The Animal Game

Enjoyment Factor: 8/10

Teamwork Rating: 6/10

Leadership Opportunity: 4/10

Age Range: 10+

Activity Time: 30 Minutes

Set Up Time: No Set Up

Equipment Requirements: None



This was a favourite icebreaker game to use on groups who were just getting to know each other by my Director Mish Hood. I am not sure if he was the one to come up with it but since he was the first person to show it to me I will give him the credit. While it is called the animal game, animals only comprise of one part of it but it seemed an appropriate and easy to remember game. This is a game that requires no set up and no equipment which is great but is best used with large numbers i.e. at least twenty people or so. It was a game that I liked to use on the first night before going into something more serious or challenging as it relaxed everyone and usually got them laughing if the actions were good.

the idea

The idea for this game is a simple one. 

  1. First divide your group into four teams and have then have each team stand in a straight line shoulder to shoulder perpendicular to the other teams so that they make a square with each team making a side and everyone facing in. 
  2. Assign each team a category from the following list:
    1. Animals
    2. Technology
    3. Out of this world
    4. Weather
  3. The teams then get five minutes to go away and come up with three actions that represent elements of their category. For example, the team that receives the weather category could make a Mexican Wave to represent a tsunami. Or the team that gets animals could have everyone stomp around swinging their arm in front of their faces, trumpeting to act as elephants.
  4. After the five minutes is up the square is reformed and the teams take it in turn to demonstrate their three actions to the other groups.
  5. Once all the actions have been shown the teams get 60s to decide on their favourite three from all that the have seen.
  6. After the 60s the teams once again, in their square, demonstrate actions but this time only doing the three that were there favourite.
  7. The aim of the game however is for each team to do the same three actions in the same order without any communication between the teams.
  8. The teams keep going through the three actions they choose and then getting a 60s after everyone has gone until everyones activities match up.
  9. Usually it takes about 4-5 repetitions before everyone gets in sync.

This is a really fun game that is made better by encouraging the teams to be silly with their actions. It works well for getting people chatting to each other and having fun before moving on to an activity that is more focused on developing a specific component of team work or a leadership skill.

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