For a successful office party, you definitely want to get people mingling and excited to ensure a good time. A great way to get things started is with a fun game for everyone to participate in! This creates time away from work to get to know each other a bit better and bond as a team. Here are four suggestions for simple, but fun office party games.
1. Who Am I? Couples –
This game is fun to play to break the ice and get people talking to fellow employees they may not know very well. The party planner should write down names of well-known celebrities or characters on index cards. Each card should match up with another card to form the couple. Some examples would be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara, and Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
For each person playing, a card should be taped to their back without them seeing who it is. They should go around the room and engage in conversation with others who will look at the card on their back and treat them accordingly. If the person you are talking to has Brad Pitt on their back, you might ask how he feels about his zombie movie doing so poorly or how all of those children are doing. The person wearing the card may also ask questions to try to guess who is on their back.
Once they have guessed who they are, they must find their partner who matches the other half of their couple. First couple to be united wins the game, but it should continue until everyone has found their pairs. Those who have already completed the game should go around and assist in giving clues to those who haven’t guessed yet.
2. Pass the Bowl –
When people arrive to the party, have them write down names of well-known celebrities or characters (e.g. Harry Potter, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Clinton) on small slips of paper. These papers should be folded in half and placed into a large bowl. When the bowl is full of names, divide the group into two teams and have everyone sit down in a circle with the teams seated together.
If Team A is first, Team B will be responsible for timing the round. When the timer begins, the first person who begins with the bowl will draw a name. They will then give their team clues to get them to guess the person or character. They may not say any part of the name or say “it rhymes with _____.” They may describe the movie the person acted in, or what book the character is from, who the person is married to, etc. The rest of the team should shout out guesses and once the name is guessed, the first person should pass the bowl to the person beside them. Each team will try to guess as many names as possible over the course of 1 minute. Once time is called, count how many names were correctly guessed and mark down the score. Then it will be Team B’s turn while Team A times them.
If a person draws a name that they do not know, they can put the paper back and draw a different one – this may only be done one time! Once the second name is drawn, they are stuck with it and may have to get creative for their team to guess. For example, get them to guess a different person or character who has the same first or last name as the person on their slip. Just make sure that successfully guessed papers do not go back in the bowl! There may be duplicates since everyone is contributing names.
To end the game, you may set a point goal such as first team to 50 points will win.
3. Paper Airplane Contest
Each person will be given a piece of paper to create a paper airplane. Once their planes are created, everyone will pair off and two at a time, the paper airplanes will be thrown. Whichever person’s plane travels the farthest will stay in the game for the next round. Once all couples have faced off, the winners will pair off to go again, and so on until there are only two people left. The last two will face off and the farthest airplane throw will win. You may want to choose one person to be the judge.
4. White Elephant Gift Exchange
This is a great game to play at a holiday party or an “Everybody’s Birthday” party. Set a budget (e.g $5-$10 or $10-$15) and have everyone who wishes to play bring in a wrapped gift. Ideally, have everyone sit in a circle with the gifts in the center or a similar set up so everyone can be seen. Everyone should draw a number out of a hat to decide the order. The person who draws the number 1 is first and should choose one of the gifts.
Once their gift is chosen they should return to their seat and either unwrap the gift, unwrap it partway, or leave it wrapped. It will then be the second person’s turn. This person will have the choice of choosing a gift from the pile or taking the first person’s gift and again either unwrapping it, unwrapping it partway, or leaving it wrapped. If the first person’s gift is taken, they should choose another from the pile.
This will continue down the line with each person taking a gift from someone else or from the pile. Each person who has a gift taken from them should either take a new one from the pile or take someone else’s gift. At the end when everyone has a gift, all of the gifts should be unwrapped and shown off!
The most important thing at a party is to let loose. Talk to people you don’t usually get a chance to see at work and be willing to be a little silly and have fun with these games or whatever else you come up with! Enthusiasm, competition, and silliness are contagious and will always make for a fun party atmosphere.
3 thoughts on “Simple But Fun Office Party Games”
The first game is the same or very similar to the one that was played in the scene that took place in a French tavern in German-occupied Frances in Quentin Tarantino’s film, “Inglourious Basterds.” There was a really mean Nazi officer, several other soldiers, and a couple of anti-German spies playing the game and, after lots of unfriendly dialogue, shooting, and bloodshed, pretty much everyone but two people ended up dead. Obviously, this is not the kind of thing that should happen at an office party, but still–one must be careful!
No one actually likes ice breakers but these games do seem fun. It would be a good way to either introduce people to each other or possible build morale.
We tried the paper airplane game and boy was it a success. Everyone held onto their airplanes and for the entire next week you could see at least four planes a day flying across the office.