Ice Breaker Group Activities

by Speaking Tips | May 31, 2004

  1. Assign each person in the group to another person in the group. Then have them find out as much of the following information about that person as they possibly can in three minutes: name, hobbies, family members, home town, job, favorite colour, food and music, etc. The members of each pairing can interview each other but you may find it works better to avoid this. Once the time is over, have the participants use three words to describe their assigned partner. For example, "Jill was my partner, she is thoughtfull, energetic and committed."
  2. Make up a bingo style sheet with characteristics and background information in each square that are likely to match your group's demographics. Use a broad variety of categories of information. You might include items such as "has blonde hair", "is an only child", "hates jazz music", etc. Be creative - the possibilities are endless. Participants then meet other people in the room, introducing themselves and finging out whether or not they can match a person to one of the items on their card. It's a good idea to award a small prize to the first person to find a match for everything on their card.
  3. As participants enter, give them a slip of paper withthe name of a famous person, or an object. When you are ready to begin your activity, instruct the trainees to find all people who are in their group based on the paper slip thay have received. You can try assigning groups a category of objects and giving individuals slips of paper identifying a member of that category. For example, you could choose "fruit" and individual members of the fruit group might be "apple", "orange", "banana", etc. If you have sufficient time, once people find everyone in their group, you can have them perform an additional task as a group.
  4. Pick a letter of the alphabet and have the participants sing a song or recite a well known nursery rhyme or poem. Every time the reach a word containing the chosen letter, they must either sit down or stand up. Repeat the exercise up to three times, going faster each time. Obviously, this works best if the letter you have chosen features prinently on the words or lyrics so you will need to do some planning ahead of time.
  5. Arrange chairs in a circle so that there are just enough seats in the circle for everyone except you. Assign participant the name of vegetables from a list you have made beforehand ensuring that there are at least three people assigned each type of vegetable. Then call out one vegetable and those having that name swap seats while you attempt to take one of the vacant seats during the swap. Whoever is left standing calls the name of vegetable and the process repeats. If the person in the center calls "vegetable soup" then everybody changes place.

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