Archives by: Alex Hogendoorn

Name Game

Small Group Icebreaker Game –
A classic – everyone writes a word/name on a piece of paper, folds it and drops it in a hat. One person takes all those names and then reads them through three times (in a different order to be fair.) He/she selects one person to begin. They ask, “Fred, are you ‘frying pan’?” Fred isn’t, so he then asks, “Jill, are you ‘Tiny Tim'” And she is, so she becomes Fred’s assistant (sits at his feet) and helps him try to accumulate the whole group. You guess again if you are right. If you capture someone with slaves/assistants, you acquire the slaves as well. Good for group meetings under 20 large, but larger than 6 or so.

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Fact Finding Game – Icebreaker

Small Group Icebreaker Game –
Everyone writes one fact about themselves that they think nobody will be able to guess. Fold the papers and drop them in a hat and redistribute them (nobody can have their own.)
The first person reads their paper aloud (you pick who that will be) and they try to guess who that person is…and warn people that handwriting is very telling! If they guess correctly they acquire that person as a slave. The slave hands the captor their paper and they try to capture the next person together. If you guess incorrectly, the person you guessed gets the next turn. If you capture a slave owner, you win the slaves as well.
ONE GLITCH: It is possible to capture someone looking for your name before the game is over. If that happens, anyone capturing their own “fact paper” is safe and hopes they end up with the largest group in the end. Pick someone to start the guessing again.

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Four on the Couch + Fruit Basket

Living room game for 10-25 kids –
Have enough seats for everyone except one. The seatless person then calls out a description of people in the room – “Everyone in grade 10”. Those matching the description have to get out of their seat and find another seat, and the caller tries to get into a seat as well leaving a new odd-man-out. The goal of the game is to get four members of your team (usually girlz vs. boyz) on the couch. (Some contact will occur.)
RULES FOR CALLING: You cannot call visible characteristics like “Everyone wearing blue”. Instead call, “everyone whose mother is over 50”.

You cannot make a call that isolates one person alone.

Have fun and use a sturdy couch.

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Othello – Small Group version

Small group icebreaker game – 10+ people

(If your group has mastered Four on the Couch, try this game – a tad bit trickier.)

Everyone sits in a circle with one vacant chair remaining. Everyone draws a paper from a hat–these papers have the names of everyone in the room. Show no one your paper! Have all the girls cross their legs (Black team – X) and all the guys uncross their legs (white team. – U) The person to the right of the vacant chair calls out a name. Whoever has that name on their paper moves to take the vacant seat and switches names with the person who called them.

When they take this seat they may capture members from the other team (like in OTHELLO the board game.) See below:
U X U (X) X U <-- in this situation (X) sat in the vacant chair. The 2nd U to her left is trapped because he finds himself stuck between two X's (or crossed's). U X U U U U U (X) <-- in this situation (X) sat in the vacant chair and captured the entire run of U's between her and the next X. U X U U ( ) U (X) X <-- in this situation nobody is captured because the vacant seat that (X) left behind acts like the edge of the board. All captured people/pieces must change teams by crossing or uncrossing their legs. The game is over when one team is left with 0 or 1 players.

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Scorched Earth

A Rip-off on the classic computer game–
You need several three person slingshots** for this game, and ammunition that won’t kill people — like nerf balls, or soft cotton stuffed balls, but NOT LIKE TENNIS BALLS. (I don’t recommend water balloons for this game. You’d need several hundred.) Have about 10 rounds/team.

Using rope–or whatever–make two large circles (or more if you have more slingshots) and place your slingshot trio in the circle–this is your TANK. You may include two other team mates in the circle to act as your shield. All the rest of the team are ammunition gatherers.

The goal of each tank is to shoot and blow up the other tank. If they shoot a ball and it lands in the circle it counts for 50 points. If it actually hits the one of the three people comprising the tank’s slingshot/turret it counts for 200 points. If a shield or ammunition gatherer catches a ball out of the air it counts as 10 points. (The people on the turret can catch as well, but if they drop the ball it will count as 200 points for the other team.) First team to accumulate 500 points blows up the other tank(s).

** These slingshots can be made from surgical tubing. Simply make a large elastic band (5 feet in diameter) and sew a pouch in the middle (denim works well.) Two people stand and hold the elastic, acting as posts, and the third puts a ball in the pouch and pulls it back and releases it. Encourage the tanks to lob shots and not to B-line them.

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