A great activity for everyone

The Energy

A thrilling coin flip race that tests team communication and reaction skills!

The Energy
By Jon Zajac

What is The Energy?

The Energy Game is a fun and engaging icebreaker that I enjoy using to get medium to large groups interacting and conversing. It can be played both indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile option for busy days with little prep time. This game not only serves as a great icebreaker, but it also promotes team building and improved communication among employees or new teams. The aim of the game is to quickly communicate through hand squeezes when a coin lands on heads, with the goal of being the first team to grab the object and win a point. The Energy Game is suitable for all ages and can be adapted for children. It’s a simple yet entertaining activity that I highly recommend for any group gathering.

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Rules for The Energy

  1. Split the group into two equally sized teams and have them line up next to each other.
  2. One end of the line should have an object placed a few feet away, while the other end has a coin and the person flipping it (you).
  3. All players except for the first person in line need to close their eyes.
  4. Flip the coin and reveal it to the first person in line on both teams.
  5. If the coin lands on “tails”, flip it again. If it lands on “heads”, the players must silently communicate by squeezing each other’s hands.
  6. The last person in line will open their eyes and run to grab the object if they receive the news that the coin flip was “heads”.
  7. The team that grabs the object first wins a point.
  8. The player at the back of the line moves to the front, and the game continues until one team reaches 10 points.
  9. If a team grabs an object when the coin flip was “tails”, they lose a point.

Optional variations:

  • Have kids run to the head of the line and tap you instead of grabbing an object.
  • Use several different objects and yell out the one to be grabbed; deduct a point for incorrect objects.

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Materials needed for The Energy

  • Coin: A coin is needed for flipping to determine when players should start squeezing each other’s hands.
  • Object (such as a teddy or a ball): An object is placed at one end of the line, and teams race to grab it when the coin lands on heads.

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Setting up for The Energy

To set up for The Energy Game icebreaker activity, you will need to split your group into two teams of equal size. Each team will then line up in straight lines next to each other. At one end of the line a few feet away, place the object that the teams will be competing to grab. At the opposite end of the line, you will need to stand with the coin. Before starting the game, have all participants close their eyes, except for the player at the head of each line who should keep their eyes open. This is all that is needed to set up for The Energy Game.

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How to play The Energy

  1. Split the group into two teams: I divided our large group into two equal teams and had them line up in straight lines next to each other.
  2. Place the object at one end of the line: I put a teddy bear or a ball a few feet away from the first person in each team’s line.
  3. I stand at the opposite end with a coin: I positioned myself at the other end of the line, holding a coin.
  4. Hold hands and close eyes (except for the first player): I instructed everyone to hold hands with the person next to them and close their eyes, while the first player in each line kept their eyes open.
  5. Flip the coin: I flipped the coin and revealed it to the first player in each team’s line.
  6. React to “heads”: If the coin landed on heads, the players had to squeeze the hand of the person next to them, initiating a silent communication chain.
  7. Grab the object: The last player in the line, upon receiving the signal, opened their eyes and ran to grab the object.
  8. Win or lose points: Whichever team grabbed the object first won a point; if an incorrect object was picked up, the team lost a point.
  9. Repeat: I continued the game by having the last player move to the front of the line, and we played until one team reached 10 points.

Alternative versions:

  • Have kids run to the head of the line and tap you instead of grabbing an object.
  • Lay out several objects and call out the object for them to grab when they start running. If they pick up the wrong object, their team loses a point.

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Benefits of The Energy

  • Improves communication: By requiring players to silently communicate through hand squeezes, the Energy Game encourages participants to think creatively and work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Encourages team building: The game’s setup, where teams must work together to grab the object before the other team, fosters a sense of camaraderie and cooperation among team members.
  • Suitable for all ages: With its simple rules and materials, the Energy Game is a great option for groups with a wide range of ages and abilities.
  • Promotes quick thinking and reaction time: The fast-paced nature of the game helps improve players’ reflexes and ability to think on their feet.
  • Can be played indoors or outdoors: This versatile game can be adapted to fit the needs of any event, whether it’s held inside a conference room or outside in a park.
  • Minimal preparation needed: With just a coin and an object required, the Energy Game is easy to set up and can be played with minimal advance planning.

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Skills built with The Energy

  • Communication: The Energy icebreaker requires players to silently communicate with each other by squeezing hands. This helps improve their ability to convey messages effectively without verbal communication.
  • Reaction time: Players need to react quickly to the coin flip result and communicate it down the line as fast as possible. This can help improve their reaction time and decision-making skills.
  • Teamwork: The game encourages teamwork, as players must work together to win points for their team. They learn to collaborate effectively and support each other towards a common goal.
  • Coordination: Holding hands with the person next to them and passing the message down the line requires good hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Competitive spirit: The game fosters a healthy competitive spirit as teams strive to be the first to reach 10 points, teaching players to enjoy competing in a friendly and sportsmanlike manner.

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Why I like The Energy

I like the Energy icebreaker because it is a versatile and engaging game that can be played by people of all ages. Its simple setup and minimal materials required make it an ideal choice for busy days or last-minute plans, while its active nature encourages participants to get up and move around, making it a great way to energize a group.

What I appreciate most about this icebreaker is its potential to improve communication and teamwork among players. By requiring silent communication through hand squeezes, the Energy Game challenges participants to think creatively and work together to achieve a common goal. This can be especially beneficial for new teams or employees looking to build stronger relationships and improve their collaboration skills.

Furthermore, the Energy Game’s customizable nature allows for various alternative versions, adding an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the game. Whether it’s having kids run to tap the facilitator instead of grabbing an object or yelling out specific objects to be retrieved, these variations keep players on their toes and engaged throughout the activity.

Overall, the Energy icebreaker is a valuable tool for promoting interaction, communication, and teamwork in medium to large groups. Its simplicity and customizable nature make it an accessible and enjoyable game for all ages, making it a go-to choice for educators, facilitators, and event planners alike.

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Tips for making The Energy more inclusive

  • Use a quiet space: Make sure to find a quiet space to play the game, as it relies on non-verbal communication. This can help participants who may have difficulty hearing or speaking to fully participate.
  • Choose an accessible object: When selecting an object for players to grab, ensure that it is easy for all players to reach and pick up, regardless of their mobility or physical abilities.
  • Provide visual aids: If any participants are visually impaired, provide clear visual aids such as brightly colored objects or large print instructions to help them engage with the game.
  • Modify the rules as needed: Be open to modifying the rules of the game to accommodate players with different abilities or needs. For example, you could allow players to use their own methods of non-verbal communication, such as tapping on each other’s shoulders instead of squeezing hands.
  • Encourage participation from all: Make sure to encourage all participants to fully engage with the game, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable participating.

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Reflection questions for The Energy

  1. What did you enjoy most about playing The Energy Game? This question can help facilitators understand what aspects of the game were most engaging for participants, allowing them to tailor future activities to better suit the group’s preferences.
  2. How did communication within your team affect your success in the game? By asking this question, facilitators can encourage reflection on the importance of clear and timely communication in achieving goals, a valuable skill in both personal and professional settings.
  3. What strategies did you use to relay the message from the front of the line to the back, and how effective were they? This question can prompt participants to analyze their problem-solving skills and evaluate the efficiency of their team’s communication methods.
  4. How did you feel when your team lost a point due to incorrectly grabbing an object or not being quick enough? Reflecting on setbacks and disappointments can help participants develop resilience and foster a growth mindset, as they consider how to improve their performance in future activities.
  5. What did you learn about yourself and your teammates while playing The Energy Game? Encouraging self-awareness and empathy can strengthen interpersonal relationships within the group, promoting a positive and supportive atmosphere.
  6. How might the skills you practiced during this game be applicable to real-life situations, such as collaborating with colleagues or managing a project? This question can help participants recognize the transferable nature of the skills they’ve developed, reinforcing the value of team-building activities and their relevance to everyday life.

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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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