Posts Tagged ‘ice breaker ideas’
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 had a big thumbs up from one of our clients for an ice breaker she received from me this week.
It's a really easy game tht I've mentioned before called SNOWBALLS. Very apt for this time of year.
Just to remind you:
- Get everyone to sit in a circle and give everyone a pen and a sheet of paper
- Ask people to write an interesting thing about themselves on the paper
- Ask them to screw up the paper and throw the “snowball” into the middle
- Mix all the snowballs up and ask each person to take a snowball
- Taking turns, each person introduces themselves and then reads out what is contained in the snowball.
- They then have 3 guesses to try and work out who the owner is.
- Continue round the circle until all snowballs have been matched to owners.
It’s a really simple way of finding out a bit more about each other. For a more advanced and riskier version ask participants to write down the most interesting thing about themselves! For tons more ice breaker games for your next meeting or event visit the ice breaker ideas web-site
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!
Ice Breakers are great for getting groups of people who barely know each to open up and share a bit about themselves. Here's a really easy one that's quick to set-up:
You will need 2 ropes or tape or something to make 2 parallel lines on the floor. The gap between the lines should be wide enough to have all the group stand inside the middle section of the 2 lines.
Make a list of pairs for example:
- beach or mountain
- active or relaxed
- wine or beer
- meat or vegetables
- rock or pop
- hot or cold
- travel or stay at home
- gold or silver
- smart or casual
- coffee or tea
- quiet or lively
New school? New term? New Students? The new school year is nearly upon us. How do you get those kids integrated and off to an enthusiastic flying start? By careful selection and use of back to school ice breaker games. Here's a selection:
Depending on their age the classic game with the balloons is an absolute favourite with younger kids; it’s fun, inexpensive and physical and helps reduce anxieties. Have enough balloons on strings for every child to have 2 balloons. Tie each balloon to children's ankles. Make sure the area is safe - lawn or grass is best in case they fall over their strings. Each child has to try and burst another child's ballooon whilst protecting their own. The last child with a balloon remaining is the winner!
This game is suitable for adults as well as children - just change the questions.
You will need a large ball of yarn and have the class sitting in a circle. Hold onto the end of the yarn and throw the ball to a student. You then ask them a getting to know you question like; where do you live or what is your favourite color, animal, toy, movie etc. They answer the question and then hold the yarn and then throw the ball to another student and asks them a question. Make sure everyone hold onto the yarn and does not let go. At the end you will have a giant web of yarn that connects the whole class. Explain that whilst we are all individuals we are still connected in some way to each other.
This is a great ice breaker for groups who know each other.
Tape a piece of flip chart paper onto each person’s back. Each person writes something they like about the person who’s paper they are writing on. Even if they don’t know each other very well, they can find something nice to write on the paper…ie, nice hair, great smile, warm and friendly etc. When they read the nice comments they will be ecstatic and it teaches the importance of small niceties and how good it feels to give and receive compliments.
Ice breaker games have been continually used by professional trainers, teachers and group leaders for many years. They are one of the best and most fun ways of "breaking the ice", opening up groups and preparing the group for the main part of any event. Sharon Naylor has been a proponent of ice breaker games for all her career; ever since she took part in an ice breaker! For more fantastic ice breaker ideas to speed up that getting to know you stage for back-to-school classes and any other groups check-out her ice breaker ideas web-site NOW
Here's a couple more fantastic Back to School Ice Breaker Games. They are sure to set your new school term alight!
1.Make 2 circles - an inner and an outer circle where they are facing each other. Have students introduce themselves and say one thing they like to do. After these introductions rotate the inner circle by moving one seat to the left. The outer circle stays as it is. Repeat the process but this time have the outer circle move the opposite way .
2.Get each person to write down one thing that is true about themselves and 2 things that are false. Find a partner and swap facts. Each have to guess the true fact. After a few minutes swap partners.
Examples could be:
- I rode an ostrich
- I have a pet duck called Binky
- I have never been on an aeroplane
Make back to school days fun and exciting this year! Don't be boring this new school year - get your pupils hyped, excited and firing on all cylinders! More fantastic back to school ice breakers, games and ideas can be found in our Ice Breaker Youth Collection - ready to go NOW!
Just back from an exhausting but exhilarating day full of outdoor activities and team challenges. We were working with a new team who were going to be facing a lot of new challenges in the future and needed to become a really well-knit team as quickly as possible.
An outdoor day is brilliant for team bonding and breaking down barriers fast. People get to see each other in a different light, new skills emerge and levels of trust and support come to the fore when tackling strange and out of the comfort zone challenges.
This particular challenge was a journey that involved 3 stages by canoe, on foot and by mountain bike to reach a set destination by a set time. The journey is physical and the weather could've been better but these guys were a tough team and emerged victorious. They loved the time away from the office in unfamiliar surroundings and the time to see and understand each other in out of office roles.
As well as the physical challenges there were also a whole series of team activities to be completed along the way. Each team activity successfully completed was rewarded with a key to the treasure box. Each leg of the journey contained questions and clues which correctly answered were rewarded with further information regarding the whereabouts of the treasure box.
So lots to do whilst this team building event was taking place both for the organisers and the participants. In the end it was a long, hard day but amply rewarded with the sharing of the contents of the treasure box and a job well done.
Sharon Naylor has been working with teams for nearly 30 years! She is an advocate of team building and experiential learning - learning through doing and reviewing. For more great experiential ideas for team building visit her ice breaker ideas web-site