A great activity for everyone


Unleash Your Inner Guardian: A High-Energy Game of Grab and Run

By Jon Zajac

What is Guardians?

The Guardians icebreaker game is a fun and engaging activity that involves players trying to steal each other’s bibs while also protecting their own. The aim of the game is to be the last player left with their bib intact, making it an excellent way to encourage quick thinking, reaction time, and physical movement. The game can be played with a small to medium group of friends aged 8 and above, and requires very little preparation or materials. Players simply need to place their bibs in their pockets, leaving a part of it sticking out for other players to grab. Once the game begins, players must run around trying to steal as many bibs as possible while also defending their own. The last player with their bib still in their pocket wins the game. Alternatively, teams can be created, and the winning team is determined by the number of players remaining. Overall, Guardians is an exciting and interactive icebreaker that is sure to get everyone moving and having a great time.

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Rules for Guardians

  1. Prepare a bib or any small object for every player to place in their pocket.
  2. Players put their bibs in their pockets with a part of it sticking out.
  3. When the game starts, players try to grab as many bibs from opponents as possible.
  4. While reaching for someone else’s bib, players must also protect their own bib.
  5. If a player’s bib is stolen, they are eliminated.
  6. The last player with their bib in their pocket wins the game.

Alternative ways to play:

  1. Divide players into two teams and have them try to steal bibs from the opposing team.
  2. Play 1-on-1, eliminating players until there is an Ultimate Guardian.

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Materials needed for Guardians

  • Bibs: Prepare a bib for every player. If bibs are not available, any small objects like a scarf or shoelace can be used instead. Make sure to pick an object that can be left tucked outside of pockets and isn’t too valuable.
  • Large space: The game requires a large area where players can move around freely. This can be indoors or outdoors.

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Setting up for Guardians

To set up for the Guardians icebreaker activity, you will need a large space where all players can move around freely. No other materials are required for setting up this game, as players will be using their own clothing or small objects to serve as the bibs. The preparation involves designating the play area and explaining the rules of the game to the participants. Make sure there is enough room for running and chasing without causing injury or damage to property. Once you have secured a suitable location, the Guardians icebreaker activity can begin.

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How to play Guardians

  1. Prepare the bibs: Before starting the game, I prepare a bib for each player by tucking a part of it into their pocket, leaving some visible from the outside. If no bibs are available, players can choose any small object to use instead.
  2. Explain the rules: I gather all participants and explain that the objective is to steal as many bibs as possible from others while keeping their own bib safe in their pocket. They must block other players’ hands with their own to protect their bib.
  3. Start the game: When I say “Go,” players start running around the room, trying to grab bibs from opponents and shielding their own. If someone successfully steals a player’s bib, that player is eliminated.
  4. Continue until one winner remains: The last person with their bib still in their pocket will be declared the winner of the Guardians icebreaker game.

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Benefits of Guardians

  • Encourages physical activity: The Guardians icebreaker game is an active game that gets players moving and running around, which can help improve overall fitness and promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Develops reaction skills: By trying to grab other players’ bibs while also protecting your own, the game requires quick reflexes and sharp decision-making skills. This can help players develop their ability to react quickly in various situations.
  • Promotes balance and coordination: Guardians involves constantly moving and changing direction, which can help improve balance and coordination. These skills are important for many sports and activities, as well as daily life.
  • Teaches responsibility: By having players guard their own bibs, the game encourages them to be responsible for their belongings. This can be a valuable lesson for young children in particular.
  • Encourages teamwork (alternative version): The team version of Guardians promotes collaboration and cooperation among teammates. Players must work together to protect their bibs while also trying to steal those of the opposing team, which can help build trust and communication skills.
  • Provides a competitive outlet: The game has a clear winner, which can be satisfying for players who enjoy competition. It also offers a fun and engaging way to channel energy and focus in a positive direction.
  • Customizable: Guardians can be easily customized based on the age and abilities of the players, making it a versatile and inclusive icebreaker game.

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Skills built with Guardians

  • Reaction time: Playing Guardians requires quick reflexes as players need to react quickly to grab bibs from opponents while also protecting their own. This helps improve reaction time and decision-making skills.
  • Balance: In order to protect their own bib, players must use good balance to block opponents’ hands with their own. This improves overall balance and coordination.
  • Running: Guardians is an active game that requires a lot of running around. This helps build endurance, speed, and agility, making it a great way to get some exercise while having fun.
  • Teamwork (optional): If played in teams, Guardians encourages teamwork as players work together to protect their teammates’ bibs and steal those of the opposing team. This helps build communication skills and promotes a sense of camaraderie among team members.
  • Competitiveness: Guardians brings out the competitive spirit in players as they strive to be the last one standing with their bib intact. This can help build confidence and motivation, encouraging players to push themselves to be their best.

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Why I like Guardians

As someone who enjoys staying active and promoting fun physical activities, I appreciate the Guardians icebreaker game. Its feature of requiring players to be on the move while playing, makes it a great option for those who might find traditional exercise dull. The game’s aim of trying to steal other players’ bibs while protecting your own, adds an exciting layer of challenge and competition.

The fact that Guardians can accommodate small to medium-sized groups is another aspect I like, as it makes the game versatile for various social settings. Additionally, its suitability for players aged 8 and above means that people of different ages and skill levels can participate and enjoy the game together.

One feature I particularly appreciate about Guardians is its minimal preparation and material requirements. The game’s setup only necessitates a large space and a bib or any small object for each player, making it easy to organize impromptu play sessions. In case of unavailability of bibs, the option to replace them with personal belongings adds convenience and flexibility.

Lastly, I enjoy how Guardians promotes responsibility by encouraging players to safeguard their belongings during gameplay. This aspect can be helpful in teaching young children valuable lessons about taking care of their possessions while having fun.

In summary, the Guardians icebreaker game is an excellent choice for those looking to incorporate physical activity and friendly competition into social gatherings. Its simplicity, minimal preparation requirements, and promotion of responsibility make it an enjoyable and engaging option for players of various ages and skill levels.

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Tips for making Guardians more inclusive

  • Tip: Use a variety of objects as “bibs.” To make the game more inclusive for all players, allow them to choose from a variety of objects to use as their “bib.” This can include items such as scarves, bandanas, or handkerchiefs. By providing options, you can accommodate players who may have difficulty using a traditional bib.
  • Tip: Modify the rules for younger or less mobile players. For younger or less mobile players, consider modifying the rules to make the game more accessible. For example, you could allow players to keep their bib in a backpack or fanny pack instead of their pocket, or reduce the amount of running required by having players stay in a designated area.
  • Tip: Encourage positive sportsmanship. To ensure that all players feel included and welcome, it’s important to encourage positive sportsmanship throughout the game. Remind players to be respectful of one another, and to avoid any behavior that could be perceived as mean-spirited or exclusive.
  • Tip: Provide clear instructions and supervision. To ensure that all players understand the rules and can participate fully, it’s important to provide clear instructions and supervision throughout the game. Consider walking through the rules with the group before starting, and make yourself available to answer any questions or concerns that arise during play.
  • Tip: Use inclusive language. When explaining the game and facilitating play, be mindful of your language and use inclusive terms that are welcoming to all players. For example, instead of saying “guys,” you could say “folks” or “everyone.” Small changes like these can go a long way in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

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Reflection questions for Guardians

  1. What did you enjoy most about playing Guardians? This question can help participants reflect on what they found fun or engaging about the game, which can be useful for facilitators to understand what aspects of the icebreaker were successful.
  2. Did you find any strategies that helped you keep your bib safe or steal others’ bibs? This question can help participants think critically about the game and how they approached it, as well as encourage them to share their experiences and insights with one another.
  3. How did you feel when your bib was stolen? This question can help participants reflect on their emotions and reactions during the game, which can be useful for facilitators to understand how participants handle competition and setbacks.
  4. Did playing Guardians help you get to know other participants better? If so, how? This question can help participants connect their experience of the icebreaker to the larger goal of building relationships and community within the group.
  5. Would you play Guardians again in the future? Why or why not? This question can help facilitators gauge participants’ overall satisfaction with the icebreaker and whether it was a valuable use of time. It can also give participants an opportunity to reflect on what they might do differently if they were to play the game again.

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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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