Here we go - it's our top 12 Youth Group mixers / icebreakers. Have fun!
1. Fongo Bingo
(from the famous James Fong!)
Each person is given a piece of paper and a pen. Everybody is given about 5 minutes to go around the room and collect the names of 6 people in the room they don’t know so well. They must find out 3 things about each person on their sheet (eg. Name, school, about family, pets, worst hair cut, etc.). When everybody has 6 people on their sheet they take their seats again and we play Bingo! The leader up the front will have a list of everybody in the room and their names (if you don’t have a roll, you will need to collect everyone’s names as the enter). To play bingo the leader up the front will read names of the sheet in a random order. People tick off the names on their sheet as they are read out. Whoever is the first to tick off all 6 of the names on their sheet and yell Bingo! wins. That person will receive a prize and should be asked to introduce all 6 people on their sheet and say what they found out about them.
2. M&Ms / Skittles (from p. 30 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Pass the bag of skittles or M&M's around so students can take a handful skittles. Each person can eat their skittles but has to keep one skittle left over. Each colour (normally 5 colours in a skittles bag) represents a different question (ie. Green- What do you want to be when you grow up? Red- last part of the Bible you read or heard? Orange- Sing a verse of your favourite TV show theme song. Purple- What is your favourite subject in school and why? Yellow- how many people in your family). Go around the group as each person answers the question that corresponds to their colour skittle. After they have answered the question, they can of course eat their skittle.
3. Find your twin (from p. 14 Programs 2 Go by Ken Moser)
This game is played in rounds, and in each round members of the group need to find their twin and ask 3 or 4 set questions. The leader of the activity gives direction for how each person is to find their twin in each round ie. Round 1- find someone the same height as you, round 2- find someone who is in the same year at school, round 3- find someone who like the same type of music, etc.
When everybody has found their twin they ask each other the 3 or 4 set questions (ie. What’s you’re name? How would you spend your last $10.00? What’s the best thing about youth group? Etc.).
After finding you’re twin and asking the questions for that round, swap one item with each other (ie. shoe, sock, necklace, hat, keys, etc.) and then move on to the next round. At the conclusion of all the rounds you should have a collection of items from the people you met. Ask a few people in the group to stand up and share what items they have, who they’re from, and the answers to the questions, then return the items to their owners. After a few people have shared, make sure everyone returns the items.
4. Concentric circles (from p. 22 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Like speed dating. Split the group into 2 equal groups. Have the groups stand in two concentric circles with the outside circle facing in and the inside circle facing out, each person should be facing a partner. Give the group 3-4 questions to ask each other (ie. Name, place you were born, what’s 3 things you’d take into the Big Brother house? Etc.). The partners have 2-3 minutes to ask the questions and find out the answers before the leader of the activity rings a bell (or similar) and the partners must change (ie. Inside circle moves one person to the right or outside circle moves two people to the left, etc.). Repeat the process till everyone has met each other or till time allows. Select people to share with the group who they met and the answers to the questions.
5. Portrait bingo (from p. 23 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Give each person a ‘Bingo sheet’ – a piece of paper laid out with as a grid with a question in each square of the grid. The goal of the game is to find someone who can answer the question or statement in the box (ie. Someone who went to the beach in the holidays.). when you’ve found someone who fulfils the category, you draw their portrait in the square provided, then move onto another person. You can’t have the same person again on your bingo sheet.
6. Portraits (from p . 24 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
The group sits in a circle. Write everybody’s name on a piece of paper and place the names in a hat or bowl. Give each person a piece of A4 paper and a pen or pencil. Each person draws a name from the hat or bowl – they are not to tell anyone whose name. When everyone has a name, they draw the face of that person without anyone knowing who they are drawing. When every one has finished drawing, the activity leader collects the portraits and shows them to the group one at a time while the group tries to guess who the subject of the portrait is and who drew it.
7. Portraits (from p . 24 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Each person in the group is given a piece of A4 paper and a pen or pencil. Each person draws their own self portrait without showing anyone else their drawing, and adds one unknown fact about themselves. The activity leader collects the portraits and then randomly redistributes the unnamed portraits to the group (if anyone gets their own they should choose again). Everyone in the group then tries to find who the self portrait belongs to. A name is placed on the portrait once the subject of the portrait has successfully been found, and then put up on the wall.
8. Appointments (from p. 29 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Each person in the group is given an appointment card – that is a card which has space for 3 names on separate lines (with 1 extra line underneath each name) and 3-4 sharing questions at the bottom or reverse side of the card. Give everybody time to go and make an appointment with someone else in the group (appointments are with each other, so that if person x makes an appointment with person y, then person y also makes an appointment with person x). allow about 10 seconds for each appointment to be made and then have everybody sit down (or you may want to sing a song or do something else). Then when you’re ready say “it’s now time for your first appointment!”. Everyone in the group goes to their first appointment and asks the other person the 3-4 sharing questions written on the appointment card. Allow about 2-3 minutes for each appointment and then finish the mixer by asking some in the group to share who the met and the answers to the questions.
9. Hot chocolate (from p. 29 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
(variation – banana split, spiders)
Get together the four ingredients you need to make hot chocolate ie. Mugs, spoons, packet of hot chocolate mix, and marshmallows (make sure you provide hot water and milk). Divide everybody into four even groups. Give each group only one hot chocolate ingredient and enough for each person in the group to have 4 each. Group 1: each person is given 4 mugs. Group 2: each person is given 4 spoons. Group 3: each person is given 4 marshmallows. Group 4: each person is given 4 packets of hot chocolate mix.
Once all the ingredients are handed out, get everybody to form new groups that have all the hot chocolate ingredients. There should now be newly formed groups of 4 people which now have enough hot chocolate ingredients to make one cup of hot chocolate for each person in the group. When each group has made their hot chocolates ask them to sit down and give a sharing question for them to discuss.
Variations of this mixer could be: Banana splits (bowls, bananas, chocolate toping, ice cream), spiders (glasses, ice cream, soft drink, spoon/straws), Milo (glasses, Milo, spoons, milk), the list goes on and on…
10. People pictionary
Split the group into 2 teams, A and B. Everyone has to write down some things about themselves and what they like on a card that can be used as clues in a game of pictionary (eg. For Mike - a motorbike, drums etc.). The leader of the game then calls up the first delegated drawer from each team and shows them a card from a person on the opposite team, they go back and try to draw the clues on a piece of paper so their team can guess who it is. When the team has guessed, another drawer runs up to the game leader to grab another card from the opposite team and so on until the team to guess all their cards first is the winner. It will be important for the cards to have a name on them so the drawer will know if their team’s guess is the right answer.
11. Who am I? (from p. 31 Creative Christian Ideas by Ken Moser)
Everyone writes 3 or 5 little known things about themselves on a card with their name at the top of the card and gives them to the M.C. Each person in the group will need another piece of paper to write their guesses on. The piece of paper should be numbered down one side equal to the number of people in the group. The M.C. reads out the first card saying: "person one is…" and reads out the description. After time has been given for people to write their guess, the M.C. then reads out the following card "person two is…" and so on till all the cards have been read out. Who ever guesses the most right is the winner.
12. Different lolly groups
This game works for large groups. Gather a few different types of wrapped lollies and tape them under the chairs of your audience before the meeting. Keep in mind the different types, and the amount of lollies you use, so that the teams will be as evenly numbered as possible. Explain the activity as follows: Everyone looks underneath their seat, grabs the lolly, and then has to find the other people in the room with the same lolly. Once all team members have found their respective group, they eat the lollies and turn the wrappers into team badges, and answer a few sharing questions.
13. Memory match card game
(This game really only works with a small group, otherwise it takes forever…)
Each person is given 2 cards that they write their name on, and something unique or interesting about themselves. All the cards from the group are mixed up and put on a table face down. Each person in the group then takes turns at trying to find a set of matching cards by selecting 2 cards and turning them up the right way. If a matching set is found, that set is taken off the table and that player gets another turn. If a matching set isn’t found, those cards are returned face down to the same position and the turn moves on to the next player.
Variation: Each person is given 2 cards to write 3 unique things about themselves (the same on each card) and without writing their name on the cards. All the cards from the group are mixed up and put on a table face down. Each person in the group then takes turns at trying to find a set of matching cards by selecting 2 cards and turning them up the right way. When a set of matching cards is found the player who found them must guess who the set belongs to before taking the set off the table and having another turn. If they guess incorrectly the cards are turned back over and the turn moves on to the next player.