Bingo icebreaker game a big hit!

Sunday afternoon we started a new IT Essentials computer course at the temple where I’m volunteering. Usually we have around 35 people signing up for the course, of which generally about 25 of them will actually complete the course. This year we had a shocking 50 people registered and most of them also showed up on the first class!

Still not sure how we are going to handle such a big group, considering that in physical space we can accommodate comfortably a maximum of 35 people, once we are starting to do practical work on the computers, of which we have 22 now. But that’s a problem to worry about next week. Last Sunday we had to entertain and get going a group of 50 adults who are going to be following this course weekly for the next 6 months or so.

The previous year we had a problem that we had quite a disintegrated group of students who took a long time to get to know each other and work together. At the time we had omitted a proper intro to let the students familiarize with each other before starting to do some actual work. Not to fall into the same trap again, I decided that this year we would start with an icebreaker game. I have been doing many different icebreakers as a student myself, and thought that the one I participated in last year during one of my courses at NIE, was quite good, a human bingo.

How does it work? You have a normal BINGO-score card, with 5 x 5 squares. But instead of putting numbers in the squares, you put characteristics of people, like: “loves chocolate”, “is married”, “wears glasses”.

Then they have to go and ask their peers to see who could match one of the squares and each person only appearing once on the square. When someone has 1 row filled up, it’s BINGO, and they get some sweets. To manage this with 50 people, I split them in 2 groups and gave a group price as well, for the first group who had 1 full square. It was really a big hit, they mingled around well and had fun finding out details about their classmates.  Officially you’ll have to verify the filled up cards and make sure people are not cheating, but hey, I was already happy that people seriously tried to get to know each other and played the game without getting into a mess… mind you, this is all in a room that could just fit 50 people in there seated, no more space to walk around!

Here is the bingo score card I used:

Loves cooking   

 Has children Has same favourite colour as you  Is vegetarian  Has a mobile phone
 Wears glasses   Has visited more than 3 countries  Is married Is from same home country as you    Plays musical instrument
 Likes to sing    Likes cats      FREE  Likes to dance  Is wearing earrings
 Loves to read books  Wears lipstick  Likes dogs     Is same age as you  Is crazy about chocolate
 Born in country side    Wears red colour clothes  Likes to eat durian  Likes shopping  Wears jeans
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