Tag Archive | games

Team Games and Icebreakers

Two years ago, when I got back from a national jovenes camp in Tarija, I posted about three unique team games, two involving water and another one with throwing someone laying on a mattress.

Well, I went to another camp a while ago, and here are a few more group games:


Pass the Plate

  • Materials: A few deep plates or shallow bowls for each team (of the same size), a wide tub of water, and a plastic container to collect the water
  • Objective: Fill the container with as much water as possible, by passing the plates over each person’s head.
  • Group Size: 10+ members

Camp GamesThe tub of water is placed in the middle of a large playing area.  An object (cone, shoe, etc.) for each team is placed ~8 yards away from the bucket, in opposite directions.

Each team forms a line and sits down behind the marker.  The person seated at the end is given a bowl or plate.  At the start of the game, this person brings the bowl up to the tub, fills it with water, and brings it back to the line, and sits down at the front.  He passes the bowl over his head to the next person, who does the same, and it continues down the line.

The last person in the line is given some sort of container to collect the water in.  (We used pop bottles, which was hard, but do-able). When the bowl has passed down the line to the second-to-last person, he tips the bowl backward over his head, pouring the remaining water into the container, held by the last person.  Once the bowl is empty, they switch items; the one with the bowl takes the container and the one with the container takes the bowl, running to the front to begin again.

Since the last person always moves to the front, the line shifts forward with each turn.  The seated team members cannot pass the marker, so as they get close, the entire seated line has to slide back to make more room.  It’s recommended that teams begin several yards behind the marker, as to not have to slide back immediately.

Once the teams get the hang of the game, add more bowls to the line to make it go faster and a little more exciting.

The game ends after a designated amount of time, or to a certain amount of water collected.  The team with the most water in their container wins.


Finish a Watermelon

  • Materials: A watermelon cut in half (or just one half, depending on the size), and spoons for each participant.
  • Objective: Eat the entire watermelon, one spoon at a time.
  • Group Size: 20+ members

Camp Games

A watermelon for each team (seedless would be preferred…) is placed 30 yards or so away from the starting line, with – if desired – a small obstacle course along the way.  One at a time, team members run through the obstacle course and dig one spoonful out of the watermelon.  They stay there, eating what they dug out, until they show a judge that their mouth is empty, then run back and tag they next person to go.

Each person can only scoop out one spoonful to eat (it can be a huge scoop, but they have to get it all down before returning to their team).  Once the entire team has eaten a spoonful, anyone who wants to continue can get back in line, this time eating as much as they want.  (The reason for this is that once you get closer to the rind, one scoop doesn’t get you very much, so you need the freedom to scrape out more.)

First team to finish their watermelon wins.

Warning: Apparently some of the guys at the camp had a hard time sleeping that night because they ate so much watermelon…


Move the Cup

  • Materials: A straw for each person; one plastic cup per team
  • Objective: Pass the cup from the beginning of the line to the end, without using hands
  • Group Size: 10+ members

Camp GamesDistribute straws to each player, and each team forms a line.  At the start of the game, the first player puts the straw in his mouth, then places the plastic cup over the straw.  He turns around, and the second player, also with a straw in his mouth, takes the cup with his straw, and passes it on down the line.  The last person in the line takes the cup, spins around, and then passes the cup back to the front of the line.  If the cup falls or is touched by anybody, it returns to the start of the line.  The first team that brings the cup to the end of the line and back wins.

Variation: Once everyone gets the hang of it, require that each player spins around once or twice (or does some other action) before passing the cup to the next player.


Under the Tarp

  • Materials: A huge tarp (10×15 yards or larger)
  • Objective: The whole team is to crawl under the tarp, one at a time.
  • Group Size: 10+ members
  • Number of Competing Groups: Two

Each team splits into two groups, with half on either side of the tarp.  One side begins, with each competing team sending one person to run to the tarp, then crawl under it.  When he comes out the other side, he runs to the teammates and tags the next player to go, so only one person from each team is under the tarp at a time.

Possible Variation: At the start, one player from each side of the tarp begins, possibly causing a collision or two during the game…

Note: You will need a bunch of people to sit or stand on either side of the tarp to keep in it place, as you can see in the photo.

Camp Games


Soak the Leader

  • Materials: A pop bottle, several large spoon (of equal size), and bucket of water for each team
  • Objective: Fill the pop bottle as much as possible, one spoon of water at a time
  • Group Size: 20+ members

Each team lines up, with the leader positioned a distance (maybe about 30 yards) away.  The leader lays down, resting the pop bottle on his forehead.  Team members line up, take a spoon, fill it with water, then walk it over to the leader, pouring the water into the bottle.  After a set amount of time (sufficient that everyone on the team gets at least one turn with the spoon), measure the amount of water collected in each team’s bottle.

Contrary to the title, the leader doesn’t really get soaked, he just gets a few trickles of water on the face from unsteady teammates.  But I’m sure there could be variations to fix that… 🙂

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.

Team Games

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