What is Back-to-Back Pictionary?
As the facilitator, I would like to introduce the Back-to-Back Pictionary icebreaker game. This activity aims to encourage communication, creativity, and collaboration among participants. The purpose is to have two teammates sit back-to-back, where one person will describe a word or phrase, while the other draws it without seeing it.
The goal is for the drawing partner to accurately depict the described word within a designated time limit, while the describing partner cannot use specific words or gestures to help. Once the time expires, teams take turns sharing their drawings and comparing them to the original word or phrase. The objective is to foster teamwork and communication, breaking the ice among participants by working together and having fun.
Rules for Back-to-Back Pictionary
- The artist may not make any hand gestures or audible noises.
- The pictures drawn cannot have any numbers or letters.
- After a team member successfully says part of the word(s) on the card, they can no longer provide further guesses.
- If the team does not correctly guess the word within the allotted time limit, the opposing team has a chance to guess and steal the point.
- Each round continues until one team correctly guesses the word or the time runs out, then it is the next team’s turn to draw.
Materials needed for Back-to-Back Pictionary
Here’s the list of materials needed to play the Back-to-Back Pictionary icebreaker:
- Several sheets or two large pads of paper - These will be used for drawing the words or phrases that teammates will try to guess.
- Notecards - The judge will write down words or phrases on these cards, which will then be drawn by players.
- Pens - These will be used for drawing the pictures on the paper.
- A stopwatch/timer - This will be used to time each team’s turn and ensure they guess the word within the allotted time limit.
You can also consider providing some additional materials like:
- Chalkboards or whiteboards - These can be used as an alternative to paper for drawing the pictures.
- A 6-sided die - This can be used to randomly select which category a team must draw from.
- Writing materials - If you’re not using pre-made cards, each player will need writing materials to write down their own clues.
Setting up for Back-to-Back Pictionary
To set up for the Back-to-Back Pictionary icebreaker game, you will need to prepare several words written on individual notecards, with each word labeled as one of five categories: Person, Place, Animal; Action; Object; Challenge; and All Play. The judge should prepare these cards in advance and shuffle the pile. No other setup is required.
How to play Back-to-Back Pictionary
- Gather materials: I need a partner, two sheets of paper, two pens, a stopwatch, and a set of Pictionary word cards.
- Face away from each other: My partner and I sit back-to-back to ensure we can’t see each other’s drawings.
- Draw the word: A judge or group member gives us both a Pictionary word card without showing anyone else. I try to draw the word on my paper while my partner does the same on theirs, without using letters, numbers, or verbal cues.
- Guess the word: As I draw, my teammates (those who can see my drawing) attempt to guess the word based on my sketch. They should call out their answers so my partner can hear. At the same time, my partner’s team is trying to guess their word.
- First to guess wins: The first team to correctly guess their word gets a point. If neither team guesses within the time limit (usually 1 minute), no points are awarded.
- Rotate partners: After several rounds, we switch drawing partners and repeat the game with new words. This allows everyone in the group to interact with each other.
- Keep score: For a longer game or competition, keep track of points and announce a winning team at the end. Otherwise, enjoy the fun and social interaction provided by this icebreaker activity.
Benefits of Back-to-Back Pictionary
- Encourages Creative Thinking: Playing Back-to-Back Pictionary requires you to think creatively and find unique ways to draw a word or concept without using hand gestures or audible noises. This can help improve your ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
- Fosters Communication Skills: In order to win the game, you need to effectively communicate with your teammates and describe the picture being drawn. This can help enhance your communication skills and make you more comfortable speaking in front of a group.
- Promotes Team Building: Back-to-Back Pictionary is a team-based game that requires collaboration and cooperation. By working together to guess the word, you can build stronger relationships with your teammates and improve overall team morale.
- Increases Observation Skills: When playing Back-to-Back Pictionary, you need to pay close attention to the details of the picture being drawn in order to correctly guess the word. This can help increase your observation skills and make you more detail-oriented.
- Provides Entertainment: Above all, Back-to-Back Pictionary is a fun and entertaining game that can help break the ice in a group setting or provide a lighthearted activity for a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends.
Skills built with Back-to-Back Pictionary
- Communication skills: Players need to effectively convey their ideas through drawings, while teammates must interpret those drawings and guess the correct word or phrase.
- Creativity: The artist must think outside the box to come up with a drawing that represents the given word or phrase in a clear and concise manner.
- Teamwork: Players work together as a team to collaborate on their guesses, encouraging cooperation and group bonding.
- Time management: Drawers have a limited amount of time to create a visual representation of the word, teaching players to think quickly and make decisions under pressure.
- Active listening: Teammates must pay close attention to the clues given by their drawing partner and build upon each other’s ideas in order to correctly guess the word or phrase.
- Patience and focus: Players learn to remain focused on the task at hand, even when faced with challenging words or phrases, and to maintain patience as they work through the problem-solving process.
- Self-expression: The drawing aspect of the game allows players to express themselves visually and creatively, promoting individuality within a group setting.
- Critical thinking: Players must analyze the drawings and make connections between the visual elements and the possible corresponding words or phrases in order to correctly guess the answer.
Why I like Back-to-Back Pictionary
I enjoy the Back-to-Back Pictionary icebreaker because it encourages communication and collaboration in a fun and engaging way. The game challenges players to think creatively and work together to decipher clues, which helps build connections and strengthen relationships within a group. I also appreciate the simplicity of the game’s setup and rules, as it allows for quick and easy play without requiring any special materials or equipment. Overall, Back-to-Back Pictionary is a great icebreaker that can help bring people together and create a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.
Tips for making Back-to-Back Pictionary more inclusive
- Use simple words and concepts: By choosing words that are familiar to everyone, you can ensure that all team members have an equal chance to participate and guess the word.
- Describe the word in multiple languages: If there are players who speak different languages, describing the word in their native language can help them feel more included and valued.
- Ask for word suggestions from everyone: Before starting the game, ask each player to suggest a word that represents them or something they are passionate about. This will not only make the game more personal but also help everyone learn something new about their teammates.
- Allow for flexibility in guessing: Encourage players to guess creatively and not limit themselves to the exact word on the card. For example, if the word is “tennis,” allow players to guess “sports” or “racket.” This can help accommodate players who may not be familiar with the specific word.
- Use visual aids: If there are players with different abilities, using visual aids like props or costumes can help them understand the word and participate in the game more easily.
- Provide options for non-drawing participation: For players who may not feel comfortable drawing or have difficulty doing so, provide alternative ways to participate, such as suggesting words or guessing the word based on the drawing.
By incorporating these tips, you can make the Back-to-Back Pictionary icebreaker more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone!
Reflection questions for Back-to-Back Pictionary
- What was your experience playing Back-to-Back Pictionary? This question can help participants reflect on their overall experience with the game and set the stage for more specific reflections.
- How did you feel when it was your turn to draw a picture? This question can help participants consider their emotions and thoughts during the game, which can provide insight into their comfort level with public performance and creativity.
- What strategies did you use to communicate your drawing to your teammates? This question can help participants reflect on their communication skills and think about how they can improve them in future team activities.
- How do you think the game helped build connections between team members? This question can help participants consider the social dynamics of the game and understand how icebreaker activities can foster a sense of community.
- What challenges did you face during the game, and how did you overcome them? This question can help participants reflect on their problem-solving skills and resilience in the face of obstacles.
- If you were to modify the rules of Back-to-Back Pictionary, what changes would you make? This question can help participants consider alternative ways of playing the game and think creatively about how to adapt activities to better suit their needs.
About the author
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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