There are so many situations at the start of the year that call for a get to know you game. Commonly called an “IceBreaker”. No matter what your groups situation is, it’s likely that the start of the year brings new people into your group, and it’s times like these that require an IceBreaker game.
So, in addition to the 9 get to know you games already on this site, I thought I’d add another ten IceBreaker games. These ten games were all originally published on IceBreakers.ME. A site with a database of IceBreaker games and questions for all ages.
- Spiders Web
- King Characticus
- Greedy Smarties
- Honey, Be A Champ And Give Me A Smile
- Shoe Pile
- Snowball Fight
- Post-It Past
- MMOSPR (Massively Multiplayer Offline Scissors Paper Rock)
- Play-Dough Personalities
Keep reading below to find out how to play these 10 great IceBreaker games.
A splendid icebreaker that will help your group find out a number of things that they have in common with one another.
To start with, you’ll need your group to be sitting in a circle. From here you will give one of the members in your group a ball of string. This person will then say their name and one thing about themselves. E.g. “I have a brother” or “I like playing football”. Then any member of your group who has that thing in common needs to put their hand up. The person with the string chooses a person and the ball of string then gets tossed to that person. The cycle then repeats.
At the end of the activity you will have created a spiders web between members of the group, showing all of the different ways in which your group is interconnected. This will hopefully create a sense of unity between your members, as it visually depicts a number of commonalities that your group shares.
- A ball of string of wool
For this icebreaker activity you will need quite a large area of space. In this space you need to mark out a square with cones (or anything you have around). The easiest way to describe assassins is as a structured game of tip (tag), where you are only allowed to walk.
One person is in, and they start walking towards one (and only one) person, trying to tip them. Once they have chosen someone, they aren’t allowed to change who they are trying to tip. The person they are walking towards then has to call out somebody else’s name in the group, the person who’s name was called is now in. That person then starts walking towards one person and tries to tip them. And the game continues.
You are out if you are tipped. You are also out if you run or go outside of the playing square. The last two people in are the winners.
Assassins is a fantastic icebreaker to get people moving. It also helps people remember each others names, and forces people to learn everyones names, because if they are in at the end, they need to know the names of everyone to avoid getting tipped. The competition and tactics caused by this game also can get people working together to try and get others out.
- Markers for playing area (cones, chairs, shoes, jumpers etc.)
This icebreaker game is great for large groups with a loud voice! For set up, you will need equal rows of chairs, with the front row turned 180 degrees to face the other rows. The people in your group then fill the chairs. The people in the row facing everyone else are team one, the next row is team 2 and so on. The game then flows as such.
Leader: King Characticus has lost his thinking cap, some say this, some say that, I say team number 1 (could be any team) stole the hat.
Team 1: No sir not I sir
Leader: Then who sir?
Team 1: Team number 3 sir
Team 3: No sir not I sir
Team 1: Then who sir?
Team 3: Team number 5 sir
Each time a team stands up, they must have interlocking arms, and all stand up and speak (read: shout) in unison, if they do not, then they are out and go to the back of the rows. Each team then moves up and becomes a new team number. This is tricky as in each round each team changes number. Each team must also not accuse the team who just accused them, so if team 1 accuses team 3, team 3 cannot then accuse team 1.
Fun and chaos for all!
To start this icebreaker, pass around a bowl of Smarties (or M&Ms) and ask the people in your group to take as many as they want. But tell them that they’re not allowed to eat them just yet.
Now you go around the circle, and for every Smartie that a person has, they have to tell the group a fact about themselves. Once they have told as many facts as they have Smarties, then they can eat.
It’s really fun to see who will be greedy and take lots, and who will be hesitant and only take a couple. And by the end of this icebreaker activity everyone will have won, because Smarties are delicious!
Honey, Be A Champ And Give Me A Smile
This icebreaker game generates a lot of giggles! A sure fire way to make people feel comfortable around one another.
Everyone sits on chairs in a circle and one person is in. The person who is in needs to go up to another person, kneel down in front of them and say “Honey, be a camp and give me a smile.” The person sitting down needs to make every effort not to smile. If they smile they then become in, but if they don’t smile the person who is in needs to move onto another person and try again.
The person in the middle may feel awkward at first, but if they get into it and really try hard, then the game will be a lot of fun for everyone!
This game is definitely not for every group! But, it could be an interesting icebreaker activity if your group is up for it.
Shoe Pile is a very simple game. Everyone takes off 1 of their shoes, and then places it in a pile in the middle of the room. Everyone stands back from the pile and on your command fetches somebody else’s shoe. They then have to find the shoe’s owner and asked them a number of set questions such as inquiring about their name, occupation and favourite weekend activity.
This game is a great way to get to know others, especially if their feet don’t smell to much!
Have you ever had the pleasure of a real snowball fight? If not, then you should definitely give this icebreaker game a go.
Give everyone in your group a white sheet of A5 paper and a pen or a pencil. They then have to write 3 interesting facts about themselves on this piece of paper. They DO NOT write their names. Everybody scrunches up their pieces of paper and then…
The snowball fight commences!
Pieces of paper are thrown at each other for 1 minute. No one is allowed to throw at faces or within 3 metres of anyone else.
After the minute is up, everyone stops and picks up a piece of paper. One at a time, people read out the facts and then have to try and guess who’s piece of paper this is.
Do note that if you have a larger group (>10) that this game could take a long time.
- A6 paper
This icebreaker is a creative way to get to know fond past memories of people in your group.
Everybody is given a pen and two Post-It notes. They must write down one word on each of these notes that describes a past experience. This past experience could be a childhood memory, a sport they use to enjoy, the school or university they went to or any other memory.
Once they have written down the two words, they then stick the post it notes to the palms of their hands and hold their hands up so that everyone can see their Post-It notes. Everyone now stands up and walks around the room.
Now ask people to form pairs and talk about the words they have chosen and why they have chosen these words.
This icebreaker really lets people get to know intimate facts and stories about one another that they would have otherwise taken months, if not years to find out. It’s even great for groups who think they might know each other really well already.
- Post-It notes
MMOSPR (Massively Multiplayer Offline Scissors Paper Rock)
This icebreaker activity gets people in your group teaming up together with the goal of winning a game of chance. Perfect!
It’s based around the simple game of scissors, paper, rock. Two people line up against each other, chant scissors, paper, rock, and then have to make a hand action that represents these actions. Flat hand is paper, clenched fist is rock, two fingers out is scissors. Scissors beats (cuts) paper, paper beats (wraps up) rock and rock beats (crushes) scissors.
To start the game, everybody in your group pairs up and plays a game of scissors, paper, rock. The loser of the game now becomes the cheer squad for the winner.
Now all of the winners pair up and play a game while the cheer squads are cheering. The winner then inherits the losers cheer squad. Very quickly, the cheer squads will get very large and eventually there will only be two people left, with two very large cheer squads. This last game can be a best of three.
You can imagine how loud this game gets and how fun it can be for everyone involved! Especially for the last two people who have the whole room cheering out their names!
This is a quiet and reflective icebreaker, very much suited to small groups of people who are going to spend a long time together.
Firstly you’ll need to give everyone in your group some play-dough, and you’ll need to be sitting at tables or have trays for them to work on.
Now each person in your group needs to make something out of their play-dough that describes an aspect of their personality. If you’re group isn’t as abstract minded, then perhaps ask them to make something that they enjoy doing.
After everyone has finished, go around the circle and ask people to share their creations with the group.
This activity allows members of your group to express themselves in a different way than usual, and can often lead to conversations that otherwise would not have taken place.
- play-dough (find a recipe here)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these 10 IceBreaker games. As I said before, all of these games were originally published on IceBreakers.ME, where you can find a database of IceBreaker games and questions to help get to know others in your group.