Large Group Games & Icebreakers

Balloon Tag
Group Size: 10+
Supplies: balloons, string or yarn
Overview of the game: Gather in a large open space. Each Person will receive a balloon that must be blown up and tied to their ankle.  The object of the game is to try and pop other people’s balloons while keeping your balloon intact.  Last person with their balloon wins.
 

Birdie on a Perch
Group size: 20+
Supplies: CD player or IPod, speakers
Overview of the Game:  Gather everyone and have each person partner up with another person.  Once everyone has a partner*, the group will create two circles.  One of the circles will be on the outside while the other will be situated on the inside. One partner will be in the inside circle and will be the perch while the other will be on the outside and will be the birdie.  To begin the game, start the music.  While the music is playing, the outside circle will move clockwise while the inside circle will move counter clockwise.  At a random point, stop the music and yell birdie on a perch.  The partners must find one another and when they do, the “perch” will get on a knee while the “birdie” sits on the other knee.  The last set of partners to complete the action will be out.  The game should be played until there is only one set of partners left.  

*To avoid any inappropriate conduct, try and have partners team up with someone of the same sex.

 

Capture the Flag
Group size: 15+
Supplies: cones to mark boundaries, flags
Overview of the game: Divide into 2 teams and place teams on two sides of a large field or area.  Create a center line using cones.  Each team will receive a flag to place in visible sight of the other team.  When the game begins, each team must attempt to successfully capture the other flag and return it to their side.  If you are tagged while on the other side, you are place in the other team’s jail where you can only leave if tagged by someone on your own team.  The first team to successfully bring the flag to their one side wins.
 

Cheese Ball Toss
Group size: 10+
Supplies: Cheese balls, shaving cream or whipped cream, trash bags
Overview of the Game: Divide the Groups into as many teams as you can. Try to have at least 4 or 5 people on a team but probably no more than 8 or 9.  Designate one person (preferably an adult core member) to cover their face in shaving cream. The same person should take a trash bag (with a hole cut into the top) and place it over them to act as a covering.  Each team will form a single file line with the first person standing about 10 feet or so from the person with the shaving cream.  When the game starts, each person in line will get a chance to throw a cheese ball at the person with the shaving cream.  Each person may only throw one at a time then move to the back of the line.  The team that sticks the most cheese balls to the person’s face in 2 minutes wins.

 

Dodgeball
Group Size: 10+
Supplies: soft balls, cones or something to mark off a boundary
Overview of the Game: Divide everyone into 2 teams.  Mark off a large rectangular perimeter and divide it into 2 sides by placing a line across the middle. Have each team line up along the end line of their respective side.  Place all of the balls along the middle line.  When the game begins, the teams can run to the middle and grab a ball (one per person). The must then come all the way back to the end line before throwing any balls.  Once they have done this, players may throw balls at the other team.  If a person is hit, they are out.  If a person is hit in the head, they may remain in.  If someone catches a ball, one of their team members may return to the game and the person who threw it is out.  First team to lose all players loses the game.
 

Extreme Rock Paper Scissors
Group size: 20+
Supplies: None!
Overview of the Game: Gather everyone in a large open space.  When the game starts, each person will go up to someone, introduce their self and play rock, paper, scissors. Whoever wins forms a line behind the other.  The person who wins will then find a new person to play against. Eventually there will be two massive lines that face off at the end to determine the winner.
 

Human Battle Ship
Group Size: 15+
Supplies: dodgeballs or soft objects that can be thrown, blindfolds (if no blindfolds, participants can close their eyes)
Overview of the Game: Gather everyone Divide everyone into groups of 5-10 with at least 3 groups.  Have each group line up in a single file line.  Each person in line will be blindfolded exception of the last person in the line.  Spread out dodgeballs (or equivalent soft objects).  When the game begins, each team must go around and try to find a ball.  Only the person at the end of the line who is not blindfolded may talk.  This person will direct the group.  Upon reaching a ball on the ground, only the person at the front may pick it up.  It is then up to the person in the back to direct the group in position to throw their ball at another group.  If a person is hit, they are out.  If the person at the end of the line is hit, the whole group is out (the ship is sunk).  Las team in wins.

 

Medic Dodgeball
Group size: 10+
Supplies: soft balls, cones
Overview of the game:  The game is the same as normal dodgeball.  The only difference is that one person on each team is designated as the medic.  This must be visually shown in some way.  When a person is hit or has their ball caught, they must lie on the ground.  If the medic touches them, they can resume playing.  However, if the medic is hit or has a ball caught, they are out for the game.
 

Prayer Clumps
Group Size: 15+
Supplies: None
Overview of the Game: Gather everyone into a large space.  The leader will yell out random commands.  As each command is yelled, participants must do as the commands say.  Commands will consist of a prayer position and a number of people that will be in that position.  Here are some examples:

  • Everyone lie prostrate
  • 2 people meditating
  • 3 people kneeling
  • 4 people praying the Our Father
  • 5 people praising

    The last person or group of people to do the command or a person who cannot find a group will be eliminated.  The leader will continue to call out command until there are 2 people remaining and those people will be the winners.

Pull Up
Group Size: 20+
Supplies: CD player or IPod, speakers
Overview of the Game:  Gather everyone into a large circle and have them sit down on the floor.  Select an odd number of guys and girls to stand in the middle of the circle. The number will depend on the size of the group.  Here are some suggestions:

  • 20-30: 3 girls, 2 guys or 3 guys, 2 girls
  • 31-45: 4 girls, 3 guys or 4 guys, 3 girls
  • 46-70: 5 girls, 4 guys or 5 guys, 4 girls
  • 70+: 6 girls, 5 guys or 6 guys, 5 girls

To start the game have someone start the music.  While the music is playing, each person in the middle of the circle must select a person of the opposite gender who is sitting down.  They go up to that person, reach out their hand, pull them up and sit in their place.  The person who has been pulled up is now in the middle of the circle and must find a person of the opposite gender (They must choose someone who is at least 5 spaces away from them).  When the music stops, everyone must freeze.  The gender that has the least amount of people in the middle gets a point.  Play for as many rounds as time permits.  The gender with the most points at the end wins.

 To get more creative, have the people in the center do different things for each round.  For example:

  • Round 1: normal, walking or running
  • Round 2: act like a ballerina
  • Round 3: act like a ninja
  • Round 4: do the robot
  • Round 5: crab-walk
  • Round 6: bear-crawl
  • Round 7: do the worm
     

Random Shapes
Group Size: 20+
Supplies: None!
Overview of the Game: Divide the groups into teams of 4-10.  Yell out a random person, place, or object.  Each team will then have 30 seconds to sketch out on the floor the thing using their bodies.  Have core members judging to determine which group was the closest.  The group that did the best gets a point. The team with the most points at the end, wins.

 

Telephone
Group Size: 20+
Supplies: None
Overview of the Game: Divide into teams of at least 10 (the more people the better).  Have each team form a single file line. The first person in line will receive a sentence or phrase.  They will then whisper the phrase in the ear of the person next to them and so on as the message is relayed down the line.  The last person in each line will then say what they heard.  The team closest to the original message wins.  The phrases should be ones that would be hard to relay well.  Here are some examples:

  • Johnny Jackson jumped joyfully when Peter the puppy playfully landed on the plateau.
  • All aliens ate apples and anchovies at Applebee’s every autumn afternoon.
  • Where was Wallace when the weather went west weekly and the rain rushed rudely and rambunctiously?
  • Sally Swanson sipped cider while steadily stomping through the store.
  • The red dolphins of Bangladesh love to swim sideways in the summertime while sipping sour samples of Sprite.
  • Calvin the seagull ate 159 sun-dried tomatoes on the first night of the week during a baseball game.