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Easy Ice Breakers for Large Team Building Groups

Mar 31, 2016
Last Updated:
Oct 27, 2023

The Challenge of Larger Groups

We as Events Pros often have to deal with groups of 50 or more.  However, once you start working with these larger groups you start to realize how difficult it is to keep them all engaged and focused on the event at hand while at the same time achieving the goal of the event.  Ice Breakers are almost always used at the beginning of events as a warm up, to get people in the mood of playing a game and have people learn each others names.

This Mooveteam blog entry will give you three tried and true, easy to use Ice Breakers that anyone can do with very little preparation, almost no cost, and for groups of up to 200+ people.  I have personally witnessed each of these in action so I can vouch to their effectiveness.

The three Ice Breakers we have for you today are:

  • The Check List
  • The Human Knot
  • Choices

How To Play “The Check List”

Hand out a list of 20 to 30 items that a person may have, know how to do, or have done and pencils or pens.   For example:

  1. Speaks German
  2. Have been to China
  3. Is from Alaska
  4. Drives an electric car
  5. Is an avid surfer
  6. Etc. Etc.

Now, give the group 15-30 minutes to go around the room or play area and speak to each other to find people with these attributes.  Make sure that everyone has an easy-to-read name tag.  When they find someone with that attribute they must write that person’s name next to it.  Each name can only be used once on the list.  You will see that people start to work together to find the more difficult ones and everyone will have fun.  At the end of the allotted time ask them who has more than 10, 15, 20 or all of them.  The person with the most names you can declare the winner or read the list and confirm that the names written down match with the attributes just to keep them honest 😉 and have a laugh.

How To Play “The Human Knot”

This game is a classic and can be used for all types of groups and sizes.  If the group is very large, break them into sub groups of about 20-30.

Have all the participants stand in a big circle in their respective groups and with each hand, grab two different peoples’ hands (not the people standing on either side of them).  The staff should walk around the group and make sure that the people are just holding hands with the people next to them but reaching over and under the others to make a real mess.

Once everyone is holding hands then they have to work together to untangle the circle.  Depending on how many people you have this can take a long time or can be completed very quickly.

How To Play “Choices”

This get to know you game / ice breaker game is a great way to get people speaking to each other and to get to know a little more about each other.

Get the group to stand all together. The leader of the game should be on an elevated stand in sight of all.  You may need a microphone with larger groups.

The game leader will give two options to the group and point to the place where the people who prefer that option should go. For example, the first choice could be “inside vs outside”. When the game leader says “inside” they would point to the left side of the room, when they say “outside” they would point to the right side of the room.  The players then run to the side of the room of their preference.

Use as much variety of choices as possible.  Include funny options, serious one (not controversial), and something related to the group itself if possible.   Once the players have moved to the chosen area, have them ask the person next to them why they chose what they chose.  Another option is to tell the players that they have to be in groups of 2, 3, or 4 when the get on the side of their choice.  The ones that don’t find a group of the specified number have to go to the center of the group and do a dance or something silly.

Here are some examples of choices:

  • Nature vs Urban
  • Beach vs Mountain
  • Inside vs Outside
  • Coke vs Pepsi
  • Superman vs Batman
  • Apple vs Android
  • Mac vs PC
  • Beef vs Fish
  • Sitcoms vs Dramas
  • Etc.

Once you have done a group ice breaker and you have diveded your group into teams for the Mooveteam game, you may want to try another quick ice breaker for people to do with their teams.  Also, it is a good idea to have people put their phones on flight mode or turned off completely.  We’ll post some more examples soon!

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