A great activity for everyone

Human Scissors

Unleash the Fun with Human Scissors: The Ultimate Team-Building Game!

Human Scissors
By Jon Zajac

What is Human Scissors?

The Human Scissors icebreaker is an engaging and interactive activity designed to foster team spirit and energize participants. This game’s unique concept involves using body movements inspired by scissors in a rock-paper-scissors format, creating a fun and dynamic experience for all ages. With no equipment required, this icebreaker can be easily set up in any spacious room or outdoor area, making it an ideal choice for groups of various sizes.

The main goal of Human Scissors is to outmaneuver your opponent using the signature scissor movements. Before starting the game, participants practice these movements together to ensure comfort and break down any silly barriers. The game encourages laughter, absurdity, and joy as pairs engage in their best scissor poses during the rock-paper-scissors sequence.

While Human Scissors primarily serves as an icebreaker, it also presents opportunities for debriefings about readiness, sportsmanship, and tactics. By seeking feedback from participants and encouraging personal interpretations, this activity can be repeated or varied to maintain group interest and engagement. Overall, the Human Scissors icebreaker is a dynamic and inclusive way to promote playfulness and connectivity among team members with minimal setup and maximum impact.

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Rules for Human Scissors

  1. The main goal of this game is to outmaneuver your opponent, using body movements inspired by the real-life scissors, in a rock-paper-scissors format.
  2. Participants form “scissors” with their bodies by moving opposite hands down and upwards at their sides to mimic the opening and closing action of scissors.
  3. Pair up the participants for one-on-one competition.
  4. During the game, participants start the rock-paper-scissors sequence and engage in the signature scissors pose against their opponent upon “shoot”.
  5. Personal interpretations and expressions are encouraged during the game.
  6. Reflect on the experience, seek feedback, and repeat or variate the game based on group interest.

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Materials needed for Human Scissors

  • Space: The Human Scissors game requires a reasonably spacious room or outdoor area to accommodate the free movement of participants.
  • Seating Arrangement: There’s no specific seating arrangement as the game involves standing and movement.
  • Equipment: No equipment or materials are required for the Human Scissors activity, making it simple and accessible.

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Setting up for Human Scissors

To set up for the Human Scissors icebreaker activity, you will need a spacious room or outdoor area to accommodate free movement of participants. There is no specific seating arrangement as the game involves standing and movement. No equipment or materials are required for this activity, making it simple and straightforward to prepare. The ideal group size for Human Scissors ranges from 10 to 30 participants, but for larger groups, consider splitting them into smaller clusters to ensure manageability and active participation.

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How to play Human Scissors

1. Prepare the Space - Allocate a spacious room or outdoor area for free movement of participants.

2. Arrange the Group - Gather a group of 10-30 participants to ensure manageability and active participation.

3. Explain the Game Rules - Demonstrate the scissors movement by moving opposite hands down and upwards at their sides. - Pair up participants for rock-paper-scissors-style competition using only scissors movements.

4. Warm Up Participants - Encourage participants to practice scissor movements in unison, breaking down silly barriers.

5. Begin the Game - Divide participants into pairs and allow prep time for strategy discussion. - Start the game with a rock-paper-scissors sequence, followed by simultaneous scissors poses against opponents.

6. Reflect on the Experience - Engage in debriefings about readiness, sportsmanship, and tactics.

7. Seek Feedback - Encourage participants to share thoughts on their experience and clarify any misunderstandings.

8. Repeat or Variate - Offer the opportunity for game repetition or introducing creative movements for recurring fun.

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Benefits of Human Scissors

  • Fosters Physical Activity: Human Scissors is an excellent way to get participants moving and active, which can help improve focus and energy levels throughout the day.
  • Breaks Down Inhibitions: The game’s silliness encourages participants to let loose and embrace their goofy side, making it easier for them to connect with one another.
  • Encourages Teamwork: While each pair competes against one another, Human Scissors promotes team spirit by requiring cooperation and strategy between partners.
  • Enhances Communication Skills: By encouraging quick thinking and strategic planning, this icebreaker can help improve participants’ communication skills in a fun and engaging way.
  • Boosts Confidence: Allowing individuals to express themselves freely and interpret the game rules creatively helps build self-confidence and fosters a positive group dynamic.
  • Inclusive and Accessible: As a no-equipment, easy-to-learn activity, Human Scissors is inclusive for all ages and abilities, ensuring that everyone can participate and enjoy themselves.
  • Promotes Positive Emotions: Laughter and joy are integral parts of this icebreaker, contributing to an overall sense of happiness and positivity within the group.

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Skills built with Human Scissors

  • Teamwork: Human Scissors encourages participants to work together in pairs, fostering collaboration and communication as they strategize their approach during the quick prep time.
  • Active Listening: The game necessitates active listening between partners, allowing individuals to hone their focus on others while understanding and responding to their partner’s movements and strategies.
  • Physical Movement and Coordination: Human Scissors requires participants to engage in simple yet energetic physical movements, which helps improve overall body coordination, flexibility, and stamina.
  • Patience and Self-Control: By engaging in a friendly competition with their partner, players learn the importance of patience and self-control as they await the right moment to execute their scissor movements.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Laughter and playfulness experienced during Human Scissors can help participants develop emotional intelligence by understanding social cues, building trust, and fostering empathy among group members.
  • Creativity and Adaptability: Encouraging personal interpretations of rock, paper, or additional game variations allows individuals to exercise their creativity and adaptability in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.

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Why I like Human Scissors

I like the Human Scissors icebreaker because it is an interactive, inclusive, and engaging game that can be played by groups of all ages and sizes. The simplicity of this activity makes it easy to organize and execute, as no equipment or materials are required. All you need is a spacious room or outdoor area and a group of people willing to participate.

What I like most about Human Scissors is its ability to energize participants and foster team spirit through a fun and dynamic game. The activity encourages participants to move around, interact with each other, and use their creativity to express the “scissors” movement in a rock-paper-scissors format. This playful approach breaks down barriers and promotes laughter, connectivity, and camaraderie among group members.

Another aspect of Human Scissors that I appreciate is its versatility. The game can be adapted to suit different groups, settings, and objectives. For instance, you can modify the rules to include rock and paper movements, create team battles, or introduce new variations to keep things interesting. These adjustments allow for customization based on the group’s preferences and ensure that everyone remains engaged throughout the activity.

As a facilitator, I also enjoy the warm-up phase of Human Scissors, where participants practice the scissor movements together. This part of the game serves as an excellent opportunity to create a sense of unity within the group while simultaneously breaking down any initial hesitation or awkwardness. The silliness and absurdity of mimicking scissors help participants relax and feel more comfortable with each other, paving the way for a successful and enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, I like the Human Scissors icebreaker due to its simplicity, inclusiveness, and ability to energize and connect participants through playful interaction. The game’s versatility and adaptability make it an excellent choice for various settings and groups, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for everyone involved.

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Tips for making Human Scissors more inclusive

  • Tip: Use Simple Language and Clear Instructions I make sure to explain the rules using simple language that is easy for everyone to understand, regardless of their background or age. I also demonstrate the scissor movements clearly and slowly so that participants can see and replicate them easily.

  • Tip: Encourage Participation from Everyone I ensure that everyone in the group has a chance to participate by dividing the group into pairs and giving clear instructions on how to form pairs. If the group size is odd, I either participate myself or create one trio group so that no one is left out.

  • Tip: Create a Supportive and Inclusive Environment I create a supportive and inclusive environment by encouraging laughter and excitement during the game. I also ensure that participants feel comfortable and silly barriers are broken down by having them practice the scissor movements in unison before starting the game.

  • Tip: Use Creative Interpretations of Rock and Paper I encourage creativity and personal interpretations by allowing for creative interpretations of rock and paper using human body movement. This can add uniqueness to each game session and make it more inclusive for all participants.

  • Tip: Reflect on the Experience After the game, I take time to reflect on the experience with the participants by asking for their thoughts and feedback. This helps to solidify the connections made during the game and creates a space for further discussion and reflection.

  • Tip: Adapt the Game as Needed If there are any accessibility or mobility concerns, I adapt the game as needed to ensure that everyone can participate fully. For example, I may allow participants to use chairs or other props to help them with their movements, or modify the rules of the game to accommodate different abilities.

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Reflection questions for Human Scissors

  1. What did you enjoy most about the Human Scissors game? Understanding what participants enjoyed can help facilitate more enjoyable activities in the future.
  2. How did this activity make you feel? This question allows for reflection on the emotional impact of the game, providing insights into fostering positive group dynamics.
  3. Did you find it challenging to perform the scissor movements? Why or why not? This helps identify any difficulties faced by participants, allowing for better accommodations in future activities.
  4. How did communication and strategy play a role in your success during the game? This question can lead to insights about teamwork and collaboration within the group.
  5. What creative variations or interpretations of rock, paper, and scissors would you suggest for future games? Encouraging participants’ input on activity modifications can result in more engaging and accessible activities.
  6. How did the Human Scissors game help break the ice or build connections between group members? This question offers insights into the effectiveness of the activity as an icebreaker, providing valuable feedback for facilitators.

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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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