It's great to have a few icebreakers at a party where your guests are not already acquainted. Use an icebreaker game at the beginning of the party to get everyone mixing and mingling!
Here are a few of our tested favorite party icebreaker ideas:
Name and Number
As people walk into the party, put their name on one side of an index card, and a number on the other side.
As everyone walks around with their name showing (on the index card that is taped to their shirt), they have to try to introduce themselves to as many people as they can.
After a bit of mingling, tell everyone to turn over his or her name tags, so that the number on each card is showing rather than the name.
Now give everyone a numbered piece of paper, and see who can fill in the most names next to the corresponding number.
Tell each of your guests to come to the party with something that shows a lapse in memory. For example, come to the party wearing only one sock or with only half of your make-up on (only one side of your face).
Give out paper and pencils, and give everyone 10 minutes to see who can guess the most memory lapses correctly.
Guess Which Guest
Before the party, write down a statement about each guest. For example, you could write, "Born in a country other than the USA." "The name of the person______________". "The name of the country_________________". Or a statement like, "Changed my major in college 3 times". "The name of the person_________________". "The 3 different majors_______________, ______________, and_____________".
Put all of the statements together on one piece of paper, and give each guest a copy. Have all of your guests mingle, and ask each other questions to determine whose name belongs with each statement.
Whoever has the most names filled in after about 10-15 minutes gets the honor of introducing the people whose names are on his/her sheet.
Know Your Neighbor
As soon as all of your guests arrive, have everyone sit in a circle.
Go around the circle and have everyone say their first and last names, and one fact about themselves (such as "I work with dogs," or "I hate pizza with mushrooms," etc.).
Have one person stand in the middle (this person is "It"), and point to another person. The person who is pointed at has 10 seconds to give the first and last names as well as "the fact" about the person to his/her right or left (the person who is "It" gets to choose).
If the person cannot give the information, then he/she has to go into the center and is now "It". The person, who was "It" previously, will sit in the now empty seat in the circle.
End the game as soon as everyone has had a turn, or when everyone has been "introduced". Award prizes to those who know their "neighbor."
Balloon Friend Blend
Put each name of half of your party guests on a separate slip of paper, and put each slip of paper inside of its own balloon. (For example, if you have 10 guests, put 5 names in 5 separate balloons).
Throw all of the balloons up into the air, and have each person (the 5 people whose names are not in a balloon) take a balloon and pop it!
They must then walk around and find the person whose name they have, and both people must introduce themselves to each other.
Then after chatting for a few moments, the person whose name was not in the balloon must introduce their "balloon friend" to another person at the party.
Continue to introduce yourself and your "balloon friend" to people until both of you have met everyone at the party. (If there are other games, this is a good way to set up random partners as well).
What is everyone's first impression of other partygoers? That’s the gist of this game.
As guests arrive, make sure that each person gets an index card taped to their back as well as a pencil.
Have your guests mingle, and meet each other.
As people get to know each other a little bit better, have each guest write their first impressions of the people they meet on the cards on their backs.
Make sure to tell your guests to write funny things, but to stay away from anything resembling rude or mean comments. Write things like "quick wit," "bedroom eyes," "million dollar smile," "hot stepper," etc.
After about 15-20 minutes, have each person read the card off the adjacent person's back for a few laughs.
The object of this game is to get rid of all your stickers by sticking them on the other guests (One sticker per guest).
When guests begin to arrive at your house, give each guest a pack/sheet of 10 stickers. However, if the guest you are "stickering" catches you, he/she gets to stick one of his/her stickers on you.
If you are "caught", you must temporarily take your sticker back, and you can try to sticker that same person later (at your own risk). But if someone falsely accuses you of "stickering" him/her, then you can automatically put one of your stickers on that person.
The first one to get rid of all 10 of their original stickers is the winner!
This game combines quick knowledge of the names of the people at the party, as well as various items from different categories.
Have everyone sit/stand in a circle.
Go around the circle and have everyone say their first name, and then reveal a good way to remember their name.
The first person begins the game by announcing what the category is. For example, let's say that the category is cars. The first person would then throw the ball at someone of his/her choice, and that person would have to say something that relates to the category of cars, as well as the name of the person who threw the ball.
Then as quickly as possible without skipping a beat, that person must throw it to another person of his/her choice.
When the next person gets the ball, he/she must say another thing that relates to the car category as well as the name of the person who just threw the ball- and so on.
If someone flubs a name or a category then he/she is out. The person who is left sitting in the circle last is the winner. However, if you would rather just focus on getting to know everyone and having fun, you can award prizes at the end for "Quickest Thinker," "Worst With Names," "Best/Worst Passer" etc.
Hand To Hand
Guests need to get into pairs and form two circles, one inside of the other.
One person needs to be in charge of starting and stopping the music, and another person gets to be the leader.
When the music begins, the two circles are to begin moving in opposite directions.
The leader remains in the center of the circles barking out commands such as "Hand to foot," "Nose to back of head," "Elbow to hip," "Cheek to cheek," etc., and every time the music is stopped the people facing each other must obey the commands.
When the music stops, the leader must find someone to pair up with, and then the person who is left out becomes the leader.
Sign My Arm
No, this is not a game like "Pull My Finger"!
Give all of your guests a marker, and have everyone at the party put a paper bag over their signing hand (arm).
When the host/hostess says, "Go," then everyone in the room must obtain as many signatures as they can.
It isn't as easy as it sounds though, because each person has to keep the paper bag on his or her signing hand (so they must sign with the opposite hand). At the end of 5 minutes, the person with the most signatures is the winner!
Get Acquainted Bingo
First, jot down some interesting facts about each guest attending the party, such as "Susan -just got pregnant" or "Matt - hired by the FBI." Buy enough 5-by-8-inch index cards for each guest. Draw a grid on each card, three squares across by three down. In each square, write a question about one of the other guests, using your list as a guide.
For example, if Susan "just got pregnant," you might write, "Who's expecting the stork?" If Matt was "hired by the FBI," you might write, "Who's come to the party undercover?" Distribute the questions throughout the cards so that all players have equal amounts.
When guests arrive, hand them a card and a pencil. Tell them to find the answers to the questions on their card by asking the other guests creative questions. When they find a match, have them get an initial from the matching player in the appropriate square. The player who fills the card with initials first wins a prize.