Whether you are throwing a party, working a summer camp, organizing team-building exercises, or you love games, having a set of get-to-know-you games on hand is always helpful. Icebreaker games are great for getting people to relax, have fun, and get to know each other a little bit better.
What are the best get to know you games and icebreakers? The top four get to know you games are:
- Name and Action
- 2 Truths and a Lie
- Have You Ever?
- The Quote Game
Research has shown that using some icebreaker at the start of your event can promote better communication, increased trust, and improved morale in your organization.
The Best Get to Know You Games & Icebreakers
If you want more information about the various benefits of icebreakers and how to incorporate them into your event easily, check out this website. Icebreakers can take the form of a series of questions, a physical activity, a brainstorming session, or anything else you can think of. One of the most fun and exciting icebreaker forms are get-to-know-you games.
The following games were selected for this list because they encourage a high level of interaction while being easy to set up and teach to new individuals.
1) Name and Action
This game is excellent for helping participants learn each other’s names and get a little more comfortable with each other. This game also involves a low physical activity, so it can be helpful to loosen up nerves. It also helps promote creativity and memory skills.
This game can be played with any number of participants and requires no prior preparation. It is a good option if you are looking for a quicker game because it does not require a lot of explanation to play. This game is perfect for children, but it can also be fun to play with older kids and adults.
How to Play
- Have all the players form a large circle. They should all be facing the inside of the circle so they can see each other. If you have many participants, go ahead and have them divide into two circles.
- To begin, one of the players in the circle should state their name while performing a quick action that starts with the same letter as their name. For example: Jumping Jessica.
- The player to the left of the first player goes next. The second player repeats the name and action performed by the first player and then states their name while performing a different action that starts with the first letter of their name.
For example: The second player would say “jumping Jessica” while jumping and then add “saluting Sam” while saluting.
- The next player to the left of the second would then repeat the name and action of the first player and the name and action of the second player before adding their name and action to the pattern.
- Continue going around the circle, having players repeat all the previous names and actions before adding their name and action.
- When the circle makes its way back to the first player, the first player then repeats the names and actions of every player in the circle.
2) Two Truths and a Lie
This game is a fun icebreaker for promoting creativity and building logic skills. It also helps players find out interesting facts about each other and can often start up further conversations building off each other’s answers. It is another option that requires little prior preparation.
How to Play
- Hand out a piece of paper and a pencil to each player.
- Have each player think of two facts about themselves and make up one lie about themselves and write it on the slip of paper.
- Once every player has written their two facts and their lie on the paper, have the players split up into small groups.
- In their small groups, the players should take turns reading out what they have written and having the other members of the group guess which of the three statements is the lie. The group only gets one guess to determine the correct answer. After they guess, the player whose turn it is will tell the group whether they were correct or not.
- Step number four should be repeated until every player in the group has had a turn to read out their statements and have the other’s guess, which is the lie.
- Optional: If you want to encourage a little more interaction, you can have the small groups split up again and then have each player share with the entire class or event the most interesting fact they discovered about their teammates.
3) Have You Ever?
This game is very quick to play and easy to explain. This game is excellent for getting participants into the right mindset for your event because it can be catered to fit a specific theme. This game is perfect for getting shy or hesitant participants involved as it does not require a lot of activity on their parts and prevents them from feeling left out or pressured. It is an awesome option for teenagers or young adults.
How to Play
- Before the event, prepare a list of questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
- For example: Have you ever been to a football game?
- Have you ever seen a shooting star?
- Do you speak more than one language?
These questions should not be offensive or intimidating in any way.
- At the start of the game, all players should be sitting down.
- The host should read out one question at a time.
- If a player’s answer to the question is yes, they should stand up. If their answer is no, they should remain seated.
- The game can go on for as long as you like or until you run out of questions.
4) The Quote Game
This game can help players get to know each other (and themselves) on a deeper, more meaningful level. This game also promotes communication skills and can help get players into a focused and thoughtful mindset. This game is a great option for business professionals or college students.
How to Play
- Before the event, prepare two quotes for each player participating. Write these quotes on small slips of paper and place them in a box, a hat, a bag, or some other container. These quotes can be chosen to fit a specific theme for your event, or they can be a random selection. It works best if they are only a sentence or two long.
- Have all the players partner up and then have each team draw a slip of paper at random.
- After drawing a quote, the partners should sit down together and discuss the quote with each other. They should discuss how the quote makes them feel if it is meaningful to them and how it is meaningful.
- Allow the partners to discuss their quotes for two to three minutes and then have them switch partners.
- Once with their new partners, the players can either discuss their old quotes, or they can draw a new quote and discuss the new quote. Allow these partners to discuss for two to three minutes and then have the players switch partners again.
- Continue the process for as long as you like. Fifteen minutes is a good time that will allow for 5-6 rounds.
There are a lot of icebreaker games that you can use to improve your event. You can even create your own if you are feeling inspired. For more ideas for great icebreaker games or team-building activities check out Brian Cole Miller’s Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers and Edie West’s The Big Book of Icebreakers.
If you work with kids or do a lot of theatre work, another excellent source for icebreaker games is Denver Casado’s Drama Games for Kids.