Icebreaker bingo, also called people-bingo, is an invaluable way to get to know your peers in a fun-filled, action-packed game. It’s fun, it’s incredibly easy to organize, and it has the advantage of almost everyone already knowing how to play it!
In just half an hour or less, you can bring unbelievable energy into a boardroom, meeting or classroom, all while helping co-workers or students to get to know one another thanks to a couple of bingo cards and some well formulated questions. Having a group of strangers in a room together can be tricky, but if you are looking for the ideal cost-effective icebreaker to alleviate the awkwardness, this timeless pastime has come to the rescue once again.
How to Plan and Perfect Your Game
An important distinction to make, should you be planning a game, is how well you know the participants. If you do know them well, it’s a good idea to make a list of 20 to 25 interesting traits or personality aspects, including some lighthearted additions like ‘has traveled to Africa’, ‘has tattoos’, ‘plays the ukelele’ or ‘has a tattoo’.
On the other hand, if the participants are relative strangers, a list of more general traits is a better choice. This could include things like ‘drives an SUV’, ‘prefers tea to coffee’, and ‘has two or more dogs at home’. These questions can be easy or more challenging too, depending on how long you want the game to play out for.
According to ThoughtCo, it is also very simple to make your own cards for icebreaker rounds using regular printer paper. Countless websites like Print-Bingo and Teachnology allow you to customize your own cards, many of which are also free. Playing is also easy, and can include as many as 30 people. For larger groups, you could also consider dividing them into smaller teams and offering prizes for the team with the most winning cards.
Offer Small Prizes for Extra Fun
From there, just give each participant a card and a pen, explain that the group has a few minutes to mingle, introduce themselves to one another, and find others who match the traits on their cards. They then need to add that person’s name in the correct box or have them sign the respective area. Of course, the first person to fill five squares in any direction will yell ‘BINGO!’ – and for extra fun, you could even offer them a simple prize for winning.
For a simple icebreaker activity that will suit any meeting, party, team-building day or first day of school, people-bingo is a perfect choice. It allows people to mingle, get to know one another, and find out fun facts about each other in a pressure-free way – which is much preferable over the traditional method of getting folks to stand up and awkwardly introduce themselves in front of a room of stony faces!