A great activity for everyone

Toilet Paper Game

Discover hilarious and surprising facts with the Toilet Paper Game - the ultimate team-building activity!

Toilet Paper Game
By Jon Zajac

What is Toilet Paper Game?

The Toilet Paper Game is an engaging icebreaker activity that serves multiple purposes beyond simply breaking the ice. As the facilitator, I use this game to promote sharing, foster connections, and build trust among participants in a fun, informal way. It involves passing around a roll (or rolls) of toilet paper and asking participants to take as many squares as they want without providing any further context. Once everyone has taken their share, I reveal that each square corresponds to a fact about themselves they must share.

This game encourages diverse responses, allowing participants to share hobby-related insights, personal achievements, amusing stories, or work-related experiences depending on the group’s context. The dynamic of receiving more squares than anticipated pushes participants to be creatively forthcoming and share various aspects of their lives. As a result, this activity fosters empathy, connectivity, and openness among members – essential components for effective collaboration or social interaction.

In addition to being an enjoyable icebreaker, the Toilet Paper Game also serves as a valuable tool for building connections, breaking down barriers, and establishing a safe sharing environment. By implementing best practices such as encouraging respect for all shares, enforcing a no-judgment policy, and capping overly long stories, I ensure that this activity remains an engaging and productive prelude to deeper discussions or trust-building exercises within the group.

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Rules for Toilet Paper Game

  1. Have a roll (or multiple rolls) of toilet paper ready.
  2. Gather participants in a circle or around a table.
  3. The facilitator holds up the toilet paper roll and tells participants to take as much as they need without providing further explanation.
  4. Pass the toilet paper roll around the group, allowing each participant to take any number of squares.
  5. Reveal that for every square taken, participants will share one fact about themselves.
  6. The person with the most squares starts sharing one fact per square, followed by others in the group.
  7. Encourage diverse responses and adjust the nature of facts shared based on the group’s context.
  8. Listen actively during the sharing phase.
  9. Recap the activity after everyone has had their turn.
  10. Maintain a safe sharing environment with respect for all shares and no judgment.
  11. Use this game as a prelude to deeper discussions or trust-building exercises.

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Materials needed for Toilet Paper Game

  • Roll(s) of toilet paper:: This is the main material needed for the game. It serves as a tangible prop to engage participants and create curiosity before revealing the true nature of the activity.

  • A group of people:: The success of this icebreaker largely depends on having enough individuals who are willing to participate, share, and learn about one another. This group could be classmates, colleagues, or members of a social circle.

  • A facilitator:: While not a physical material, an effective facilitator is crucial for the game’s success. The facilitator sets the stage, manages the flow of the activity, and ensures a safe and respectful sharing environment.

  • Seating area:: A circle or table where participants can comfortably sit during both the toilet paper distribution phase and the sharing phase. This seating arrangement encourages eye contact and active listening among group members.

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Setting up for Toilet Paper Game

To set up for the Toilet Paper Game icebreaker activity, you will need:

  1. A group of participants gathered in a circle or around a table, ensuring there is enough space for everyone to comfortably sit together.
  2. The facilitator positioned in an area visible to all participants, holding a roll (or multiple rolls for larger groups) of toilet paper.
  3. No prior setup or special arrangements are required beyond arranging the group and having the toilet paper ready with the facilitator.

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How to play Toilet Paper Game

  1. Facilitator Prepares the Toilet Paper Roll The facilitator needs to have a roll (or multiple rolls for larger groups) of toilet paper ready. They should be in an area visible to all participants and hold up the roll for everyone to see when giving instructions.

  2. Participants Take Toilet Paper Squares Ask participants to take as many squares of toilet paper as they want without providing any further explanation or context about what the toilet paper is for. Pass the toilet paper roll around the circle or table so each participant can take their share.

  3. Reveal the True Nature of the Game After everyone has taken their share of toilet paper, reveal that for each square taken, participants will have to share one fact about themselves. Encourage a range of facts based on the group’s context, such as hobbies, interests, personal achievements, or amusing stories.

  4. Begin the Sharing Phase The facilitator can start the sharing phase by demonstrating how it’s done or selecting someone from the group to begin. Participants share one fact about themselves for every square of toilet paper they have taken, moving in a predetermined direction (e.g., clockwise).

  5. Listen Actively and Respect Shares Encourage participants to listen actively during the sharing phase and enforce a no-judgment policy to maintain a safe sharing environment. Limit excessively long stories, if necessary, to ensure everyone has a reasonable amount of time to share.

  6. Recap and Reflect on the Activity After everyone has had their turn, recap the activity by highlighting any common themes, funny revelations, or participants’ approaches to sharing. Discuss the importance of openness and the layers of revelation in forming a cohesive team or community.

  7. Follow Best Practices Ensure respect for all shares, maintain a safe sharing environment, and use this game as a prelude to deeper discussion or work that requires trust and openness among participants.

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Benefits of Toilet Paper Game

  • Fosters Open Communication: By encouraging participants to share personal facts about themselves, the Toilet Paper Game helps create a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas.
  • Breaks Down Barriers: This icebreaker game is an effective way to help people get to know each other, especially in new groups or settings. It breaks down social barriers and promotes camaraderie among participants.
  • Promotes Active Listening: During the sharing phase, participants are required to listen actively to their peers, which enhances listening skills and encourages empathy and understanding.
  • Develops Presentation Skills: The Toilet Paper Game provides an opportunity for individuals to practice public speaking in a low-pressure situation, helping them become more confident and comfortable presenting in front of others.
  • Reveals Shared Interests and Experiences: As participants share personal facts, they may discover commonalities with their peers, creating opportunities for further conversation and connection.
  • Encourages Creativity: The game’s unique structure encourages participants to think creatively when sharing facts about themselves, leading to engaging and entertaining stories.
  • Builds Trust and Rapport: By promoting openness and vulnerability, the Toilet Paper Game helps build trust and rapport among group members, creating a strong foundation for future collaboration or social interaction.
  • Enhances Team Dynamics: In a team-building context, this icebreaker game can help improve team dynamics by fostering a sense of unity and shared understanding among team members.
  • Provides an Engaging Icebreaker Experience: The Toilet Paper Game’s mystery element and fun format make it an engaging and memorable icebreaker experience that sets the stage for enjoyable social interaction or productive work sessions.

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Skills built with Toilet Paper Game

  • Active Listening: The Toilet Paper Game encourages active listening as participants are required to pay attention to the facts shared by others in order to learn more about their peers. This skill is crucial for effective communication and collaboration.

  • Self-Disclosure: By sharing personal facts, participants practice self-disclosure, which can help build trust and foster a sense of community among group members.

  • Empathy: As they listen to others’ stories and experiences, participants have the opportunity to develop empathy, an essential skill for understanding and relating to others.

  • Interpersonal Connection: The game provides a structured yet fun way for individuals to connect with one another, creating a foundation for stronger relationships and more effective teamwork.

  • Adaptability: With the dynamic of sharing multiple facts based on the number of toilet paper squares taken, participants must adapt their responses to fit the context, building flexibility and quick thinking.

  • Respectful Communication: The game’s focus on respecting all shares and enforcing a no-judgment policy helps promote an atmosphere of positive communication and collaboration.

  • Openness: By willingly sharing personal facts, participants cultivate openness, which can lead to increased trust, understanding, and cooperation within the group.

  • Time Management: The game requires participants to share their facts efficiently, helping them practice time management and succinct communication.

  • Creativity: In situations where participants have more squares than anticipated, they must think creatively to come up with diverse aspects of their lives to share, fostering imaginative thinking.

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Why I like Toilet Paper Game

I like the Toilet Paper Game icebreaker because it’s a simple yet effective way to promote sharing and foster connections among participants in various settings. The game’s design encourages individuals to open up about themselves in a fun, informal manner, making it an excellent tool for creating a friendly atmosphere that facilitates collaboration or social interaction.

What I appreciate most about this icebreaker is its ability to pique curiosity and create anticipation from the very beginning. By withholding information on how the toilet paper relates to the activity, the facilitator creates an engaging mystery that captures participants’ attention and makes them more likely to actively engage in the game.

Moreover, I find the game’s “twist” – revealing that each square of toilet paper represents a fact about oneself – to be a clever mechanism for structuring sharing. This approach ensures that participation is fair and balanced since it naturally adjusts the number of facts shared based on how much toilet paper a person takes. Additionally, the dynamic where members may end up with more squares than anticipated encourages creativity and diversity in the stories and experiences they share.

The Toilet Paper Game also offers flexibility in terms of the nature of the facts shared, allowing for adjustments based on the group’s context. This adaptability makes it suitable for various environments, from professional settings where work-related information is more appropriate to social gatherings that call for personal and amusing anecdotes.

As a facilitator, I value the emphasis on active listening during the sharing phase. This aspect of the game promotes empathy and connectivity among participants as they learn about one another’s interests, experiences, and stories. It also encourages respect for all shares and enforces a no-judgment policy to maintain a safe sharing environment – principles that I believe are crucial in building trust and fostering positive group dynamics.

In summary, I like the Toilet Paper Game icebreaker because it’s an engaging, adaptable, and effective tool for promoting sharing, fostering connections, and building trust among participants in various settings.

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Tips for making Toilet Paper Game more inclusive

  • Consider cultural sensitivities: Before starting the game, I make sure to acknowledge that some participants might have different comfort levels regarding personal sharing due to cultural differences. I encourage everyone to respect each other’s boundaries and ensure the activity remains safe and inclusive for all.
  • Provide a range of topics: To cater to various preferences, I offer a list of potential topics for sharing, including hobbies, travel experiences, favorite books or movies, personal achievements, and fun facts. This way, participants can choose what they feel most comfortable sharing about.
  • Use gender-neutral language: During facilitation, I make a conscious effort to use gender-neutral language and avoid assumptions about people’s identities or experiences. This creates an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels seen and respected.
  • Accommodate diverse abilities: If any participant has hearing difficulties or needs additional support to engage in the activity, I ensure they are seated close to the facilitator and provide them with visual aids or alternative ways to participate as needed.
  • Encourage self-paced sharing: Instead of setting a time limit for each share, I allow participants to take their time and share at their own pace. This approach helps create a more relaxed environment that accommodates different processing speeds and communication styles.
  • Check in with participants: Throughout the game, I actively monitor group dynamics and check in with participants who may appear uncomfortable or disengaged. By acknowledging their feelings and offering alternative ways to participate, I ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute in a way that feels comfortable for them.

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Reflection questions for Toilet Paper Game

  1. What was your initial reaction when you realized that each square of toilet paper represented a fact about yourself? Understanding participants’ reactions can provide insight into their comfort level with sharing personal information, which is crucial for fostering openness in future activities or discussions.
  2. Did you find it challenging to come up with facts corresponding to the number of squares you took? If so, why? This question helps facilitators gauge whether the chosen context (hobby-related, professional, personal) was appropriate for the group and encourages reflection on how participants approach sharing about themselves.
  3. Were there any common themes or shared experiences among the facts that your fellow participants shared? How did you feel when those themes emerged? Identifying commonalities can strengthen connections within a group and promote empathy, while recognizing shared experiences can help create a sense of belonging.
  4. What was one surprising or memorable fact shared by another participant? Why did it stand out to you? This question encourages active listening and appreciation for the unique qualities and stories that each participant brings to the group, further deepening connections.
  5. How might this activity influence your interactions with other participants moving forward? Do you anticipate any changes in how you perceive or engage with them? Reflecting on the impact of the Toilet Paper Game can help participants understand its value as a team-building tool and consider ways to apply the lessons learned to future interactions.
  6. What did you learn about yourself through this activity? Were there any aspects of your identity that you explored or discovered anew? Encouraging self-reflection allows participants to recognize their growth and increased comfort with sharing, contributing to personal development and self-awareness.

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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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