My 4 Favourite Icebreakers!

"4 of My All Time Favourite Ice Breakers"

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Great Ice Breaker Ideas!

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Ice Breaker Games

Ice Breaker GamesMany years ago when I was starting out in my career I worked for an adventure centre for children and young adults. The first evening was always given over to a session of Ice Breaker Games.

This was the first time I had ever come across such a concept, but since then, I have used ice breaker games to great effect in a myriad of jobs, places, meetings, training sessions, conferences, parties and corporate and social gatherings.

Ice breaker games are brilliant for breaking down barriers quickly and for helping people feel at ease with each other. Used correctly they can rapidly create an atmosphere of fun and expectation.

At the adventure centre, kids would often turn up to programs not knowing many people and some not knowing any at all. They could be anxious and excited; but some were also reluctant and detached. Our job was to ease them into the programme, allowing a sense of fun, trust and anticipation to build. We did this through the use of ice breaker games.

We started the evening seated in a circle and the instructors would always join in as equals. First we would start with a simple name game: “Hello my name is Sharon and I like tennis” and on it would go around the circle with everyone trying their best to remember people’s names. The ice breaker was simple and non-threatening and even the most reluctant could join in.

The next game might involve working in pairs spending a few minutes getting to know each other and then introducing each other to the group.

Gradually the group began to feel more at ease with each other, and began to trust us, the leaders.  From this point on, and sensing the mood in the group, we could start to include more physical and ambitious games.

Ice Breaker Games

The key is to start with simple, non-threatening ice breaker games and gradually build up the complexity or outrageousness as the group allows. Once the ice is broken the group will look forward readily to the main topic of the day.

There are literally thousands of ice breaker games and ideas that can help you get your next event off to a flying start; whether you are looking for a quick ice breaker to inject a bit of fun into a meeting before the more serious business begins or you are looking for a party ice breaker to transform your event into the next sizzling sizzling show stopper!

Check-out the ice breaker ideas web-site for more fun than you can handle!

Leadership Icebreakers

Leadership housebreakersIf you are running a leadership training programme or seminar you must include this fun-filled leadership icebreaker!

Ask participants to sit in a circle and choose one person to go out of the room. This person is the detective.

Appoint a leader and have everyone follow the leader. The leader might start with a hand clap, and everyone joins in in unison. The leader might then stamp feet or snap fingers or choose a different rhythm of clapping. The goal is to follow the leader seamlessly so the detective when they come into the room does not know who the leader is and their job is to work out who it is.

The team can get really good at this with practise. The key is for everyone to follow the leader without giving the game away and by staring directly at the leader. The team could wait for a ripple effect instead.. so waiting for their neighbours to change action before they do. The leader should also change movements slowly so as not to give the game away, and make movement changes when the detective is looking elsewhere.

A more advanced variation can include a change of leader by an agreed signal eg. a wink at another person.

The detective has 1 guess only. Once they have guessed another person takes on the role of detective.

You can review this exercise by:

  •  Examining what made the game successful or unsucessful.
  • What qualities of a leader were needed to make it happen?

Leadership icebreakers are a fun and novel way to start your leadership programs. They can be used as energizers too to break up the session and engage your participants.

Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games for work, play, parties, meetings, groups and clubs. A quick ice breaker at the start of a meeting or event helps people relax,  injects a sense of fun into gatherings, speed up that getting to know you stage and gets people ready to face the rest of the event with high energy and expectation. 

Tons more fantastic leadership icebreakers for warming-up groups and can be found on the ice-breaker-ideas web-site.

Fun Ice Breaker Ideas

Fun ice breakerHere's a great little ice breaker that is a variation on a game we used to play as kids. The game was called "Similarities".

The games master instructs the group to break into smaller groups according to birthdays. Once in the birthday groups the group members introduce themselves to each other, and the largest group of same birthday scored 1 point for each group member.

Next the gamesmaster might call date of birthday and ask people to reform groups according to dates. You might want to introduce a 2 day either-side of date for this for smaller groups. If a person has a choice of two groups they get to choose which group to be a part of. Again the largest group scores 1 point per person.

Continue in this line asking groups to form and re-form according to your criteria. Each time, the group members introduce themselves to each other, and  the largest group wins a point per person. Finally, when groups have had enough and enough introductions are made, the winners are the ones with the most points at the end.

Other criteria could be:

  • Pets
  • Number of siblings
  • Make up of siblings eg. 2 sisters or 1 sister and 2 brothers
  • Place of birth
  • Type of car or transport
  • Age within 2 either side
  • Name begins with...

I hope you have fun with this brilliant little quick ice breaker. Tons more ideas can be downloaded from my ice breaker ideas web-site. Make your meetings rock!



Benefits of Icebreakers

ice breaker gamesWhy do I love ice breaker games?

  • Because they can transform a rather average or dull meeting into something rather special.
  • Carefully crafted, an ice breaker can be a brilliant lead in to the main topic of the day
  • People learn better when they're having fun, and an ice breaker should be FUN!
  • Ice breakers introduce people to one another in a fun and informal way
  • Ice breakers relax people and help them to get to know each other far more quickly than without
  • An ice breaker at the beginning of a meeting or conference means people are participating and joining in, they become more engaged than if merely listening
  • And once engaged, your participants will be more receptive to your main message of the day
  • Once you start using ice breakers you'll never look back - people will look forward to your next meeting or session with anticipation

Never run a boring meeting or training session again. Set your social functions ablaze and have your audience eating out of your hand. We show you how. Go to our ice breaker ideas web-site for tons of fantastic ice breaker ideas to really set your events on fire!


Ice Breaker Idea

 "Who would you do anything to meet?"
   

This interesting ice breaker idea was in the Daily East News, and written by a journalist called Doug Graham - I'm not advocating that you go ahead with the stalking bit but it would make an interesting ice breaker idea!

Inspired by a story about a young Rod Blagojevich, I believe I may have created an icebreaker that will reveal more about your friends than a rousing game of "never have I ever" ever could.

The story goes that the recently graduated Blagojevich, decades away from devastating the state of Illinois with his shady dealings, took a trip with a friend to New York City to see the sights.

Blago, ever the determined young man, decided that the trip would only be complete if he seized the opportunity and hassled one of his personal heroes for an autograph.

The personal hero who Blago sought to meet was none other than Richard M. Nixon.

No matter how deliciously ironic it is that a man destined to be an impeached governor would seek the autograph of an impeached President, that is not what interests me most-it is the method that Blagojevich used to procure the autograph.

He enlisted the help of a friend and at 4:30 a.m. he went to Nixon's apartment and stood outside of it until the former President came out.

This behavior is creepy and borderline illegal, and while I am usually in favor of scumbags inconveniencing scumbags, Blago's autograph stalking seemed at first to be too bizarre to ever consider doing.
After much reflection, I've begun to see Blagojevich's logic.

After all, he got what he wanted-an autograph given to him by his hero with photo evidence to prove it. All he had to spend was a few hours of loitering and a few friendship points with his buddy he asked to take the picture.

With this story in mind, the game is this: "Who would you autograph stalk?"

Players of the game must choose a person who they like enough to want to meet, but whose privacy they don't respect enough to leave alone.

I'll go first.

I'd autograph stalk Zinadine Zedan - brilliantly ingeneous French footballer and international hero until he head-butted Marco Materazzi in the most talked about incident of the 2006  World Cup, ending in a red card which marred his glorious career. Having seen this incident on TV and incredulously gob-smacked for several minutes - I would want to know why!!

 So "Who would you autograph stalk and why?"

And if you want more ideas on how to excite and challenge your team members, meeting or conference delegates and get them firing on all cylinders, down load ice breaker ideas from our web-site NOW!

Halloween Ideas

This time of year we have brilliant fun creating wicked Halloween treasure hunts and spooky night walks. We try to scare the pants off our clients.

And our icebreaker games are hot!hot!hot too!

Check out our fantastic halloween ideas and download for free our "5 Best Halloween games and icebreakers pdf" to include a couple of hot icebreakers, scarecrow competition and "Halloween Howler" treasure hunt. We use them for our clients but you can use them for Halloween parties, kids, youth groups, training, corporate events and team building.

Never be without icebreaker games to make your events sizzle!

Icebreakers

Ball toss ice breakerJust got back from doing an experiential leadership program at the local university. I really enjoyed it and it was great to be on the other side of the fence - the receiving end for a change.

 To kick-start the program we did an icebreaker outside. It was a version of our "Ball Toss" icebreaker... Everyone stood in a circle and the leader holding a ball, introduced herself. As she threw the ball to someone she asked for their name and on catching it they replied "thanks .....(name) " and then asked someone else for their name and on it went until everyone had been introduced.

After a full round of introductions we were asked to do it again exactly as we had done before - no prompts this time. As we were going around the circle the leader introduced ball after ball, cuddly toys etc. All you had to do was concentrate on the person who was throwing to you but soon it was chaos and nobody did anything about it. This was the first lesson ....to take responsibility!

The icebreaker worked - everyone had fun and suddenly the tension had disappeared.

For more instantly downloadable icebreaker games and ideas visit the ice-breaker-ideas web-site

Back to School Ice Breakers

Back to school Ice Breakers

Our kids have just gone back to school today. In some ways it's great but in other ways I love the lack of structure during the holidays. I wonder how they are getting on? New teachers, new school mates? I wonder if they will have an inspiring Induction Week  like some of the schools who are customers of our team building company?

Many schools hire us to go in and run a team building day or ice breaker sessions during their back to school induction weeks. I think these schools are very lucky that their teachers take the beginning of the school year seriously enough to want to set the right tone for the school year ahead.

More Induction Week Ice Breakers

Running a great ice breaker session at the start of Induction Week can help pupils settle in quickly and look forward to the school year ahead with purpose and commitment. It's also great to see teachers as well as students in a relaxed and fun-filled mood. Having fun together creates a great atmosphere and helps to prepare pupils for the tasks ahead.

We always start an ice breaker session with everyone sitting or standing  in a circle. Generally we don't use tables for most of our events and you might need to move the tables aside -it creates a more inclusive and relaxed atmosphere.

A Quick Ice Breaker:

Introduce yourself and say one thing you like and one thing you dislike. Then ago around the circle and ask everyone in turn to offer their likes and dislikes. You will learn quite a bit about your pupils from this simple ice breaker.

Next move on to something a bit more challenging. Tell them what your goals are for the school year (briefly - no more than 1 minute!) and then ask them to think about what they might like to achieve within the school year. Ask them to write it down and then go around and ask for contributions. You may have to tease it out of them as they may well have not really thought about this before. You might want to keep these goals and put them to together perhaps on display in the classroom. You might also want to re-vist these goals regularly to see if you and your students are on track to achieving them. Students should be able to change goals or set new goals and help each other with their goals.

 Imagine what a great celebration it would be to see all your students achieve their goals at the end of the school year. You could create your own mini class achievement ceremony.

Learn how to run a great ice breaker session at your induction week by visiting our ice breaker ideas web-site. We have lots of great youth group icebreakers to make your back to school induction weeks inspirational and fun-filled for all!

Ice breakers launch business club

Not that long ago I was asked to run an ice breaker game at the launch of the Swansea Foundation - a new business club.

The organizers were keen that The Foundation should have a different kind of ethos - that it should be more of business family - supportive, creative, dynamic and forward thinking and not just another networking group.

They asked me to provide an ice breaker to kick-start the party - a gathering of 40 or so local business people, most of whom did not know each other.

I used one of my favourite ice breakers to get people interacting and getting to know each other. Within 20 minutes everyone was chatting and having fun. The organiser was so pleased with the ice breaker and said it was the perfect introduction. It set the tone of the whole evening - fun,friendly and dynamic.

In fact he said it established an ethos for the rest of the Club's meetings and events as we continued to use ice breakers and interactive games and ideas at every meeting.

The business club is now a thriving and fun filled place with a booming membership and full participation and enthusiasm from members at every event.

Ensure your clubs and meetings are a fun, friendly and a learning place to be by learning how to use ice breaker games. Visit our web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com and we'll show you how.

Garden Party Ice Breakers

Splat the Rat!

Splat the Rat!

Great Pub Game - Aunt Sally
Great Pub Game - Aunt Sally

 We ran a fantastic team building event last week making full use of our collection of Old Fashioned British Pub Games (and a few not so old and not so British). Although it was a corporate team building event it would make a really good party idea and/ice breaker.


Our team building event was held on the lawns of a priory on a gloriously hot sunny afternoon. The atmosphere was soon relaxed when participants discovered the fun to be had with these brilliant games. Have you ever tried Aunt Sally? or Ring the Bull? Quoits? Northamptonshire Skittles? Dutch shuffleboard? Splat the Rat? If not you're missing out on a lot of fun!

 So if you want to have a great lawn or garden party why not hire some of these games or even purchase a few and build up a collection? They're always great fun party ice breakers and can be used all year round, indoors and outdoors. We use them all the time for our own parties as well as team building and ice breaker events. Watch out though - you will need lots of storage space and once people know you have got them, you and your games will always be in demand.  

 How to use the games? You can either have a relaxed "have-a-go event" where you lay out the games and people wander around having a go at whatever they please. Or for a more frantic and exciting event, divide people into teams and run a round robin from game to game. You will need to work out a scoring system for each game and have a hooter to blow at the end of each round.

For more great party ideas and ice breaker games to instantly make your parties sizzle this season visit the Ice Breaker Ideas web-site