Icebreaker games are a great way of getting your team warmed up before your next big meeting, corporate event, team building, or company party. If you’re hosting a large party or planning your next corporate event, ice breaker games may be just what you need to get the creative juices flowing. So if you’re in search of some fun ideas for your next team meeting or corporate event, then you’ve come to the right place.
Different ice breaker activities can help you, and your colleagues get to know each other better, cooperate in developing a productive teamwork environment, and establish a stronger sense of cohesion.
In the following, we have included some of the most popular team building games and icebreakers that can help you maintain a positive corporate culture and enhance interpersonal relationships.
What is an icebreaker game?
Icebreaker games play a critical role in any event where participant interaction and getting everyone comfortable are essential factors. This involves ensuring that all participants are treated as equals, and thoroughly engaging participants to ensure that the meeting or session is successful. Additionally, by conducting these activities, barriers that may exist in a workplace due to its hierarchy, job titles, or other aspects of the workplace are broken down.
Icebreakers are particularly useful when participants are strangers to one another. The exercises can also warm up the room, even among employees who already know each other.
It is an effective way to get people to initiate conversation, make someone laugh, and introduce participants to each other. This is especially true if they are from different departments or at different levels in the organization.
What is the purpose of an icebreaker?
The purpose of an icebreaker is to introduce participants who are unfamiliar with one another or to loosen everyone up so that they are more comfortable sharing and engaging. A meeting, training, or team building session is more successful when attendees are engaged and encouraged to take part. Also, the right icebreaker can make people feel comfortable enough to speak up.
An icebreaker game loosens tension, leads to more easy and more natural conversation, and makes people more comfortable during a meeting, even when participants are well acquainted with one another.
There are some classic icebreakers, such as Two Truths, and One Lie. The aim of this game is to have each participant make three statements about themselves. Two of them must be true, and one must be a lie. After the third statement has been made, the other participants must guess which one is the lie.
There is something exceptional about how icebreakers help to break the tension between the group members by getting them to learn interesting facts about each other and form deeper bonds.
5 benefits of icebreaker games
When introducing people to each other, one of the best ways to break the ice is by playing a game. Games are a great way to get to know someone, and they can be enjoyed by everyone. Ice breaker games can be used in a variety of settings, from corporate meetings to social gatherings.
Here are some of the benefits of playing icebreaker games:
- Create fun and memorable moments
- Break down barriers between people
- Build stronger relationships
- Build Rapport and Engagement
- Make Meetings More Effective
Icebreaker games for work
Because of their versatility, scalability, and relatively low effort to plan, the ideas in this list will be appropriate for most general work situations. The icebreaker games are ideal for addressing a variety of work scenarios and personality types, whether they are aimed at the whole organization or a smaller group of employees.
This game is ideal for large groups, both in-person and remote. In this icebreaker, players need to communicate with team members to identify a word belonging to a particular category. Participants should be divided into two teams, and each one should pantomime (act out) the word or phrase for the other team. In the end, the team that guesses the most words wins.
Say Your Name Backward
During the game, each player writes their backward on a piece of paper, folds it up, and places it in the bowl. Then, after all the papers have been gathered, someone will draw a slip from the bowl and read it to the other players. Anyone who correctly guesses the name of their colleague gains a point, and the team or person who has the most points wins.
Most people fondly remember playing scavenger hunts in their childhoods. Fortunately, you can do them as an adult as well. There is nothing more engaging than a scavenger hunt, which can be conducted in the office or outdoors. Additionally, they allow people who generally don’t interact to communicate and work together.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
A virtual scavenger hunt is a game where you have to find things on the internet. You might have to find a picture of a cat or a video of someone singing a song. You can give players clues or tell them where to start looking.
Two Truths, One Lie
A simple and classic game. Two truths & a lie is a game where you tell three things about yourself, two of which are true and one of which is false. Your colleagues have to try to guess which one is the lie.
Never Have I Ever
Participants take turns recounting something they have never done at work, like “Never have I ever taken another team member’s ballpen” or “Never Have I ever fallen asleep during a long meeting.” Each person who has participated in this activity at work closes a finger, and as soon as all five fingers are closed, they are eliminated.
Would You Rather
Another classic game on the list. Usually played at summer camps, “Would You Rather” is a perfect, quick ice breaker for the workplace.
Here are a some “Would You Rather” questions to get you started:
- Would you rather eat only vegetables or meat for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather go to summer camp or play video games?
- Would you rather never use a smartphone again or never watch another movie?
- Would you rather be a high school teacher or a comedian?
Bad Joke Contest
If you give your team prior notice, this icebreaker will not take much time to complete. During the Bad Joke Contest, participants will read the corniest joke they can come up with and vote on which one is the most cringeworthy.
This should spark some intense competition among coworkers because people have impressively bad dad jokes saved up for these moments.
The game involves two players facing away from each other, where one of them is given a picture of an object while the other is given a piece of paper and a pen. The one with the picture must describe the image without directly specifying what it is so that the other person can draw it on their own piece of paper. Compare the results when you’re done to see how (in)accurate the drawing came out.
Who doesn’t love Jenga? It’s a game played by millions around the world.
There is a way to level this game up, though. Think of thoughtful questions you can write on each Jenga block to start up conversations – whether that be about someone’s personal goals or their dream travel destination. Then, whenever a person pulls out a block, they answer the question written on it.
Show and Tell
Team members choose a favorite object to share via Zoom. Whether it’s a childhood photo or your favorite shirt, there are plenty of stories waiting to be told.
Outside the office, your teammates have aspirations and goals you would not necessarily know about from just having a regular chat with them. Encourage team members to share some bucket list items they hope to accomplish for themselves or their families in the future.
This can provide a platform for team members to inspire one another to pursue their dreams. It’s a great team building activity that will help your team become even closer.
Share the Love
Despite the fact that dispersed teams may not have the chance to exchange a handshake or a hug, this activity nonetheless allows you to share the love. This activity is simple: have individual team members share a short, complimentary message with another team member. You can choose whatever you want, as long as it is respectful, in good taste, and says something kind to another team member.
Each individual who receives a kind message will reciprocate by sharing it with another individual in the group who has not yet received one – ensuring that everyone gets equal praise. You can compliment others on their helpfulness with a project, their energy as a team member, or their beautiful smile.
Tic Tac Toe
Let each participant create a tic tac toe board and fill it out with their passions. Then, have participants ask each other yes-no questions, trying to guess what those passions are. Finally, players sign each other’s boards when they share a passion.
The first participant to get three in a row is the winner.
The Four Quadrants
Have each individual divide a large piece of paper into four sections.
Give four questions to the group successively, and have each member draw their response in one of the four quadrants. Then, discuss the questions and team members’ drawings after the squares have been completed.
Line ‘Em Up
Have your team line up according to specific criteria (e.g., age, height, hair color, number of siblings, years of experience).
They should be given a certain amount of time to assemble themselves in the correct order, and they should not speak with their teammates.
If You Had a Magic Wand
What would you change if you had a magic wand? Ask your group this question before passing around a wand or another object. When it’s their turn, have each participant use the object as a wand to indicate what they would do differently. Have fun playing the role of a wizard or magician when answering and act out what they would change!
Each participant should create their own trading card with a self-portrait, name, nickname, and fun facts. After trading cards, participants ask questions about each other’s cards. Finally, all participants read out their remaining cards at the end of the game. As more trades are conducted, more people get to know each other.
Name That Tune
You might be surprised at how many of your colleagues are raving about the latest trending song on Spotify or TikTok.
Have your teammates guess the name of the song by whistling, beatboxing, tapping, or playing an instrument to the song’s tune.
Discover which colleagues are fans of the classics by clapping and stomping along to songs such as “We Will Rock You” by Queen. Do whatever you can do to ensure that your colleagues know what you like to listen to.
Guess the Childhood Photo
Next time you hold a Zoom meeting, invite everyone to send the leader a picture from their childhood. The leader will randomly pick them out and display them together.
Once the photo collection is complete, the leader will share their screen with the group and ask them to guess which team member is in each photo.
When they get to yours, try not to blush too much!
Share an Embarrassing Photo
This can be a good option for virtual meetings. For this activity, people share embarrassing photos of their own choice and tell a story about them (don’t make it too gross, though). This is an excellent way to get people to loosen up by providing them with an entertaining activity.
Around the World
The first step is to name a country, city, town, river, mountain, etc.
The next person will have to name a geographical feature that begins with the last letter of the word that the person in front of them used.
So if the first person said Tokyo, the second person might say Osaka, and the third person could say Asakusa. Since the same word cannot be repeated twice, it will become more challenging the more rounds you play..
Before a large conference room meeting, place a map and a set of pins at the front of the room. Upon entering the conference room, ask visitors to place a pin where they were born or raised.
With the map filling up with pins, people will see how diverse their teammates are. At the end of your meeting, allow your colleagues to walk up and examine the map more closely.
Each person should write the name of a famous person or celebrity on a sticky note (the person should be well known to all). The sticky note is then stuck on the back of the person to their left.
The participants then take turns to ask yes/no questions to discover their secret identities. In the end, each individual should reveal their secret identity.
Skittles / M&M’s Game
This is the perfect way for teams to get to know each other better!
Assign different colored skittles or M&Ms to different types of questions. (e.g. red = personal life, blue = office related, orange = goals etc.)
Each player should pick up one piece of candy and answer a question posed by the rest of the team in that category. Best of all, all of these candies can be eaten as a snack after answering the questions. What a great deal!