Playing games is a great way for teams to bond- you laugh, you communicate, you learn how to work together in an atmosphere of friendly competition. Here is a list of 10 games that you can play just about any where and require little to no preparation.
1. Captain’s Coming
One of those milling about games. The facilitator will tell the participants certain groups that might be called out, such as “lifeboat” (3 people linking arms in a circle), Lookout (one person kneels on the ground with one leg up, the other with their foot up on the leg of the other, looking out), rowboat (6 people in two rows, rowing), captain’s coming (everyone freezes individually while people get them to laugh). This is an elimination game and if you don’t find yourself in a group or laugh during Captain’s Coming, then you’re out and try to get others to laugh when CC is called.
This is another fun variation on Rock Paper Scissors. Everyone starts out as an egg (squatting and hands above the heads) and then plays one another in Rock Paper Scissors. The winner of the game will “evolve” to become a Chicken (arms flapping). They find another Chicken to play and then evolve to a Robot, Big Fluffy Cloud (arms waving), Dinosaur (arms making a giant mouth), Super Hero (hand on hip, other fist in air) and a Supreme Being a.k.a. a Nature’s Classroom teacher if you happen to be in that fantastic role. If you lose to a Supreme Being, you would go back to being an egg, etc.
An improv game that is simple and fun. In a circle, you say a person’s name and move to take their space in the circle. They have to say someone’s name before you take their place. Maximum fun time is short.
4. Human Bingo
Requires a bit of preparation, just a warning. You can take this in two directions. 1) You ask everyone to write down a fact about them that others might not know and then compile the list into a bingo sheet or 2) Just make up your own human bingo sheet with items like “I am scared of spiders” “I have red hair” “I can’t stand snow” whatever. The idea is that then you set the group loose, and they have to either get someone to write their name in all spaces, or in a traditional bingo pattern.
5. Person to Person
Best for a big, big group. You have the group wander around and then you call out two body parts, like “Knee to knee” or “Elbow to ankle.” Everyone has to find a pair in that particular configuration and then share a deep personal piece of information such as their favorite cereal.
6. The Great Wind Blows
Everyone stands in a circle and then one person goes in the middle. The person in the middle says that “The great wind blows for anyone who….” Enjoys fishing, pizza, is wearing jeans, etc. If the last bit applies to you, you have to find a new space. If you are caught without the space, you go in the middle and raise a topic. Beware the wise-ass kid who will not find a space on purpose to monopolize the game!
7. Pigeon’s in the Park
Everyone mills around and there are a few “pigeons.” When the leader calls “Pigeons in the Park” everyone freezes with their eyes open and the pigeons are to go around and try to get the statue-like children to laugh without touching them. If they laugh, they become pigeons for the next round. Hilarity ensues.
8. Each One Teach One
Based on a South African principle about how to educate a nation with limited resources. The idea was that one person teaches one other person some skill they have and knowledge spreads. So, a great activity for a large group is to have people pair off with someone they don’t know, or whoever and they take about 4 or 5 minutes to teach each other a skill they have. I’ve seen anything from how to fall asleep on public transport without getting your wallet stolen to tortilla-making.
9. Rock Paper Scissors Cheerleaders
Very fun and simple and it has a definite end, which can be great. People mill about and play each other in Rock Paper Scissors. The loser then becomes the winner’s cheerleader in their next game and it kind of snowballs until there’s a huge championship.
10. Will’s Song Game
This game is super fun. Divide the group up into maybe four equal groups. Then, the object is for each group to sing a line from a song that has a certain word like “love” in it. If they repeat or hesitate too long, then their group is out and you keep going til there’s a champion. Other fun words to use: “sad” “sun” “happy” “rain”