Sometimes, not everyone at a party or event knows everyone else. Introduce your guests to each other and help everyone feel comfortable by playing a few ice breaker games at the start of the party. Ice breaker games help adults find others with common interests and help even the shyest of children enjoy a birthday party.
Names can be difficult to remember, especially if someone is meeting several new people all at once. Help your guests learn and remember each other’s names by turning introductions into a game. Have the guests stand in a circle. The first person says his name and an adjective that describes him and that also starts with the first letter of his name. The next person states her name and a descriptive adjective, plus the first person’s name and adjective. If you are playing with particularly small children, you may want to have them only say their names or the game might become too complicated.
Get adults talking to each other by pairing up guests at your party. Make sure the pairs consist of two people who don’t already know each other, if possible. Have each person in the pair introduce themselves to the other person. Then, assign a topic of conversation and have the pair chat for about a minute. Once the minute is up, ring a bell and tell the pairs to find a new partner. Continue on until everyone has had a brief conversation with everyone else in the room.
Physical Ice Breakers
Physical ice breakers really help people to connect and are particularly great for small children, who may not be as concerned about grabbing a stranger’s hand as adults or teens might be. One great game is the Human Knot. Have people stand in a circle. Tell them to grab another person’s hand and then grab the hand of yet another person with the opposite hand. Instruct the group to unravel themselves from the knot of arms without letting go of anyone’s hand, until they are in a circle once again.
Truth or Dare
If it is played correctly, truth or dare can be a great ice breaker for both adults and children. Just make sure you establish ground rules from the start, such as no embarrassing or harassing truth questions and no risky dares. The first player gets to choose whether he wants to answer a question or complete a dare. Someone else in the group then comes up with a dare or question, which the first person must answer or complete. The game continues until everyone has had a chance to complete a dare or answer a question.
Help your guests get to know each other by creating a list of words or phrases that describe at least each person in the room. The list can include facts about one person in particular, such as “likes to cook,” “has freckles” and “works at a bank.” Give a copy of the list to each guest. Ask each guest to ask the other guests if any of these phrases apply to them. As the guests interview each other, a name gets written down next to the identifying information. The game goes on until everyone has his list of names completed.
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