Whether you are trying to get coworkers to communicate better or you just want to get everyone reacquainted at a family reunion, ice breakers help everyone get to know each other better in an informal and playful environment. Choose ice breakers that require people to talk to each other and work together to get a task done.
To get people mingling and talking to each other, give half of the room a card with a subject on it and the other half a matching card that corresponds to the other cards. Everyone must find their correct partner and then find out three things about him. Another interview icebreaker you could facilitate requires partners to find out three things about each other without speaking or writing them down. They can use their expressions, hands and bodies to try to tell the other person about themselves. Afterward, everyone will take turns standing up and saying what she thinks she knows about the other person and find out if she is correct.
Group Participation Activities
For a photo hunt, give everyone a checklist with random things you might find in a photo such as a child on a bike, a newborn baby and a wedding photo. Tell everyone to take out any photos in their wallet and walk around looking at each other's pictures to find items on the checklist. If you are in an office setting, allow everyone to walk around to cubicles and offices looking at photos on desks, provided everyone is okay with this. Set a time limit and give a prize to the person that finds the most items. Another group activity to play is People Bingo. Create bingo cards with random things about people such as "married." "ran a marathon" and "only child." Everyone must go around getting people to sign the space if they fit the description. Participants must not sign more than twice on one person's card. As with regular bingo, the first person to have five signatures in a row wins.
Divide the group into two teams. For the first activity, have them arrange themselves by date of birth without any speaking whatsoever. The first team to correctly do so wins. You could play several rounds of this activity with a different scenario such as geographical region of birth or alphabetical name order. Another activity that you can do is the classic human knot puzzle. Each team stands in a circle, then grabs the hand of the person across from them, then grabs another hand with their other hand. No one should be holding hands with someone directly next to them. The teams must figure out how to untangle themselves without letting go of each other's hands. The first team to successfully do so wins.
Individual Description Activities
Give each person paper and colored pencils. Give them five minutes to draw anything that represents them. Each person will then get up and talk about how the picture truly represents who they are. Another activity is to have each person stand up and say three things about them, one being false. The rest of the group must decide which statement is the false one. The person should then explain the truthful statements further, especially if it is surprising.
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Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.