A great activity for everyone


Form a human amoeba, work together to eliminate the opposition in this thrilling game of strategy and strength!

By Jon Zajac

What is Amoeba?

The Amoeba icebreaker is an engaging and interactive game that promotes teamwork and communication. The purpose of this activity is to foster a sense of unity among participants as they work together to achieve a common goal while preventing their link from being broken. At its core, the Amoeba icebreaker involves forming a large circle and placing a safe object in the center. Players then hold hands and try to pull, push, or maneuver other participants so that they touch the object, thereby eliminating them from the game. The last person remaining in the circle wins. This game is suitable for ages 10 and up, with 10-20 players, making it an excellent choice for medium-sized groups. It can be played both indoors and outdoors, and all that’s required is a safe and durable object to place in the center of the circle. Overall, the Amoeba icebreaker is a fun and dynamic way to bring people together and build connections through collaborative play.

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Rules for Amoeba

  1. All players must hold hands and form a large circle.
  2. A safe and durable object should be placed in the middle of the circle.
  3. The objective of the game is to try and have other people touch the object in the center through pulling, pushing, etc., while maintaining the circular link without breaking it.
  4. If a person touches the object in the center of the circle, they are out of the game.
  5. The game ends when there is only one person left in the first amoeba.

Variations: 6. Players who touch the object in the center join a second amoeba and receive negative points for touching the object in the center again. 7. The game continues until there is only one person left in the first amoeba, while everyone else is moving around in the second amoeba.

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Materials needed for Amoeba

  • Safe, durable object: This could be any object that is safe to touch and won’t break easily. A small ball or a hula hoop could work well for this game. The object serves as the central point of focus for the players, who must try to avoid touching it while still trying to make others touch it. Make sure the object is visible and easy to reach from any point in the circle.

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Setting up for Amoeba

To set up for the Amoeba icebreaker activity, you will need to find a suitable location where there is enough space for all participants to form a large circle. The setting can be indoors or outdoors, depending on your preference and the availability of space.

Next, gather all participants and instruct them to hold hands and form a circle, making sure that everyone is connected and forming a continuous loop. The circular link should not be broken throughout the game.

Once the circle is formed, place a safe and durable object in the center of the circle. This object will serve as the target for the game, and players will try to pull, push, or otherwise move their teammates so that they touch the object. Make sure that the object is sturdy and will not easily tip over or break during the game.

Finally, review the rules of the game with all participants, making sure that everyone understands how to play and what is expected of them. It may be helpful to designate a game leader or referee who can help facilitate the game and ensure that all rules are being followed.

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How to play Amoeba

  1. Form a Circle by Holding Hands: Instruct all players to hold hands and form a large circle, creating a tight-knit formation.
  2. Place the Object in the Center: Position a safe, durable object in the middle of the circle, ensuring it’s easily reachable but not too close to any player.
  3. Maintain Circular Formation: Players must keep holding hands and ensure the circular link is never broken during the game. Any intentional or unintentional release of hands will be considered a violation of the rules.
  4. Move and Manipulate: Encourage players to strategically pull, push, or twist their connected neighbors in an attempt to make them touch the object in the center. The goal is to get others out of the game without breaking the circle.
  5. Exit upon Touching the Object: If a player accidentally touches the object in the center, they must immediately step out of the circle, signifying their elimination from the game.
  6. Monitor for a Winner: Continue playing until only one person remains in the original circle; this individual is declared the winner. For alternative variations that allow more people to stay engaged, refer to the note section below.

Note: To ensure inclusivity and keep more players involved, consider these modifications:

  • Form a Second Amoeba: When someone touches the object, have them leave the first amoeba but immediately start forming a second circle (or “amoeba”) around the original one. Players in the second circle try to avoid touching the center object while simultaneously attempting to get others from the first circle to touch it.
  • Negative Point System: Instead of immediate elimination, players who touch the object receive negative points in the second amoeba. This way, they can continue playing and engaging with the game while also introducing a competitive element to those still in the original circle.
  • Game End Condition: The game ends when only one person remains in the original circle (the first amoeba), while everyone else is moving around in the second circle (or multiple circles, depending on the number of players).

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Benefits of Amoeba

  • Builds Teamwork and Communication Skills: By requiring players to hold hands and work together to avoid having anyone touch the object in the center, the Amoeba game encourages teamwork and communication. Players must listen to each other’s ideas and communicate effectively in order to succeed.
  • Promotes Problem-Solving and Strategy Development: As players try to outmaneuver each other and avoid touching the object, they are challenged to think critically and develop strategies. This helps build problem-solving skills and encourages players to think creatively.
  • Provides a Fun and Active Way to Interact with Others: The Amoeba game is a physical and engaging activity that allows players to interact with each other in a fun and dynamic way. It’s a great way to get people moving and having a good time together.
  • Encourages Inclusivity and Fair Play: By allowing players who touch the object to join a second amoeba, the game promotes inclusivity and fair play. This variation ensures that everyone has a chance to participate and contribute to the game, regardless of their skill level.
  • Helps Develop Physical Strength and Coordination: As a physical activity, the Amoeba game can help improve players’ strength, coordination, and overall fitness. It’s a great way to get people moving and having fun while also promoting physical health and well-being.

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Skills built with Amoeba

  • Teamwork: By holding hands and working together to avoid having members touch the object in the center, players must communicate and collaborate effectively with each other. This helps build trust and encourages active listening.
  • Problem-Solving: As the amoeba tries to avoid having its members touch the object, they will encounter various challenges that require quick thinking and creative solutions. This fosters critical thinking skills and enhances players’ ability to strategize on the fly.
  • Physical Fitness: The Amoeba game involves physical activity, such as pulling, pushing, and moving around to avoid touching the object. As a result, it can help improve players’ strength, agility, and overall fitness level.
  • Body Awareness: Players must be mindful of their own movements and those of others in order to maintain the circular formation while also avoiding the central object. This heightened sense of body awareness can translate to improved coordination and balance in other physical activities.
  • Competitive Spirit: While the game encourages teamwork, it also fosters a healthy sense of competition as players strive to be the last one remaining in the amoeba. This can help build resilience and determination, as well as teach players how to handle both winning and losing gracefully.
  • Inclusivity: The variation where those who touch the object leave the first amoeba but start a second one emphasizes inclusivity by allowing more people to participate in the game for longer periods of time. This can help promote a sense of community and foster positive social interactions among players.

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Why I like Amoeba

I enjoy the Amoeba icebreaker for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a highly engaging and interactive game that requires teamwork and communication among players. The objective of maintaining the circular link while simultaneously trying to pull others towards the center object creates a fun challenge that keeps everyone engaged.

Furthermore, I appreciate the versatility of the Amoeba icebreaker. The variation suggested in the instructions offers an alternative way to play that extends the game’s duration and provides a more inclusive experience for all players. Instead of being eliminated from the game, those who touch the center object can continue participating by forming a second amoeba, which adds a new layer of strategy and excitement.

Additionally, I find the physical aspect of this icebreaker to be an effective way to break down barriers and encourage social interaction among players. The need to work together closely and communicate effectively creates a sense of camaraderie that can lead to stronger relationships and better team dynamics.

Overall, the Amoeba icebreaker is an enjoyable and engaging game that promotes teamwork, communication, and physical activity while offering a versatile and inclusive format for players of all ages and skill levels.

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Tips for making Amoeba more inclusive

  • Tip: Establish Clear Boundaries. Before starting the game, make sure to establish clear boundaries for the playing area and explain them to all players. This can help prevent accidents and ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable participating.
  • Tip: Encourage Communication and Cooperation. Emphasize the importance of communication and cooperation in the game. Encourage players to work together and come up with strategies to avoid having members of their team touch the object in the center.
  • Tip: Modify the Rules as Needed. Don’t be afraid to modify the rules of the game to better suit the needs and abilities of your group. For example, you could allow players to take breaks if they need to, or provide additional objects for players to touch instead of just one.
  • Tip: Use the Game as a Learning Opportunity. Use the game as an opportunity to discuss issues related to inclusivity and teamwork. Encourage players to reflect on their experiences and think about how they can apply what they’ve learned to other situations.
  • Tip: Consider Alternative Formats. If the elimination aspect of the game is a concern, consider alternative formats such as the one described in the note section of the summary. This format allows all players to remain engaged in the game until the very end, and can help promote a more inclusive and supportive environment.

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Reflection questions for Amoeba

  1. What was your experience with physical contact during the Amoeba game? This question can help participants reflect on their comfort level with physical touch, as well as how they navigated the close proximity required in the game.
  2. How did you communicate and work together with your teammates to avoid touching the object in the center? By asking this question, facilitators can encourage participants to consider the importance of clear communication and collaboration in achieving shared goals.
  3. What strategies did you use to maintain the circular formation while pulling or pushing others away from the object? This question prompts reflection on problem-solving and strategic thinking during gameplay.
  4. How did you feel when you, or someone else, accidentally touched the object in the center? Asking this question can help participants empathize with each other’s experiences and consider how to support one another in similar situations.
  5. Did you notice any differences between your own actions and those of others during the game? If so, what were they? This reflection question encourages self-awareness and perspective-taking, which are essential skills for building positive relationships.
  6. How can the lessons learned from this icebreaker be applied to real-life situations where teamwork and collaboration are necessary? By asking this question, facilitators can help participants make meaningful connections between the game and their daily lives.
  7. What changes would you suggest to make the Amoeba game more inclusive or accessible for people of varying ages, abilities, or backgrounds? This question invites participants to think critically about inclusivity and accessibility in group activities, fostering a more welcoming environment for all.

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About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.

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