You can’t build an environment of camaraderie and trust around an icebreaker game alone, but if you make it fun, engaging, and memorable, your chances of creating meaningful interactions will be high.
Here’s a list of fun icebreakers for small groups that you can use to get your small group discussions flowing. These activities will spark your team members’ interest and encourage them to become more engaged in your meeting, discussion, or other activity.
What is an icebreaker?
An icebreaker is a brief game or activity that gets people talking and creates a relaxed environment before a meeting. A successful icebreaker can start a productive meeting where people are able to talk about themselves, and their interests or just go deeper into the topic under discussion. They are often designed to be fun and easy to do, but they can also be practical tools for generating exciting conversation topics.
Icebreakers help break down barriers and make it easier for people to talk with one another. When people have something in common, they are much more likely to talk to each other.
When used effectively, icebreakers can encourage conversations, generate laughter, and provide participants with an initial sense of comfort, especially when they are from different departments or at different levels within the organization.
10 online icebreaker games for small groups
Virtual Coffee Break with your colleagues
Who says you can’ take a short coffee break while working remotely? Plan a few minutes into your busy schedule to discuss anything your team members want that’s not related to work with your coworkers over a cup of coffee.
This activity takes conversations which usually take place in the kitchen or common area of the office and moves them online. However, we assure you that it is still as enjoyable. One thing people miss most about working in the office is the opportunity for short coffee dates with coworkers, so why not bring them back?!
Where Are You Joining Us From?
You can have some fun with remote working by using this game. Since many remote employees live in different places and countries, you can learn interesting stuff about these locations.
It would be a good idea to prepare a few interesting facts about your current residence and have your colleagues guess where you are right now. The game is a great way to test your knowledge and bond with your teammates as you discuss their answers.
It is an excellent icebreaker activity since employees work together on the clues while learning about each other. Learning about different cultures (and getting a local’s perspective) is quite interesting.
The Guess Who exercise provides your team members with an excellent opportunity to learn more about each other. The ideal scenario for this game would be for the participants to have already met once or twice and have a rough sense of each other’s personalities.
The game is played by asking a bunch of yes/no questions, trying to guess which team member it is. You can make the activity go more smoothly by asking many light-hearted questions or preparing the facts in advance. Afterward, you may either include the question in a poll or ask the question and have the participants share their responses in a chat.
There is no need to ask questions such as “How old are you?” or “Are you single?”. Instead, remember that it is an icebreaker activity, so start with light-hearted questions, like, “What did you have for breakfast” or ” What was the worst or weirdest dream you ever had?”.
Even though these questions may seem silly, the answers reveal a lot about the individual. Additionally, “Guess Who” can challenge assumptions about colleagues and help teammates learn to appreciate each other’s contributions.
Yes, you read that correctly–Pictionary. If you thought that this could only be played in real life, we have good news for you! This is not really difficult to do online, other than the fact you will have to draw using a mouse, and we all know what happens when we draw with a mouse.
Zoom is an excellent tool for this type of activity. Make use of the ‘Whiteboard’ feature and draw away! We suggest dividing into teams and brainstorming clue ideas beforehand.
Ensure that you take enough time to think of something creative beforehand so that you don’t waste time during the actual game. Then, once you have a bunch of ideas, it is time to warm up your wrists and have fun!
Pictionary is all about teamwork and cooperation between team members. It can be a beneficial exercise for any team, helping to improve communication and bonding between employees. Plus, it is guaranteed to be a lot of fun.
We are all aware of how important health (both mental and physical) is, so we could not leave this activity idea out. This activity gets everyone involved together in ensuring that team workers remain healthy and in fighting form.
You may choose to do 30 days of walking or any other physical activity challenge (try to choose one that all team members have the ability to accomplish). Consider providing a place or room for your team members to share their achievements and progress. Also, everyone enjoys playing challenges, so perhaps you could offer a nice reward to those who complete the challenge successfully.
There is a classic quote: “We’re all in this together!”. Participating in a wellness challenge can boost employee motivation and engagement. Clearly, this is a win-win situation since colleagues will be able to bond over the same thing and take care of their health!
Zoom Background Charades
Have your colleagues guess what the background represents during your next Zoom meeting by choosing a random image. It could be a scene from a Korean series, a beloved anime character, or your favorite travel location.
Regardless of your age, charades are always a lot of fun to play! There is nothing better than a game or two of Zoom Background Charades to help coworkers cooperate and communicate better with one another. You can also strengthen your relationships with your colleagues through a laugh.
Highs and Lows
We all experience low and high points in our lives, whether at work or home. Yet every one of these points in our lives can be a valuable lesson, not only to the individual who has experienced it but also to others.
Therefore, why not dedicate some time (preferably on Friday) to discuss the highs and lows of the week? This activity might be limited to teams that know each other well (since it involves a degree of vulnerability), but it could also be useful for new teams to create a healthy and safe work environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing how they feel. And you would get to know a bit about what’s going on in people’s lives.
In a virtual meeting, sharing highlights and lowlights can be beneficial. Coworkers will be able to develop strong bonds and create a positive work environment by participating in such activities. Consider saying something meaningful to each individual after they have shared their experience, as it may be disappointing when people share things that are not exciting and receive no feedback.
Get to see which team member can create the funniest or craziest GIF! This can be done with any GIF generator online. Once you have completed your small animation, share it with your colleagues and have a good laugh! After that, you can all have a lively discussion and even vote on who makes the best-animated GIF.
A great way to break down barriers between coworkers is by creating crazy GIFs. For example, team members could create GIFs based on some of the GIFs that have made them laugh most during the meeting and share these with their colleagues.
During this virtual activity, participants will learn more about each other and share information about themselves.
Make a list of non-work-related things that you and your coworkers have in common. To begin, you can present random information about yourself or ask others questions to find connections. It is likely that, after exchanging ideas, you will find a shared hobby or a restaurant that you have all visited.
This is a good activity for large organizations and can encourage employees to get to know each other better.
This activity is a great way to share your passions with your colleagues! Each week, have one team member share their personal passion or something that they couldn’t live without. It could be anything, from dancing on TikTok to cooking to playing basketball.
You must remember that a good passion presentation is not just about colorful Google Slides and images. What matters most is how you feel about your passion and how you share that passion with others.
Presenting your passions to your colleagues is an excellent way to get to know them better and improve relationships. In addition, it may inspire someone else to begin a new hobby or activity if they hear about it from someone else.
17 in-person Icebreaker games for small groups
Fact or Fiction?
Have your team members write down 3 things about themselves on a sheet of paper and then pass them around the room. Team members take turns reading the paper they received aloud, and everyone votes on which things on the list are true and which ones are not. The results are always surprising and help everyone know more about each other. Simple yet fun, this activity serves as a way for the group and its leaders to get to know one another.
Split up team members into pairs. Ask them to interview each other for three minutes. They must discover three interesting facts about their partner. Upon returning to the group, ask everyone to share three facts about their partner with the rest of the group. Watch the time on this one to keep things moving along.
The Human Chair
All participants should stand shoulder to shoulder in a circle. They should then turn to the left and face the back of the individual in front of them.
Ask them to place their hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them. Then, after the count of three, have them sit on the person’s lap behind them.
As long as everyone is supporting the weight of the individual in front of them, everyone should support the weight of each other. As soon as someone slips, the game becomes human dominoes. It might take several attempts to complete the challenge.
Every participant is given a piece of paper with a series of instructions to follow. As all participants must speak to each other, this is an excellent conversation starter game and a good mixer for your event. Among the examples are;
- Count how many boys in the room have brown eyes.
- Find out who has traveled the farthest.
- Does anyone have an unusual hobby?
- Find out what is the strangest food anyone has eaten.
- Have you ever had an embarrassing experience?
The question Web
This game requires a spool of string or wool. Invite your team to form a circle. Toss the ball/spool to one of the team members while holding onto the end of the string. Each team member then selects a question from 1 to 20. We have provided 20 examples below. Feel free to adapt them.
Once they answer the question, the team members should throw the string to someone across the circle from them. Over time, web forms in the middle of the circle. Upon completion of the game, you can comment that the creation of this unique web was done by all of us and that it would be different if one person were absent.
Here are some examples of questions to answer:
- If you could have any superpower, which would it be?
- Do you prefer tea or coffee?
- If you were a candy, what would you be?
- What is the most unusual ice cream flavor you have ever tried?
- What is your favorite animal, and why?
- Which is your Hogwarts house?
- If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
- If you could have a drink with a historical person, who would it be?
- Who is your favorite Disney villain?
- Can you use a single word to describe yourself?
- If you could have any animal as a pet (with means of proper care), what would it be?
- If you could teleport to any place in the world and spend the day, where would you go?
- What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
- What book, movie, or video have you seen/read recently you would recommend? Why?
- Name one thing you really like about yourself.
- Tell us about the best thing that happened to you this week.
- If your house was burning down, what three objects would you try and save?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- Where in the world would you like to travel to if you had the opportunity?
Not every icebreaker needs to be complicated. Just by asking some insightful questions, all members of the group will be able to better understand one another. Among the questions you may ask are:
- What is your go-to karaoke song?
- What is your most random impulse buy?
- What was your favorite Halloween costume?
- If you were a drag queen, what would your name be?
- Where is the best place you have ever visited?
- What was the book that changed your life?
- Describe yourself in three words.
- Would you consider starting your own business? If so, what type of company would you establish?
You can use a personality test to promote deeper relationships among your team members who have been working together for some time. You can simply choose an online personality test and send the link to everyone, or you can choose to display the written questionnaire on a projector.
Let each individual complete the assessment, and then go around the room and share the results. Discuss each colleague’s results and ask the other participants whether they agree with them. As an icebreaker, coworkers will have the opportunity to learn about their coworkers from a different perspective. In this way, they can have some interesting conversations regarding how they can work together more effectively.
Using this icebreaker game can prepare groups for an upcoming topic of discussion. The objective of the exercise is for people to come up with a single word that responds to the prompt you provide. Then, provide the participants with the opportunity to brainstorm ideas in small groups.
For example, if your meeting is about productivity, have them come up with one word that describes what productivity in a workplace means to them. Including this activity at the beginning of an important meeting allows everyone to ponder or brainstorm a particular point, which can increase participation.
The marshmallow challenge can be used as a great icebreaker or a team building exercise. In either case, it will help break the ice and generate positive, lasting interactions. The game can be played by dividing participants into three or four groups, giving each group twenty sticks of dry spaghetti, a string, tape, and a marshmallow.
The objective of the competition is to build the tallest structure possible with a marshmallow on top. This activity helps individuals to collaborate and come up with creative solutions quickly. Teamwork is the key to success in this game, and the most successful teams cooperate, avoid wasting time competing among themselves, and implement alternate solutions as soon as the original solution fails.
Most Likely To Question
Asking your friends (or complete strangers) about “who is most likely to do what” is a great way to get them thinking about how they see each other.
Test the waters by asking a few questions to see if your friends are interested in asking similar questions of their own!
You may use the following examples of most likely questions:
- Who is most likely to rule the world in the future?
- Most likely to spend all their money on impulse purchases?
- Who is most likely to be a daydreamer?
- Who is most likely to become a CEO?
- Who is most likely to be late for everything?
- Who is most likely to keep a secret?
- Who is most likely to eat something off the ground?
- Who is most likely to never get married?
- Who is most likely to become a millionaire?
- Who is most likely to win a Nobel Prize?
Ask each person to write down something interesting about themselves and place it in a bowl.
Afterward, pass the bowl around the circle and have each person pick up a piece of paper and read it. After they’re done reading the fact, have them pass the bowl around so that everyone has the opportunity to read what someone else has written.
As a team, the members can attempt to guess who wrote the mystery facts and then either reveal who wrote them or keep them a mystery!
Handshake Shake Shake
Encourage everyone to stand in a circle and introduce themselves to the individual to their left using their own unique handshake. Next, introduce yourself to the group member on your right.
After the handshakes have been figured, do a full round of handshakes, one by one, with all team members involved, as quickly as possible.
Charades is among the best icebreakers available.
As a team, members must guess a word or phrase by understanding clues given for each syllable or for the entire phrase. The clues can also be used as acting hints for more excitement!
You can also use a different version of charades where participants try to guess a movie, fruit, or office supply.
There are two additional ways to play this game: you can either play with all coworkers as the same team, or split larger groups into two or more teams. Whoever finds the most words or phrases wins the game.
This activity is ideal for small groups that wish to add a bit of humor and fun to their meetings or events. Additionally, it is a great way to break the ice and get everyone comfortable with one another.
Start by choosing one person to rap about a topic for 1-2 minutes. Then, as the story continues, the following individual will add his or her own verse. Ideally, the rap should continue for as long as possible.
If possible, have someone beatbox or play music in the background, or everyone can freestyle.
Who Am I?
Each participant should be given a piece of sticky note paper and a pen for this game. Write down the name of a famous person and ask them to place it in a bowl.
During the activity, one individual will pick a paper out of a bowl without looking at it and paste it onto their forehead.
Afterwards, the team members will have to find out who their famous people are. How can this be accomplished? Through yes or no questions only!
Team members should sit in a circle and ask questions one by one to the other team members to try to find out who their famous person is.
For this game, ask each participant what makes them unique or unusual. As the uniqueness of the facts increases, the funnier the icebreaker becomes.
This activity promotes openness among the group members and celebrates their individuality. Often, it provides valuable starting points for conversations with new members of the group or company.
Ideally, the icebreaker organizer should begin by providing an example of something different about each group member so that everyone has something to talk about. Additionally, this will allow participants to think about their unique facts or talent.
Freeze Dance game
Let your body move with Freeze Dance! This is an excellent icebreaker for breaking up a meeting, getting everyone moving, and collectively releasing tension.
Simply ask your participants to form a circle. Then, ask one participant to lead the dance.
As the lead participant dances, the other participants follow. After this, the team member should suddenly stop moving and freeze. Other team members will need to be attentive and freeze simultaneously.
After everyone has copied the person’s movement, the person on the right will take their turn to lead the dance.