How to Choose a Great Icebreaker Activity

ellenpatnaude  |  December 10, 2012
last updated

team building icebreaker activity Looking for some fun and interactive team building icebreaker activities? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing or choosing a team building icebreaker. When a group first gathers for a meeting, conference, or new activity, it is often a good idea, to begin with an icebreaker exercise. The main purpose of an icebreaker activity is to make sure the group will be receptive to whatever activity is coming next. You want to get the group warmed up. You want them to interact with each other. If they are moving around, any nervousness or resistance they feel towards the main activity will naturally be lowered.

Here are some of the qualities of a good icebreaker activity:

Where can you find a good icebreaker activity?

You can find tons of ideas for activities on the internet, in the library, or by asking around! So, if you use the criteria in this article to gauge the quality of the activity, you can make sure you are selecting one that will be a good fit for your group.

Here are a few to get you started. “Sample Ice Breaker Activities for Meetings“.

So to get the best out of your group at your next meeting, conference or activity, consider including an icebreaker that will start everyone out on the right foot.

Icebreaker Activities for Any Occassion

Choosing the right icebreaker can make all the difference. Below are a variety of fun and effective icebreaker activities designed to suit any group setting. These exercises are not only easy to implement but also ensure everyone starts off on the right foot, fully engaged and ready to participate.

For Smaller Groups:

A classic game that works exceptionally well is “Two Truths and a Lie.” Each person shares two truths and one lie about themselves. Then, the rest of the group tries to guess the lie. This simple activity encourages creative thinking. Above all, it offers a fun way for members of the group to learn interesting facts about each other. Thus fostering personal connections on a deeper level.

For Larger Groups:

“Human Bingo” is a great icebreaker game where each participant receives a bingo card filled with traits or experiences. Participants mingle to find people who match the descriptions on their cards. This is a fun way to discover common interests and experiences among a large number of participants, creating a sense of community and a common ground quickly.

For Virtual Teams:

One of the best virtual icebreakers is the “Virtual Scavenger Hunt.” The team lead sends out a list of items or quirky tasks, and team members have a set amount of time to find them in their homes. This could include finding a favorite book, showing off a pet, or presenting a piece of art. It’s a great conversation starter and gives everyone a good laugh, making it a perfect way to start a remote meeting.

For Hybrid Meetings:

A fun icebreaker for hybrid meetings is “Roll Call with a Twist.” Each participant says their name and, instead of a simple introduction, shares a random fact about themselves, like their favorite song or an interesting fictional character they admire. This activity can be a great way for new hires to introduce themselves in a less formal manner, enhancing engagement across both in-person and virtual settings.

Creative and Fun Icebreakers:

Why not try a “Build Challenge” where small teams or individuals compete to build the tallest structure using only a few provided materials, such as index cards, rolls of toilet paper, or sticky notes within a time limit? This activity not only sparks creative thinking and problem-solving skills but also injects a lot of fun into the group.

Getting to Know You:

“Desert Island” scenarios can be a great way to get people talking. Each person can share what three items they would take to a desert island and why. This is an easy way to uncover new things about each other and provoke good-natured debates about the best strategies for survival, which can lead to building strong interpersonal connections.

These are just a few examples of icebreaker activities that can cater to different group sizes, types of meetings, and team dynamics. Whether it’s for small teams, large groups, new teams, or established ones, the right icebreaker can set a positive tone for the meeting and help achieve the goal of building a cohesive and collaborative team environment. Remember, the best icebreakers are those that match the tone of the meeting and the personality of the group, so feel free to modify these suggestions to better fit your specific needs.

author ellenpatnaude
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Ellen Patnaude is an instructor for The Leader's Institute ® and president of LeadQuine. She is based in the Detroit, Michigan Region. She is a specialist in team building events and presentation skills seminars.
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