Posts Tagged ‘Ice Breaker games’
Why do all the great facilitators and party hosts build short and fast ice breakers into their sessions and social functions?
I'll tell you why - because they work and have great impact.
Here are my 5 big reasons why you should consider running an ice breaker game at the start of every meeting, party, social gathering, conference, club session etc.
- An ice breaker builds rapport quickly. A short and simple ice breaker has people interacting in ways that would be difficult and take a long time to otherwise.
- A well conducted ice breaker game eases tension and reduce that awkward initial meeting and greeting bit where people try and find out a bit about each other
- An ice breaker engages people and gives people something to do instead of waiting awkwardly for proceedings to begin.
- A well matched ice breaker prepares people for the main message of the day.
- An ice breaker is a powerful tool for the facilitator or leader. It enables people to learn more about you and gets people on your side.
Never be without a ready to use selection of the most powerful ice breaker games from ice breaker ideas.com Bags of free ideas and our ice breaker collection available for immediate download.
Connections Ice Breaker Game
Here's another great introductory ice breaker from Ice Breaker Games and Ideas, suitable for a team or group meeting for the first time. All you need is a large ball of string or wool.
Introduce the exercise "We're all meeting for the first time. Most of us don't know each other at all. It's easier to get to know each other and make connections with people when you find something in common. This is the main purpose of an ice breaker game. In some cases you might have a lot in common with an individual but often you have to discover what it is first. This game will give you a helping hand"
Ask everyone to sit or stand in a circle. Starting with yourself, say "My name is Sharon" and start to talk about yourself. "I have 3 sisters. I live in Wales. I walk to work. I work at...etc. etc." By this time hopefully you might find someone else in the group with 3 sisters or even a sister and they then shout "CONNECT!" when they have found something to connect with you. Holding onto the tail-end of the ball of string you throw the ball to them. They then introduce themselves and continue saying something about themselves until someone else connects with them. They then hold onto the string and throw the ball to that person. And on it goes.
Ensure everyone has a go at connecting with someone else in the group; you might want to add this as a rule until everyone has had a go. Continue connecting until you have had enough. You will surely now be in a mess with strands of wool or string going all over the circle.
End the ice breaker game by explaining that we all have things in common with other people, but they are often hidden. Look at all the ways we are interconnected with each other... look at all the strands of string. Building relationships and rapport can be speeded up by finding and sharing similarities.
Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games. She uses Ice breaker games to inject a sense of fun into proceedings, speed up that getting to know you stage and get people ready to face the rest of the event with energy and enthusiasm. For great ideas to improve team spirit and morale visit the Ice Breaker Ideas web-site.
Just come back from my action learning set and we had another great ice breaker game to start us off on our meeting. You will need a rope sling or loop, big enough to slip over the heads and bodies of your colleagues.
- Ask everyone to form a circle and hold hands.
- Place the loop between 2 people (need to break hands for a moment) and then instruct the participants to pass the loop all the way around the group without letting it fall to the floor and without breaking hands or stepping out of the loop
- Participants will need to wriggle away and help each other get the loop around the circle. It's good fun and breaks the ice! Once they have done it once you can time it and see how fast they can do it.
There's a brilliant article in The Sunday Times Style section this weekend.
In it they asked some food experts "if you were a vegetable...." Of course this got me thinking - it's very similar to quite a few of our ice breaker games "if you were an animal what would you be?" "if you were a pudding what would it be..?" Obviously they have to expand on their answers and the Sunday Times had some really insightful ones...
Gizzi Erskine, TV chef
"An artichoke - multifaceted, pretty, occasionally thorny and a pain to deal with"
Lily Vanilli, cupcake maker
"Asparagus, because I've got great tips, or maybe celeriac, because I'm well hard."
Ravinder Bhogal, recipe writer and TV presenter
"An onion, because there are lots of layers to me (my first layer comes off easily). Also i'm best when pickled"
You get the picture! There's absolutely no reason why you couldn't use this as an ice breaker game for your training, meetings and events.
Ice breaker games are fantastic for getting people to talk and befriend each other quickly. They bring people together that otherwise may not have the opportunity to talk. Having a bit of fun together breaks down barriers quickly and helps people relax. Icebreakers speed up the getting to know you process and make it easier to take a group forward. They are a trainer's dream tool but can be used in many more meeting situations than people do!
When should you use an Ice Breaker Game?
Ice breaker games have so many uses both at work and away from work. They can be used for all ages too! You can use them to start your training sessions, sales meetings and corporate events but you can also use them to integrate your school pupils at the start of the new school year, for youth groups, club meetings etc. Virtually any group gathering could make use of ice breaker games to ensure an event gets off to a good start. I used to use them at the start of every PTA meeting.
To get your meetings off to an excellent start you should learn how to to lead an icebreaker really well. Get to know your chosen ice breaker game very well and then practise on your friends!
First, give an overview of the game and then step by step instructions. Start with easy ice breaker games when you're first starting out and then learn something a bit more challenging for established groups. Ask around colleagues and friends for their favourite ice breaker games and try those. With some great care and attention you will grow in confidence and your meetings and events will have a real buzz about them.
Ice breaker games can be quite noisy and busy affairs - that's what they're supposed to be! if you need to amke yourself heard you might think about investing in a whistle, bell or some attention getting device.
Try this easy ice breaker game:
- Have everyone seated in a circle. You stand in the centre. You say
- "Everyone wearing blue change places and greet your neighbours on both sides"
- So everyone wearing blue changes places and you try and slip into one of the vacant seats. Allow a few seconds for people to greet their new neighbours
- The new person in the centre issues another command such as:
- "Everyone who drove here today change places and greet your new neighbours"
- The person in the centre slips into a vacant seat, everyone greets their new neighbours and on it goes until everyone has met lots of people and had enough!!
- Above all, have fun with this energetic ice breaker game suitable for all kinds of groups.
Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games for work, play, parties, meetings, groups and clubs. In fact anywhere people are connecting to others whether it be for the first time or even when familiar with each other. If you would like to find some great icebreaker ideas for your next training or event visit the ice breaker ideas web-site for hundreds of amazing games and fun icebreakers.
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!
I was trolling through some video stuff the other day and came across this team building activity called Wacky Races we did with some clients a few years ago. It made me laugh because the weather was quite appalling. Nevertheless everyone got on with the planning and design and had fantastic fun with the racing. In fact the weather made it really - it was so ludicrous.
This type of team activity makes a good half/full day team building session and will be a trip down memory lane when kids used to make go-karts and buggies out of all sorts of rubbish and pram wheels. Just make sure you find a good flat surface in which to race your buggies, and the decoration of the team karts is as much of the team identity process as is the building and racing.
Take turns to race the kart and don't forget the winner's podium, chequered flag and magnum of champagne for the winners!
Last week we were in shock. We had a phone call from someone who used our team building services many moons ago, in fact it was 18 years ago, not long after we had started up as a team building events company.
Nicky is now HR Manager at Royal Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Thinking about team building she sent us an email saying she remembered the events and were we still around? What a surprise! I visited her yesterday in delightful Tunbridge Wells and she is just the same larger than life character. Hopefully we'll get something going with them!
Nicky showed me her "Ideas Factory" wall. It was really impressive. Invited employees work with a local artist to produce a pictorial representation of how they want to improve life and services in the borough. All ideas are discussed and many are put into workable plans. The murals and pictures are a constant reminder of what they signed up to as well as making a fantastically colourful display and brightening up an old building.
Strikes me that this is something that many organisations could do. Input from employees is invaluable and realising their ideas and hard work makes commitment to the causes so much easier. It makes a great team building session too!
Sharon Naylor has worked with teams for more than 21 years. She is passionate about using experiential activities to motivate and inspire employees. Check out her ice breaker ideas web-site for hundreds of ice breaker games and team building activities to turn your training programs and meetings into extraordinary events that everyone will want to be part of.
As trainers we're often looking for novel training games, energizers and ice breakers to elevate our training programmes from dull to dynamic. training games that neatly illustrate a concept such as communication or leadership are trainer's gold dust! Most trainers have a few of these up their sleeves.
If your training session ends with a goal setting session, here's a really easy and effective training closer idea you can use to make the goal setting stick.
Give each person a postcard and then get them to write it to themselves, recording goals and anything significant learnt. Once the postcards have been filled out, take them and post them to the delegates in 6 months time. It's a very handy reminder of goals set and will be a very nice surprise in 6 months time.
Sharon Naylor has tons more training games, ice breakers and energisers up her sleeves. Check out the ice breaker ideas website for hundreds of novel ideas for elevating your training programmes and making them a fun as well as a learning experience. Her blog details new training games and ice breakers every week. Be sure to check it out!
At some point during your leaderhip training programme you will no doubt be discussing famous leaders; their traits and personalities. Why not turn this into an interesting leadership icebreaker game or energizer?
Make a list of famous leaders and their quotes. Print 2 lists; 1 is your master copy and the other is cut up into strips giving each person a quote or the name of a famous leader. Their job is to match the quote to the leader and hopefully have some meaningful discussions about leadership along the way.
Here's a list of quotes you might like to use:
- Steve Jobs "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
- Peter F. Drucker "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
- Theodore Roosevelt "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
- Kenneth Blanchard "The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority."
- "Eleanor Roosevelt "A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves"
- Nelson Mandela "When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same."
- Winston Churchill "Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war."
- Thomas Jefferson "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it."
This could be quite a difficult task unless you choose famous quotes, but can be a great lead-in to a discussion and reflection on famous leadership styles. Once the game is over take time to really try and understand the meaning behind the words.
Leadership icebreakers are a brilliant 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 training, meetings, away days, team building and conferences. A quick ice breaker at the start of a meeting or event helps people relax, injects a sense of fun into gatherings and speeds up that getting to know you stage, and ready to face the rest of the event with high energy and expectation.