Ice breakers are games used to help people who are taking part in an event or activity to get to know each other so that the discussion can start on a relaxed note.
They can also be used to motivate and energise at times when progress is flagging, for example immediately after lunch.
If you are engaging with people remotely in an online meeting, for example on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you can also try some digital ice breakers.
Ice breaker bingo
Give each person a printed grid with various facts or characteristics in each square. They have 5 minutes to move around the area trying to identify someone who matches that fact and write their name in that square. The winner is the first to get their card filled up with names. If someone can't move easily, the other players can go to that person.
You can adapt the rules to suit the group. For example, you may require all squares to be filled, or five-in-a-row. Each person can only sign one square in another's card.
Ice breaker questions
- If you found a magic lamp and the genie offered you 3 wishes, what would you wish for, and why?
- If you were marooned on a desert island, what 3 items would you want with you, and why?
- If you were invisible for a day, what would you do and why?
Truth, truth, lie
Each member of the group writes down 2 things about themselves that are true and 1 that is not true.
Each person in turn shares the 3 items of information and the rest of the group has to work out which of them is not true.
Catch me if you can
Split the group into pairs. Give each pair 30 seconds to observe and try to remember as much as possible about their partner.
Each pair turns back-to-back. One or both partners has 15 to 20 seconds to change their appearance in some minor way that is visible to the partner (for example, remove their watch, do up an extra button on their jacket).
Each pair turns back to face each other and they have 30 seconds to identify what change was made.
Stand up – sit down
Ask a series of questions and ask people to stand up if, for example:
- they had cornflakes for breakfast
- they have ever sung karaoke
Tell us something about your name
- Does it have a meaning?
- Where does it originate?
- Were you named after someone?