Welcome to Group Games!

Free instructions to 67+ of the best group games! Perfect for your next event. Read, play and share our site! See the full list here.  Game ideas are also organized by group type and...

Name Game

Summary:  A simple icebreaker useful for introducing people to each other and helping people learn names.  This game is especially useful when there are new people present. Ages: 10-21 years old.  Recommended # of People: 5-20.  Messiness Factor: No Sweat.  Materials Required: A fun attitude.  Recommended Setting: Indoors. The Name Game How to play The Name Game (also known as the Adjective Game) starts with one person in the room picking a word that describes himself or herself as a person. The catch is, that the word must start with the first letter of their first name.  For example, my students call me Miss Velasquez.  I would say “Hello! My name is Vivacious Velasquez.” The person after me must say my adjective and name before saying theirs.  So they would go, “Hello, Vivacious Velasquez, my name is Silly Sam.” Then the third person would go, “Hello, Vivacious Velasquez, and Silly Sam, my name is Easy-going Edwin.”  This continues on until all of the students have gone. Being last is hilarious in this game, because they must remember everyone’s name AND adjective before stating theirs. Additional comments and suggestions I’ve played this game in college and, of course, used my first name. I said, “Hello, my name is I-love-you Irene.” It was funny because everyone after me had to say “Hello, I-love-you Irene, I’m (insert witty adjective and name here).”  This is neat because you don’t necessarily have to pick a single word that describes you.  In fact, it doesn’t have to be an adjective at all.  Notice, however, that the first word of my phrase started with the letter “I.”  This is...
Photo Scavenger Hunt

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Summary: A team-based scavenger hunt with a twist — bringing back digital photos (or polaroids) of interesting places and things. Ages: 14 and up.  Recommended number of people: Teams of about 4 people.  Messiness Factor: Be prepared to walk around.  Materials Required: Cameras for each team.  Recommended Setting: Outdoors. Photo Scavenger Hunt Prepare a list of about ten interesting places, things, and circumstances that can be captured using a camera.  You could list, for example: A group photo with someone famous The most relaxing place you can find The biggest tree A group photo with someone dressed in a tuxedo A photo with a yellow car A fast food worker A human pyramid of at least seven people The funniest thing you can find And so on.  Be creative.  Divide the group into teams of about four people.  Make sure each team has at least one functioning camera (preferably digital, although polaroid is okay too). Set a time limit for the groups (e.g. two hours or so).  Instruct the teams to find as many things on the list and take a picture with all the group members in the photo. When time expires, have all members reconvene and present their photos along with the checklist. Award one point for each successful photo item and bonus points for extra creativity or effort. This activity is good for building team chemistry and for creating funny memories.  Be sure to provide adequate supervision if there are young participants.  Have fun, and always keep safety first! See also another excellent guide for how to play the Photo Scavenger...
Homemade Pictionary Game

Homemade Pictionary Game

Summary: A classic icebreaker game in which the goal is to get your teammates to correctly identify something that is drawn within the time limit. Ages: 8 and up. Recommended # of people: Teams of 3+ people. Messiness Factor: No sweat. Materials required: Several sheets or two large pads of paper, notecards, pens, a stopwatch/timer. Recommended setting: Indoors. Homemade Pictionary Pictionary is a classic game of drawing and guessing pictures. This game works great with large groups as an icebreaker, as well as simply a fun game to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends. Setup In advance, a judge (someone who is not playing) should prepare several words written on individual notecards. These are the words that will be drawn, and that teammates will try to guess. Each word(s) should be labeled as one of the following five categories (or be creative and come up with other ones): Person, Place, Animal – A person, place, animal, or other creature that is/was living (e.g. Tiger Woods, a bear). Action – Something that can be done or performed (e.g. ballet, shooting a basketball). Object – Something that can be seen or touched (e.g. a truck, a chocolate chip cookie). Challenge – Something difficult (e.g. The Grand Canyon). All play – A word from any of the above categories. Both teams draw simultaneously. After the judge finishes preparing several cards, he or she shuffles the pile. You are now ready to play! How to Play Divide the group into teams of at least three. Give each team a name. Distribute a large pad (or sheets) of paper and a pen...

Never Have I Ever

Summary: An icebreaker where players sit in a circle and take turns saying interesting things they have never done. Each player starts with ten fingers. Each time someone says something that you’ve done, you drop a finger. The goal is to be the last player remaining. Ages: 8 and up. Recommended # of people: 10-20. Messiness Factor: No Sweat. Materials Required: None. Recommended Setting: Indoors. Never Have I Ever How to Play Tell everyone to sit in a circle. Each player holds out all ten of your fingers and places them on the floor. One by one, each person announces something that they have never done; for example, they say, “Never have I ever been to Canada.” For each statement, all the other players remove a finger if they have done that statement. So, if three other people have been to Canada before, those three people must put down a finger, leaving them with nine fingers.The goal is to stay in the game the longest (to have fingers remaining). Thus, it is a good strategy to say statements that most people have done, but you haven’t. This can be humorous (e.g. “Never have I ever skipped a class in school” or “Never have I ever soiled my pants.”) The game provides a good way to find out unique experiences and facts about...
Human Knot Icebreaker

Human Knot Icebreaker

Summary: A good icebreaker or teambuilding activity for new people to learn to work together – in close physical proximity! The goal is to figure out how to untangle the human knot without letting go of hands. Ages: 12 and up. Recommended number of people: 7-200 (group sizes of 10 are ideal). Messiness factor: Might break a sweat – (close proximity – hope you’re not claustrophobic!). Materials required: None. Recommended setting: Both indoors or outdoors. Human Knot Game Goals of the Human Knot Game: Team building and communication Problem solving Ice-breaker or get to know others better Setup for the Human Knot Game: This game is versatile in that multiple group sizes can play. Form groups of about 10 people each. Have each group standing, facing towards each other, in a circle. Each person should be standing shoulder to shoulder. First, instruct everyone to lift their left hand and reach across to take the hand of someone standing across the circle. Next, have everyone lift their right and reach across to take the hand of another person standing across the circle. Make sure that no one is holding hands with someone standing directly beside the person. How to Play the Human Knot Game To play, the groups must communicate and figure out how to untangle the knot (forming a circle of people) without ever letting go of any hands. If you wish, this icebreaker can be played competitively, in which the facilitator says “Ready.. Set.. Go!” and has all the groups race to become the first group to finish. If any group member lets go of a hand (breaks...

Sorts and Mingle Game

Summary: An icebreaker that gets the group to move towards various parts of the room and to find others with shared interests and preferences, based on various interesting categories. Ages: 10 and up. Recommended number of people: 25 and up. Messiness factor: No sweat. Materials required: None. Recommended setting: Indoors. Sorts and Mingle Instructions: The first part of the game is the “Sorts” game. You will throw out two contrasting choices and the group has to move either East or West of the room (e.g. “Do you prefer Target or Walmart?”). Then you throw out two more choices and have them move South and North. That way, they are all having to move somewhere and can’t get “lost” in the crowd. Sorts that work well include: movie/book; salty/sweet; dress up/casual; inside/outside; be on the stage performing/in the audience watching, etc. The second part, the Mingle game, is also interesting and effective as an icebreaker; You throw out a general category and the group has to mingle around to find others that have the same answer and they clump up. After about thirty seconds to one minute, you then have each group call out their answer.  It’s okay if someone doesn’t have anyone else who has the same answer.  Just try to avoid two groups with the same answer (means they didn’t mingle very well!)  Some examples of mingles: your favorite dessert; the type of toothpaste you use; if you could attend one huge event (e.g. the Superbowl, Oscars, World Series, Nascar Opening Day, etc.) what would you choose; your least favorite chore growing up as a kid; if you could be the very...

Commonalities and Uniquities

Summary: A group team-building activity in which people identify common things that everyone has in common, along with interesting characteristics that are unique to a person in the group. Ages: 12 and up. Recommended number of people: Groups of 5-8. Messiness factor: No sweat. Materials required: Two sheets of paper and a pen for each group. Recommended setting: Indoors. Commonalities and Uniquities Form groups of five to eight people and give them two sheets of paper and a pencil or pen. The first part of the activity is Commonalities, where each subgroup compiles a list of the things they have in common. In order for it to make the list, it must apply to everyone in the subgroup.  You want to avoid writing things that people can see (e.g. “everyone has hair,” or “we are all wearing clothes”).  Try to get them to dig deeper. After about 5 minutes, have a spokesperson from each subgroup read their list. Then, depending on your goals for the session, you can have half of each subgroup rotate to another group for Uniquities or you can leave everyone in the same group. On the second sheet of paper have them record uniquities, meaning that each item applies to only one person in the group. The group tries to find at least 2 uniquities for each person. After 5-7 minutes, you can have each person say one of their uniquities or have a person read them one by one, having others try to guess who it was. (Again, you want to go beyond the superficial, avoiding those things that people can readily see). This...
Celebrity ID Game

Celebrity ID Game

Summary: An icebreaker where each person has a label with a famous celebrity or character name on their back.  Everyone mingles, asking “yes” or “no” questions to gain clues about the name posted on their backs. Ages: All.  Recommended # of People: 20 and over.  Messiness Factor: No sweat.  Materials Required: Several labels with famous names on them. Recommended Setting: Indoors. Celebrity ID Game Instructions: The Celebrity ID Game is a good way to get a large group to mingle and break the ice by interacting with lots of people rapidly.  To set up, the moderator prepares several labels with famous celebrity or well-known names (e.g. Tom Hanks, Mickey Mouse, Barry Bonds, etc.)  The moderator sticks a label on each person’s back.  You can also stick labels or cards on a person’s forehead if you like.  Then, the moderator announces it is time for the game to begin.  At this point everybody mingles and introduces themselves to each other, and then each person asks yes or no questions to gain clues about the name.  When a person correctly identifies the name, he or she removes the label and continues to mingle until a preset amount of...
Shoe ID Game

Shoe ID Game

Summary: An icebreaker where all players throw a shoe into a big pile. Grab a random shoe and find out three new facts about the person. Ages: All. Recommended # of People: 10 and over.  Messiness Factor: Smelly. Materials Required: None.  Recommended Setting: Indoors. Shoe ID Game The Shoe ID Game is a fun albeit smelly icebreaker game.  Instructions Everybody takes off a shoe and throws them in a large pile on the floor. On the count of three, each person grabs a shoe from the pile, then find the person with the matching shoe in their other foot and find out their name and three things about them they didn’t already know. Works best with larger groups. After everyone has found their person and asked them the questions, then go around the circle and have everyone introduce the person they talked to and tell the three things about them. This game is a good large group game, though it can be somewhat...
Chubby Bunny Game

Chubby Bunny Game

Summary:  A hilarious action game that involves stuffing marshmallows in your mouth and trying to yell, “Chubby Bunny!” Ages:  10 and up.  Recommended number of players: 3 and up.  Messiness factor:  Have a trash can and paper towels ready for a marshmallow mess.  Materials required:  A few bags of medium to large sized marshmallows. Chubby Bunny Chubby Bunny is a simple yet hilarious game that involves adding marshmallows to players’ mouths, one at a time, and getting players to yell the words “Chubby Bunny.” How to play:   Have three or more players go to the front of the room.  Have paper towels or a large trash can ready, as this game can end up being a bit messy.  Open up a bag of medium to large sized marshmallows.  Give a marshmallow to each player, and have them insert it into their mouth.  Do not let them chew or swallow the marshmallow. After each player has inserted a marshmallow in their mouth, each player takes turns screaming, “Chubby Bunny!” If each person is successful in yelling the words with the marshmallow in their mouth, they survive and continue playing the game.  Give each player another marshmallow.  They must insert this marshmallow and yell “Chubby Bunny!” again.  This process continues, and each player’s mouth will start to become full of marshmallows.  As long as the player can yell “Chubby Bunny” successfully without losing any marshmallows out of their mouth, they keep playing.  When a person is unable to yell “Chubby Bunny,” they are out of the game. Warning: Be careful! This game can lead to choking if improperly played.  Always supervise players. ...
Seven-Up

Seven-Up

Summary: A kids’ game in which seven people secretly select seven other kids by pushing their thumbs down at “night”, followed by those kids guessing which of the seven chose them. Ages: 6-12.  Recommended # of People: 20+. Messiness Factor: No Sweat. Materials Required: None. Seven-Up (7Up) How to Play Seven-up (7Up) is a popular elementary school game that has the benefit of getting kids to be quiet.  In the game, seven students are chosen to be “It”, and so they stand at the front of the classroom. When the lights are out, the remaining students are instructed to close their eyes, put their heads down and make a fist with one hand, except for an upwards-pointing thumb. The seven standing students roam around the room, each touching one person’s thumb. The person that was touched then puts his or her thumb down, so that he or she isn’t picked twice. When the seven students are done choosing, they return to the front of the room (“Heads up, seven up!”) and the lights go back on. All students open their eyes and raise their heads.  The seven students whose thumbs had been touched stand up and take turns trying to guess who their toucher was. If they guess correctly, they replace the toucher at the front of the room.  If a toucher managed to not get picked by the student he touched, the toucher stayed in the game for another round. This game is especially well-suited for...
Thumbs Game

Thumbs Game

Summary: Players stand in a circle and repeatedly take turns showing 0, 1 or 2 thumbs up signs with their hands.  Players take turns trying to correctly guess the number of thumbs that will pop up. Ages: All. Recommended # of Players: A small group of 3 to 6 people. Messiness factor: No mess, no stress! Materials required: None. Recommended Setting: Indoor settings. The Thumbs Game The Thumbs Game is a simple game that has some similarities to Rock, Paper, Scissors, with some interesting variations. To begin, have a small number of players (ideally 3-6) stand facing each other in a circle, with their arms out and making a fist. Playing the Game To play the game, there are several turns.  On each turn, each player repeatedly shows 0, 1 or 2 thumbs; all the thumbs are totaled up and one player tries to guess how many thumbs will show up.  If the player guesses correctly, he wins that round.  If he guesses incorrectly, it is the next person’s turn. For example, if there are three players in the circle, there could be anywhere from zero to six thumbs that can go up, so each player guesses a number from 0 to 6.  The game could proceed as follows: Example Game Three players, Player A, Player B and Player C hold their hands out.  It’s Player A’s turn. Player A says: “2!” At that moment, all players, including Player A, decide whether to show 0, 1 or 2 thumbs.  Everyone has a split second to show their thumbs.  If the total is 2 (correct guess), then Player A wins...
Great Egg Drop

Great Egg Drop

Summary: A team building exercise in which groups build structures and try to prevent an egg from breaking. A judge tosses all structures (with the eggs inside) from a high elevation at the end. The winners are the groups that successfully protect the egg. Ages: 14 and up. Recommended # of People: Several groups of 4-5. Messiness Factor: Quite messy. Materials required: Raw eggs, several straws, masking tape, newspaper, and any other materials for building. The Great Egg Drop Instructions The Great Egg Drop is a teambuilding activity that involves creativity and problem solving given a set of resources.  To begin, assemble groups of 4 or 5 and give each group various materials for building (e.g. 5-20 straws, a roll of masking tape, one fresh egg, newspaper, etc.). Alternatively, you can give no materials and ask the participants to find materials from outdoors, but this increases the difficulty level significantly. Instruct the participants and give them a set amount of time (e.g. 30 minutes) to complete building a structure, with the egg inside. When time expires, collect all structures and then dramatic finale in which the structures are dropped from at least 10 feet in elevation and then inspected to see if the eggs survived. The winners are the groups that were successful in protecting the egg. Many variations are possible — additional constraints, for example. This activity is useful to illustrate the importance of team and to highlight aspects of project...
Banana Pass

Banana Pass

Summary: A high-paced, messy relay race in which players pass a banana using their feet and the last person must eat the mushy fruit. Ages: 10 and up. Recommended # of People: Teams of 7-10. Messiness Factor: Quite messy! Materials: Bananas, at least 1 per team. Setting: Outdoor. The Banana Pass Game The banana pass is an outdoor action game that is essentially a messy relay race. The “baton” is a banana — except the catch is that you can only use your feet to pass it! Eww.. How to Play Players lie down on the grass, head to toe in a straight line with each person’s toes about 2 feet away from the next teammate’s head. When the game begins, the first people in line grab hold of the banana with their feet and pass it over their heads to the next person’s feet. The next person receives the banana with his or her feet and passes again until the entire team is done. When the banana has been passed to the last person, this person must peel the banana and eat it (ewww!). After eating it, the person then must run back to the starting line, finishing the race for the...
Thirsty Straws

Thirsty Straws

Summary: A funny relay race in which players must quickly drink as much water as they can and then pass it on to the next person. Ages: 10 and up. Recommended # of People: Teams of 4.  Messiness Factor: Better have a bathroom available!  Materials Required: A liter of water per team, straws long enough to reach the bottom of container.  Recommended Setting: Outdoor Thirsty Straws Game Instructions: In groups of four, choose the order in which each person will drink.  Thirsty Straws is a relay race to see who finishes first. The object of the game is to be the first team to drink the entire liter of water — with the requirement that each member of the team can only drink once. The catch is that if each person does not drink his/her share, the last person is left to finish off whatever is left.  This is usually an extremely difficult task and usually hilarious to watch.Note: This game may not be the most sanitary of games.  As a cleaner alternative, consider a relay using multiple bottles of water, in which the next person can drink when the person finishes his or her one...

First Impressions Game

Summary: An icebreaker (or party game) in which people write their first impressions of each other on a large paper taped to their backs. Ages: 13 and up. Recommended number of people: At least 10. Works with very large groups and meetings. Mesiness factor: No mess, no stress! Materials required: A large piece of paper or posterboard for each participant, pens/markers, sturdy tape. Recommended Setting: Indoors or outdoors. First Impressions Game This is a fun game that involves writing your first impression of someone you meet. If some people already know each other, that’s fine too — people can simply write some nice, encouraging words or adjectives to describe each other. This works well as an icebreaker for meetings, when there are new people present, or when people don’t know each other well. It can be entertaining as a party game, too. To set up First Impressions, pass out the large sheets of paper and writing utensils. Have each person write their name on the top of a sheet of paper. Tape each person’s sheet to their back so that they can’t see it. Instruct everyone to mingle with each other and to converse. Tell everyone to say hello and to introduce each other for a few moments. After a minute or so, ask each person to write an adjective (their “first impression” of the person they just spoke with) on each other’s papers. Then have each person continue mingling with new people, repeating the process. After 10-20 minutes (depending on how large your group is and how long you want this activity to run), each person should have...
Ultimate Ninja Game

Ultimate Ninja Game

Summary: An action-packed, fast paced, hilarious game in which the object is to become the “ultimate ninja” — the person with the quickest reflexes! Dodge the other player’s attacks and get the others out. Ages: 10 and up.  Recommended # of people: 6-12.  Messiness factor: Might break a sweat.  Materials required: None! Instructions for the Ultimate Ninja Game Ultimate Ninja is a great action-based game that involves quickness, a little bit of strategy, and skill.  The goal is to be the “ultimate ninja,” or the person who has the quickest reflexes.  Players try to eliminate others by successfully hitting their hands.  The game is played clockwise, with each person taking a turn.  On your turn, you are allowed one motion: (1) an attempt to hit another person’s hand with your hand, or (2) one movement, such as taking a step in any direction.  When a player is trying to hit your hand, you are allowed one motion to dodge the strike; however, you must hold this new position once you dodge.  If a player successfully hits your hand, you are “out” and you must leave the circle. The last person remaining wins. Detailed Instructions:  Gather everyone and have all players stand towards the center of a room.  Have everyone say the words, “Ultimate… Ninja!” and then have everyone pose in a ninja stance.  Choose one person to begin the game.  On a person’s turn, he or she may try to strike someone’s hand with one motion, or he or she make move one step.  Once this person does his one motion, it immediately becomes the next person’s turn (following clockwise...

Big Wind Blows Game

Summary: Big Wind Blows is a good icebreaker that helps people get to know each other better. Players sit in a circle, with one person in the center as “the big wind.”  This person says identifies a characteristic that is true about themselves and then all players who share the same characteristic must find a new seat. Ages: All. Recommended # of people: At least 6 players. Messiness factor: Slight running. Materials required: Chairs for each player, minus one. Recommended setting: Indoors or Outdoors. The Big Wind Blows Game Big Wind Blows is an icebreaker game that combines aspects of musical chairs with a get-to-know-you task. It can be humorous and entertaining, especially when you discover interesting facts that you might not expect about people. How to Play Big Wind Blows To set up the game, arrange several chairs facing inward into a medium sized circle. There should be one chair for each player, minus one. One person starts as the “Big Wind” in the center of the circle, with everyone else seated.  The Big Wind raises both arms and spins around, while saying the following: “The Big Wind blows _____”. The blank must be filled with a true statement about himself or herself, such as “The Big Wind blows everyone who has been to Canada” or any other true fact.  At this point, any of the players who share this characteristic (including the person who is currently the Big Wind) must stand up and quickly find a new seat. For each statement, no player is allowed to sit in the same seat or a seat directly adjacent to...
Drip, Drip, Drop Game

Drip, Drip, Drop Game

Summary:  An action game that has some similarities to Duck, Duck, Goose.  It involves guessing and potentially getting a cup of water dumped on you! Ages:  8 and up.  Recommended number of players: 5 and up.  Messiness factor:  People will get wet.  Materials required:  A large cup and water. Drip, Drip, Drop Drip, Drip, Drop is a simple game that involves a bit of guessing and getting other players wet. How to play:   Fill up a large cup with water.  Give it to one player (e.g. John).  Everyone sits in a circle.  The player with the cup (John) chooses a category and announces it to the group (for example, colors).  John then chooses a color without telling the group. The person walks around the group, stopping at each group member. The group member must guess which color the person has chosen. If they guess the wrong color, the person drops a little bit of water on them. If the group member guesses correctly, the person dumps some water on them (pours the cup of water). Then both members must run around the circle and be the first person to sit back down in that spot (just like in duck-duck-goose). Submitted by: Katelynn Sovie.  Thanks...
Celebrity Game

Celebrity Game

Summary: A game in which players attempt to guess the celebrity via clues (Round 1), charades (Round 2), and one word descriptions (Round 3). Ages: All.  Recommended # of people: 10-15.  Messiness factor: No sweat.  Materials required:  Timer, small slips of paper, pens/pencils, bag or hat.  Recommended Setting: Indoors. Celebrity Game The Celebrity Game is a guessing game similar to the Bowl Game.  It features a lot of good variety in gameplay and works well with medium sized groups. Supplies: 1 minute timer, small slips of paper, pens/pencils, a bag or hat to hold the slips of paper. Setup:  Distribute three slips of paper for each player.  Each player must think of three celebrities or famous people (living, dead, real, or fictional) and write these on a slip of paper (one name per slip).  Divide the group into two teams.  There needs to be a scorekeeper to keep score.  Each team will have 1 minute per turn. For each turn, the person who is “it” (the clue giver) and must use verbal clues or gestures (charades) to try to get their team to correctly guess what is written on the slip.  The goal of the game is to have your team correctly guess as many clues as possible.  The winning team at the end of the game is the team that has the most points. First Round – Verbal Clues.  For the first round, the person who is “it” must use descriptive clues in a way that is similar to board games like Taboo and Catchphrase, i.e., saying anything that might get their team to correctly guess the word...