When using icebreaker games for small groups, you’ll be doing everyone a huge favor.
Banishing awkwardness, easing strangers into conversations, melting silences – are all benefits of including icebreakers.
You can also use them as warm-ups before party games.
In terms of “small group", these icebreakers work best with 6-10 people. Anything less or more, and the icebreaker loses its intimacy. These numbers are just a suggestion though.
Let’s get started on your icebreaker games for small groups.
Icebreaker games for small groups 1-5
Mix And Meet
You’ll need a large bag of M&Ms. Assign a meaning to each color – e.g. Blue/social life, green/job, yellow/hobbies.
Pass them around in a bowl, making sure everyone grabs a palmful.
Now players takes it in turns sharing, based on the colors they’ve picked. If they’ve picked more of the same color (e.g. 3 greens), then they share a bit more.
- If you prefer not to use sugary food, you can use poker chips. Playing cards also work – assign a meaning to the different suits, then one for pictured cards and one for numbered cards.
The Human Knot
Assemble in a circle, before asking everyone to reach across and take the hand of two other players. Make sure they’re all connected before moving on.
- The group now tries to untangle the “human knot” they’ve made – all without letting go of each other.
Anyone who does can rejoin the game, by reaching for another player’s hands.
Favorite Moments in a Hat
Sit in a circle, with 5 yellow Post It notes and a pen each.
Ask everyone to write down one favorite personal moment per note. (Make sure they leave off their name).
Shuffle them in a hat, and invite each person to reach in and read out a note. Everyone has to guess who it belongs to.
Depending on how well you know each other, you can change up this topic to bring out different connections. Work experiences, fears overcome, or dating horror stories are other fun alternatives.
This game needs 8+ players – and is played throughout your party. You’ll also need a big bag of clothes pegs, as each player gets 5.
Firstly, decide as a group which 3 words no one will be allowed to say. Select words that suit your event.
- e.g., if it’s a dinner, words might include “work”, “food” and “meeting”
- If it’s a birthday, maybe “birthday” and the birthday person’s name (check they’re okay with this)
You’ll want words that will be hard not to say.
Then give each guest 5 clothes pegs to clip onto their clothes. Explain how players can take a peg anytime they catch another saying a banned word.
The player with the most pegs wins.
What Lie Is That?
Each person shares two truths – and one that isn’t. Their lie must be believable, so that it’s harder to guess.
Now everyone tries to figure out which one’s the lie. Once discovered, players can share more about it.
Icebreaker games for small groups 6-10
Everyone gets the name of a famous person taped to their back, and works the room, asking Yes/No questions to learn who they are. They are only allowed to ask each person one question, before moving on.
The player who can guess who they are with the least number of questions is the winner.
You’ll need a sketchpad and pens. Arrange the room so everyone is on the floor in a circle.
You’ll also need a pack of sentences that you’ve written and cut into strips. Only you will have access to this pack. Here are some examples:
- The boy started crying when he accidentally let go of his balloon.
- The horse looked angrily at the tractor that was entering the field.
Nominate someone to start.
- Allow them to choose a sentence, with 10 seconds to read it, then 20 seconds to draw it.
- The sketchpad is passed to the next player, who must work out what the drawing is
- Ask them to write their sentence for this drawing on another page
- The next player then draws that sentence on another blank page.
Once the sketchpad reaches the last person, it should end on a drawing; if not, keep going until it does.
This person guesses what the original sentence is.
Number a set of 40 index cards, adding the name of an object or animal on each blank side.
Shuffle the deck, then nominate a person to take a card (number side up).
- Without showing anyone, they tells a story about their “life” as the object on the card, but can’t say what it is. Everyone else has to guess. Whoever gets the most guesses right wins.
What Did You Learn Yesterday
Similar to Favorite Moments, this time the topic is deeper.
Ask players to write down five things they learned yesterday, each on its own Post It note.
Collect up the notes, with each player taking turns to read one. Everyone now guesses who it belongs to, with the owner sharing more info.
To wind up your icebreaker games for small groups, a simple game for all.
As guests arrive at your party, ask each one to take off one of their shoes. Gather these into a pile.
- Now hand everyone a shoe that isn’t their own. Send them off to find the owner of their “new” shoe and learn something about them.
Everyone then feeds back about their new friend.