8 Simple Icebreakers that Guarantee Better Participation
If you’re a group leader looking for creative ways to form your team, you can see cheesy icebreaker games on the horizon. Icebreakers are awkward–especially when no one wants to participate. Check out these eight icebreaker games. They’re so simple, fresh, and void of embarrassment, even the shyest of introverts are bound to join the fun!
1. The Story Behind the Name
Names are powerful, and learning them should be one of the first steps when forming a new team. During introductions, have everyone tell the story of how they got their name. Perhaps they’re named after their great-grandmother or a famous movie star. Not only could the stories entertain, but they could help you remember people’s’ names, too!
2. Naming Names
This icebreaker game is a simple starter, especially if your group hardly knows one another. There are two ways to play, and each takes minimal effort.
The first is quite simple. Have everyone introduce themselves with a modifier. For example, if your name is Sue, you could introduce yourself as “Super Sue.” The only rules are to incorporate alliteration (make the first letters match), and no one can use the same modifier twice.
The second takes a little more effort, but it can make for some funny scenarios and inside jokes. After introducing themselves, let the individual pair a silly action with each syllable of their name. See who can best remember everyone’s “name dance” by the end of the game.
3. Never Have I Ever
Start with everyone standing, and have a point person state something they have never done. For example, if they’ve never seen the ocean, they could say, “Never have I ever been to the ocean.” Everyone who has been there must sit down. These questions continue until one person is left standing. Then you can rotate out the point person and continue the cycle.
4. Four Characteristics
The four characteristics are color, character, car, and cuisine. Have each person provide something in each category that best represents them and let them explain why it suits them. An example set of answers would be:
Color: Green! I love to garden.
Character: Mickey Mouse, because I’m friends with everyone.
Car: A Dodge Grand Caravan. I want my family to tag along wherever I go.
Cuisine: Burgers. My favorite childhood memories come from summer cookouts.
Some will provide more creative answers than others, and that’s ok! What they answer will provide some insight into their personality and how they perceive themselves.
5. Coin Your Year
To play this icebreaker, you’ll need to surf your couch and raid your washing machine for coins. After collecting a chunk of change, instruct each person to grab a coin and take note of the year that’s on it. Then they need to share something that happened to them that year. If they weren’t born yet, it’s trivia time. Quiz them on a major news event that occurred during the year.
6. Crazy Gizmos
Grab a stash of random household objects: paper clips, rubber bands, bottle caps, etc. Handout a few items to each group and let each group brainstorm as many unconventional ways to use each. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking by providing a small prize for the most creative idea.
7. Question Ball
This game is super easy and takes the stress out of devising get-to-know-you questions on the spot. Buy a beach ball, blow it up, and scribble questions all over it. The questions could be anything from “What three things would you want with you on a deserted island” to “Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?”
Let your group toss around the ball. Whoever catches it should note the question closest to their left thumb (or whatever finger you choose). Then they answer the question before tossing the ball to the next person.
8. Brain Buster Building
This icebreaker game requires a small amount of prep. All you need are colored blocks (i.e. LEGOs) and time to build a simple structure. Provide your model as a reference for what to create. Only let one person view it at a time, and their job is to direct to the rest of the group on how to replicate it. Every 30 seconds rotate who can see the model and instruct the others. You can set a time limit for completing the structure to increase the pressure! This exercise is great for strengthening communication skills among your team members.