Best Icebreaker Games for Teams
A video guide to running fun, effective icebreaker games with groups that make connections and get participants more comfortable with each other. These ideas are great for team meetings, company parties, conferences, workshops, networking events, onboarding, and other events that bring together groups of unfamiliar folks.
- Activity #1: Mingle Bingo28
- Activity #2: Sticky Answers102
- Activity #3: Is This Your Slip?202
- Activity #4: Digital Business Card Tag232
- Tip #1: Get Physical338
- Tip #2: Maximize Mixing401
- Tip #3: Keep It Short and Simple427
- Final Thoughts & Bonus Resources447
Welcome to Teambuilding.com’s guide to icebreaker games.
In this video, you’ll learn 4 activities and 3 tips to help employees or event attendees foster quicker connections.
These activities open your group up to further conversations and build the foundation of relationships so that you can make the most of your gathering.
First up, a few activities.
Activity #1: Mingle Bingo
Mingle Bingo is a great icebreaker for groups of any size, but works especially well in large groups. First, print and hand out stacks of Bingo cards. The squares will have personal qualities like “speaks three languages,” or “owns an unusual pet.” When the game begins, players will talk to each other and mark the boxes with the names of folks who fit the description. The first few players to mark five consecutive squares win a prize. You can Google “teambuilding.com Bingo cards” for examples.
Activity #2: Sticky Answers
This game turns players into walking answers. To play Sticky Answers, all you need is pieces of paper, string, pens, and sticky notes. Each player gets an icebreaker question on a sheet of paper to wear around their neck, and a pad of sticky notes. Example questions might be “what is your go-to comfort food,” or “what’s a skill you wish you could learn instantly?”
Participants walk around the room and answer each other’s questions by writing their answer on a note and sticking it to the person’s shirt. For example, if the prompt was “favorite ice cream?” I would write mint chocolate chip and stick it to the person. This game is great for helping more introverted folks be part of conversations, and is especially fun for large group icebreakers.
Here’s a pro tip: You can pre-print the icebreaker question signs and let guests choose rather than write their own to avoid repeat questions and save time.
Activity #3: Is this your slip?
For this activity, participants write a fact about themselves on a slip of paper and put it in a box. Then, everyone picks a slip out of the container. Players move around the room, looking for the original owner of the slip. If a player didn’t write the slip but shares that same trait, they can write their name on the paper, and those folks who share these interests in common can reconnect later. The game ends once every player has their fact back.
Activity #4: Digital Business card tag
Back in the day, there was an icebreaker game called business card tag where event attendees exchanged business cards with fun facts written on the back. This version is a modern update, since many folks no longer use paper cards.
First, hand out or tell participants to bring digital business cards. You can also make makeshift cards by printing QR codes on the back of folks’ ID cards. Before the event, attendees should fill out the QR link with their preferred contact details, as well as a couple of fun facts. Then, players will move around the room and scan each other’s codes. To encourage players to read the fun facts, every so often yell “freeze” and ask one of the facts in trivia form, like “who wrote a children’s book about a magic snail?” or “who used to be a surf instructor?”
This game is great because it gives players a way to remember information learned in the game and reconnect with new acquaintances after the activity.
Now that you have a few ideas, here are some tips.
Tip #1: Get physical
Including movement in icebreaker activities helps participants get over the nervous jitters and gives them something to focus on besides speaking. Many good icebreaker games involve players moving around the room. This shuffle is a great energizer. Plus, that little burst of dopamine may make folks more social.
Tip #2: Maximize mixing
Often, the quality of an icebreaker game depends on the quality of the group. Spending a full five or ten minutes with folks you just don’t mesh with can feel like an eternity. If you mix up the huddles a few times instead of sticking with the same groups for the whole exercise, chances increase that participants will find someone they get on well with and will feel more connected to the group as a whole.
Tip #3: Keep it short and simple
The best icebreaker games require little explanation and move quickly. These activities should be easy to understand and easy to do. Five to fifteen minutes is ideal for these exercises, and it’s even better if you can break the game down into smaller mini tasks.
There you have it! Now you know how to run fun icebreakers.
Want more tips? Google “teambuilding.com icebreaker games” for even more ideas.
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Question for the comments – what is your favorite icebreaker?
See you next time!