When you have to organize a large group of people, it can be difficult to get everyone to feel comfortable. In this situation, a few games can really work out well to break the ice and get group members talking and laughing together. Large group games can work for any age group or situation with a little tweaking.
Find Someone Who
For this game, participants receive a "Bingo" style grid with descriptions in every square. The descriptions would be about other people in the group, such as "I have visited a foreign country" or "I have an exotic pet." The participants have to circulate around the room and find another group member who fits each description, and ask that group member to sign the square. At the end, the whole group shares their findings as a way of learning more about one another.
Purses, Pockets and Wallets
In this game, participants work in small groups. A leader calls out the name of an everyday item, and someone from each group needs to produce that item solely from what they have in their purse, pocket or wallet. The group with the most items produced at the end of the game wins.
All participants sit or stand in a line. The first person thinks of a phrase and whispers it in the ear of the second person. The second person whispers to the third, and so on down the line. The only rule is that you cannot repeat yourself; the person listening must get what they can out of the message and pass it on as well as they are able. The last person in line announces the message to the group and then the first person tells what the original message was intended to be.
Everyone in the group removes one shoe and places it into a large pile in the center of a large room. Then they all line up at a "starting line" some distance from the pile. When the leader says "Go," the group members must run to the shoe pile, find their own shoes, put them on, and run back to start. The winner is the one who returns to the starting line first.
Everyone divides into smaller groups of four or five people. Each group gets a plain sheet cake, icing, food coloring, and other materials; the point is that every group's materials must be the same. Based upon a common theme, such as animals or oceans, every group must decorate their cake as well as they can. Then they present their cakes to a panel of judges to choose a winning cake decorating team. The best part of the game is that everyone gets to eat the cake afterward.
Group members divide into pairs and search the area for a list of items. The items might be specific things that were hidden in advance, objects found in nature, or items that fit into a specific category such as "fuzzy" or "smelly." The pair who returns to the starting point first with all of the items collected is the winning team.