Ice breaker games are a great way to break the ice when teambuilding. Learn how to get people to bond and learn more about each other, their skills and preferences. This list of ideas for ice breaker games provide an ideal way to put people at ease in an unfamiliar environment and begin the process of forming a cohesive team that works.
What is the Point of Ice Breaker Games?
A key reason why teams fail to work is due to a poor understanding of who everyone is and what they are good at. A good team leader needs to know what skills each team member has, what their preferences are, which all leads to identifying what the best role is for that person in the team.
Ice breaker games provide a way for team member to get to know each other in a supportive and unthreatening environment. The perfect ice breaker activities are designed to encourage people to get to know each other without feeling insecure or foolish.
How to run Ice Breaker Games
Ice breaker games are best run at the start of a team building activity day. After the initial welcome drinks, get everyone sitting down and explain what the ice breaker game is all about. Make sure that you have organised any resources such as pens and paper beforehand.
If the ice breaker activities involve people standing up on their own and speaking to everyone, make sure that you ask someone who you feel is more confident to do so to go first. This will give support to those team members who are more reserved, shy or embarrassed by the whole team building thing.
Ice Breaker Games Ideas
This ice breaker game needs you to give out a sheet of letter sized paper to everyone. The piece of paper is divided up into 9 boxes, each with an unusual skill in it. The skills could include juggling, play the drums, ride a unicycle, hold their breath for one minute etc. This should be printed in advance.
The group is then given ten minutes to find someone in the room who can do one skill from each box and write their name in the box. By encouraging people to only write their name in one box per piece of paper, people will have to talk to more of their colleagues.
Once the time is up, get everyone to sit down and you can go through each box and find out who has what skills. This will now give everyone something that they can talk to each other about when starting a conversation.
The thumb ball is a very useful resource to have for icebreakers. It is a 6 inch ball with different topics written on it. You throw e ball to a team member who then has to say something about themselves relating to the category that is under their thumb on the ball.
Amazing facts is a similar ice breaker game that involves everyone standing up one at a time and saying one amazing fact about something they have done. This could be that they have skydived, or lived in seven different countries, or that they have a reptile for a pet.
You could also ask them to say what their biggest achievement is. That may give people more scope to come up with something. They might say that being a mum is the best thing that they have done.
True of False, or 2 Truths 1 Lie
Each person takes it in turn to stand up and say three statements about themselves. Two of the statements must be true, and one must be a lie. The rest of the group has to guess which is the lie and why they think so. You can learn some amazing things about people in this ice breaker game.
This involves splitting the group into teams and giving each team a piece of paper with a wacky sentence on it. The team then have to make a two minute play where the sentence is said. At the end, the other teams have to guess what the line was.
Sort it Out
The goal of this ice breaker is to get everyone to line up in a particular order. This has to be related to a fact about the person. It could be in age order, birthday, where they live from North to South, or any other criteria you can think of.
Everyone is given 10 minutes to talk to five other people and write down information according to some categories they have been given.
The categories could include:
- What is your favourite food?
- What is your best memory?
- What is your favourite hobby?
- What is your favourite place in the world that you have been to or want to visit?
At the end of this ice breaker, the group does not have to report back, but you can choose a few selected highlights if you wish.
Provide everyone with a sheet of paper and a marker pen. They are given 10 minutes to draw a picture or cartoon that represents themselves. It can be absolutely anything, even just a smile.
Examples they could draw are a dog if they love dogs, a musical instrument, a hobby, or a place. When the time is up, each person has to stand up one at a time and say why what they have drawn says something about who they are.
This is one of the most successful ice breaker games, as it gives people the freedom to express themselves freely, giving away as much or little about themselves as they like.
Birds of a Feather
For this ice breaker game, you will need to have some open space for people to move around in. The organiser calls out a category, such as “your favourite hobby.” Everyone then has to get into a group with anyone who has the same favourite hobby as themselves. This will involve talking to everyone. After a while, the groups will form.
The great thing about this ice breaker is that it enables people to form groups of like minded individuals. They will immediately have something to talk to each other about for the rest of the team building activities.
More Team Building Ideas
If you like these ice breaker games ideas, why not read the complete list of team building activity ideas.