|Since your guests may not be well
acquainted (and may be very bashful), Mister Spiffy has devised some simple techniques to
get around this. These techniques are often called "Icebreakers".
Since Mister Spiffy thinks Icebreakers are what you do to a popsicle, he just calls them
"Get Acquainted Activities"."Give Me Your Juiciest"
Give each person an index card with another reunion guests name on it
(preferably someone they dont know all too well), and a pen or pencil. After
giving them a moment to stew in their own juices, get up on your soapbox and proclaim,
"Now, everyone, mingle with everyone else (except the person whose name is on the
card) and find out everything you can about the person on your card"! Mister
Spiffy urges you to find embarrassing stories or facts about the people its
so much more fun that way. Afterwards, get back together and have everyone stand up
and introduce the person on their card and the things they found out about them.
People Are Sooooo Fun
Sit in a circle. Pass around a bag of
M&Ms (for more fun, buy several bags and dump them all in a huge bowl).
Tell everyone to take as many as they want, but not to eat them yet. Mister Spiffy
notes that every group has the people who reach in with both hands and scoop half the bowl
dont worry; theyll get theirs in the end. Once everyone has their
M&Ms and is asking when they can eat them, inform the group that for every
M&M they took they have to tell someone about themselves. "Argh! 100
M&Ms!? Um, one, my name is Chuck. Two... I am tall. Three,
play the clarinet." Fifteen minutes later
have a brother. One hundred
my brothers name is Matt!
Done"! This is one of Mister Spiffys favorite icebreaking games,
to watch the guests writhe in agony.
A good variation on this game is to pass around a roll of TP
("toilet paper" for those who have never "decorated" a teacher's
house) and tell everyone, "Take as much as you need, if you know what I
mean." Then, for every sheet of TP, they have to write something about
themselves on it. Then you can share the TP, or do whatever else with it.
Heres a good way to make people talk. Gather them
all together and say, "Okay, line up by your height." Dont doubt Mister
Spiffys sanity yet; he knows that you dont have to talk to line up by height.
This is just a warm-up. After that, have them line up according to birthdays.
Then shoe size. Then the age at which they were potty-trained.
Theyll have to talk there, thats for sure. Need some more sample line-up
questions? Here you go.
- Line up according to how many days it took for you to learn to ride a
- According to colors of hair, dark to light
- How many math teachers you actually liked (Mister Spiffy had three)
- How many times they repeated third grade
- How much they like Bill Clinton (you may get a clump at the end of
the room on this one)
- How many books they have read in the past two months
- The number of times they have eaten takeout in the past three weeks
- The size of their favorite animal (blue whale to small bacteria)
- How much they would have to be paid to eat roadkill (usually
its around "a bazillion dollars")
- How much roadkill they would eat for the specified amount
Youll need a handout with questions and places
for signatures underneath each one. Have each person answer the questions on the
blank provided (not the signature blank), and make sure they use ink so they cant
change their answers. Then get on your soapbox (yes, again) and have them mingle and
find people who answered things the same. When they do, get their signatures under
the answers they have in common. A good limiting rule is that you cant have one
person sign more than two of your questions, but Mister Spiffy says that isnt really
necessary. Want some help on good questions
- What year were you born?
- What color are your eyes?
- What is your favorite baseball team?
- What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
- Can you roll your tongue?
- If you had to choose from eternal youth, endless wealth, and a
years supply of dog food, which one would you pick?
- If you could obliterate the career of one musician, who would it be?
- What is your favorite movie?
- If there was a warrant for your arrest and you had to escape the
country, where would you go?
- If you were in a situation where you could shoot the Taco Bell dog
and throw its body in a rapidly flowing river without ever being caught, would you do it?
- Have you ever done anything you shouldnt have with a magnet and
- Do you suffer from any of those things that prohibit you from going
on roller coasters (i.e., motion sickness, back and neck pain, heart conditions, under 46
inches tall, et cetera)?
Ah, the possibilities! The person who has all their questions signed
(or at least the most, if none could find all of them) wins.
Something You Havent Done"
Have each person introduce themselves and say something
that they have done that they doubt anyone else has (Mister Spiffy usually says, "I
doctor family reunions"). If someone else speaks up and can honestly say that
they have done that too ("Ive had a kid too, mom youve got
grandkids, remember?"), then the person has to keep trying until they find something
no one else has done.
None Other Than George Washington Carver, Who Worked With Peanuts
Write the name of famous people on pieces of paper and
tape one on each persons back (don't let the person know who's name is on their
back). Everyone now has to guess the person on their back by asking other people around
the room yes or no questions about the person. "Did I chop down a cherry
tree?" "No." "Was I a good guy in history?" "Yes."
"Hmm. Attila the Hun?" "Ah
A variation on this is to use famous places or monuments (example
Sydney Opera House, Mount Rushmore, White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Taj
Mahal). A warning from Mister Spiffy try not to make peoples places fit
their characteristics. If a corpulent Great Aunt Opal finds out that she was Mount
Everest, she may harbor hard feelings if she discovers other peoples places also
matched their physical looks.
"I Got My Name Because
My Mom Liked the Beastie Boys"
Ah, names. What better way to introduce yourself
than to share your name? None, according to Mister Spiffys immense knowledge.
Have each person stand up and tell what they know about the reason they have their
name ("Im named after my great-great-great grandma who did cartwheels through
cow pies because she thought it would get her a man"). It can be your first,
middle, or nickname, or if you happen to know where your last name comes from that always
works too. Mister Spiffys got a fairly amusing history to his name, but
thats a different story entirely.
Picture Is A Fish. What Else Need I Say?"
Have people draw a picture that describes them, then
tell why. Mister Spiffy once knew a family that was really rather strange, and this
icebreaker turned out to be quite the bladder buster. We had pictures ranging from
road accidents and spotted moose to children sitting on clouds and a king wearing his
crown upside down. The explanations were even better. Make sure that people
know they will have to explain it, otherwise they will just try to be funny.
Each person gets an index card. Then pull out
your soapbox again and tell them all to write down three statements about themselves
one true and the others lies. Then they will stand up and read out their
information whilst the rest of the group tries to guess which statement is true. To
really befuddle the listening ears, pick the most outrageous stunt youve ever done
for truth and make more realistic (but still untrue) statements your lies. Although
this is an icebreaker, Mister Spiffy says its also fun to play with people who have
been together for a long time like a party with close friends. Then its
even harder to think of a true statement that no one would guess.
or Dare, Without the Dare
Everyone sits in a circle. Ask a question and go around
the circle, with everyone answering it in their own way. This can be a ton-o-fun if
you ask the right questions, therefore Mister Spiffy provides for you a list of questions
that will help get the laughter started.
- What was your most embarassing moment (or at least one of them)?
- If you were a pie, what kind of pie would you be?
- If you were to choose a vegetable most resembling your personality,
what vegetable would you pick and why? Mister Spiffys note a tomato is
- Choose one word to describe yourself
- Choose one word to describe the person on your left
- What thought first crosses your mind when you hear, "Once upon a
- Which Disney character are you most like, and why?
- What is the most attractive trait you could hope for in the opposite
- Who was your favorite character in "Star Wars"?
- If you were to grow a mole on your forehead, what shape would you
want it to be?
- What is the best carnival ride youve ever been on?
- Have you ever swallowed a coin or other monetary element?
Like Mister Spiffy said, it can be a milk-spewer. If you just get
the right people (the slightly twisted branch of the family) you can be laughing all
B-I-N-G-O and Bingo Was His Name-O"
Get Acquainted Bingo. Create a bingo card of
characteristics that a person might have, or just use the one Mister Spiffy made
below. These can be physical characteristics (like hair color), things the person
has done (flown in an airplane), or things which match the bingo player (same color
eyes). Pass out the bingo cards to all family members, and have them try to get a
bingo (or blackout) by finding other family members that have these characteristics.
Mister Spiffy has a rule that you can only provide two matches on another persons
card (even if more than two items are true). This way you have to ask more people
Find Someone Who...
|Has green eyes
||Is the same height as you
||Knows the words to the
Gilligan's Island theme song
||Has driven a tractor
||Collects something for a
|Was born the same month
||Has built something out
||Is over 6 feet tall
||Lives in a house with a
||Has been to Mexico
|Knows how to rollerblade
||Is your cousin
||Lives more than 500 miles
||Has brown hair
|Can roll their tongue
||Has piloted an airplane
||Owns a farm animal
(horse, cow, etc)
||Is over 50 years old
||Knows how to set the time
on a VCR
|Is under 15 years old
||Has pierced ears
||Plays a musical
||Has been to more than 5
||Has served in the