How to Play the Ice Breaker Game People Bingo

Always the Most Popular Ice Breaker Party Game for Adults!

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People Bingo is one of the most popular ice breaker games for adults in the classroom because it's so easy to customize for your particular group and situation, and almost everyone knows how to play it. We'll explain how to play, and show you how to make your own People Bingo game cards. Plus, we've got lists of ideas to get you started.

Ideal Size

Up to 30. Divide larger groups.

Use For

Introductions in the classroom or at a meeting.

Perfect for groups that have a specific purpose for meeting because you can easily make your own cards with relevant characteristics on them. This game also makes an excellent energizer.

Time Needed

30 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

Materials Needed

Bingo cards. See instructions below.


If you know your participants, make a list of 25 interesting traits that describe different aspects of them, things like, “plays the bongos,” “once lived in Sweden,” “has a karate trophy,” “has twins,” “collects children’s art,” “has a tattoo.”

If you don’t know your participants, make a list of more general traits like “drinks tea instead of coffee”, “loves the color orange,” “has two cats,” “drives a hybrid,” “went on a cruise in the last year.” You can make these easy or difficult depending on how much time you want the game to take.

It's very easy to make your own bingo cards using regular printer paper, especially if you're on a tight budget or don't have much time to prepare.

Check out these easy step-by step instructions: How to Make a People Bingo Card.

Remember to leave room for signatures.

Need ideas for people characteristics? We've got lots of them for you:

    There are lots of places online where you can type in your traits and print your own customized cards. Some are free; some are not.

    • Teachnology has a card maker that allows you to shuffle the phrases on each card.
    • allows you to customize with your own words or use their suggestions.

    When you’re ready to play, give each participant a bingo card and a pen. Explain that the group has 30 minutes to mingle, introducing themselves, and finding people who match the traits on the card. They must put the person’s name in the corresponding box or have the person sign the appropriate square.

    The first person to fill five boxes across or down yells BINGO! and the game is over. For extra fun, give the winner a door prize.

    Ask participants to introduce themselves and share one of the interesting traits they learned about someone else.


    Debrief by asking for volunteers to share how they feel differently about the others in the group now that they know a few things about them. When we take the time to get to know each other, barriers dissolve, people open up, and learning can take place.