My 4 Favourite Icebreakers!

"4 of My All Time Favourite Ice Breakers"

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Archive for the ‘Ice Breaker Articles’ Category

High School Ice Breakers

High School Ice BreakersTeachers, does going back to school fill you with joy or dread? A new set of pupils, colleagues, head and a new set of curriculum, forms and administration?

I'm not a teacher but it must be really difficult having had a long period of time off over the summer months and then face a new school year. We always think about the trials of pupils but what about the teachers?

I'm all for having fun wherever I work or study - it makes learning so much easier. I love the experiential nature of our team building games and events and the ice breakers we employ at the start. So it doesn't surprise me that many teachers employ a good ice breaker session during their Induction Week. Pupils can have fun reconnecting and new pupils will really enjoy getting to know the others through a simple ice breaker game.

At the residential youth centre I worked in, we used to run a whole evening of youth group icebreakers with every new residential group. A couple of hours of ice breaker games really helped the kids to relax and get to know each other quickly. They set the tone for the whole week and they set the tone for your high school year.

Try some for yourself this Induction Week and you'll see the remarkable effect they can have on your students. We have lots of tried and tested, fantastic ice breaker ideas games and ideas on our web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com


Good Icebreakers?

What's a good ice breaker I'm always being asked?

Good Ice Breakers! First we find out who the ice breaker is for; is it  a corporate ice breaker or for a work group? Or is it for a party, youth group or family reunion? Is it for a group who do not know each other at all or a group that know each other a bit?

This is useful to know as you can take more risks with with a group that know each other and even more with groups that know each other well. Play safe with groups that don't know each other at all. An ice breaker is meant to help people relax and get to know each other and should never make people feel uncomfortable.

Once we know about the group we then look at what we're trying to achieve with the ice breaker. You might be looking for quick and easy fun introductions or something related to the topic of the day or something that will not forget!

You will find after a few goes of using ice breakers that they will become second nature and you will soon develop favourites. Particularly ice breakers are ones that can be used for many different types of groups.

A word of warning though; you should never trial your ice breakers on a group without carefully thinking them through. Better still, try them out on your family and friends first!

A good ice breaker therefore, carefully matches your target group, is non-threatening and allows people to have fun together.

A good ice breaker that we use a lot with corporate groups is "Speed Dating" - arrange 2 long row of chairs according to the number of people attending. Have them facing each other so people can sit face to face and get everyone to sit down. Announce that you have a minute each to introduce yourselves. Blow a whistle after each minute and then after each couple have introduced themselves, instruct all participants to move to the seat to the right. Each person will get a new partner to talk to. Carry for as long as you have time or until all introductions have been made.

Learn how to play this fun, fast, ice breaker and hundreds more at ice-breaker-ideas.com

Don't have just an ordinary event - make it memorable with ice breaker games.!

Back-to-School Ice Breakers

Back to school ice breakersThe summer holidays are drawing to a close and soon thoughts of returning to school will be foremost in our minds.

Most children look forward to going back to school to see friends - like my daughter - but unfortunately there are also some who dread the thought - like my son.

If you are a teacher why not ease your pupils back into the new term with a session of ice breaker games? Ice breakers help new pupils integrate into the class and quickly get to know other pupils. They help them bond with others in a way that would take a long time otherwise.

For pupils who are not so keen to return to school, ice breakers will inject a sense of fun into the curriculum and help them re-connect with friends and others that they have not seen for weeks.

Above all, as a teacher, you want your pupils to integrate quickly and easily so you can get on with the job of teaching, motivating and inspiring them for the coming term. Youth group ice breakers work like magic and will help you have fun with your pupils and really engage with them, so the job of getting them to concentrate and look forward to the rest of the term will be  a lot easier.

Many of the schools we work with have Induction Weeks at the start of the new school year and give alot of time over to helping pupils settle in - I can think of no better way for Ice breaker games to be utilised than in this setting.

For hundreds of inspiring ideas for your back to school induction week take a look at our web-site -  Incredible Ice Breaker Games and Ideas.

Ice Breaker

ice breaker fun

Ice breaker fun

What's in a Name?

Icebreaker literally means “to break the ice”. “Icebreaker” was taken from the Russian icebreaker ship that was used to “break the ice” in the Arctic, making it easier and safer for other ships to follow.

Similarly, an ice breaker used before a training, or learning and development day, paves the way for learning to take place and an icebreaker at a party quickly helps people get to know each other and removes that awkward getting to know you stage.

Here at Incredible Ice Breaker Games and Ideas we use ice breakers at the start of just about every event. They really help to lighten the atmosphere and get everybody onto the same level.

They can take the form of quick and easy ice breakers, taking only  a few minutes or more themed exercises linked to the rest of the day's event.

Whatever you use icebreakers for, make sure they are conducted with good intentions. They should never be played with the intention of making people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Download a copy of our" Top 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Using Icebreakers"

How to Use Ice Breaker Games

Fun ice breakersAnyone can use ice breaker games to bring fun to an event, liven up proceedings and quickly disperse that awkward getting to know you stage.  Whether you find yourself in charge of organising a wedding, family reunion, meeting , function or charity event, ice breaker games are an invaluble way of helping people to feel relaxed more quickly and comfortably. Use them at the beginning of a gathering of people and help people socialise quickly.

Use ice breaker games as energizers part way through a conference or meeting. They help maintain interest and excitement within the meeting and help people keep focussed. They keep people's attention and prevent boredom from setting in.

Think also about using them for youth groups, schools events, charity meetings etc. - in fact anywhere people are coming together for a common purpose.

Take a look at our great selection of ice breaker games to enhance any event



Ice Breaker Games for Youth Groups

Ice breaker games for youth groups

Most youth groups love the social and fun aspects of ice breaker games. Sometimes reluctant, participants do not wish to appear uncool and are slow to join in, but once the activities start, there's usually no stopping them.

In my time as an activities instructor in Wales, we would get youngsters from all over the UK, most from schools, some from youth work groups and some as individuals on summer holidays. Most would arrive excited but apprehensive about the week ahead. The first night was always a dedicated ice breaker games evening. So we did, not just one or two games to settle people in, but a whole evening of games and by the time we'd finished, the group were well and truly relaxed, having fun and looking forward to the rest of the week.

More ice breaker games for youth groups

More ice breaker games

We'd always start with a name game, usually it would be something along the lines of "introduce yourself and say one thing you're looking forward to is...." "and one thing I'm concerned about is..." What's great about this is you get each person in turn to speak and listen to each other. In itself, this is often a massive ordeal for some people, but with support they are able to succeed. They get the respect and attention of everyone in the room, and you get to hear something about how people are feeling and what their expectations might be. Always start with yourself when introducing. "Hi my name is Sharon and one thing I'm really looking forward  to is dinner tonight because I know we're having chocolate pudding. One thing I'm worried about is the weather , because it's not a great forcast" Encourage everyone to be as open and honest as they can be. Thank and reassure people for their contributions. If someone says "I'm scared of heights", you can say "no one will be forced to do anything they don't feel comfortable with"

Name Call

Another great way to start off a session with teenagers (you will need a large beach/soft ball for this) is to get everyone to stand in a circle (preferably outdoors) and ask everyone to say their names. Ask everyone to remember as many names as possible. Once you have done the round of names, stand in the centre of the circle, throw the ball in the air and shout someone's name. They then run to the centre to catch the ball, whilst you take their place. They repeat the process by throwing the ball in the air and calling someone else to come and catch it. Don't worry if people drop it, just carry on until all names have been called. Every so often, ask the group to check if everyone has had the ball.

Rhythm

Another great game is Rhythm. This was always one of the first games we used at the outdoor centre. You will need some face paints, preferably in stick form. Get everyone to sit in a circle, and number all participants from 1 to however many you have. The leader starts the rhythm by slapping hands on both legs together, followed by a clap of the hands and then a snap of the fingers, first on the right hand and then on the left hand - this is the rhythm. Practise the rhythm together  a few times. When you feel the rhythm is established, the leader calls their own number on the first click of the right hand fingers and then calls another number from the group on the click of the left hand fingers. The person whose number is called keeps the rhythm by calling their own number on the next click of the fingers and then another number as before without breaking the rhythm. If the rhythmn is broken they receive a war paint mark on the face! Sooner or later everyone will look like warriors with their face paint marks. It's lots of fun and may sound complicated but it isn't!

You will find hundreds of great ice breaker games and ideas for youth groups and teenagers at ice-breaker-ideas.com







What Makes for a Memorable Birthday Party for Children?

Birthday treat at the zooBasically you have 3 choices: 

  •    Run the party at home or nearby venue and do it yourself
  •    Run the party at home and get people in to do the catering and entertainment
  •    Take them somewhere to be entertained and fed by someone elseMural painting

In my experience thinking that a home party is easier and cheaper is not always the case. Money/time spent on food/prizes/themes/decorations/partyware can work out more expensive in the long run.

What makes a good venue for a child's party?  In the summer there is plenty of choice and you can't beat the beach! If not the beach then a picnic areas, zoo, park, theme park, swimming pool, castle, fayres, pony rides, water park would be just as good.

In winter think about the cinema, theatre, interactive museums, ski slopes, tobaggon runs, paintballing

For home entertainment you could try a magician, ballooon artist, fortune teller, clown, cartoon artist, bouncy castle, trampoline, face painting, cooking, t-shirt design, mask making and all kinds of art and craft projects such as collage, murals, painting egg cups, mugs, plates etc. There are lots of ceramic paints these days that you can decorate on porcelain and easily fix by baking in the oven. These make great little projects to take home. Find lots of projects at your local craft store.

Having fun in the fountainOf course if your child's birthday is around Halloween, then a halloween party with dressing up, spooky stories and  pumpkin stencil carving is a must

Theming your child's party is also a must - fairies, princesses, Disney, colour themes, pirates, animals, action man, teddy bears, soldiers, cowboys and indians, knights, Robin Hood, Murder Mystery, karaoke, football, all kinds of sports; favourite movies, musicals and books - there's so much choice!

Match the food and decoration to the theme, plus invitations, partyware etc. Buy loads of cheap prizes from dollar and pound stores

Don't forget games for the garden and beach to include football, cricket, rounders, soft ball, frisbee,

Other ideas include lighting a campfire in the garden and have spooky stories. Sleep in tents overnight and get children to decorate the tent

But above all don't forget the ever important ice breaker games to get children joining in. More ideas at  ice-breaker-ideas.com




What makes a Good Team Great?

Great teams working well together

Great teams can be defined in many ways. Check these characteristics against your own team:

  • Vision and Purpose

Great teams know where they are going and know what they want to achieve. No matter what else happens to distract teams and individuals, great teams know this is the reason for coming together as a team and they never lose sight of this.

  • Enthusiasm

Great teams are an enthusiastic bunch - they approach projects and activities with high energy. They are achievers and love having fun whilst doing. They become a dynamic powerhouse in whatever they do. They are positive and influence other people by their natural effervescence.  Everybody wants to be part of this team.  By contrast negative and unenthusiastic individuals zap energy and destroy creativity and have no place in this team.

  • Flexibility

Great teams have fun together

Great teams know each other well. they know and accept their differences and understand that not everybody has to have the same ideas, values and opinions. This helps teams to become creative and diverse and any differences of opinion are quickly put aside for the greater vision and goals of the organisation.

How to get your teams to be great? Well you could start by having a bit of fun together. Have regular meetings and build Ice Breaker Games into the start of every meeting. In just a few minutes you will get people laughing, having fun and ready to start the day with high energy. Check out how ice-breaker-ideas.com can help with making your meetings a fun place to be.

 

Ice Breakers for Training

Training Ice Breakers - Why You Should Get Your Audience Involved

The more you can get your audience involved the greater their levels of attention and contribution to the messages you are trying to get across. How can you do this? By use of well thought out ice breaker games to raise energy levels and add a level of surprise.
 
Here's a few ideas:
  • Divide the room into 2 teams and throw out a few wacky questions related to the topic in hand. First team to get the right answer scores a point.
  • Have a few brainteasers to either hand out or display on a large screen related to the presentation or training topic.
  • Have teams brainstorm a few pertinent questions related to your topics - pros and cons, new ideas etc.
  • Use physical ice breakers when people have been sitting for long periods. Try a simple bit of stretching or a physical exercise like - Knots:


Knots

Group size: Any number of teams usually teams of 6 to 8 work best
Time: 15 minutes
Equipment needed: none

Divide group into even numbered teams of no more than 10 per team. Ask each person to put their right arm into the centre and take hold of someone else’s hand, ensuring it is not the people on either side of them. Then ask them to put their left hand into the centre and take hold of someone else, also ensuring they do not hold onto the people on either side of them. Break the knot in one place and ask the team to unravel themselves without letting go.

Always be on the lookout for fun puzzles and games you can buy or use for your training. Do anything you can do to make the session fun and lively and encourage participation, and your audience will be enthralled. There is nothing worse than one-way communication. And don't forget you can use fun puzzles and ice breakers throughout the day and when energy is low.

More great ice breaker games and idea at ice-breaker-ideas.com

 

Creative Problem Solving

If you are at a stumbling block in your meeting or training session, consider getting people to stand up, find some space and do a bit of simple stretching. Obviously you will need to learn a few stretches yourself before you do this! A few stretches of the arms,neck and shoulders, for a few minutes, will do wonders for the body, especially after sitting for long periods.

This would also be a great  warm-up, energizer or ice breaker, and especially as a lead-in to a creative session. When you have finished stretching tell people that now they have stretched their bodies, you want them to stretch their minds. Give them a few fun problem solvers, or lateral thinking exercises, to get them thinking outside the box and then offer them the topic that presents the stumbling block.

Tell the group they worked really well solving the brainteasers and now you want them to apply the same creativity to the issue in hand. Ask them to look at the pluses and minuses related to the subject and to brainstorm ideas and solutions around the subject. Only after a thorough discussion around the subject should you try to close with a solution.

Make sure you record all your ideas on a flipchart for future use.

If you would like to discover more ways to warm-up your training sessions and get people thinking creatively check-out to our web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com