The Source for Youth Ministry

Games & Icebreakers

Something fun to get everyone mingling

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Back to Top $1000 Bill Exchange
For this game you need to make your own money on your computer (be sure it's clearly phony or it might be a federal offense). Give each person 10 of the bills. They are to try to win as many as possible from their peers by challenging them one on one doing one of three things:

Thumb wrestling
Rock, paper, scissors
Flipping a coin

    You must accept any challenge
    Sudden death, no two out of three
    Challenger has to have a coin and is "heads" on the coin toss.
*If you are unable or don't want to make play money, see Penny Challenge (Click Here); it's similar but uses a bunch of pennies.

Also see Top Dollar (Click Here).
Back to Top Alphabet Getting to Know You
As people enter the room, give everyone a pre-typed sheet of paper with each letter of the alphabet (x-optional) on the vertical left side.


Everyone attempts to find out something about others that starts with one of the letters.

Jamal broke his arm in 6th grade.
Alana plays basketball.
Nissa’s favorite candy is Snickers.
Evan’s dad is a dentist.

Put the person’s name and info on a line. Cannot use the same person for more than four times. Set a 5-7 minute time limit and see who has the most. Have several (small group, have all) people share interesting discoveries about each other.

The Point: Getting to Know You

Also see Alphabet Pockets (Click Here).
Back to Top Appointment Clock
Create a clock with hands to each of the twelve hours. Give a copy of this clock and a pen/pencil to every student in the group. The hands of the clock act as blanks for the students to write each other's names on. Everyone goes around and has to 'make an appointment' with someone who has an opening at the same 'time' you do on your card. You go around till you fill out all 12 spots with names. After everyone is done the leader says, 'Ok, it's 3 p.m., time to find the person you made an appointment with." They find this person and then have to answer a goofy question and a serious question, both provided by the youth leader.

Example of Goofy Q’s
What is your favorite restaurant?
What is your MySpace?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
What is your favorite food?

Example of Serious Q’s
What is your biggest fear?
What is your favorite Bible story?
If you could meet one person in human history, who would it be?
If there was one thing you could change about your friends, what would it be?

Added by Bill Gavin

Also see Clumps and Clumps with a Twist (Click Here) and Your Number Is Up (Click Here).
Back to Top Barnyard
This is a good game to divide into teams for the day/evening. Have pre-made cards for more than enough kids. Come up with as many animals as you want teams that night(If you want four teams, have four animals). If you predict 35 kids that night make forty cards, four groups of ten. Each group of ten cards will have a particular animal written on it (so you will have 10 chicken cards, 10 cow cards, 10 donkey cards and 10 pig cards). Hand out cards randomly to the kids and tell them to not tell anyone their animal. When you give the signal, have them make the sound of their animal as loud as possible until they find their entire group. First group to totally find each other wins.

This is also a great way to split your group up into teams for more games!

Put a twist on the game by putting in only ONE card that says "donkey" and giving it to a very secure student (but don't tell him/her they're the only donkey).

After all of the animals have found each other, there will still be one poor kid out there Hee-Hawing his head off to no avail!

Also see Banana Stuff (Click Here), Clumps (Click Here), & Your Number Is Up (Click Here).
Back to Top Blow Pop Necklace
Buy enough Blow Pops (Blow Pops, not cheap suckers - students have to LIKE what you use) for three times the amount of students and staff you have. Take string or yarn, cut it at arms' width and tie them to the individual "Blow Pops." You now have enough "Blow Pop" Necklaces for each student and staff to have three.

As students and staff arrive, place three Blow Pop necklaces on their necks. Inform them that they can not use the word "I" until a designated time (when you usually bring things together and start). If you use the word "I" and someone catches you, they can have one of your Blow Pop necklaces. This can be quite funny because when someone catches someone else, they usually blow it by saying, "I caught you!" or, "I get one of your necklaces!"

At the end of this time, give away a prize (besides Blow Pops) for the person with the most necklaces.

You can also use "Ring Pops" instead of "Blow Pops."
Back to Top Candy Hunt
Want a real quick, fun, and tasty way to break your audience up into smaller groups? Try this one!

Gather a few distinctly different types of candy and tape them under the chairs of your audience before the meeting. Keep in mind when deciding how many types of candy you use that you will want the teams to be as evenly numbered as possible. Have your MC explain the activity as follows:

1. Groups must look underneath their seat, grab the candy bar (or individually wrapped small candy), and then find the other people in the room with that candy bar.

2. Once all team members have found their respective group, they must eat their candy and present their wrappers to one person on the team who will bring them all to the MC.

This gets the crowd up and interacting and provides a boost of energy to your meeting. It is also a good idea to have some high energy background music.
Back to Top Christmas Mixer

If you are looking for an easy way to get new students connected during the Christmas holidays, here is a great mixer you can use.

All you need to do is put your students in groups of 2-3 each and give them a list of questions that relate to the Christmas season. (A sample list is provided below.)

Make sure that everyone in the group gets a chance to answer every question. Also, if you have enough adult leaders, put one in each group; this is a great way for students to connect with them, as well.

1. The first thing you do on Christmas Day is….
2. Where do you go shopping for Christmas?
3. Name a Christmas tradition your family participates in.
4. Name the place you would go for Christmas if you could.
5. What is your favorite Christmas activity?
6. Your favorite Christmas food is….
7. What was your favorite Christmas present of all time?
8. Name your favorite Christmas carol.
9. What was the coolest gift you ever gave someone?
10. What does Christmas mean to you?

Feel free to add more to your own list.

Idea by Jackson F.
Back to Top Christmas Movie Mixer
Want a great Christmas mixer? This is a quick one that is a fun way to divide into teams.

As students walk in, hand them a PRE MADE card that has only ONE of the following on it:
1. A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out! You’ll shoot your eye out!”)
2. It’s a Wonderful Life (“Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”)
3. Elf (“Singing is my most favorite!”)
4. A Christmas Carol (“I’m the ghost of Christmas past.”)

When it comes time to play the game, have students form a circle around the perimeter of the room. (In other words, spread them out as much as possible.) When you say go, students assemble themselves into ONE of the FOUR possible movie groups by continually saying their line printed on their card. For instance, if a student is in the movie group “A Christmas Carol,” he or she will keep saying “I’m the ghost of Christmas past,” until he or she finds the rest of his or her teammates.

The object of the mixer is to be the first movie group that fully assembles the quickest.

NOTE: You will want to make sure that you evenly distribute approximately the same number of cards for each movie group. You don’t want 30 of one movie and only 2 of another. Make it as even as possible.
Back to Top Christmas Music Mixer
Here is a great mixer that is a fun way to divide into teams.

As students walk in, hand them a PRE MADE card that has only ONE of the following on it:
1. Silent Night (“Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, All is bright…”)
2. Joy To The World ("Joy to the world, the Lord is come!")
3. Santa Clause is Coming to Town! ("Oh you better watch out. You better not pout. You better not cry, I’m tellin you why. Santa Clause is coming to town.")
4. Blue Christmas – Elvis style! (“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.”)

When it comes time to play the game, have students form a circle around the perimeter of the room. (In other words, spread them out as much as possible.) When you say go, students assemble themselves into ONE of the FOUR possible music groups by continually singing their lyrics printed on their card. For instance, if a student is in the music group “Silent Night,” he or she will keep singing “Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, All is bright…”) until he or she finds the rest of her teammates.

The object of the mixer is to be the first music group that fully assembles the quickest.

NOTE: You will want to make sure that you evenly distribute approximately the same number of cards for each music group. You don’t want 20 of one song and only 3 of another. Make it as even as possible.
Back to Top Clothespin Mixer
Pass out about 4-5 clothespins per kid in the room and instruct them to pin them on their own sleeves. Explain that when the music begins, the object of the game is to get all clothes pins off themselves and on to someone else. Turn off lights and turn on strobes and music. (You may want to put girls on one side of room and guys on another; guys can get a little frisky sticking clothespins on girls).

Explain that when the lights come on, one or two people should have about 100 pins on them - pull them up and parade the winner.

At the end you won't want them playing with the pins all night during the talk, so dress a tough kid or leader up front in protective gear (motorcycle helmet with face shield, chest protector or thick jacket, turtleneck, scarf, gloves, shin guards, thick pants, etc.); and put a bulls-eye on their chest. Tell everybody to grab all their clothes pins and bring in your human target and play music as they throw or pin their clothes pins at him. Kids can't believe they are doing this, and when you stop the music, all your pins are gathered up at the front.

Added by Young Life

See also Clothespin Bite Relay (Click Here).
Back to Top Clumps and Clumps with a Twist
Any size room. Easy game used to divide your group into teams. Simply yell, "Form a group according to . . . (see suggestions below)." If you're looking for a certain number of people per team, just say, "Form a group of 7!" If you end up with a remainder, then have staff go around and divide the leftovers on teams.

Variation: Once in their groups, the game leader reads a question from the list below (or write your own) and everyone in the group answers. When the majority in the crowd have answered, leader directs them to mingle again.

Clumps: height, hair color, # cavities, # siblings, shirt color, number of people in your immediate family, month of birth, favorite color, grade, middle initial, school you attend.

• What is your favorite cartoon (or cartoon character)?
• Who do you most admire?
• What animal is most like your personality?
• What would you do with $100,000?
• What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

Also see Keys (Click Here) & Your Number is Up (Click Here).
Back to Top Communication Challenge
Give everyone a number. They have to arrange themselves in numerical order by communicating with each other without speaking or holding up fingers. They make up their own sub-language or sign-language and it often is pretty amusing. For Round Two, have people arrange themselves in order of birth or in calendar months (like the game, Mute Organization).

Added by Youth For Christ

Also see Inversion (Click Here) & Mute Organization (Click Here).
Back to Top Curly, Moe, and Larry
Groups of 20-30 sit or stand in a circle. One person is in the middle and points to someone in the circle and says either “Curly,” “Mo,” or “Larry”. The person pointed to must respond with a name before the person in the middle can count out loud to ten. The name the person shouts depends on the name the person in the middle says:

“Curly”: say the name of the person on your right.
“Moe”: say your own name.
“Larry”: say the name of the person on your left.

If they succeed, the person in the middle stays and repeats the process with someone else in the circle. If they fail, they change places with the person in the middle.

After a while, you may want to add a second person to the middle. After five minutes, rotate half of each group to another group, or combine two groups and put a second person in the middle.

The Point: Remembering names of people in your group.

Also see Newspaper Name Nail (aka Whomp'em) (Click Here).
Back to Top Degrees of Separation
First I start out by breaking the students into groups of no less than 3 and no more than 6. Each group is given a paper and pen and 3 minutes. You start off with a word like "Church". The students must come up with as many words that have to do with church as they possibly can. So words like Cross, Jesus, Bible, Guitar, Chairs, People... things like that... anything that would be associated with church (Some of my students get smart and start naming books of the bible!) See how many you can get in 3 minutes! I do this 2 or 3 times and then I move to the Degrees of Separation. Exact same thing, but they have to get as far away from the word as they possibly can! Every time they write a word that isn't associated with the previous set of words it is a degree of separation! See how many your students can get in 3 minutes. You will laugh at where their minds go. We went from Church to Chuck Norris! Example Word: Church - Cross, Wood, Forest (Forest would be the 1st Degree of Separation) Forest, leaves, animals, Zoo (Zoo would be the 2nd Degree of Separation) and so on. The students absolutely love this game and when you start having them read their answers out loud, they will all be laughing and it will truly be a time to remember!

Idea Submitted by Paul Pellizzari
Back to Top Dollar Surprise
Mingling game. One or two people have a dollar. Everyone goes around shaking hands. Each students with a dollar passes his/her dollar off to the tenth person he/she shakes hands with. Keep going... if you get the dollar, pass off to tenth person. When music stops, person with dollar keeps it.

Added by Young Life

Also see Hi, My Name Is (Click Here) and Mingle for Money (Click Here).
Back to Top Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur
The goal of this game is to work your way up by beating other players at Rock-Scissors-Paper to the “position” of king or queen.

Everyone starts out as an egg. You find another egg and play Rock-Scissors-Paper. The winner "grows" into a chicken who finds another chicken to play against. Whoever wins "grows" into a dinosaur. The loser returns to being an egg.

Once a dinosaur you must find another dinosaur to play against. If you lose you step down to a chicken. The next step is becoming a prince or princess, which of course means playing against another prince or princess. If you win you become a King or Queen and stand off to the side. If you lose you return to a dinosaur. The game is played until there is one egg, chicken, dinosaur and prince. All other players will be kings or queens.

The fun in all this?: Eggs waddle on the ground in a little ball, chickens walk and squat while flapping their wings and "clicking", dinosaurs "roar" standing up. Princes/princesses "prance" around holding an imaginary scepter while kings and queens stand off to the side victoriously.

Added by Brad Williams

Also see Ape, Man, Lady (Click Here) and Ninja, Gun, Gorilla (Click Here).
Back to Top Find Someone Who
Great for large or small groups. Give out the "Find Someone Who" list to students and have them go from student to student looking for someone who meets the descriptions on their list.

Example: Find someone who is wearing blue pants. The student who fits this description signs their name. Students then go off to find someone else that meets another description on their list. The winner is the one who has their sheet filled out first and most accurately. You should read aloud the list with the person's name who signed it. Have the student who signed the list verify the information.

Example: Find someone who can belch the alphabet. If Joe signed that item, have Joe come up and demonstrate.

Items needed:

  • Find Someone List (make one up and make enough copies for everyone.)

  • Pencils or pens


  • Find someone who has a birthday in February and have him/her sign their initials here. ______________________

  • Find someone who has been to Colorado before and leapfrog over him/her. Then have the person initial here._____________________

  • Get seven leaders to sign the back of this sheet.

  • Find someone who has a birthday this month and sing "Happy Birthday" to them Have the person initial here.___________________

  • Find someone to listen to you say "toy boat" ten times quickly. Then have them initial here.____________________

  • Get three other people to link arms with you and do the cheer "lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!" Have each person initial here.____________________________

  • Give someone your ugliest face and have them initial here.__________________

  • With two other people, face the front of the room, put your hand over your heart, and say the "Pledge of Allegiance" in unison. Initial each other's papers.___________________

  • Have someone tell you about the best Christmas gift they ever received. Then have them initial here.____________________

  • Get a hair over 5 inches long from someone else's head. Let them pull it out. Have the person initial here._________________

  • Give someone a backrub and have them initial here.___________________

  • Find someone who has blue eyes and have them initial here.__________________

  • Find someone who is left-handed and have them initial here.________________

Also see Find Someone Who Bingo (Click Here).
Back to Top Find Someone Who Bingo
Same as Find Someone Who (Click Here) but the "Find Someone Who's" are organized in Bingo rows on a piece of paper (a Find Someone Who Bingo Card). First one to get 5 across, down or diagonal wins.

Variation: use Christmas-related items such as 'wearing green' or 'going on vacation for Christmas' in each of the boxes.
Back to Top Four on a Couch
Depending on the size of your group, this game could work as an Up Front Game (for a large group—the group watches while a few do the activity in front of the group, entertaining the rest) or as a Mixer (for a small group—in a group of 8-12 kids you could involve almost everyone.

Create a circle with chairs and one couch, enough seats for everyone playing plus one extra seat. 2 girls and 2 guys start off by sitting on the couch, while everyone else sits in the chairs. Give every person playing a paper to write their name on. They are to turn their names in to you.

Mix the names up and redistribute them back to the youth, making sure no one gets their own name. They are not to tell which name they have. The purpose of the game is for the guys to get all 4 guys on the couch and the girls to get all 4 girls on the couch. The person to the left of the empty seat calls out a name of someone in the circle. Whoever is HOLDING THAT NAME (not the one whose name it is, i.e John calls Amy's name, and Jeff is holding Amy's name) gets up and sits on the empty chair. The person who called the name and the person who sat on the chair, then exchange papers with names on it (that way the same name does not stay with the same person, it makes it more challenging). The person to the left of the new empty seat calls a new name. (the same name cannot be repeated twice in a row).

Again, the purpose is for the guys to get the 2 girls off the couch and vice versa. This is a really fun game but it can last a long time.

Added by Leah
Back to Top Gabbing Groups
This is a good mixer for groups who may not know each other very well. It is also a good introduction to sharing personal information and feelings in small group situations.

Call out a characteristic and have kids form groups of different numbers based on the characteristic. Make sure kids are forming groups with people they don't know very well. Have groups indicate they are complete by joining hands in a circle and not talking. You should know everyone is in a group by the silence. After they are in groups have them introduce themselves and share something. Make sure the sharing starts out as silly or easy to talk about subjects and advances to more difficult subjects as the rounds continue. Play three or four rounds. You can use the characteristics to get kids into comfortable or uncomfortable groups depending on what you want to work on. Or to break up cliques during small group discussions.

Example Rounds
1. Everyone wearing shorts or skirts get into groups of three; everyone in jeans get in groups of four.
Introduce yourselves to everyone in your group then share the funniest thing that happened to you in the last week.

2. Everyone get into groups of four according to your eye color. (So, there may be more than one group of those with brown eyes, for example.)
Introduce yourselves to everyone in your group then share your oldest childhood memory.

3. Everyone get into groups of three by age.
Introduce yourselves to everyone in your group then share the dumbest thing you did or said in the last week.

The Point: You can use this game as a Getting-to-know-you activity or as a segue into your regular small group discussion. For more random questions, click here

Added by Davis Watts
Back to Top Give Yourself A Hand!
Items Needed: Paper
Markers or Ink pens
Safety Pins

You can either pre-make paper hands or have each participant trace their own hand on paper and pin it on their back. Then the whole group walks around and writes a one word POSITIVE description of the person whose back they are writing on. (ex. Nice, Pretty, Fun, Exciting, Loving, Kindhearted, etc.)

Allow enough time, depending on group size, for everyone to circulate. Then have students come up front and read what everyone said about them.

The Point: Motivator for positive self esteem.

Added by Sylvia Tucker
Back to Top Guess Again
Each person chooses to be a famous character, actor, cartoon character, or otherwise famous person. They only tell one leader who makes a note of who everyone is. The leader reads out only the list of characters slowly - twice w/a bigger group. Warn everyone to pay attention as part of the challenge is that the leader doesn't read the list again (especially if they're playing).

Choose someone to start by saying to anyone, "I think you are...". If the guesser is right, that person joins their team. If they are wrong, that person becomes the guesser and guesses someone else.

Gradually teams form (teams are allowed to share with each other who they are). The winner is either the team with the most people in their team, or if anyone remains unguessed, they win.

Variation: Form teams of 3-4 at the beginning and say they cannot tell each other their "identities".

Added by Joelle Throp

Also see Guess My Name (Click Here).
Back to Top Guess My Name
Each player writes a name on a slip of paper and then passes it to the judge. After the judge receives all the slips, he mixes them up and writes the names on the board. The judge picks a person to start. This person chooses someone in the game and guesses what their name might be. "'Bob', I think you're Cinderella." If they are correct, 'Bob' is now on that person's team. Later, if that person's name is guessed, both they and Bob join the other's team.

That person continues to guess people's names until he guesses wrong. The last person he asks now gets to guess. Play continues until all but two players have been guessed. The winner is the player with the most people on his team.

If this is a new, unaquainted group, have people write their actual names so everyone can get to know each other.

If everyone pretty much knows each other, have people write funny, fake names (just be sure to remember them)!

Also see Guess Again (Click Here).
Back to Top Hi, My Name Is
Plant several people in your crowd who have a one dollar bill, a certificate to something, or any prize of your liking. Tell everyone that they need to go and introduce themselves to and learn the names of as many people as they can meet. Have your "planted people" give the prize to the 15th person that introduces themselves to them. Once the prizes have been given, announce who received them and who had the prizes.

The Point: A great get to know you game!

Also see Dollar Surprise (Click Here) and Mingle For Money (Click Here).
Back to Top Interlocking Interests
Divide students into groups of three. Give each group a large sheet of butcher paper and a different color marker for each person. Have them draw a Venn diagram with a circle for each student.

The students in each group are to discuss what their similarities and differences are. After the discussion, they fill in the diagram showing their similarities and differences. When they agree they write their preferences in the center/overlapping areas of the diagram. When their answers are different they write in the outside area of the circles.

If a group has a hard time getting started, give them some guidance by asking questions such as, "What is your favorite music?", "When is your birthday?", "What sports do you like? or "Where were you born?"
Back to Top Jelly Bean Trade
Every man for himself. Everyone is handed 10 jelly beans. They are to try to get 10 of one color by trading with other people one at a time. First person to get all ten of a color they want wins.

Also see M & M Scarf (Click Here).
Back to Top Lengths of String Mixer
Everyone gets a length of string. Each string is the same length as one other person in the room. Students have to match up with their partner.

The Point: Discussion starter. Once matched, you can ask a pre-typed question for the partners to discuss.

Idea by Young Life
Back to Top Mingle for Money
Begins like the Dollar Surprise (Click Here), but more.

Give 5-10 people increments of $1-3 each... secretly instruct them (like when everyone is arriving and just hanging out) to remember the 7th person they mingle with (small group: 4th person), but DO NOT give up their prize money...just keep on mingling.

Also, give them a question of the night to ask each person. Like, What is your favorite snack food for Super Bowl, who was the last person that made you laugh, how often do you brush your teeth, does your mom (or older sister) dye her hair, etc.

At the end of 2 minutes, the "holders" come up front. They each call their 7th person up with them. That person must recall the answer they were given by the prize holder. If they do, the money is given up to them. But WAIT! There's ONE MORE step...the holder must also recall the answer from this 7th person. (You would think that would be easy...but not if you give PLENTY of time to mingle waaaay beyond the 7th acquaintance). Often times I get the money back because the "holder" couldn't remember.

The Point: Getting to know you; Relationships don't go anywhere if you can't even remember what people tell you!

Option: If you don't want to use money, use a can of pop or candy.

Added by Barb Harrington

Also see Hi, My Name Is (Click Here).
Back to Top Mute Organization
Simply announce that you want everyone lined up across the room by birth date. Only catch: no talking. Once they are all lined up, ask certain people their birthdays just to be sure.

You can have them do the same thing, but by shoe size, height, etc.

The Point: Communication

Also see Communication Challenge (Click Here), Inversion (Click Here), and Numbers Race (Click Here).
Back to Top Name Bingo
Need to have at least 25+ people. Create a Bingo Card with 25 blank spaces. As they enter, have students put their name on a piece of paper or ticket and place the tickets in a jar. Then have all of the kids go around the room with their blank BINGO cards and gather signatures in the blank spaces. They can only use a person's name once. Once everyone has completed this, start drawing the paper/tickets out of the jar. They check off the box if they have the name that was called out. Play like BINGO. It is lots of fun, and gets everyone mingling!

NOTE: If there are two or more people named Chris, make sure the student gets the first name AND last name.

Also, it is good to have the students get AT LEAST 2 adult leaders' names. This helps students get to know them.
Back to Top Name Game 2
Small group game. Provide pencils and index cards. As each person arrives have them write their name clearly on an index card. Tape card to their back.

Give everyone another index card. On "Go!" with hyped music in the background, everyone copies names off backs of other people, while trying to keep them from seeing the card on their own back.

Determine a time limit and give a prize to the person w/the most names on their card.

The Point: Getting to Know You

Also see Atlas (Click Here), Name Game (Click Here), and Name Tag Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Name Tag Mixer
Before kids arrive, prepare name-tags by writing an easy-to-read number on each one. Also prepare slips of paper with instructions such as "Introduce #4 to #12, "Find out #7’s favorite pizza topping," "Shake hands with #5 and #13," and so on. Don’t use numbers higher than the number of kids expected. It’s better to make instructions for #1 to #10 and have duplicate name- tags for #1, #2, #3, and so on. Give kids a name-tag and slip of paper, then send them out to complete their assignment.

Also see Alphabet Getting to Know You (Click Here), Atlas (Click Here), and Name Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Newspaper Name Nail (aka Whomp em')
Small Group mixer. Have everyone sit in a circle as close as they can get. Have each person give their name and make sure each name is clearly said so that all others can hear it. After going through the names once or even twice, have someone start in the middle by asking someone to call the name of someone in the room. The person in the middle proceeds to find the person and try to whomp'em with a rolled up newspaper (or pillow) on their knee before that person can say both their name and someone else's name in the room.

If they get whomped before they can say their name and someone else's name, they are now "it". Also, if the person whose name is called fails to say both their name and another person's name, they will have to be it. The person who is in the middle takes the place of the person they whomp. This helps people learn each other's names and mixes kids around with each other.

Items needed: Rolled up newspaper or pillow (preferable)

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here), Getting To Know You (Click Here), Identity Circle (Click Here), Name Tag Mixer (Click Here), and Who Hit Me? (Click Here).
Back to Top Organized Mingling Mixer
Get an even amount of students and staff in the room. You can add staff as needed to make the number even.

Students and staff mingle to music and shake hands. When the music stops, everyone must find another person and shake hands. The leader calls out a question they must ask of whomever they are shaking hands. Use both fun and serious questions.

Sample Questions:
  1. What is your favorite pizza?

  2. What is your favorite kind of weather and why?

  3. If you could go anywhere on a vacation for a week, where would you go?

  4. What would you do with $1,000 dollars cash right now?

  5. Share a moment in your life where you remember being the most happy.

  6. Share a moment in your life where you were really sad.

Hint: You can use questions that will kick off that night's discussion.

Submitted by Young Life

The Point: Getting to know you

Also see Getting To Know You (Click Here) and Appointment Clock (Click Here).
Back to Top Pair-adox!
Instructions: In this game up to 40 people can play. Every one of our contestants will have the name of a famous personality taped to their back. When we say “go” they will have to find another contestant and try to figure out which personality is taped to their back by asking questions. But the questions they ask must only be able to be answered with a yes or a no. Once they figure out who they have, the game is not over! After that they must find the other famous personality in the room that matches theirs. For example, if they have “Superman” written on their back they might have to look for a person with “Lex Luther” or “Louis Lane” written on their back. Once they figure out who their personality is AND find their matching pair, then come to the front of the room and sit down together. Give a prize out to the first 3 pairs of matching couples.

Famous Pairs
1A. Sponge Bob 1B. Patrick Star
2A. Willie Wonka 2B. An Oompa Loompa
3A. Mickey Mouse 3B. Minnie Mouse
4A. Luke Skywalker 4B. Princess Leia
5A. Frodo Baggins 5B. Gandalf the Wizard
6A. Harry Potter 6B. Lord Voldemort
7A. Barrack Obama 7B. Michelle Obama
8A. Batman 8B. The Joker
9A. Captain James T Kirk 9B. Mr. Spock
10A. Sherlock Holmes 10B Mr. Watson
11A. Santa Claus 11B. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
12A. Charlie Brown 12B. Snoopy
13A. Romeo Montague 13B. Juliet Capulet
14A. Samson 14B. Delilah
15A. Brad Pitt 15B. Angelina Jolie
16A. Peter Pan 16B Captain Hook
17A. Scooby Doo 17B Shaggy
18A. Kim Kardashian 18B. Kanye West
19A. Beyonce 19B. Jay Z
20A. Shrek 20B. Fiona

Submitted by Dan Manns
Back to Top Pick One
This game gets students to interact with students that they wouldn't normally interact with. Here is what you do to get your kids talking with one another.

Make a PPT slide that asks a simple question, like “Of the following kinds of pizza, which kind do you prefer?” Then designate each corner of the room as one kind of pizza (cheese, pepperoni, veggie, “the works”). If your question could have more than four answers, use the middle of the room, too. Tell students to move to the corner/place that lines up with their answer.

When the students get to their corner, ask them to introduce themselves and talk about why they picked this answer. After a minute or so, grab everybody’s attention, and ask another question. Don’t forget to make it clear which corner corresponds with which answer.

Sample Questions Might Be:

1. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
2. What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
3. If God were to describe your family, He would say they were….

If you want to speed up play and make the game more user-friendly, label each corner on your PPT slide. That way, students can just look up to the screen for direction.

Now, go mingle.
Back to Top Pop-a-palooza
As kids come in have each one write his/her name on a piece of paper and put it in a balloon. Each student blows up their own balloon and all the balloons are put in one area (away from the students).

When you are ready to begin the activities for the night, give each student a balloon. The point is to pop the balloon and find the person whose name was in the balloon you popped. Remember, someone is trying to find you too. Play some upbeat music during this game.
Back to Top Questionnaire Game
For this game you'll need as many pens as students and a pre-typed/copied questionnaire.

Have all your students fill out an anonymous questionnaire when they come in, with questions/statements like, "My favorite band is.." "My dream car is...". Once finished, pass the questionnaires out randomly (to someone different than the person who filled it out) and yell "Go!" Students have to walk around asking each other questions, trying to find whose questionnaire they have.

The Point: Getting to know you

See also Getting to Know It (Click Here), Getting to Know You (Click Here), and Getting to Know You Better (Click Here).
Back to Top Real Identity
Great "getting to know you" and memory game. Everyone is in a circle and each takes a turn saying their name and something about themself (example, "Hi, I'm John and I play football"). The next person needs to say the previous person's name and item of interest before saying their own (example, "He's John, he plays football and I'm Mary and I torture small animals"). As this game moves on, people need to remember more and more information. With bigger groups you can have them only repeat the names to save time.

Also see Secret Identity (Click Here), Getting to Know You (Click Here), and Getting to Know You Better (Click Here).
Back to Top Secret Identity (aka, Who's On My Back?)
Have everyone secretly write down the name of a person on a small piece of paper or a sticker. It has to be a person that everyone in the room would know about - a famous historical figure, an actor or sports celebrity, or a popular politician. Then have them tape the name on the back of the person on their left.

Everyone goes around and asks people yes or no questions about who is on their back. They can only ask each person one question. The person who can do it in the least number of questions wins.
Back to Top Shuffle The Deck Mixer
Hand everyone a playing card as they come in. During the mixer call out different combinations that they have to form a group with. Example: four of a kind, a flush, two pairs, etc.

Option: Once they get in their group, have them answer a pre-planned ice-breaker question. It could be something fun and related or unrelated to the discussion that night.

Submitted by Young Life

Also see TP Tell All (Click Here).
Back to Top Signs
Everyone comes up with a sign for themselves. Scratch your cheek, flip hair, etc. Go around and demonstrate your sign for the group. Then you have to silently pass your sign along without the designated person in the middle catching you doing the sign. You pass the sign by doing first your sign, then another person's. You continue to do the other person's sign until they see you, and pass it on again. You have to watch carefully as the sign can move quickly. If they see you doing a sign, you are in the middle. Fun game, but can last a long time.

NOTE: Reference the SILENT ANIMAL CIRCLE and the NEWSPAPER NAME BOP games as a comparison.
Back to Top So Rah
This is a great ice-breaker game that requires no prep.

This game is best played in a group of at least 30 people. Make everyone stand in a circle, with a leader in the center. They will shout 'SO' while pointing at someone in the circle. The targeted person must duck as soon as the leader points at them. The people standing on their immediate left and right of the targeted person must yell 'RAH' as they turn to face each other with their right hands outstretched.

A person is eliminated when any of the three people react too slowly or if they get hit by one of their neighbors or if they do the wrong action.

Submitted by Chanelle
Back to Top Speed Fellowship
If you're looking for a fun and fast-paced way for your students to get to know one another, this one is for you. This is a spin-off of speed dating. First create a list of 15 to 20 questions that are open ended questions, like, “Tell me about your relationship with your parents,” or, “Tell me how you came to know Christ,” etc. Then set up the room with chairs facing each other about 2 feet apart. Put the questions on ONLY one row of the chairs and then have the students sit down across from one another.

Have the person with the list begin with question one and both people take turns answering the question. Then move on to question number 2 and so on for 2 minutes until the leader says switch. Then the person without the questions list moves down one seat and they continue on with the next question.

This is a great way to get teens talking to one another.

Idea by Tom Maxwell
Back to Top Spider Web
This fun activity works well as a mixer. All you need is a ball of yarn about the size of a softball. Here’s how you do it.

Sit your students in a circle. (Use chairs if available.) Hand the ball of yarn to one student in the circle and ask him to answer the following questions (or make some up some questions of your own):
1. What is your name?
2. How old are you?
3. What school are you in?
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What do you like to do for fun?

When the student has answered all of the questions, he then picks another person in the circle, and throws the ball of yarn to him or her, WHILE HOLDING ON TO THE END OF THE YARN. That person must then answer all of the questions. When she is done, she picks someone else in the circle, and throws the ball of yarn to him or her, while still holding onto the yarn. This repeats until ALL students in the circle have answered the questions.

The mixer gets its name from the fact that the activity makes a “spider web” of sorts from the yarn that is woven from person to person.

NOTE: If you have a large group you may want to break them up a little. It is best if the group is not more than 10 students big. So if you have 50 kids, break them up into about 5 groups. If you do have to break them up into smaller groups, make sure to have a ball of yarn for each group.
Back to Top String Toss Game
Get a spool of string or yarn. Have each person answer a question of some sort when they have the string in their possession. They then hold onto the string and throw the ball/spool to another so they can answer the question. You eventually create a web of some sort. In the end, describe how the web is analogous to the group in that we all play a part in creating the web, and that if one person was gone it would look different. Likewise, it is important that we all take part to make the group what it is, unique and special.

Type up predetermined questions ahead of time. You can find some great ideas for questions or discussion starting statements on this page or this page.

Also see String Tie Mystery on our Upfront page.

The Point: Getting to know you
Back to Top Texas Shoot Out
You start by having an "it" and have everyone else stands in a circle facing outward. It walks around the outside of the circle, and randomly picks a person. It points at that person, and says "draw". At that moment the two people on either side of him/her makes their hand into a "gun” and says, "BANG!". Whoever says it first continues to stand while the person who said it last "dies" and sits down. The game continues until there are only two people left.

Then those two people stand back-to-back, and when It says "go", they walk forward 10 paces. At any time while they are walking "It" can yell, "DRAW!". The two people then must turn around, and "shoot" the other person. The winner is the next "it"

NOTE: of course, there are plenty of times the two "shooters" will be really close. "it" decides who shot first. And if it is really close have them do a duel.

Idea by Shelbie
Back to Top The Cat in the Hat
As students enter, get them to each write down 1 question on a note card. The question can be about anything…from movies to quantum physics. (If you have a small group, get them to write down 2-3 questions, making sure that only one question is written on a card.) When they are done writing out their question, they should fold it in half and drop it in a big hat sitting close by.

Before the game is played later in the night, an adult leader should go through and make sure each of the questions are ‘appropriate.’

When it comes time to play the game, have everyone sit in a circle. The leader hands the hat to one person and they draw out a card. They read the question out loud and have 20 seconds to answer it. (They do not put their card back in.)

Then they pass the hat to someone else, and they draw out a card. They also have 20 seconds to answer the question.

It’s a lot of fun to see students try and react quickly.

NOTE: If you want students to get more than one question, you will have to ask students to write out multiple cards at the beginning of the night. Just make sure that only 1 question goes on a card.
Back to Top This & That
Quick small group opener/activity--just a fun way of getting to know each other a little better.

Get into a circle and select someone to begin, then move clockwise around the circle. The first person says two similar items like pizza and ice cream (both foods). The second person has to say the thing they like better out of the two - in 3 seconds or less. If they make the time limit they get to say two things to the next person. But if they don't make it, the next person says two items, and so on . . .

Added by Ethan Rogers

Also see Getting To Know It, Getting to Know You, & Getting To Know You Better
Back to Top This Game Stinks!
Provide 12 film canisters (or similar small containers) for as many students as you have playing. Fill film canisters with different smells. Try 12 different smells (12 teams of 4-5 students), and 5 canisters of each scent (one for each team member).

Apply scents on cotton balls. For example, tuna oil, sauerkraut, vinegar, limburger cheese - the smellier, the better.

On "Go!" with fun music in the background, have students find the 5 other people who have the same scent as theirs.

Added by Sharon Swinerton
Back to Top TP Tell All
Large Group: Divide into groups of about 15. (Could do this by way of another mixer game that divides the kids into groups - ex. Barnyard). Hand each group a roll of toilet paper with the instruction that each person is to "tear off as much as he/she needs" with no clarification. Once everyone has their tp squares, in their groups, each person must tell one fact about themselves for every square of TP they tore off.

Small Group: Divide into groups of between 3 and 5. Hand each group a roll of toilet paper with the instruction that each person is to "tear off between 3 and 5 sheets" with no clarification. Once everyone has their tp squares, in their groups, each person must tell one fact about themselves for every square of TP they tore off.

The Point: Getting to know you.

Added by Mack McFarland

Also see Shuffle The Deck Mixer
Back to Top Twister Testimony
Every 'spot' is numbered and a list of questions about one's testimony and faith corresponds to each number.

Examples: When did you become a Christian? How have you shown or been shown grace recently? And random questions such as, which do you prefer, Burger King or McDonald’s? And what's your favorite chat-up line?

Added by Anna Tipping

Also see Messy Message, Mess Mix, Condiment Twister, & Slime Twister, all on Sick & Twisted page; Messy Plexi & Twister on Upfront page.
Back to Top Two Truths and A Lie
The object of this small group game is to reveal unknown things about yourself to the group in a fun atmosphere.

A person states three things about himself. Two must be true and one a lie. For example: "I was born in South Africa. I have a green card. I have a dog named Bubba."

The others in the group try to guess which statement is the lie. If a player guesses correctly, they earn a point. If no one guesses correctly, the individual earns five points. Each person should get a chance to share.

NOTE: For really big groups, break up into smaller groups of about 15-20.

The Point: Getting to know you.
Back to Top Valentine Candy Mixer
Pass out Valentine "conversational" heart candy to everyone, then split up into groups and have each group come up with a poem or funny story using what it says on their hearts.

Added by Young Life

Also see Valentine Toe Freezer on Anywhere page.
Back to Top Who Am I ?
Instruct each student to write their first and last name in large bold letters on a nametag that has been cut in half (the long way). Then collect all the name tags.

Making sure the student does not see the name, stick a name tag on each person’s forehead. Instruct the teens NOT to speak about who’s name is on each other’s forehead.

On "go" students will pair up and play one round of rock, paper, scissors. The winner gets to ask one "yes or no" question about the physical appearance of their person, such as....

"Is it a boy?"
"Are they wearing jeans?"
"Are they blonde?"
"Are they wearing a hat?"

Once they have answered, players move on to repeat the process.

After a predetermined amount of time, sound the siren and have everyone make a circle. (This makes it more fun to see who is who). This also allows the players to tabulate their clues into an educated guess. Go around and give each person a chance to guess who they are.

NOTE: Remind the students to be careful not to “give it away” as they look around the room to find the person as they answer the question

Submitted by Neal
Back to Top Who Is It?
Good small group game. The object is to get individuals to share unknown things about themselves in a safe environment. Each player writes down a little known truth about himself. The paper slips are handed in and read aloud one at a time. The slips are then read a second time, and players write who they think wrote that slip. After everyone has guessed on slips, the truth is revealed. Each player gets a point for every correct guess. If no one guesses a person's slip correctly, that person gets five points.

The Point: Getting to know you

Also see Getting To Know You, Getting To Know You Better, Identity Circle, & Name Toss, all on Anywhere page.


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