- Yes, I’ve Done That!
If you really want to have a group of people who know each other well and can find common ground, this is the icebreaker for your group. It’s a rather simple game to play that can connect people in ways they wouldn’t have known about before. For this game you need to make a list of questions – one question for each person in the group. Everyone writes down one thing they’ve done or that relates to them and you base the questions off of this (see question examples below). Then, you send the group off to mingle with each other. They have to find one person to fill in each answer with a “yes” and write their names down as having done that. They can’t use the same person for more than one question. This way, they’ll have to talk to every single person in the room in order to complete their list. Whoever finishes first, wins!
Do you have a dog?
Have you been to Europe?
Have you traveled outside of the country?
Have you met a celebrity before?
Have you been horseback riding?
Were you in a Frat/Sorority in college?
Have you ever been to Disney World?
Are you afraid of heights?
Do you speak any other languages?
Do you play an instrument?
- Sentence Starter
With this icebreaker, you’ll delve deeper into who people really are and the paths they have taken in life. Everybody has certain things in their lives that you may never know about unless they’re prompted to share the information with you. These things can take two complete strangers and bring them together in a common interest or experience. This game is a really fun way to get people to open up to one another and share certain aspects of their lives. For this game, start by having everyone sit in a circle together. Then fill a bowl or hat with strips of paper that have the beginnings of a sentence. Each person has to take a slip of paper and read the sentence starter out loud and then finish it with something that’s relevant to their life.
Sentence Starter Examples
Not many people know I like to…
Most people don’t like…
I’ve always been grateful for…
If I could’ve, I would’ve…
The best way I can relax is…
The worst moment…
The most important choice I made was…
The funniest thing to me is…
There’s nothing I hate more…
The best way to save…
- If I Could’ve, I Would’ve
This game is really simple and short but also very effective. All you have to do is go around in a circle and have each person state something they would do if they could go back and change it. Everybody has some point in their lives that they wish they could go back and redo. Maybe they made the mistake of dating someone horrible for them or not going on that exotic trip with friends. Find out what the group would redo if they had the chance. This will bring people closer together and maybe even shed some light on their uniqueness. It’s a perfect way to get them talking and interacting with each other in a fun way.
- Cup Stacks
If you haven’t heard of this game at all, then you’re definitely missing out. This game is one that can be enjoyed at any age – even adults have a really great time playing it! Not only is it fun, but it’s also a really great way to bring people together and break the ice when nobody really knows each other very well. In order to play this game, you’ll need sturdy and reliable plastic cups and a solid, flat surface. To play, everyone who enters the room has to grab a cup (or more if it isn’t a large group) and they have to begin by adding on to a small stack already. Each person had to adjust their cup to ensure the tower can continue to grow. If someone knocks the entire stack over, you must start over until you have a big tower made with everyone’s cups. This is a team building exercise that also requires everyone to work together no matter how well they know each other.
- Paper Balls
If you love destructive games that bring the child out of everyone, this is the game for you to use as an icebreaker. If you’ve never played this before, it’s actually quite simple. You have each person who enters the room grab a piece of paper and roll it into the best rolling ball they can create out of one piece of paper. Then you place a basket across the room and tip it on its side so the top of it is facing the group. Each person rolls their ball as close as they can to the basket – trying to actually get it inside it! Whoever rolls theirs the closest gets to pick out a question for the rest of the group to answer. Then that person is out of the ball rolling part of the game, but still has to answer the questions with the rest of the group in the next rounds. Repeat until everyone has made it! This game is aimed at revealing information about each other in the group setting and getting to know each other better while having fun!
This game is a really fun way to get competitive and get to know one another better. It doesn’t matter if nobody knows one another at all! All you have to do is separate everyone into groups of 5 or more (but not more than 10) so you have enough to complete the tasks. Then you will give all of them a task to complete within the group. Whoever completes them the fastest is the winning group and they get 5 points. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the entire game is the winner.
Arrange themselves from shortest to tallest.
Arrange themselves from who has the most siblings to who has the least.
Arrange themselves from whoever was born closest to whoever was born the furthest away.
Arrange themselves in order of how many letters are in your first name.
Arrange themselves by the first birthday of the year to the last (starting in January).
- Protect the Egg
If you want a game that promotes team building, is fun, and requires everyone to think creatively, then this game is the one to use for your group. First, divide the group into smaller groups of 3. Then, give each of them an egg to hold onto. Now, you have to have them work together to create a way to protect the egg when it is dropped from a high distance. You will have an entire area designated for all the materials they could use in order to build this; glue, paper, cotton balls, etc. Set a timer and don’t give the groups any more time to build their device. To make it fair, everyone has an equal amount of time to plan and construct the device. When the time is up and everyone as completed making their device to protect the egg, you will stand on a chair with the device and the egg inside, and drop it from as high as you can. Whoever has a full egg that’s not cracked at the end is the winner!
- Electric Pulse
This may be a new game to many of you, but it’s still just as fun as any others. The name of this game comes from the idea that it’ll feel like an “electric pulse” running through everyone during the game. To play this game, you’ll need two long lines of people facing each other. Everybody holds hands with one another in order to play. Everyone except the first two people of each line has to close their eyes and put their head down so they’re facing the ground. Then you, the moderator/leader, flips a coin and shows it to the first two people of each line at the same time. If they see heads, they have to squeeze the hand of the player next to them. Then, that person squeezes the hand of the next person and so on. Whichever team reaches the end of the line with squeezing everyone’s hand wins! You can repeat this however many times you want and whoever won the most times is the winning team. However, keep in mind that if the players squeeze hands accidentally when a tails was flipped, they get points deducted.
- Pick a Straw
Icebreakers are all about getting to know one another so you feel more comfortable around them. In order to do that for this game, all you need is straws or Popsicle sticks, and a sheet of questions. Mark 20% of the straws with a marker (2 straws for every 10 people) before placing all of them in a hat, cup, or another concealed container. First, establish which question will be answered before everyone draws. Then have each person reach into the container and draw one. Every person who received a straw that was marked has to answer the question. You can repeat this game as much as you want until all the questions have been answered! This is a perfect way to get the conversation going and make connections between people.
- String a Story
In order for people to get to know one another, they actually have to talk, right? Well, this game was designed specifically for that purpose. First, you have to prepare the string by cutting 10-40 inch strands. Then, you’ll just bunch them up into one little clump. Each person has to grab a clump when they first arrive there and can’t un-bunch it until it’s their turn. Then, each person has to un-bunch their string and wind it around their finger when it’s their turn. The trick part of this is that the entire time it’s their turn until their string is all winded, then have to talk about themselves. This way, people get to know one another without having to think of questions to ask them.
- Whose Story is it?
If you want a really fun game that takes some creativity, this is the one. Firstly, have each person in the group write a personal story on a piece of paper. This has to be something that actually happened to them. Now have everyone put their stories in a bucket 3 at a time. These three people will be in a guessing group together. Have each of the three people sit in front of the rest of the group and grab a story out of a hat or bowl so they don’t know whose is whose. Now, each of the three people have to read the story aloud and add “details” to the story that aren’t written. They have to do this in an attempt to convince everyone that it’s their story. Then the group has to guess if it really is their story or if it’s someone else’s and they’re just making it up. At the end of this game, everyone has to share their real story and additional details about it.
- Act and React
It’s always funny having people act something out and then guessing what it is. This is an extremely great way to bring people closer together and allow for everyone to break out of their shells. To prepare for this, you will write certain events down on a piece of paper (see below). Then everyone goes around in a circle and draws a piece of paper from a hat or bowl without showing anyone else. Next, they have to act out what their reaction would be to the event that is written on the piece of paper. Whoever is able to guess the most and whoever is able to have theirs guessed the most are the winners!
Winning the lottery.
Having a baby.
Significant other just broke up with you.
Getting fired from your job.
You just saw a bear in the distance.
Icebreakers are crucial in team building and having a work/event run smoothly. If you’re ever in the need to bring people closer together, these icebreaker games for adults are the way to go.