31 Fun Get To Know You Activities For Work or School

Looking for some quick easy ideas? Well, then you are in the right place! When implementing these ideas I always encourage that you:

  • Be engaging
  • Be energetic
  • Be purpose driven.

Creating an amazing team building activity:

  • Takes planning
  • An understanding of your goals
  • The activity level of your team
  • Your teams trust in each other.

When looking at the activities we focus on:

  • Purpose – Take special focus on this section, because it’s within this section that we share the overall goal. Most of the games can be manipulated to fit your needs.
  • Duration – This is self-explanatory but it provides you with a general overview of how long this game will take. Every game has the possibility to be shorter or longer depending on the extension questions and the facilitator’s skill level.
  • Trust Level – This tells you the trust level required for the activity to be successful. For example, if this is a brand new group then doing an activity that requires an advanced level of trust might not be the best idea.
  • Materials – Each one of these activities might require materials such as paper, pencils, or a specific item. Make sure that you select an activity that fits your budget, and preparation time.
  • Description -This is where we describe the game its application and process.
  • General Materials – These are some general materials that we feel will always help you engage your community while keeping focused on the task at hand, which is building your team. These are optional but if you have the budget and the time you should look to purchase these items.
  1. Speakers – There are all types of speakers that you can purchase that range from cheap to more expensive. I recommend the Sonos Play Compact Wireless Speaker. These speakers have served me well for all of my professional developments and team building sessions. If interested Click –> Sonos Play Compact Wireless Speaker. Take a look at (Sonos Review) this review will provide you with some general information and will help you make a decision.  If you are looking for something cheaper here is another option  Click –>Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speakers
  2. Presentation remotes – I have used a presentation remote for all of my presentations. I hate having to go to the computer or having someone press it for me. It slows my presentation flow and keeps me from engaging my crowd. If you are looking for remotes I recommend one of these two options.

Happy planning!

Group Debate

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Choose a contentious issue currently in the news and have the group debate it in a free-form fashion. This is great for groups who are a little shy with one another or who are completely new to being in the group, but not as good for people who routinely chat with each other anyway. The instructor can facilitate things and make sure that the discussion is interesting without being argumentative.

Group Barter

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A very interesting exercise if you have a varied group of people. Have them bring in something, anything at all, to the group to barter with. Have the group sit in a circle and then start the timer for 2 minutes. Each member has to successfully get rid of their item and find another one they like by trading and doing swaps with other members. Keep doing this until the time runs out. Now, each person can try to remember where the original item came from and discuss how happy they are with the trade. A good way to start talking about people’s hobbies and interests.

Guess the Weight of a Cupcake

Purpose: Getting to know you, fun, team morale

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Find a delicious looking cupcake (or a few of them if there are many rounds of the game) and show it to the group. Each person has to guess the weight of the cupcake, and the closest one wins the cupcake. This can also be done with a number of jellybeans in a jar or the exact dimensions of a cookie for example. Great for when a group is getting tired or taking things too seriously

Team Song

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: In teams, group members have to come up with a team song to celebrate some aspect or relevant theme. After some time to practice and sort out the words, they can perform their song to the rest of the group. Naturally, this is great for children, who are less self conscious about singing. Have a vote for the best, most creative and catchiest tune.

Impromptu Orchestra

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: This works well for outdoor activities. Break the group into teams and have them forage around outside for some materials to create a makeshift musical instrument. Encourage them to think as creatively as possible – their instrument must actually be able to be played and used. To extend this, each group can share their creation (what is the instrument called etc.) and maybe even play them all together in a finishing song the whole group knows. This can be a lot of fun.

The Murder Game

Purpose: Getting to know you, warmer

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A popular party game for children that is excellent for groups in a corporate setting. Have people sit in a circle around a table. Ask them to close their eyes. Tap once on the shoulder for “villager” and twice on the shoulder for “murderer”. There is only one murderer in the group, and the other members, when they open their eyes, must figure out who it is before he kills them. He kills them by making eye contact and blinking deliberately. If he does this to someone, they are dead and must put their heads down on the table. The trick is for everyone to figure out who the murderer is by watching eye contact closely before they themselves are murdered.

Nonverbal Memory Game

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Sit in a circle and begin the game with an action – for example clapping your hands, patting your head or nodding. Then, go onto the next person who must repeat your action and add their own to the chain, and so on. The group sees how long they can make the chain without breaking it. The challenge is both to remember the sequence but also to come up with new actions each time. The smaller the group, the more difficult this becomes.

Squiggles

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Get a very large piece of paper, the bigger the better. Give each group member a differently colored pen or crayon. Put some people on one side of the paper and some others on the opposite side, or even better, space out people for each of the four sides of the paper. Now, the goal for everyone is to draw line from their side of the paper to the other side, but they have to stop the opposite side form doing the same. A straight line is boring and will end the game quickly, but if people are a bit mischievous the game can get quite interesting. Lines are not allowed to cross or touch each other and people have to keep their hands on their pens. The resulting “artwork” can be framed and displayed or else the group can simply discuss how they managed the exercise – another one can be attempted to compare the resulting squiggles to the first attempt.

Toe Relay

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A ridiculous but very entertaining game. Best done in summer when people are wearing sandals or open shoes anyway. Make sure the group is more or less comfortable taking their shoes off. Now, separate the group into two teams and seat them on chairs in a long row, facing the other team. Have two “relay sticks” that the people have to pass down the length of the line from person to person – using only their toes.

Get To Know Ball

Image result for Common Ground Thumball Team Building Game - 6" Purpose: Getting to know, Active

Group Size: Any

Tools: Common Ground Team Building Ball

Directions: Using the Common Ground Teambuilding Ball Form a circle and toss the ball. Players should toss the ball to whoever they want. Before tossing the ball, the person holding the ball should make eye contact with the person they are passing the ball to. Players must answer the question that is underneath one of their thumbs. Once the question is answered, players should pass the ball to another person.

If you are looking to build your team in a fun and active way then this ball is for you. Take a look at all of the different types of (click)Common Ground Teambuilding Balls

Awkward Questions

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication

Group Size: Any

Directions: If people are a little hesitant to talk freely with each other, this exercise can be a good way to get them talking indirectly. Start the group conversation with the question: what questions are rude or impolite to ask of others. For some, it’s not that impolite to ask after age or marital status, for others it is. See what the group can agree on and how taboo certain questions are. Are there any generational or cultural differences? Sometimes, interesting personality traits will emerge within the group. How do people deal with being asked awkward questions themselves?

Group Meditation

Purpose: Getting to know you, team building

Group Size: 4+

Directions: An excellent and non-threatening way to get everyone involved in a group activity. The instructor guides a meditation. People can sit comfortably in a circle and begin by noticing their breath and relaxing their muscles. Then, the instructor asks people to imagine a tranquil and beautiful place. Take your time and let people imagine in detail all the sights, sounds, colors etc. Focus, too, on the feelings of calm and peace. Let them become aware of their breath, their thoughts and what their bodies are doing at the moment. Close off with a stretching exercise. If people would like to, they can share details of their special place and why it’s important to them. Likewise, they can share the experience of meditation: was it easy or difficult? What came up for them?

Name Balloons

Purpose: Getting to know you, remembering names

Group Size: 4+, but the bigger the better

Directions: Blow up one balloon that the team has to keep from hitting the ground, The twist with this game is that before anyone can hit the balloon, they have to shout out the name of someone else in the group, who then has to pay attention and be ready to hit the balloon after the present person has hit it. They, too, have to shout out a name before they can touch the balloon. This is great when a group is brand new to each other. You could tell them they have 1 minute to try and memorize the names of everyone because they will be “tested” and then explain the rules of this game. A variant is to make people shout out something else beforehand, such as a good quality for an employee, or something they’re grateful for that day.

Spinning Game

Purpose: Getting to know you, fun, team building

Group Size: 8+

Directions: This game is played silently. The rule is that clockwise is the norm and counterclockwise is against the norm. The instructor starts a timer for one minute. At the end of the minute, the people who are spinning counterclockwise are out of the game, then the next round begins. To start with, only one person spins counterclockwise, but, if he touches someone else, they both change the direction they are turning. This can get quite urgent as the time counts down and people panic that they will be left spinning in the wrong direction. Make a rule that you cannot touch someone you recently touched to prevent people getting stuck in loops.

Naming Emotions

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: The workplace is often not an arena where people are encouraged to vocalize their emotions. Divide the group into two teams. Give each group one minute to write down on a piece of paper as many feeling words as they can think of. After a minute, the group with the most wins. The next level, make them do the same but with words starting with a particular letter you’ve picked from the alphabet. To finish, ask each member to choose the word on the list that most expresses how they feel that day, and another for how they usually feel. This is a great way for people to start sharing their experiences.

Group Sentence

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: Any

Directions: Sit the group in a circle and say any word that comes to mind. The next person in the chain must add a word to this, in a way that makes sense for him (i.e. if the sentence continued it could make sense). The next person adds their word etc. to make a long sentence. Chat with the group afterward to see how they felt about their original vision for their sentence changing as each person contributed.

Group Sentence Variation

Purpose: Getting to know you, team building

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A variation on the above exercise. The instructor writes a very simple sentence on a whiteboard, twice, for example, “the man walked own the road”. The group is divided into two teams who have to compete to make the longest sentence in a short amount of time, for example, one minute. Someone can be nominated to be the writer, and the group tries to flesh out the sentence with adjectives, adverbs and extra pieces of information. Obviously, creativity and speed will win.

Conversation Starter!

Image result for conversation cubes

Purpose: Communication

Group Size: 4+

Tools:  Conversation Cubes

Directions: The purpose of these cubes is to create opportunities for students to talk about their feelings and get to know each other. These cubes are pre-populated and ready for your classroom or group discussion.

 

Click  Conversation Cubes to learn more!

This or That

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Make a physical or imaginary divide in the middle of the room. Now, ask the group a strange question such as “do you feel more like a waterfall or more like a lake?” or “do you feel more like blue or more like yellow?” Indicate which side of the room people should move to according to which they choose. Then, stop the game and ask people to explain the very last choice they made. It can be interesting to see how people interpret some things (for example, yellow is an angry color) and some may find it easier to share themselves when their emotions are first coded as other things.

 

Name Crossword

Purpose: Getting to know you, remembering names

Group Size: Any, but bigger is better

Directions: Explain to the group that they have to design a crossword made only of their names. Give them blank paper and pens and have them figure out how to position everyone’s name so that it’s included in the crossword.

Compliments

Purpose: Getting to know you, team rapport

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A great exercise for an icy group or where there has been some tension. Tell the group that for 2 whole minutes, nothing but compliments should come out of their mouths. The catch is they have to be sincere. Have students mingle around and randomly compliment whoever they encounter. Two minutes is actually a long time and after a while, you may be surprised at the sincerity that emerges, and that people start paying really nice, even profound compliments that would have stayed buried away otherwise. A very healing exercise.

“Kippers”

Purpose: Getting to know you, group cohesion

Group Size: 4+, more is better

Directions: This a good exercise for a group that knows each other but could get along better. The rule is that if you laugh, you are out of the game. The other rule is that the only thing you can say is a question or else the answer “kippers”. People mingle and try to get one another to laugh, and slowly make sure that they are the only one left. Of course, this can backfire with an awkward group but works well with younger members.

Changing Places

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: If the group needs a good kinetic warmer, this exercise will keep them paying attention and learning a little about each other as they play the game. The instructor says something like “change places if you went to bed after 10 pm last night”. Then, everyone who did must get up and switch places. For extra fun, the game can be stopped and the person who is sitting on a pre-selected chair will get the prize taped to the underside of the chair.

Valentine’s Heart

Purpose: Getting to know you, group rapport

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Create a large, heart-shaped piece of cardboard and provide the group with art supplies. They have to fill the empty space with things that they love – this could be anything. People, places, ideas, pets or food. Encourage people to get creative and make something really beautiful together.

Personality Dress Up

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Explain to the group that they have to create a fancy dress costume that demonstrates their personality. They can dress as someone they admire to get the point across, or wear special colors or come as a particular animal or occupation. Then, the group takes turns guessing what the costume means. This is a great way to get people comparing their conceptions of themselves with how they are perceived by others. Finish by taking a fun picture of the entire group in their garb. Consider giving prizes to the costume that put the most effort in.

Warmer and Cooler

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Each person takes a turn to stand in front of the group. A theme can be decided on (i.e. favorite food or favorite movie) and then the rest of the team has to guess what that person’s answer would be. The person standing up can give clues by saying that a guess is “warmer” or “colder”. Have the group discuss afterward what made it easy to guess for some people but not for others.

 Are You Lying?

Purpose: Getting to know you, team building, communication

Group Size: 4+

Directions: A strange exercise that takes some skill. Secretly give people a colored slip of paper – either red or blue. These can be varied depending on what’s at hand, i.e. stones or cones etc. Now, without revealing to the rest of the group what they have, each person must make a statement to the rest of the group. The statement can be true or false, i.e. “I have Blue”. The group must watch the body language of the person closely and determine if they are telling the truth or lying. They vote together. A person gets a point if they convince the group of a lie. Have a discussion afterward about who was most successful with this game and why. Can these skills be used elsewhere?

 Straw Structures

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Provide the group with a lot of ordinary drinking straws as well as several paperclips that can be inserted in to end of the straws. These will serve as connectors. Tell the group that they have 5 minutes to build an impressive structure using only straws and paperclips (have enough on hand). They will have to work together to create something good. Afterward, have a chat about their technique and whether they really encouraged each member to participate.

Floating Stick

Purpose: Getting to know you, teamwork, warmer

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Line people up in rows that face each other. Instruct them to hold out their index fingers, and then lay a bamboo cane or other light stick onto their fingers. Tell them their challenge is to lower the stick to the floor together, without their fingers ever leaving its surface. What actually happens is that the cane ends up floating towards the ceiling!

Finishing Each Other’s Sentences

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Go around the group with each person saying only part of a sentence. After they trail off, the next person has to complete their sentence – it’s more fun if the sentence is completed in a completely unexpected way.

Group Rules

Purpose: Getting to know you, group cohesion

Group Size: 4+

Directions: If the group will be working with each other for the long term, it can be a nice exercise to have them democratically draw up a list of rules that everyone in the group is expected to follow. The instructor can mediate and help everyone come up with 10 or so rules that the group agrees on. These will differ according to the group’s needs but make sure everybody is heard and gets a chance to explain what they think is important, rule-wise. This is great later down the line if anybody breaks the “group contract” that they began with.

Nature Haikus

Purpose: Getting to know you, group rapport

Group Size: 4+

Directions: If you have access to some outdoor environment, this can be a lovely exercise to do with a group who is used to being indoors. Nature can be a powerful way to bring people together. Instruct the group that you will take a walk through the outdoor space together, but without speaking. Their task is to find the one thing that stands out to them the most. Is it the birds? The blossoms? The feeling of the breeze on their face? On returning back to the room, briefly explain what a haiku is and ask the group to compose a quick haiku about what they like best about the walk. It’s always interesting to see what other people zoom in on.

Group Awards

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: An exercise to smooth over friction and build group rapport. Each person in the group gets an award for something. The rest of the group must decide exactly what, i.e. best smile, sharpest fashion sense or kindest group member. Everyone gets to feel special and unique. To extend this, the group can actually try their hand at making actual trophies out of craft materials – cardboard, cups, foil and pipe cleaners are good for this purpose.

Blind Interview

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 8+ or more

Directions: Start by asking everyone to think of their ideal dream job. The more “out there” the better. Now, pair everyone into groups of two, and have them take turns doing a job interview with each other. The trick is that the questions each person asks must, in fact, be for the dream position they thought of a moment before. The other person tries to answer these questions and in doing so, guesses what the dream job of the other one is. There are often a lot of surprises when this game is played. To follow up, what does the group think of each person’s ability to perform their dream job role?

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