Category Archives for "Icebreakers"

Icebreaker: In Order Of…

This activity serves as an icebreaker, team-building exercise, and self-leadership activity.

In order of can be done in many different ways.

You can come up with various variations as well.

The principle is to give different instructions where participants have to arrange themselves "in order of" (standing, sitting, or lying down).

A very enjoyable, simple, challenging, and insightful variation is: "Blindfolded, in order of shoe size".

I personally experienced my (lack of) leadership in this activity.

I literally stood still and did nothing.

Since then, I have become more aware in my life and ask myself, "What can I do in this situation?".

Imagine the impact this experiential exercise can have!

This activity promotes:
- Getting to know each other
- Team building
- Collaboration
- Self-leadership

Instructions for In order of:
Time: 20-30 minutes
Participants: 8 to 20
Indoor and Outdoor

Materials Needed:
Blindfolds, or simply asking participants to close their eyes will work too. Purchasing a set of tea towels is also a quick option.

Participants receive a group task that can only be completed together.

All participants stand apart, maintaining a distance from each other.

You provide the group with different instructions.

Here are a few suggestions:

Arrange yourselves in order of:
- First name
- Age (always hilarious)
- Height
- Place of residence
- Geographical order of residence (I usually don't provide clear explanations, leading to confusion. Participants tend to spread out, start shouting, and chaos ensues... until a leader emerges or not...)
- Etcetera, depending on the group's theme or the training/lesson

The most enjoyable and impactful variation is:

First, everyone blindfolds themselves. After the instructions, no one is allowed to speak.

The task now is:
Arrange yourselves in a line, in order of shoe size, from smallest to largest.

icebreaker self leadership teambuilding in order of

As a trainer, you observe what is happening.

Personal leadership now comes to the fore.

You probably already guessed...

I didn't take action.


One person just starts laughing. Another person starts talking (breaking the rules). Yet another person secretly looks around (also against the rules). Someone insists on following the instructions precisely. Someone tries to put everyone else in their place.

At a certain point, I ask:
"If you think everyone is in the right place, raise your right hand."

And then I mention the number of hands I see raised.

3 handen in order of

Often, you will notice that after that comment, the number of raised hands either increases or decreases.

icebreaker, self leadership, teambuilding in order of

In short, it's a fantastic activity that brings out a lot of observable behaviors and provides participants with valuable insights both individually (self-leadership) and as a team (teambuilding).

Now, there's still the debriefing to be done...

Beforehand, check if the participants are comfortable with physical contact. If needed, discuss how they should touch each other.

What happened? (this asks for factual behavior)
How did you participate?
Did you play fair?
How did it affect you?
Where do you recognize yourself doing "this" (or your team doing this)?
What will you/we take away from this experience?

In summary, it's an excellent activity that reveals a lot of behaviors and provides participants with valuable insights both individually (self-leadership) and as a team (teambuilding).

icebreaker, self leadership, teambuilding in order of

the ultimate name game: Everyone is someone else.

“What was your name again?” is a question your hear all the time, especially during a training or at a meeting. The ultimate name game plays with this idea. The ultimate name game is, like the activities described above, a good way to get acquainted.
This activity promotes
    • acquaintance
    • contact
    • energy
    • fun
    • many more
Required material
     • name tags (to pin or put down and a marker)
Game sequence / instruction
You will see during trainings or seminars that after registration, you will receive a name tag that you can pin on your shirt. This also happens in training rooms in the form of a folded card on the table.
With this method you give each participant a card that is not his/her own. It is then the first task of that person to find and hand over the name card owner.
How you organize it exactly is up to you. Examples: you consciously pin the wrong card on arrival at the participant (or you let someone of your team do this) and tell them that they will soon be told why they did not receive their own card.
Or allow the participants to enter the room and they will find a ticket in their seat. But you ask them to pin it and then find the owner. Extra assignment: Let them discover why they have just received a card that belongs to somebody else (search for community).

“Guess the animal” The game

This way of working is, just like Human Bingo, a way to start before the training, workshop or meeting begins to get the participants to get to know each other.
This icebreaker promotes
Required material
  • two rolls (painters) of tape
  • good black highlighters.
Game sequence / instruction
The participants do not know each other. You want them to come into contact with each other in a easy-going way.
You start your explanation by saying that you tear off a piece of tape and write an animal name on it. You stick this tape to someone on his back without him knowing what animal name there is. This person must discover by asking closed questions which animal he ‘is’. In the meantime, others are also busy tearing down tapes and writing animal names on them and sticking these tapes to someone else’s back.
When the last participants have arrived, you can see if you can complete the game. Of course, there must be a few people who have guessed their name.
There is no need to evaluate. Look for yourself what kind of meat you have in the tub; which people are more easy-going and which are more quiet and introverted, so that you as a trainer also get to know the group.
Have you tried this game? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below!


Human Bingo: Bingo with a twist!

‘Human Bingo’ is a fun way to introduce participants to each other, at the start of the training, workshop or meeting. ‘Human Bingo’ is excellent for getting good energy. I always see hugely enthusiastic and happy faces. You hear everyone talking to each other, a lot of movement, laughing and finally there is someone calling “Bingo !!!”.

This activity promotes

getting aquainted

Required materials

• pens.
• a bingo card with statements (for each participant a card).

Game sequence / instruction

The group is instructed to enter into a dialogue with each other and to enter the names of the participants on the bingo card.
After all the participants are in possession of a bingo card, the icebreaker starts. Then people start talking to each other and try to answer all the statements on the bingo card as quickly as possible. An example: “Are you in possession of a first aid diploma?” If the person to whom the question is asked “yes”, he writes his name on your bingo card.
The person who called “Bingo!” may come forward. Naturally, the card is checked. I do this by simply mentioning one of the questions: ‘Which of you is in possession of a first aid diploma?’


You can only ask one question at a time. Then you must first have been with someone else before you can ask a second question to the same person.

Goal of the game

Try to fill your bingo card with as many different names as possible.

Game sequence

Find a participant for whom the question is valid.
Have this person fill in his or her name in the box.
Only one name will appear in each box moreover, each name can be placed on the card only once.
Loudly call “BINGO” once you have filled all the boxes.

Human Bingo, Bingo with a twist! Bingo card

Have you tried this game? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below!

Simon Says

Today, we have another video from Mark Collard for you. This time it is about listening and reflex skills.

The goal of the exercise is that you learn to listen in a way you might not expect, because in this video, they play Simon says in a very unconventional way. First the participants are told to walk when Mark says ‘WALK’ and to stop walking when he says ‘STOP’. However after a while the words get switched. Now they have to walk when he says ‘STOP’ and the other way around. This is not all, because other command get added to make the game more challenging. First ‘CLAP’ and ‘NAME’ and later ‘JUMP’ and ‘DANCE’ get added. This is fun to do with a large group of people or children. It triggers the mind to think and people will be more observant afterwards.

Enjoy watching!


Making Connections

Mark Collard is the founder and director of playmeo and he has written many books on the subject of icebreakers.

He started playmeo as an innovative online platform to share fun and valuable group games. Besides having a website and many books on his name, he now also has a youtube channel. It is called Mark Collard and it gives a helpful guide on how to facilitate a great group activity. The channel also give a few examples of great teambuilding activities.

In this video he explains and shows a fun exercise you can do with a group of people that don’t know each other yet.

The Lunch Game

Hey everybody,

Check out this video from our new friend Herman Otten. He make video’s on teambuilding activities and icebreakers.

In this video he explains the icebreaker called The Lunch Game.

This is how it works:

First, you assemble all the participants in a circle, then you divide the group by three. As a result you get multiple groups of three. So for example if you are with a group of fifteen, you get five groups of three people. Secondly, you tell the groups to each come up with a assignment. This assignment can be anything they want it to be, as long as it can be done during lunch. Then each group passes their assignment on to the next group. (group 2 get their assignment from group 1, and 3 from 2, etc.). Lastly each group goes to lunch and does their assignment. Afterwards you show each other what you have accompliced.

On his Youtube channel you will find some variations.


Mine field

You can use Mine field if you want to teach people how to adapt to the style of communication that others have. But it is also very entertaining.

This activity promotes:

  • Teambuilding
  • Acceptation & Understanding
  • Making Agreements
  • Teamwork
  • Many more….


Time: 20 – 30 min

Participants: 2 or more

Inside and Outside


Required materials:

Anything that can be used as a obstacle (mine). Think of  frisbees, pillars, plates, bags and more. You can use ropes to define the Mine field.


Give instructionds while the participants stand in a circle.


The participant work in couples.

How it works:

  • One of the two is blindfolded( you can also close your eyes).
  • The other stand on the other side of the mine field and will guide the person that is blindfolded through the field.
  • Guided by the instruction of the other the blindfolded person walks through the mine field. If he/she touches one of the mines however they have to start again.
  • If the blindfolded person makes it to the other side. He/she makes contact with the other persons hand and the mission has been accomplished.


  • Multiple people cross the mine field from different directions.


What happened?

What did the other person need?

What did you learn?

Security check

Give good intructions and pay attention to the game. Avoid people walking into walls if you play indoors.


The Magic Rope

The Magic Rope is one of my favorite icebreakers.
There is so much in it and a lot can happen.
The intention of the exercise is that the group gets a short assignment and that the assignment is only successful when everyone has done it.

After that, I let the group choose a challenge.
With this I stimulate the team to be self-steering.

This activity promotes:


Time: 20 – 30 min
Participants: 8 or more
Inside and outside

Required materials
1 large rope and 1 or 2 people to turn the rope(2 turners if the rope can not be attached anywhere).

Set all participants on one side of the rope (keep the sun in mind)

Tell the participants that they get assignments and that these are only successful when it has been successfully completed by the whole group. The assignments start very easily and slowly become increasingly more difficult.

How it works:
The assignment is as follows:

  • Try to get to the other side of the rope without touching the rope.
  • First keep the rope still right above the ground ,so they can step over it. Repeat this with the rope twice. The second timeYou hold it up high enough, as a result they will have to walk underneath. But if they are smart, they run around it. This is allowed.
  • Keep turning the rope from now on and adjust the assignment;
  • First every time the rope turns around one person has to go under the rope.
  • Second go to the other side with 2 people at a time.
  • Now every time the rope turns around, there must be 4 people underneath.
  • After that go with 8 people and then with everybody.
  • Let the participants to make a plan to go underneath the rope at the same time. After they made it and told you, the instructor, they aren’t allowed to talk anymore.


Vary with the rules: Every time the rope turns, 1, 2, or more must pass under the rope.
You can have some participants blindfolded. So that it becomes more exciting.
Make duo’s and let them invent there own assignment.
What happened? (this is asking for actual behavior)
How do you feel about it?
What have you learned?

Security check
Try to avoid wet undergrounds. Also if someone touches the rope, then let loose of the rope.


This icebreaker is great with a group that just met.

this activity promotes


Time: 10 – 15 min

Participants: 6 – 14

Inside as well as outside.


Required materials



All the participants stand in a circle.


The participants just met each other and may have done some games already to get to know each other.

How it works

  • Everybody stands in a circle and “the smasher” stands in the middle.
  • Someone in the circle says the name of someone else. The smasher tries to find this person and hits that person with the newspaper on the legs.
  • To avoid getting hit the person, whose name has been called, says another name. Then the smasher has to go after this person. If he is too late and gets hit, he becomes the smasher.


  • Making the circle bigger or smaller.
  • Adding rules such as, a man can only say a woman’s name or you can’t say someone whose hair has the same colour as yours.
  • Before you say the name you have to clap in your hands.
  • Suggestions from the group.

Safety check

Make sure that the participants only hit under the knees, in such a way that it doesn’t hurt.

Attention points

Keep changing the rules. To make sure that it stays interesting.



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