Categories (or Similarities) Game

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Each team must find a certain amount of things they all have in common (similarities) before the other teams in this simple competitive icebreaker game. It’s best for ages 8+. It works great for medium sized groups, or even really large groups of 20+ people if you split into smaller sized groups.

Materials needed

You won’t need anything to play this game. If you’d like to make things more official, you can use a piece of paper and a writing utensil for each team to record their similarities on, although this is not necessary.

How to set up the Categories (or Similarities) game:

No setup is necessary to play the Similarities game!

How to play:

  1. Divide your group up into separate teams of about 5 people each. Ideally you should end up with at least 4 different teams with a minimum of 4 people per team.
    Tip: Try to make teams of people that are not already close with each other. This makes the game more fun and serves as a great icebreaker for people to get introduced to one another!
  2. Instruct each team to talk amongst themselves and find out at least 6 things that every single group member has in common with the other members.
    Tip: You might consider not allowing teams to use simple things like physical height, hair color, current clothing items worn, etc. Limiting the similarities to non-physical things helps people to learn more about each other and engage in active, more meaningful conversations that will promote inclusion and lasting connections between team members.
  3. This game is played as a race and each team is competing to come up with their 6 similarities before the others. The game ends once every team has come up with 6 things they have in common, or once the time set aside for the game has expired.
  4. Alternative: If you’d like to play a quicker alternative, you can assemble the whole group and instruct them to form teams based on categories of things that they all have in common. This can include anything from favorite colors to least favorite movies and beyond. In this alternative, you can set the minimum size for each team in order for the activity to be over.

Winning the game

The winner of the regular version of the game is the team that most quickly identifies 6 similarities they all share. In the alternative game there is no real winner and it is used as a simple and quick icebreaker game for large groups.