Team Games and Icebreakers
For those who plan ice breakers and team competitions, you can learn a lot from the creativity of Bolivians! Below are a few games that I participated in while at the jovenes camp in Tarija (ages 18-28) a couple weeks ago. They didn’t have names when we played them, so I came up with some, but I’m open to suggestions!
All of these games are best played with larger teams (20+ members)
Move the Mattress
- Materials: a small mattress for each team
- Objective: Move the mattress, with someone on it, from one side of the room to the other, and back again.
Divide each team into two lines, sitting down, facing each other. Set the mattress over the legs of the players on one end, and one player lays on top of the mattress. When the game begins, players pull/push/move the mattress down the line towards the opposite wall. Once the mattress passes players, they need to get up and run to the other end of the line, so it can continue to the wall. Once the mattress hits the wall, it reverses direction until it returns to the starting line. Depending on the space available, this could be repeated multiple times. If space allows, race two teams against each other. If not, time each team as they go; shortest time wins.
Water Balloon Throw
- Materials: Filled water balloons for every player
- Objective: Successfully throw water balloons under the rope and past the other team
Run a rope across the playing zone, high enough that the tallest players can barely reach it. Two teams play against each other; one lines up under the rope and the other faces them a set distance away, armed with water balloons. They throw the balloons, four or five at a time, trying to get them under the rope and past the guards. The guards try to swat the balloons down, not allowing them to pass. Judges are put behind the line to count the number of balloons that successfully passed the team under the rope. Balloons overthrown or broken by the guarding team are not counted. Once all the balloons have been thrown, the teams change places. The team that threw the most balloons successfully past the other team wins.
Variation: Use snowballs instead of water balloons. I’m not how this would work; it might be harder for the judges to determine what successfully got past.
- Materials: a bucket and foam mattress for each team; a water source (fountain, lake, etc.)
- Objective: Be the first team to fill their bucket with water
Teams line up, the front of the lines facing the water source. At the end of the lines, place a bucket. When the game begins, two players soak the foam mattress full of water, then bring it to the beginning of the line. The foam is passed down the line, over the heads of the team, until it reaches the bucket. Two players extract the water into the bucket before returning it to the front of the line, again overhead. The first team to fill the bucket wins.
Variation: Give each team five minutes to move as much water as they can. Measure the water in the bucket at the end of the five minutes.
Any thoughts or other variations that you can come up with?