A great activity for everyone

Straws Question

Unleash the fun of revealing secrets & dreams through specially marked straws!

Straws Question
By Jon Zajac

What is Straws Question?

The Straws Question icebreaker game is an engaging and interactive way to help people get to know each other better. Its primary purpose is to encourage communication and foster a sense of community by asking questions that invite players to share personal experiences, opinions, or creative thoughts. This activity involves using specially marked straws, which are drawn from a cup after a question has been presented to the group. The individuals who draw the marked straws are then prompted to answer the question, allowing for a more dynamic and diverse range of responses. Overall, the Straws Question game is an effective icebreaker that requires minimal materials and can be adapted to various age groups and gathering sizes.

Back to top

Rules for Straws Question

  1. Gather several straws, a cup, and a sharpie marker.
  2. Count out one straw for each player and mark the ends of a small number of straws with the sharpie.
  3. Prepare a set of questions for the group to answer.
  4. Place all the straws into the cup.
  5. Ask a prepared question.
  6. Have everyone grab a straw.
  7. Players who draw specially marked straws answer the question.
  8. Repeat the process for additional questions.

Back to top

Materials needed for Straws Question

  • Straws: You will need several straws for each player to draw from a cup.
  • Cup: A cup or container is needed to hold all the straws.
  • Sharpie Marker: Use a sharpie marker to mark the ends of a few straws that will indicate which players answer the question.

Back to top

Setting up for Straws Question

To set up for the Straws Question icebreaker game, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the number of players and count out one straw for each participant.
  2. Select a few straws (recommended 3-4 for a group of 10-20 people) and mark their ends with a sharpie marker. These marked straws will indicate which players will answer the questions.
  3. Prepare a set of questions for the group to answer. Choose questions that align with your desired outcome, whether it’s getting to know each other better or encouraging creativity and humor.
  4. Place all the straws into a cup, ready for distribution during the game.
  5. Ensure that the questions are prepared and accessible when needed during the activity.

Back to top

How to play Straws Question

  1. Gather materials: I gather several straws, a cup, and a sharpie marker.
  2. Prepare the straws: I count out one straw for each player and mark the ends of a small number of straws with the sharpie. The number of marked straws depends on how many people I want to answer the question.
  3. Prepare questions: I come up with a list of questions for the group to answer. These can be questions that help players get to know each other better, or more creative and humorous questions.
  4. Place straws in cup: I put all the straws into a cup.
  5. Ask a question: I ask a prepared question to the entire group.
  6. Draw straws: Each player grabs a straw from the cup.
  7. Answer question: Players with specially marked straws answer the question.
  8. Repeat: I repeat steps 5-7 for as many questions as I like.

Back to top

Benefits of Straws Question

  • Encourages active listening: As players take turns answering questions, others are encouraged to actively listen and engage with the speaker, fostering better communication skills.
  • Promotes self-disclosure: By asking personal questions, the game helps participants feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, allowing them to form deeper connections.
  • Fosters a sense of belonging: Sharing experiences and interests can help individuals find common ground and establish new relationships, making them feel welcomed and included in a group setting.
  • Enhances creativity and humor: Asking imaginative or humorous questions allows players to tap into their creative side, lightening the mood and creating a fun atmosphere for everyone involved.
  • Boosts confidence and public speaking skills: By requiring certain participants to answer prepared questions, the game can help individuals develop confidence in speaking publicly, as they share their thoughts and experiences with others.
  • Requires minimal preparation and materials: With only a few straws, a sharpie, and some prepared questions needed, this icebreaker is easy to set up and play, making it an accessible and convenient option for various occasions.

Back to top

Skills built with Straws Question

  • Communication skills: The Straws Question icebreaker encourages participants to verbally express their thoughts and ideas in response to the questions asked, thereby improving their communication skills.
  • Social skills: By promoting interaction among a group of people, this game helps individuals enhance their ability to connect with others, build rapport, and establish new relationships.
  • Active listening: Players need to pay attention to the questions being asked and the answers given by others, fostering active listening skills that are essential for effective communication.
  • Empathy: When participants share personal experiences or opinions in response to questions, it can help others understand their perspectives, thereby promoting empathy.
  • Critical thinking: Depending on the nature of the questions asked, players might need to analyze information, identify patterns, and make connections, which can boost their critical thinking skills.
  • Confidence building: Answering questions in front of a group can help individuals gain confidence in expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts with others.
  • Patience: Waiting for one’s turn to answer or draw a special straw can teach participants the importance of patience, especially when engaging in group activities.
  • Adaptability: As the game progresses, players must adapt to new questions and situations, which can help them become more flexible and open to change.

Back to top

Why I like Straws Question

I appreciate the Straws Question icebreaker game because it effectively encourages people to open up and share information about themselves in a setting that might otherwise be intimidating or uncomfortable. The use of straws with special markings adds an element of chance, ensuring that everyone remains engaged and invested throughout the activity.

What I like most about this game is its versatility; the questions asked can be tailored to suit different settings and groups, making it a valuable tool for facilitating connections in various contexts. Whether used at a social gathering, team-building event, or classroom setting, the Straws Question icebreaker fosters a sense of community and helps participants establish common ground with one another.

Furthermore, I find this game’s setup process straightforward and easy to manage, requiring minimal materials and preparation time. This accessibility makes it an ideal choice for educators, facilitators, or anyone looking to bring people together in a fun and engaging way.

Overall, the Straws Question icebreaker has proven itself as a valuable addition to my toolkit for promoting meaningful connections among individuals, making it an activity I highly recommend to others.

Back to top

Tips for making Straws Question more inclusive

  • Tip: Choose diverse questions. Ensure that the questions you ask are inclusive and considerate of all backgrounds, abilities, and experiences. Avoid stereotypes or assumptions related to gender, race, age, religion, or any other personal characteristic.
  • Tip: Use accessible language. When preparing your questions, make sure they are easy to understand and not overly complicated. This helps ensure that participants with different language skills can fully participate in the game.
  • Tip: Consider cultural sensitivity. If you know the group has diverse cultural backgrounds, consider asking questions that allow players to share about their culture or customs without feeling singled out.
  • Tip: Offer gender-neutral options. When formulating questions related to gender or personal experiences, include options that are not exclusive to specific genders. For example, instead of asking “what was your worst date experience?” you could ask “what was your most memorable dating disaster?”
  • Tip: Encourage respectful listening. Make it a point to remind participants about the importance of active listening and respecting each other’s answers during gameplay. This will create a welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels valued and heard.

Back to top

Reflection questions for Straws Question

  1. Question: What was your experience like answering a question with a specially marked straw? This will help participants reflect on their own participation in the game and how it felt to be chosen to answer a question.
  2. Question: How did you feel when you were not chosen to answer a question? This can help facilitators understand if anyone felt left out or excluded during the game, and provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own reactions to not being chosen.
  3. Question: Did any of the questions or answers surprise you? If so, which ones and why? This will help participants think more deeply about their peers’ responses and consider what they learned about them through the game.
  4. Question: Is there a question that you wish we had asked during the game? What would your answer be? This can help facilitators understand what topics are important to participants and provide an opportunity for further discussion or reflection.
  5. Question: How do you think this game helped us get to know each other better? This will help participants reflect on the effectiveness of the icebreaker and consider how it contributed to building relationships within the group.

Back to top


Want customized activity suggestions? Try our Team Building Expert GPT!

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.

Activities you may also like

Keep the fun going with these similar activities.

Paper Airplane Challenge

Paper Airplane Challenge

Transform paper into a fun icebreaker: Create, toss, and discover fascinating facts about your group members!