7 Fun Nonverbal Communication Games & Activities For Adults

Did you know you can communicate with other individuals even without speech? Yes, nonverbal communication is a form of transferring messages and signals through various modes. Individuals use this type of communication in their everyday life without realizing it in the real sense. You might be frustrated with the busy vegetable vendor, and your face will surely show disappointment. This, again, is a form of nonverbal communication. As various events surround you, nonverbal communication skills can help individuals communicate their feelings of happiness, discomfort, impatience, or other feelings through nonverbal cues.

Nonverbal communication is important as it helps you identify emotions and mannerisms by observing individuals. Sometimes, judging someone’s reaction by their gestures can be tricky. Hence, certain games and activities help you boost the power of nonverbal communication. These games also help you learn conversational skills through different modes used in this type of communication. As these games are easy, they can be played by parents, teachers, office employees, or during social gatherings. 

Nonverbal communication: A crucial method for transmission of information?

Do you wish to understand someone’s next gesture simply by observing them? Some types help you ace nonverbal communication to transfer and receive information. While it can be tricky to understand the aspects of nonverbal communication, you can get a brief idea about how it works through the below-mentioned ways. Nonverbal communication is a combination of various body movements and expressions that help individuals put their say without having to make it verbal.

1. Eye Contact

Eye contact is crucial when you want to understand the emotion or situation of an individual. For example, your colleague’s relaxed and tired eyes can indicate a coffee break.

2. Facial Expressions

Individuals tend to show their emotions through facial expressions when they want to convey a message. For example, your sibling’s sarcastic face indicates that they are bored with the family gathering.

3. Body Language

Body language includes posture and distance, which can be useful for identifying the behavior and attitude of an individual. For example, you can quickly know that an individual with crossed arms and a straight back is deeply engaged in the conversation or the meeting.

4. Gestures

Gestures include hand moments, including pointing, waving, or transferring signals at the restaurant. For example, if you wish to call the waiter at a restaurant, you only need to wave or raise a hand without calling out their names in public.

These are the most basic types of nonverbal communication used by most individuals. Nonverbal communication can help you come out of danger as these elements help you spot or guess the next move of any individual. Such types of communication skills can also be used to convey emotions that are generally tougher through words. For example, by a disappointing look, you can convey the feeling of discomfort in any given situation. 

Interesting games to book nonverbal communication skills

The games mentioned here provide an engaging learning experience. Along with nonverbal communication, they also learn team-building skills, enhance concentration and lead the way with others. Check out the activities below: 

1. Listen to Me

Non verbal communication games and activities

This is an interesting nonverbal game that can be played in groups. You can have your family members or adults all at one place to play the game. This game can either be played at get-togethers or in an office setting.

  • In this game, all participants must follow the host’s instructions.
  • The host has to give instructions before the start of the game that if he does a particular action then the whole team should do which action (not similar to the one, the host will do).
  • For example, inform all members that if the host is jumping then all teams need to move their arms up and down and if the host is moving arms then the team must jump. 
  • Make a similar pair of actions and can give 2-3 pairs at the start to increase the difficulty level.
  • The participants have to focus on the actions of the host and accordingly respond with action.
  • This means the host can be doing any action while participants must follow the instruction, not the seen action.
  • As participants make the wrong moves that are not in coordination with the host, they should be eliminated and the last person wins.

This game helps participants understand the importance of communicating the right answer through listening skills. No participant is allowed to speak, which makes it interesting as they may look at each other to complete the activity. It improves their motor skills and builds concentration.

2. Guess the Situation

Non verbal communication games and activities

Humans often tend to show their emotions through facial expressions. You might be able to know if the person is angry or frustrated simply with their body language. This game is essential when you wish to tap the importance of facial expressions, hand gestures, and body posture.

  • In this game, make a pair of 2 adults each in one team. You can also have 4 adults per team, depending on the participants.
  • One participant from each group has to come and pick a chit that has emotion.
  • For example, you can mention the following instructions in the chit “Show impatience“, “Display anger and anxiety“, “Show sarcasm through facial expressions“, “Portray a bossy attitude“.
  • The member who has picked the chit should be given 2 mins to enact a scenario for the team members. For example, the member can continuously fidget with a pen to display an anxious nature.
  • The team members must guess the situation and the emotion within the given time frame.
  • The team that guesses the majority of the correct answer wins the game.

Such a game is amazing as you can design the situations and emotions depending on the play environment. It is an important activity to teach the importance of reading people and understanding their interests through body language and gestures.

3. Match my Emotion

Matching my emotions is just the right way to create silent chaos in the room. This game engages participants to use their best nonverbal communication skills to win the game.

  • To play the game, you must make placards and list different facial gestures or emotions. For example – happy, sad, angry, impatient, or suspicious.
  • Each emotion should have 2 or 4 placards depending on the number of participants.
  • Ask participants to stand in a circle and give one placard to each of them.
  • Instruct them not to disclose it to anyone.
  • Now, begin the timer and ask participants to show the emotion through facial expressions and find the same emotion on someone else’s face.
  • For example, if participants have to act sad, they may walk around with a sad face and find other sad faces to make the team and win the same.
  • After a minute, let them again get placed in a circle and begin again.
  • If they have found one member and still have to find the remaining ones, they should walk with the same person to find others.
  • Each participant shall have to find the same emotion to make their pairs within the given timeframe.

Make sure participants do not strike even the simplest conversation with anyone. This is an engaging game as all participants will walk and search with a unique facial expression. Sure that everyone bursts into laughter. 

4. Deck of Cards

Non verbal communication games and activities

Presenting an interesting game that can be played with family members, social groups, or during office breaks with employees.

  • In this game, distribute one card to each member. If the members are more than 50, you may use 2 decks of cards.
  • Now, let the participants roam around and find members from the same shape of the card (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Club)
  • Once they’ve found everyone on the list, they should start standing in the correct order beginning with an ace.
  • The team that completes the game first wins it.

Such a game boosts leadership qualities along with nonverbal communication. It enables some participants to take charge, form their own strategies and make the team win the game. 

5. Show your Moves

Non verbal communication games and activities

An engaging game like this involves acting and guessing without communicating through words. This game can also be played with employees in virtual mode.

  • In this game, divide the participants into teams with 2 or 3 members per team. As most video conference calls provide private messaging, teams can stay connected through this.
  • Now, the host shall give the participant a job role, an animal name, or household chores, and they should act accordingly.
  • For example, the participant can be given the task of acting like a burglar.
  • The participant should use innovative ideas and let the team members guess through the common chat box.
  • The host should answer if the team members are right by their guesses.
  • The host can set a time limit to increase the challenge of the game.

This game can also be done physically by making larger teams. The activity promotes understanding of gestures and expressions. It also boosts brainstorming skills as participants are required to think of fresh ideas to present the act. 

6. What’s the Object?

Non verbal communication games and activities

This is an interesting game as it can be played in large numbers within a given timeframe. It creates a challenge for people to win and celebrate victory. The host needs to arrange a huge box and put various objects in it. For example, the host can add books, markers, an apple, a small dustbin, or a box of chocolates.

  • In this game, the players should be divided into 3-4 members per team.
  • Now, one player from the team has to be blindfolded to select an object from the box. 
  • Once the object is selected, remove the blindfold and let the player see the object.
  • Now, the player shall have to explain this object with actions or gestures to fellow team members.
  • For example, if it’s a marker, the player can act about writing on a board or a paper.
  • Each team should be given a minute or two to guess the object.
  • The team that guesses the higher number of objects, wins the game. 

This game promotes teamwork and also builds concentration skills as the player completely focuses on acting out the given object. The game can be played by adding fun and hard-to-guess elements in the box.

7. Let’s Make a Dish

Non verbal communication games and activities

This fun game is all about getting your hands on preparing a delicious food dish. It requires patience, and coordination, and also builds team-building skills in individuals. For this game, the host needs to arrange the ingredients for any specific food dish, drink, or basic snacks.

  • For playing this game, players should be divided into a team of 2 members each.
  • Now, the host places all the ingredients of any food dish on the table. A sandwich, a mocktail, or baking a cake is an ideal option for this game.
  • After this, one player has to make the dish while the other player has to give instructions for preparation.
  • The player making the food dish cannot do anything without receiving nonverbal instruction from the other team member.
  • For example, one player will be presenting the method of cutting tomatoes while the other player has to simply follow it.
  • Give 5 minutes to complete the process of instructing and preparing the dish.
  • The team that makes a clean and perfect food dish within the time limit wins the game.

This is a super fun game as it results in pure teamwork and the result is mutual effort and understanding. Such games can be made easier or tougher by changing the food dish or even blindfolding the player giving instructions. 

Summing up,

Nonverbal communication acts as an important tool for adults from various fields. It also helps organizations teach employees the importance of such communication through interesting activities. Employees can benefit from these games as they learn to understand people from different walks of life simply by their body language, facial expressions, or other forms, as mentioned above. 

While nonverbal communication can be done in various forms and types, it is crucial to be aware of the cues and gestures generally used by individuals. Teachers can also use the activities and games to motivate team building among the staff. These activities are ideal for most individuals as they are fun and can be modified according to the environment.

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