Try These 10 Engaging Icebreaker Board Games at Work, School, and Parties

Try These 10 Engaging Icebreaker Board Games at Work, School, and Parties

Jill Staake

Need a way to break the ice with a group of people, and maybe even help them get to know each other a bit? These icebreaker board games and card games are just what you're looking for! Some of them are pure fun, providing an easy-going way for folks to get more comfortable with each other. Others dig a little deeper, encouraging players to share more about themselves. Whichever you choose, you're in for a good time!

1. Happy Salmon

Icebreaker Board Games: Happy Salmon cards and bag

Nothing gets a room full of people laughing and enjoying each other's company faster than this crazy game! Flip your cards and call out the action listed, as everyone else does the same thing at the same time. When two players make a match, they complete the action and discard those cards. The round continues until one player is out of cards. It's fast-paced chaos, and sure to break the ice! (3-12 players, ages 6+)

2. Pass the Potato

Pass the Potato: Stuffed potato with speech bubble saying "Pass me faster!"

Pass the Potato is another game of hilarious chaos, and adults will enjoy it just as much as kids. Toss the potato to one player to start the game. That player quickly tosses it to another person, trying to get rid of it before it "explodes" and they lose! The potato talks, with funny phrases that make the game even more uproarious. (2+ players, ages 4+)

3. Would You Rather?

Icebreaker Board Games: Would You Rather cards, gameboard, and markers

You've probably played this one as a party game, but now it's also one of our favorite icebreaker board games. One player reads off a "Would you rather" scenario, and other players try to decide which one the reader would choose. If you guess correctly, you move ahead on the board. You'll all get to know one another in a very low-stakes kind of way, and you're guaranteed to laugh while you do! (3+ players, ages 12+)

4. Found It!

Found It! cards: Scavenger hunt game for kids

A scavenger hunt in pairs or teams can be a terrific way to break the ice. This game is designed for younger kids, but you could use it with older groups too. Deal the cards to each team and see who can find their items ("something round" or "something you can write with") the fastest. (2+ players, ages 5+)

5. Codenames

Icebreaker Board Games: Codebreakers cards and instruction book

Codenames is another great game to play in teams, giving people time to feel more comfortable with each other. Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents, but everyone else only knows their codenames. The spymasters give their teams one-word clues, the players try to identify the correct cards, and everyone tries to avoid the assassin! The rules are easy to learn, and a game takes just 10-15 minutes. (4+ players, ages 10+)

6. Off Topic

Off Topic game cards, makers, and more

If you like Scattergories (another one of our favorite icebreaker board games), give Off Topic a try! Each player works to come up with a list of words to match the letter for each round. In order to keep your points, though, you have to defend your answers against everyone else's. (2+ players, ages 13+)

7. Apples to Apples

Icebreaker Board Games: Apples to Apples cards

Apples to Apples has become a party game favorite over the years, and it's easy to see why. Game play is extremely simple, but there's always a lot of good-natured discussion (and giggles) throughout. When it's your turn to be Judge, read off the description on the card you draw. Other players choose a card from their hand they think best fits that description. The Judge picks the one they like best, and that player earns a point. First to five wins! (4+ players, ages 8+)

8. Sussed

Sussed icebreaker game with cards and other materials

If you're looking to learn more about your fellow players, Sussed is the perfect choice. When it's your turn, read the question and possible answers from the card. Your fellow players try to guess which one you'll pick. It's tricky when people don't know each other well, but it definitely helps folks make connections with one another. (2+ players, ages 7+)

9. Train of Thought

Icebreaker Board Games: Train of Thought cards

This icebreaker game is for those who are willing to share their thoughts and feelings with others. Collect cards from each category by answering the questions or completing the activities, and try to be the first to complete your Train of Thought. (2+ players, ages 6+)

10. Poobah

Poobah icebreaker game cards

Poobah was designed to help kids get in touch with their feelings and learn to become more comfortable sharing with others. (It'll work with the right group of adults too.) The questions on the cards are sure to spark lots of conversation, and even some laughter. For each round, one player is the Poobah, and chooses their favorite response. At the end of the round, the votes are counted, and the player with the most wins. (4+ players, ages 6+)

Like these icebreaker board games? Try these Great Board Games for Teens That They'll Actually Play!

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