Mix and Mingle: Icebreakers and Games for a Fun-filled Gathering

Are you planning some kind of get-together? Maybe it’s a party (such as for a birthday or wedding) or something more formal, like a corporate function or a team-building session.

Whatever the exact type of event you are taking steps to organise, many of the attendees could be meeting each other for the first time — in which case, it would be convenient for you to put on some games and other fun activities that are likely to help diffuse tension (yes, ‘break the ice’). 

Here are some icebreakers you could try…

Name That Tune

This is a simple one: participants take turns playing a popular song. As for how they play it, they could whistle it, tap out the tune or even use a musical instrument (if there is one at close hand). 

However, at no point should the performer speak or utter any of the song’s lyrics. Everyone else can then guess the song’s name.

Two Truths and a Lie

The name of this game is somewhat self-explanatory, but here are the rules anyway: each player states three “facts” about themselves, but one of those will actually be false. The rest of the group has to figure out which one is the lie.

The jobs listings website Indeed advocates this icebreaker for corporate occasions, as it “encourages the group to learn more about one another and use critical thinking skills.”

Bad Joke Contest

What’s the most cringeworthy joke you’ve ever heard? You would have a great opportunity to share it with other people when competing in this contest.

Just let the intended players know in advance that it is happening. They probably won’t need too much time to gather some classics (or should we say, ‘stinkers’?). Plenty of us have been subjected to ‘dad jokes’ or groaned after reading the little piece of paper from inside a Christmas cracker.

Matching Game

It’s not hard to reel off a list of famous couples — like David and Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte.

You could write the names of such couples on sticky name tags (one name on each tag) before mixing them up so that they no longer match. You can subsequently apply a tag to each guest’s back.

Each guest can try to ascertain which name is on their back by asking the rest of the group yes or no questions. Once all of the names have come to light, each attendee can find their match in the group.

Before the game gets underway, you might want to investigate the options for photo booth rental in Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire or wherever else the event will take place. After all, imagine how fun it would be to see the guests get photos of themselves impersonating their celebrity matches!

Tall Tales

Are you itching to tell a story? If so, many people could help you to do exactly that when you play Tall Tales. This icebreaker game sees each participant create three sentences of a story, with the next player adding another three sentences… and so on.

On each turn, the third sentence should open with the word “suddenly”, indicating a plot twist. There’s a lot of potential for quirkiness in the story itself as everyone in the group contributes to it.

Toilet Roll Challenge

Perhaps inspired by the Outhere Brothers’ ‘90s song “Pass the Toilet Paper” (what do you mean, you don’t remember it?), this game involves initially asking each participant to tear some paper off a toilet roll. 

Then, once you know how many squares of toilet paper each person has taken, that individual should be challenged to share just as many things about themselves. For example, someone who has detached three squares from the roll will need to reveal three facts about themselves.

Superhero-Themed “Would You Rather” 

You might be familiar with the basic concept of “would you rather” games, where each person is asked to choose between two distinct options.

Well, you can put a specifically superhero-themed spin on all of this. You could start by asking: “Would you rather be Superman or Batman?” Later, you could move onto lesser-known superheroes, like Blue Beetle (yes, there was recently a film about him) and the comedic Plastic Man.

Alternatively, you could limit the focus to superpowers — especially if many of the event’s guests aren’t overly knowledgeable about the full variety of superheroes. One good starter question in this case would be: “Would you rather be super fast or super strong?” 

Subsequent questions can touch on such powers as invisibility, X-ray vision, and heat vision — or perhaps even weaknesses, and those shouldn’t necessarily include a penchant for cake or chocolate.

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