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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.
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!