Custom Built Team Building and Leadership Initiative Training

Bear, Ninja, Cowboy – A Fun & Competitive Icebreaker

Bear, Ninja, Cowboy is a perfect partner icebreaker that will get your group energized and laughing. It can be used as a name game, a competitive icebreaker, or as a ridiculously fun activity. It is a fun alternative to Rock, Paper, Scissor.


Bear, Ninja, Cowboy

Number of Participants: 2-unlimited
Time:  5-15 minutes
Activity Level:  Moderate
Props:  None

Objective: To have the most winning actions at the end of three rounds.

Description: Pair up the participants in as fun a manner as possible and teach the group three new actions:

  • Cowboy – This action is made by placing your hands on your holster and then shooting your hand pistol while making your best gun noises.
  • Bear – While standing on your hind legs, raise your arms in true bear fashion. Growl as loud as possible to intimidate your partner.
  • Ninja – A ninja will obviously be sly and intense as they kick, punch, or throw their ninja star.

Obviously, a Cowboy would shoot and defeat a Bear, a Bear would maul a Ninja, and a Ninja would defeat a Cowboy with their Ninja star.

Ask the partners to stand back to back and then walk off three paces. After three paces the participants will immediately turn around and act out one of the three actions.  Depending on what they choose, one participant will become the winner. If both participants choose the same action, then they both immediately choose a new action. Play three rounds to see who will be the win the best out of three.


  1. This can be played as a competitive activity, where the winners of each game move on to play winners of other games until there is only one champion.
  2. You can play this in a Rock, Paper, Scissor Olympics style where the winner of each round gains the following of the participants they just defeated. Play until there are only two players left, with half of the room rooting for one player, and the other half cheering for the other.
  3. After each game, ask the partners to pair and share with each other an interesting fact, name, etc.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Did you have any strategies during the activity? What were they?
  2. Did you play to compete or for fun?
  3. What are the differences between playing for fun or competition?

Have you played this fun activity? Do you have any variations I should add to this list? Please comment below!


One response

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    May 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

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