We're often being asked for a large group ice breaker for conferences and conventions and I have to share one of my favourite all time ice breakers - Limericks. I love this game and have used it so many times as a large group ice breaker on many events. It always gets a laugh; it really gets people mixing and groups will end up in teams of five which is really useful if you want them split into groups for anything else. So here goes:
You will need to find some humourous limericks - the web is always a good place to look for these. You will need to print each limerick out and cut into strips. There are 5 lines per limerick and you will need one line of a limerick per person. Your group numbers will not necessarily divide equally by 5 so a few people will have a couple of lines. Mix all the limericks up and hand out a line per person. Ask the group to mingle and try and find the 4 other lines to make up their limerick. Once each limerick has been put together ask the small groups to stay together until all other limericks have been matched. Once everyone has been matched up ask the groups to read out their limericks and congratulate on a job well done.
Depending upon numbers this will take around half an hour for 30/40 people. For larger numbers, the task is harder and you may want to number the limerick lines with 1-5 to make it easier.