My 4 Favourite Icebreakers!

"4 of My All Time Favourite Ice Breakers"

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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







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

 

Ice Breakers are a Great Investment

Invest 10 minutes of your time in an ice breaker game at the beginning of a meeting and you'll be glad you made the investment, many times over. Ice breaker games ensure a sense of belonging and sharing. Starting a programme or meeting without any kind of introductions can lead to very formal and unfriendly one way communications, with little participation from the audience. If you want your participants to "buy into things" you need to get them taking part. I'm always aghast when I attend a meeting and people don't even get introduced leading to feels of unfriendliness and "wishing I wasn't here feelings" or "why did I bother"

Far better to introduce your participants to each other in a fun and light hearted way by use of a couple of well targeted ice breaker games. Once feeling more comfortable the exchange of ideas will flow, and generate a sense of team identity and coming together for a purpose. Simple ice breakers get participants to share commonalities and reveal information about themselves. There are lots of creative ways to do this. Brainstorming ideas in small teams on an issue everyone is facing is quite a good way to start or give a completely wacky problem to solve like ten things to take into space; ten things to take to a desert island or ten things you could never do without.

Here's a few ideas:

Namebadges

Make namebadges for each person and place them in a bowl.  When people walk into the room, each person picks a namebadge (not their own). When everyone is present, participants are told to find the person whose namebadge they drew and introduce themselves. When everyone has their own namebadge, each person in the group will introduce the person whose namebadge they had originally and say something of interest about that person. This is a great little introduction ice breaker.

The Business Card Game

Get everyone to put their business cards into a pot. Mix them all up and each person to pull out a card of someone they don’t know. From the description on the card they must now go and try and find that person and find three interesting facts about that person and introduce them to the rest of the crowd. 

Jigsaw

Equipment needed: several small jigsaws
Group size: any
Time: 30 minutes

This is a great icebreaker for when you want to split the group into teams. If you want to end up with say 4 teams get 4 smallish jigsaws of around 20 to 30 pieces. If you have 20 people in the room and you want to split into 4 teams of 5 make 5 small piles of jigsaw pieces from each jigsaw and put them into an envelope. Don’t mix the jigsaws up, and don’t show the group the jigsaw picture. Give each person an envelope of jigsaw pieces and tell them to go and find the other people who make up their jigsaw and put the jigsaw together. When choosing jigsaws choose ones with a similar theme so as not to make it too easy. This works better when people are mixing informally over breakout tea/coffee sessions.

Never be without ice breaker games and ideas to get your events off to the best possible start. For great ice breaker games and ideas visit ice-breaker-ideas.com

Guidelines for Ice Breakers

The main aim of an ice breaker game is to create a comfortable atmosphere in which to operate for all concerned. Relaxed participants are much more likely to contribute in a positive way to the rest of the meeting.
 
Don't limit the use of a great ice breaker to the start of the session. Use ice breakers half way through proceedings or when the situation is starting to become a little uncomfortable

Physical ice breakers are brilliant for that after lunch slot when people are feeling sleepy. Try singing or stretching or a team building activity.

Here's a few helpful guidelines:

  • Be organised. Make sure you have all your props and equipment.
  • Don't use ice breakers that will make your participants be uncomfortable, embarrassed or look silly
  • Don't pressurize people to take part - this would not be a good start
  • Allow plenty of time - they always take more time than you think
  • Use ice breaker games throughout the day to energize participants.
  • Don't complicate instructions - make them plain and simple
  • Make sure everyone is listening when you give out instructions
  • Don't labour a game if it is working - cut it and say "we'll try another"
  • Make sure people are enjoying the games and having fun - "keep in tune" with your participants

For great ice breaker ideas and games visit ice-breaker-ideas.com




Ice Breakers in Bahrain

Team building in BahrainIt seems funny to be writing about breaking-the-ice in Bahrain where the temperature is currently around 45 degrees. But that is just what my colleague, Phil England, has been doing in the Gulf state. Phil is running a team building programme for the Bahrain Petroleum Company and he has just used simple ice breaker games to break the ice and get people engaged and listening. As well as learning names, and making people feel more comfortable, Phil said, "ice breakers have no boundaries, they work across all cultures, introducing people to each other and helping people feel relaxed and ready for the next element of the day."

Avid fell runner and mountaineer, Phil said he still managed to find time to go for a run in the sweltering heat "though I thought I might melt!"

For a cooler selection of ice breaker games visit our web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com 

Ice Breaker Games & Ideas

Last time we spoke about devising your own ice breaker games for your training sessions, no matter what kind of training you are carrying out. Even hard core training topics benefit from a bit of fun, in fact these are the very topics that would benefit most from the use of ice breaker games.

Some ideas: you could use competitior brands to stimulate a discussion. You could split into teams and have small quizzes giving the description of products and asking the teams to name them. You could give out brand logos and ask teams to identify them. For car sales people you could ask for their name and then ask them to share the first car they ever owned. This is fun but it also gives other people something to latch onto for further discussions. You could ask accountants what job they would do if they weren't an accountant.

Just think about your group and your audience and think about a topic they could relate to, then either put it into a question form and ask people to share or make into a quiz for teams.

A little bit of imagination goes a long way and a great, relevant ice breaker game can turn a dull training session into a memorable event. More great ice breaker games and ideas can be found on our web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com


Ice Breaker Games

In the experiential world of training and team events, we tend to think that the use of ice breaker games and energisers at the start of training sessions are commonly used - but I was surprised when I attended an Institute of Training & Development course to discover that this isn't so! There were many trainers on the course who had never used an icebreaker game ever. Albeit, the trainers were from many different backgrounds.

Our program leaders extolled the the virtues of  using ice breaker games to get participants warmed-up and challenged each person in turn to come up with a new ice breaker game that the group could enjoy.

The results were amazing. We all really looked forward to the start of the day and the after lunch sessions when each trainee had a chance to be "Games Master" for a short while, and we got to sample a new creative and ingenious game.

You too can devise your own ice breaker games - it takes just a bit of thought and imagination. No time? Then download our fabulous ice breaker ebook full of brilliant ice breaker games and ideas that we have been using with our groups for more than 20 years.

Why Ice Breakers are the Secret Weapon for all our Events

This year we are celebrating 20 years of providing dynamic & experiential team building events for corporates all over the world and I can reveal that one of our best kept secrets has been the use of carefully thought out ice breaker games to kick-start every event. Whether for corporate meetings, conferences, functions, team building or training, a fun ice breaker game at the start of the event will lighten the atmosphere and help people relax.

Icebreakers are great ways for introducing people quickly and breaking down barriers; ice breakers accelerate that "getting to know you phase". Above all if carefully chosen, they are great fun and your group will be in a positive frame of mind for the main event of the day.

Quick icebreakers are a valuable tool for every trainer, team leader and party organiser. To get meetings off to a great start ice breakers should be a compulsory item in the tool kit. I'm often asked "have you got a game we could do", and it's always a pleasure to provide one and see people laughing and enjoying taking part.

Find out how to run a great icebreaker game by downloading our collection of Incredible Ice Breaker Games & Ideas from www.ice-breaker-ideas.com