An icebreaker is an activity or game that can be used to welcome and warm up the conversation among participants in a meeting, training class, team building session, or other event. They can also help participants to develop meeting leadership skills which made them more effective team members.
|Speed Networking||15||This activity gives participants the opportunity to move around the room and meet other group members.||1. Ask participants to find someone in the room they don’t know very well, introduce themselves and share ‘something that inspired them to come to this event’. They have five minutes to do this. 2. Ask participants to find someone in the room they don’t know, introduce themselves and share ‘something that will make the other person smile’. 3. Ask participants to find someone in the room they don’t know, introduce themselves and share ‘something they enjoy doing in their free time’.|
|Two Truths and One Lie||15||This icebreaker is a great way to get to know each other, and to have some laughs along the way.|
Special Note: If you have introverts in the group, it’s nice to let the group know ahead of time that they should think of two truths and one lie for the meeting. This is helpful for not putting people on the spot.
|Start by asking each person to come up with two facts about themselves and one believable fib. Next, everyone shares their three statements and the group votes or discusses their guess for the lie. For example, here are three statements about me.
1.I have a pet turtle.
2. Growing up, my family called me ‘POPPY’ as a nickname.
3. I speak Mandarin.
The group must then guess which is the lie?
|Coin Breaker||10-20||Collect a bowl of coins. Sort through the bowl to make sure you don’t have any coins that are too old for your groups approximate ages. This is great for getting to know someone’s past—and test their memories.||1. Ask everyone pick a coin out of the bowl.
2. Go around and ask each person to share something they were doing the year the coin was minted.
|Lemons||15||This is an icebreaker which introduces the idea of individual differences. It can be used at the start of a session around stereotyping, differences and equality of opportunities||1.Give each group member a lemon.
2.Ask everyone to look closely at their fruit, examine it for distinctive marks and feel the skin.
3.Encourage each person to personalise their lemon by giving it a name.
4.Allow five minutes to do this and then collect all the lemons into the carrier bag. Shake the bag to mix the fruits.
5.Spread all the lemons out on the floor in front of the group.
6.In turn, ask each young person to come forward and collect their lemon.
7.If there is an argument over whose it is, try to adjudicate, but if they still can’t agree, place the lemon to one side as unidentified. If this happens, you should be left with two at the end to reunite, but will find that most people (amazingly!) can successfully claim their fruit.
|Group Airport||20||A fun way to get the group sharing information about themselves||1. Pass out different coloured sheets of paper to each person attending the group.
2. Then ask everyone to write an interesting fact about themselves on the piece of paper and fold it into a paper aeroplane.
3. Then everyone launches their paper aeroplane to somewhere around the room.
4. Then everyone retrieves one of the paper aeroplanes, reads the fact, and guesses whose paper aeroplane they got. It’s fun to guess and you learn new things about each other.
|Social Networking||40||Participants meet and greet one another before building a Facebook-style social network wall to share information about themselves and their expectations for the event.||1. Share the objectives of the event: tell participants we’re going to share information about ourselves and the skills and experiences we are bringing to this event. 2. Ask participants to stand and form groups of five, ideally people they don’t know very well. They then share information about the following questions: name, the country they’re from, organisation, role and something they enjoy doing in their free time. 3. All participants are given or asked to make a copy of the profile template. They have 15 minutes to fill in the template and post it on the wall. They can illustrate using the materials provided (e.g. postcards or magazines). 4. The group post their profile on the wall. Now give out several small sticky paper dots to each person (alternatively, each person should have a coloured pen). Participants are asked to gallery walk, looking at the profiles of other group members and applying a ‘like’ (a sticky dot or pen mark) to those things they like or agree with. The group are asked to notice the common expectations of the group as well as the skills, attitudes and experiences of others.|
|Toilet Rollers||20||A fun way for people to share facts about themselves||1.To play, pass a roll of toilet paper around and have everyone rip off how much they would usually use.
2. When the toilet paper makes it all the way around the circle, have everyone count their squares.
3. The number of squares each person took is the number of fun facts they have to reveal about themselves.
There are also many websites that have plenty of other ideas of how to break the ice within new groups of young people. Here are a few. Feel free to Google some more…