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Scattergories

Can you think of something no one else can? Try it out with this quick alphabet icebreaker.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scrap paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Access to the internet

Before you begin

  • This is a great activity to run during an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • Set up your video call on your chosen platform and send out the invites. Consider having a test call beforehand to make sure everything is working.

Play the game

  1. The person leading the activity should explain how scattergories works: each round will have a list of categories and a letter. Each player will need to come up with a unique answer to each category that begins with the round’s letter.
  1. Everyone should work together to come up with a list of categories to use in the game. They could include countries, sports, and foods for example.
  1. Everyone should write the list of categories on their piece of paper.
  1. One person should choose a random letter for all the answers to start with.
  2. The person leading the game should start a timer for the round.
  1. Everyone should try to come up with a unique answer for each category that begins with the chosen letter.
  1. Once the timer finishes, it’s time to score the answers. One person should read out their list. If anyone else has the same answer they should put their hand up – only unique answers score a point. 
  2. The next person should read out any answers they think are unique, and people should put their hands up if they have the same answer. Everyone should keep going until everyone’s checked any answers that appear to be unique.
  3. Once the round has been scored, someone should choose another letter, and everyone should play again.
  4. Keep playing until you run out of time (or letters!).

Reflection

This activity is designed as an icebreaker to help everyone get to know each other a little better. Making people feel welcome and comfortable is really important, whether you play a game or have a friendly, inclusive chat.

How could people make others feel welcome and comfortable, especially if they’re new? People could think about making an effort to ask them a question, giving them a turn in a game or a role in an activity, or helping introduce them to everyone else.

Safety

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.