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The 21 Best Large Group Icebreakers for Teams [with Instructions]

By Heather Harper

Updated October 9, 2023 · 17 min read

In this chapter we'll take you through the best icebreaker games you can run with large groups.

Organizations and businesses tend to work in large teams. However, it's no easy feat getting a large group of people who don't know each other to open up and relax - which is where group icebreakers can help out a great deal.

Below is a list of 10 thoughtfully chosen large group icebreaker game options that are suitable for breaking the ice in large groups. They have a focus on being light-hearted, fun and simple.


If your team is working remotely at the moment then you should check out our guide on virtual team building activities and fun games for remote teams. In there you'll find 100 good ice breaker games, ice breaker ideas, and other activities for small teams, big groups, and any company or team of any group size. They also come with instructions that you can try with your newly remote team.


Here are The Best Large Group Icebreaker Games

Let's start with our top ten options for large group icebreaker games. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

1) QuizBreaker

Objective: To get teammates realizing what they have in common with each other

Participants: 10 to 500 people

Duration: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: None

quizbreaker gameplay

The goal of this virtual icebreaker game is to help large groups get to know each other better whilst having a bit of fun.

Instructions

  1. Grab a free trial of QuizBreaker

  2. Add your team as one big group or split them into smaller teams

  3. Schedule your first to quiz to be sent out (via email) and then check out the leaderboard after all it's done!

Click here to try out QuizBreaker with your team.

2) TriviaNerd

Objective: To help teams to work together and answer simple and complex problems

Participants: Up to 200 players

Duration: 15 to 20 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: Access to TriviaNerd.com's multiplayer account

trivianerd

Trivia challenges are fun and engaging ways to get the team together, making them some of the best icebreakers for large groups. You also get to learn some interesting facts along the way while enjoying a moment of team bonding.

They're easy to do and relatively simple to operate as a game master. And while you can always pick up trivia questions online, using a tool to help you out should save you a lot of time and energy.

That's why TriviaNerd is such a great tool for trivia games, so we highly recommend using it for your team building activities and ice breakers.

Instructions

  1. Login to your TriviaNerd account and go to your multiplayer trivia room. Share the invite code or QR code to your team mates.

  2. Choose a trivia game to play together.

  3. Go through the trivia games together. You can do as many as you want.

1.You can use TriviaNerd to control the time limit to your questions.

  1. Give out prizes or awards if you'd like.

3) Pass The Buck

Pass The Buck

Objective: To get group members to find out valuable information about each other

Participants: 20 to 500 people

Duration: 5 to 8 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: None

We love this team building game because it encourages everyone to share valuable information about themselves.

Instructions

  1. Ask participants to take a $1 bill out of their pocket/purse and hold it in the air (those who don’t have a $1 bill should hold any other denomination in the air).

  2. Ask them to find someone near them who is holding the same amount of money and partner up with that person.

  3. Partner one shares a piece of information that they believe is of value, with partner two.

  4. Partner two decides whether the information is of value. If it is, they give them the money. If they don’t, they can keep the money or ask for more information until they think it is of value.

  5. It then becomes partner one’s turn to decide if partner two’s information is worth value.

4) Repeat Performance

Repeat Performance

Objective: To get team members involved and engaged in your speech

Participants: 60 to 500 people

Duration: 3 to 5 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: None

We like this ice breaker activity because essentially it kills two birds with one stone. It's a good idea because you get to give a motivating and inspiring speech to your employees, whilst also introducing a fun and exciting ice breaker to weekly team meetings.

Personally, we find the idea of giving a speech whilst breaking the ice novel and exciting because research has found time and time again, that a good speech improves employees empowerment and motivation - which is why this is a great icebreaker and why we put it so high up our list.

Instructions

  1. Before starting the game, you should decide on two specific words or phrases that you would like participants to walk away from the speech remembering.

  2. Explain to your employees that you would like them to participate in your speech and that they will do this by shouting out certain words when you point with your right hand and certain words when you point with your left hand (e.g., choose the words “yes” or “no” and ask icebreaker questions periodically throughout the speech for the audience to respond to).

  3. Before starting, do a practice round in which you point your left or right hand and get them to give answers.

5) Simon Sez

Simon Sez

Objective: To get team members finding out their similarities and differences based on their birthing order

Participants: 10 to 200 people

Duration: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Medium to High

Materials: None

This is a well known activity that we used to play as kids. We love it because it gets attention, creates energy and gains the participation of everyone. We recommend using this in a speech at the start of the meeting, or as a break during a lengthy, and sometimes boring, meeting.

Instructions

  1. Get your teams to stand up and get ready to play Simon Sez.

  2. Explain the simple rules: When you say “Simon sez” followed by an order, the group should obey the order; when you give an order saying “Simon sez”, they should not follow the order.

  3. Give the orders. After each order, tell people who were correct in following the orders to remain standing, and people who were wrong to sit down.

  4. When finished, announce that the people still standing are the winners.

This is the Simon Sez order:

  • Simon sez lift your right hand into the air

  • Simon sez lift your left hand into the air

  • Put your right hand down

  • Simon sez put your left hand down

  • Simon sez point upward with your right hand

  • Simon sez point downward with your left hand

  • Simon sez point both hands toward yourself

  • Point both hands towards your neighbors

  • Simon sez stop point and sit down

  • Simon sez stand up

6) Air Balloons

Air Balloons

Objective: To work in teams to keep a balloon in the air for as long as possible

Participants: 20 or more

Duration: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: Balloons & stop watches

We like the balloon game because it’s fun, quick and easy.

This icebreaker is guaranteed to get everyone up, involved and having a good time whether they are kids or adults.

Instructions

  1. Separate your team into different teams. Ideally, each team should have no more than 3-5 people per team, but you can have as many teams as you’d like.

  2. Give each team an inflated balloon.

  3. Nominate 1 player from each team to be a timekeeper - their job is to record the time that the team kept the balloon in the air without touching it.

  4. Everyone has 3 minutes to try and keep the balloon in the air for as long as possible - the balloon must be kept in the air for as long as possible, without being touched or without touching the ground. Each time the balloon is touched, or touches the ground, the stop watch must be set back to zero.

  5. The winning team are the one that keep the balloon in the air for as long as they can.

7) Blanket Game

Blanket Game

Objective: To get team members familiar with each other in a fun way

Participants: 10 to 50 people

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: One very large blanket

We love it because it's simple, yet effective. The blanket game is perfect for teams who don’t know each other very well just yet. This icebreaker places a massive emphasis on helping everyone to get to know each other just that little better.

And, it introduces a bit of friendly competition!

Instructions

  1. Split the group into teams of 5 to 10 people.

  2. Get a volunteer to help you stand at the front and hold a blanket up.

  3. One by one, members of team one sit behind the blanket, so that team two members can’t see then.

  4. On the count of three, drop the blanket.

  5. The first player to correctly identify the name of the player behind the blanket wins the round, earning on point for their team.

  6. Repeat until the time runs out.

8) Frozen T-Shirt Race

Frozen T-Shirt Race

Participants: 15 to 50 people

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: Water, freezer, large t-shirts (enough for each player)

This is perhaps the most immature ice breaker game we have… and the most weather dependent (make sure you do it on a hot day, you don’t want your team all getting sick with a cold!)

This icebreaker is a great activity to promote team communication and spot a natural born group leader or problem-solver within any team. It's the perfect icebreaker too for teams who want something to break the rhythm of virtual meetings, day-to-day operations, and so on.

This icebreaker can work for smaller groups as well.

Instructions

  1. Before the icebreaker, freeze the t-shirts overnight:

  2. Place each t-shirt in water, and then wring it out.

  3. Fold the t-shirt neatly into a square, so that it fits inside a freezer bag.

  4. Once the shirt is folded flat, press it to squeeze out the remaining water and then seal the bag and lay it flatly in the freezer.

  5. Separate the players into teams (no more than 4 or 5 players on one team).

  6. The goal is for each team to use whatever they can to thaw a t-shirt enough to wear it.

  7. Whichever team gets their t-shirt on first wins.

9) Line Up Game

Line Up Game

Objective: Getting everyone to work together as a team to arrange themselves in a line based on a quality that is not apparently obvious

Participants: 10 to 20 people

Duration: 5 to 20 minutes

Difficulty: Hard

Materials: None

We love line up because it places an emphasis on people's qualities and their uniqueness; with research finding that diversity and uniqueness in teams actually increases team performance.

We also love the lineup game because it helps pinpoint natural leaders and team players.

Instructions

  1. Give your team a quality (e.g., birthdays) which they will have to form a line, in order, according to (e.g., January 1st is the furthest to the left, and December 31st is the furthest to the right).

  2. When the group believes that the line up is correct, they will start at one end and call out their birthdays.

  3. If the line up is correct, then the game is won. If the line up is incorrect, then do it again with another characteristic (e.g., shoe size).

10) Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

Objective: To work in teams to collect objects from around the office

Participants: 15 to 40 people

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: A list of objects that can be found in the office

If you’re able to set aside at least a few hours for employee orientation, then it’s highly recommended that you try out this fun icebreaker.

We love scavenger hunt because it is a great and effective way to introduce a new person into the workplace and get a feel for their new job. Not only does it encourage collaboration and interaction, it’s also an activity that all personality types can enjoy

Instructions

  1. Break everyone into small groups of four or five.

  2. Give each group a short list of things to find within the office (e.g., a hole punch, tea bags, a pink pen…).

  3. Set the clock for 5 minutes and instruct the teams to find as many of the things of the list as possible.

  4. The winning team is the team who has the most stuff from the list collected.

  5. Tip: in order to spice things up a little further, you should add a small incentive for the winning team.

11) Marshmallow Toss

Marshmallow Toss Objective: Teammates have to catch as many marshmallows in their mouth as possible

Participants: 10 or more

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: Marshmallows & masking tape

We love this game because it creates a friendly and light-hearted atmosphere. It produces a bit of competition, and encourages everyone to work on their hand eye coordination!

Disclaimer: Safety comes first. Be aware of choking hazards!

Instructions

  1. Separate the team into pairs.

  2. Use masking tape to set the distance between the two teams.

  3. Line each pair up so that one player is behind one marked line and the other player is directly across from them behind the other marked line.

  4. Teams should toss a marshmallow fairly accurately for one line to the other.

  5. The winning team is the team who catches the most marshmallows in their mouth in the two minute time period. Pairs can either alternate who throws, or one person can be the designated ‘thrower’ and the other the designated ‘catcher’.

Some More Large Group Icebreakers to Try

Are you looking for more large group icebreaker ideas to try out? Here are 11 more options for you!

Human Knot

Get the group to stand in a circle and reaches across to hold two different people’s hands. The group then tries to untangle themselves without letting go of hands. This activity encourages communication and physical collaboration.

Paper Plane Introductions

Have everyone write an interesting fact about themselves on a paper and makes it into a paper plane. They all launch their planes into the air simultaneously, then everyone picks up a random plane and reads it aloud, guessing who it belongs to.

Two Truths and a Lie

Each participant shares two truths and one lie about themselves. Others try to guess which one is the lie. It's a classic get-to-know-you game.

Musical Chairs - The Question Version

This game works similar to the classic game but when the music stops, and participants find a chair, the one standing has to answer a fun question about themselves.

Would You Rather?

Participants are given a series of choices (e.g., "Would you rather have the ability to fly or be invisible?") and must move to designated areas of the room based on their answers.

M&M Game

Each participant takes a handful of M&Ms. They share one fact about themselves for every M&M they've picked up, with each color corresponding to a different type of fact (e.g., green could be about hobbies, red about family, etc.).

Web of Yarn

Participants sit in a circle. One person holds the end of a ball of yarn and tosses the ball to someone else while holding onto their end of the string. The receiver then introduces themselves and tosses the yarn to another person while still holding their part. This continues until a web is formed.

The Wind Blows For...

Everyone sits in a circle with one person in the center. The person in the center says "The wind blows for everyone who [has done a specific activity or fits a certain criterion]." Everyone for whom the statement is true must stand up and find a new seat. The person left standing is the next in the center.

Bingo Icebreaker

Give everyone in the group a bingo card filled with different traits, skills, or experiences. They have to mingle and find people who match the descriptions on their card.

The Shoe Game

Everyone takes off one shoe and throws it into a pile in the center. Everyone then picks up a random shoe and finds the owner. Once they've found their shoe's owner, they introduce themselves and share a fun fact.

The Island Game

Divide participants into small groups and give them a scenario: they're stranded on an island and can only bring a certain number of items (give them a list to choose from). Groups discuss and decide on their essential items, promoting negotiation and collaborative decision-making.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are large group icebreakers?

Large group icebreakers are activities or games designed to help a significant number of participants get to know one another, reduce social barriers, and set a positive tone for subsequent interactions or events. These icebreakers are tailored to accommodate the challenges and dynamics of bigger groups, ensuring everyone feels involved and engaged.

What are the benefits of doing icebreakers with large groups?

There are several benefits to doing icebreakers with large groups:

  • Building Rapport. Icebreakers help people become familiar with one another, making them more comfortable and setting a foundation for future collaborations.

  • Reducing Awkwardness. Large gatherings can be intimidating, especially if participants don't know each other. Icebreakers can mitigate feelings of discomfort or unease.

  • Encouraging Participation. Breaking the ice can motivate quieter or more reserved individuals to participate more actively in the main event or session.

  • Enhancing Team Dynamics. Icebreakers can reveal skills, personalities, and preferences, which can be valuable when forming teams or assigning roles in group tasks.

  • Setting a Positive Tone. Starting with a fun or collaborative activity can set a positive and productive tone for the rest of the meeting or event.

  • Learning Names and Backgrounds. In large settings, it can be challenging to get to know everyone. Icebreakers can expedite the process of learning names and a bit about each participant's background.

What makes icebreakers for large groups work better?

Several factors can enhance the effectiveness of icebreakers for large groups. Here are some ways to make icebreakers in large groups work better:

  • Icebreakers should be designed to be inclusive, considering the diverse backgrounds, abilities, and comfort levels of participants.

  • With a large group, your rules and objectives should be clear to avoid confusion.

  • The activity should be able to cater to the group size, ensuring everyone can participate equally.

  • Given the group's size, icebreakers shouldn't drag on for too long. It's crucial to find a balance between giving everyone a chance to participate and keeping the activity concise.

  • Activities that encourage movement, discussion, or interaction can be more effective than passive ones, as they can energize and engage the group.

  • Especially with physical activities, ensuring everyone feels safe and comfortable is crucial. Avoid icebreakers that might be too physically demanding or potentially embarrassing for some participants.

  • If the icebreaker can tie back to the theme or purpose of the larger gathering or meeting, it can make the transition to the main event smoother.


Conclusion

We hope you've liked our list of the best ice breaker activities for large groups. Try these out and let me know how you go.

Heather Harper

Heather Harper

Heather Harper has a Masters in Occupational Psychological from the University of Manchester. She currently works as an editorial writer specialising in organizational psychology - helping teams work better together.

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