Chapter 5

Ice Breaker Bingo

Check out our handy guide on how to play Ice Breaker Bingo with your group. Includes downloadable cards, instructions and a guide.

Heather Harper

Written by Heather Harper

Last updated: Mar 30, 2020

In this chapter, we're going to explain the rules to Ice Breaker Bingo. Keep in mind that there are multiple versions out there, but that this one is our favourite.

As an added bonus, we'll also include some downloadable cards that you can print off and use with your group of people.


If your team is working remotely at the moment then you should check out our 7000 word guide on remote team building games and activities for virtual teams. In there you'll find 40 ideas with instructions that you can try with your newly remote team.


Why we love it

We can all admit, we love a game of bingo - even if it is for old people.

It’s fun, engaging and can get competitive; and that’s exactly why we love it.

Furthermore, we adore people bingo (also known as the ‘autograph game’ or ‘did you know?’) because it is fun, easy to organise and even easier to teach.

Simply put, the objective of the game is for employee’s to wander around the room and get signatures of people who have the facts listed on the bingo sheet - but we’ll explain it in more detail in a second.

It might sound almost too simple, but being simple leaves nothing to be over complicated and allows employees to interact with each other without feeling any pressure.

How to set up Ice Breaker Bingo

Step 1: Create bingo questions

If you know your employees reasonably well, make a list of 25 interesting things that you know describes different aspects of them.

For example “lived in Sweden”, “Can speak two or more languages”, “plays the guitar” or “has a red porsche” (alright for some, hey!).

If you don’t know your employees at all, make a list of 25 general questions. For instance, “has brown hair” or “works for the HR team”.

You can make your questions easy or difficult, depending on how long you want the game to last.

Step 2: Make people bingo cards

It is very easy to make your own people bingo cards.

You can either use a regular printer, or there are many places online where you can create customised people bingo cards; which you can find further down the post.

How to play Ice Breaker Bingo

We recommend playing this game with no more than 30 people. If your group is larger, divide your employees into small teams of equal sizes.

Step 1

Give each participant a bingo card, either homemade or found on the internet, and pen

Step 2

Explain that the group has 30 minutes to mingle with each other. During this time, they should be introducing themselves to one and other and finding people who match the traits on the bingo card.

Step 3

Once they have found the person with the correct trait, they must put the person’s name in the corresponding box, or have the person sign the appropriate square

Step 4

Just like a normal game of bingo, the clock continues to tick until the first person to fill five boxes across or down yells “Bingo”.

If you want the game to go on for a little longer, you could have multiple opportunities to win. For example, the first person to get a full horizontal line, the first to get a vertical line and then the first to get a full house.

To involve employees even more in the game, perhaps ask them at the beginning what they think a completed game should be.

Step 5

To make the game more exciting and motivating, have a prize (or prizes, if playing the longer game) ready to give the winners.

In our opinion, a bottle of nice wine will do but you could always offer gift vouchers.

How to reflect

One way to reflect at the end is to ask participants to introduce themselves and share an interesting trait they learned about someone else.

You can also get your employees to describe how they feel now that they know their peers a little bit better.

For a sample printable bingo card, you can download and modify this People-Bingo printable template.

Conclusion

So there you have it!

That's our tutorial on how to play ice breaker bingo with your group.

We hope you enjoyed this chapter.

Drop a comment below and let me know how it went with your group!

Heather Harper

About the author

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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