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Top 20 Interactive Games for Groups

One of the most popular sessions I deliver at conferences all over the world features the presentation of the Top 20 Interactive Group Games and Activities, as viewed through the lens of playmeo’s activity database.

This list changes from month to month, and is compiled through a combination of popularity, comments, and — especially — the number of views each listed activity receives from our 70,000+ users per month.

I’ve compiled a list of the best interactive games and simple team building activities that are ideal for helping new groups in their journey to…

  • Having fun;
  • Facilitating everyone getting to know each other better; and
  • Encouraging the group to form stronger relationships.

The following ideas are made up of activities that are universally appealing, require no equipment, are simple to present, and are outrageously fun.

So, if you’re looking for something to bring your next group of students, colleagues, or event attendees together, try out my top picks for the best group games, or search through the playmeo database for more fun ideas!

 

Our Top 20 Interactive Game & Activity Recommendations

 

The activities below aren’t listed in any particular order, and all of them regularly appear in the Top 20 most viewed or used activities inside the playmeo activity database.

Their continued popularity cements my confidence that these activities work extremely well, and will help you achieve the team building results you are after.

 

What Activities are Listed in this Post?

 

 

1. Cross Town Connections

 

If I’ve presented this exercise once, I’ve presented it a thousand times. It’s a favourite because it works. Every. Time.

The essence of Crosstown Connection’s success is found in the partnership of interactions. It’s hard to be left out of a pair, so comfort and intimacy are baked into its design. It’s also highly interactive and generates energy — something you can never have too much of in a room. But…

The true measure of this activity’s success is the invitation it extends for each formal partnership to share something more personal. Trust can never be built without sharing and vulnerability; so, if you thought baseline group interaction was enough, think again.

Healthy and trusting relationships are built upon a foundation of interaction AND sharing. Luckily for you, Crosstown Connections has this in spades.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very playful & fun
  • Highly interactive
  • Ideal for large groups
  • Ideal for forming random partners
  • No props

 

2. Ice-Breaker Question Exchange

 

Also known as Question Swap, this exercise is a treasure trove of gold for building teams. When armed with a question card — or a series of questions you may choose to pose to your whole group — it takes less than 10 seconds to describe what you would like your group to do.

By design, this classic game is highly interactive, and each interaction is imbued with choice, sharing, and vulnerability — three critical factors that, when honoured, build successful teams.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very simple
  • Non-threatening
  • Highly interactive
  • Generates lots of energy
  • Virtual options

 

3. One-Two-Three

 

Okay, I pull this gem out a lot in my programs, but it’s because it works.

It works for all types of groups because:

  • It’s a partner exercise, which means no one is watching you;
  • It always, always, always triggers laughter, no matter how introverted one may be, and
  • It generates warmth and energy, which are two critical ingredients every program that wishes to engage everyone in the group absolutely needs to be successful.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very playful & fun
  • Fosters critical thinking
  • Invites collaboration
  • Partner activity
  • No props

 

4. Making Connections

 

Such a simple exercise, and yet so much fun! No props are required, just an opening question or statement that you believe will resonate with your participants.

Invite your group to gather in an open space, perhaps a common room or suitable conference area. Start by announcing something that you have done, said, or experienced, such as, “I have been in a parade.” Then invite the first person who has also been in a parade to interlock elbows with you on either your left or right side (it doesn’t matter.)

The new person in your link then asks a similar question, and a new person will link elbows with them, and so on. The line will continue to grow until the very last person links, and their challenge is to announce something that they have done, said, or been to that connects with you (the very first person!)

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple to understand
  • Terrific get-to-know-you exercise
  • Circle game
  • No props

 

5. Playing Card Mixers

 

For this activity, all you need is a regular deck of cards and you’ll soon have a room filled with warmth and energy.

This exercise is super-awesome for inviting teachers to mix and mingle and get to know one another more meaningfully.

There are many fun variations of this activity, and all of them will invite your group to interact randomly with others.

This task is particularly ideal for large schools whose staff often do not see or interact with others outside their faculty or specialty.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 1 – 2 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Highly interactive
  • Fosters communication
  • Facilitates random mixing
  • Multiple variations
  • Common prop

 

6. UBUNTU Cards

 

This activity can feature in ANY program, no matter how many people are in it. I personally love UBUNTU cards because, well, they are the perfect tool for inviting people to interact and find something in common with others to discuss.

There is no shortage of activities you can use these cards in to break the ice. Large groups or small, from highly interactive and open activities to more passive self-reflection-type exercises, UBUNTU cards are versatile for any situation.

If you don’t have a deck of these cards as a part of your repertoire, now’s the time to fix that — click here to buy your own UBUNTU Cards today.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Creative
  • Starts conversations
  • Sharpens observation skills
  • Highly interactive
  • Endless variations

 

7. Jump In Jump Out

 

This is one of the most viral of our activities. Indeed, our YouTube video has attracted almost 4.4 million hits. Educators & trainers love presenting it to their groups because it’s extra engaging.

Once you get over the awkward moments of holding someone’s hand (our video suggests a terrific technique to overcome this hurdle), the action builds slowly until the chaos is unleashed. When the laughter eventually subsides, you may find an opportunity to facilitate conversations about leadership, communication, clarity and taking responsibility amongst your participants.

If done well, this activity will be one of the highlights of your program.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Hilarious energiser
  • Triggers tons of laughter
  • Simple to explain, difficult to accomplish
  • Circle game
  • No props

 

8. Ro Sham Bo

 

If your group is gathered on a flat space (ie this task is not ideal for raked-seating areas), you and your group will love this friendly, competitive, and engaging game.

You start with multiple groups of two people (pairs), and before you know it, you’ll have started the formation of several congo-lines. This activity is ideal both as a quick energiser and for longer team building programs, because it’s extremely interactive, it’s simple, and everyone ends up on the winning team.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Quick & simple
  • Highly interactive
  • Friendly competition
  • Multiple variations
  • No props

 

9. Around the World

 

This is another in our series of contagiously fun and active group exercises. In it, you can frame your group’s participation as individuals or in teams depending on the purpose of your program.

The bigger the open space you have access to, the better. You don’t need props, but laying a couple of traffic cones or ropes on the ground will help to identify the three or four starting points for your groups.

This activity is a frenzy of energy and interaction that typically lasts around 90 seconds — however the exact duration is completely up to you and what you think suits your program best.

You can expect there to be lots of puffing and big smiles at the end of this activity, and it’s sure to stick with your participants long after they complete your program!

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very active
  • Healthy competition
  • Small or large groups
  • Multiple variations
  • No props

 

10. Clumps

 

This activity is another no-props style exercise that is highly interactive. It involves providing a short amount of time for group members to connect with one another and learn more about the people around them.

I use this exercise all the time because it’s super simple, it comes in many variations, and it’s one of my favourite ways to invite groups to interact in fun and random ways.
My top tip: invite each small group, after they have formed, to share a response to a question you pose, before moving onto the next group/question.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Extremely quick
  • Highly interactive
  • Raises energy
  • Random group-splitting
  • No props

 

11. Paper Holding

 

In this dynamic team-building exercise, small groups form teams to creatively use their bodies to hold sheets of paper off the ground without folding or adhering them. Each sheet must only be touching two people, and no sheets may overlap. This playful and innovative challenge aims to foster cooperation and inspires creativity within your activity participants.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Innovative challenge
  • Fosters cooperation
  • Inspires creativity
  • Very playful & fun

 

12. Group Juggle

 

Group Juggle is a collaborative activity where participants form a circle and pass multiple items in a predefined sequence. The aim of this task is to keep every object airborne whilst juggling more and more items that are intermittently added to the sequence.

\This exercise fosters collaboration and communication as the group works together to prevent the items from touching the ground. Repeated run-throughs of this activity help encourage problem-solving among participants, and can lead to discussions on improving group dynamic.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Fosters collaboration
  • Promotes communication
  • Multiple metaphors

 

13. Change Up

 

Change Up challenges participants to quickly arrange themselves in numerical order based on cards they are given, without revealing their cards beforehand. This problem-solving activity requires planning and teamwork, as participants must efficiently swap cards and align themselves repeatedly. The goal is to achieve faster arrangements in subsequent rounds, promoting teamwork and creative strategy in small, active groups.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Promotes teamwork
  • Focus on planning & systems
  • Inspires creativity

 

14. Moonball

 

Moonball involves a group effort to keep a beach ball aloft using only open palms, with the challenge of not letting it get hit twice in succession by the same person.
This activity measures success by counting the number of consecutive hits and encourages setting progressively higher targets. This simple yet fun exercise enhances problem-solving skills and collaboration, which makes it an ideal activity for medium-sized groups to complete.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple & fun prop
  • Develops problem-solving skills
  • Fosters collaboration
  • Multiple variations

 

15. Warp Speed

 

Warp Speed is a classic, fast-paced problem-solving exercise where participants pass a ball in a pre-established sequence as quickly as possible, ensuring everyone has a turn. The activity emphasises innovation, teamwork, and collective timing to improve speed across trials. This engaging and inclusive game fosters collaboration and quick thinking in small groups.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Inspires innovation
  • Fosters collaboration
  • Involves everybody

 

16. Cross The Line

 

Cross The Line is a reflective team-building activity where groups face off across a line, aiming to persuade members from the opposite side to join them without crossing the boundary themselves. There is no one correct answer to what convincing methods players can use in this persuasive word game, so your participants should be ready to get creative!

This exercise explores assumptions, develops critical thinking, and fosters social awareness through a simple yet profound challenge. Post-activity reflections delve into the behaviours and strategies used, and can offer insights on your group’s dynamics and personal motivations.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Passive, yet dynamic
  • Explores assumptions
  • Develops critical thinking
  • Fosters social awareness

 

17. Stepping Stones

 

Stepping Stones is a collaborative challenge that requires a team to traverse from one area to another using limited resources without touching the ground. Each participant uses provided “stepping stones” to help the group move safely between designated safe zones.

This activity promotes teamwork, communication, trust, and strategic planning, and culminates in a group reflection on the learning outcomes at the end of the activity.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Inspires teamwork
  • Promotes communication & trust
  • Highlights goal-setting
  • Develops coordination & focus

 

18. Through The Wringer

 

Through The Wringer is an active, fun-filled initiative where participants must pass through a hula-hoop as quickly as possible. The group is given multiple attempts to improve their timing, which fosters creativity and collaboration in pursuit of the fastest round.

This exercise is simple to set up and execute, and provides you with a lively way to encourage your participants to engage in goal-setting and team cooperation.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • It’s a playful & fun game
  • Simple to execute
  • Promotes creativity
  • Fosters collaboration
  • Focus on goal-setting

 

19. Blackjack

 

Blackjack is a group problem-solving activity where participants silently form teams to create hand totals of 19, 20, or 21 using playing cards displayed on their foreheads. This silent exercise enhances collaboration and critical thinking, as participants strategize to form as many winning hands as possible without verbal communication. This activity concludes with a reflection on the strategies and interactions that emerged throughout the process.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Highly interactive
  • Focus on collaboration
  • Promotes critical thinking
  • Inspires useful metaphors

 

20. Blizzard

 

Blizzard is a playful, collaborative catching game where participants work together to catch paper “snowflakes” that they toss into the air. The challenge escalates with each successful round as more snowflakes are added, demanding greater cooperation and strategy from participants.

This last entry is one of our many fun games that foster critical thinking and teamwork, with a reflective discussion at the end to consolidate the group’s experiences and achievements.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very playful
  • Promotes collaboration
  • Fosters critical thinking
  • Simple props

 

Let’s Wrap This All Up

 

If you’re specifically looking for a fun and interactive game to present at one of your next outdoor team building or indoor team building activities, click either of these links to learn.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these entertaining in-person activity recommendations — however, remember that these are just guidelines, and you’re more than welcome to tweak these activities to suit your game participants!

Whether you need to work to material limitations, or if you want to turn these activities into some of the best online interactive games that are easy for those calling in remotely, there’s sure to be many activity options listed in our playmeo database for you to alter to your needs.

With all that said and done, we hope you go forth and enjoy watching how your game participants react to these thought-provoking activities!

Happy hosting!

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