12 Fun Virtual Team Building Icebreakers 

Home » Resources » Virtual Team Building IcebreakersUpdated: March 27, 2022

Here is our list of the best virtual team icebreakers for work.

Virtual team building icebreakers are activities that help participants feel at ease. These exercises are suitable at the beginning of a virtual meeting, and when welcoming new participants. For example, charades, ice breaker questions, and two truths, one lie. The purpose of these activities is to create a warm and pleasant environment for team interaction.

These exercises are virtual versions of icebreaker games for large teams and icebreaker activities for small teams. These activities are also examples of virtual team building exercises, Zoom icebreaker ideas, and team building ideas for conference calls.

This list includes:

  • icebreakers for remote teams
  • quick virtual team building icebreakers
  • online team icebreaker activities
  • icebreaker ideas for Zoom meetings

Here we go!

List of virtual team building icebreakers

Here is a list of icebreaker ideas for virtual calls to help remote teammates socialize.

1. Icebreaker Bingo

Bingo is a popular icebreaker game where participants use Bingo card questions as conversation prompts.

The facilitator will first split the group into pairs or manageable numbers not more than five. Next, the leader will generate the bingos. In each breakout room, participants will use the Bingo cards to ask each other questions. Every time a description matches a member of the team, players can mark the square. The game continues until a team gets five squares in a row, or blacks out the entire card. Teams can try to get Bingo as many times as possible within the allotted time. For a successful bingo activity, it is best to use simple prompts. For example,

  • Has been to Alaska
  • Likes pets
  • Prefers pasta to rice
  • Is an only child
  • Has been an employee of the month
  • Owns a bike
  • Plays chess
  • Had a burger for breakfast
  • Keeps a photo album
  • Takes sugarless coffee
  • Lives with their parents
  • Wears a watch
  • Enjoys cooking
  • Bad at lying
  • Keeps in touch with at least two highschool friends
  • Grew up in a different state or country
  • Takes Tea
  • Has been to another continent
  • Has a bucket list
  • Plays sport
  • Was born this month
  • Has ever lied to keep a job
  • Still keeps their own childhood toy
  • Dyes their hair
  • Has glasses
  • Is a certified first aider
  • Does graffiti
  • Reads novels
  • Can repair electronics
  • Speaks more than two languages
  • Is an impulsive shopper

Bingo is a great choice for new teams as it encourages conversation.

For more ideas on icebreaker Bingos, try this icebreaker Bingo generator.

2. Icebreaker questions

Using icebreaker questions at the beginning of virtual calls is one of the best ways to create a relaxed environment for your team.

Good icebreaker questions are open-ended and nudge participants to converse. You should ensure that the questions are interesting enough to engage your team. As a best practice, avoid one-worded or short answers questions. For example, instead of asking someone, “Which town do you come from?” you may ask, “What do you like most about your hometown?”

Other examples of icebreaker questions include:

  • What’s an easy thing on your bucket list that you have not done?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • Which celebrity do people say you look like?

Icebreaker questions allow your team to interact better and are particularly helpful to new and shy members. These questions provide your team members an opportunity to get to know one another better.

For more icebreaker questions ideas, check our full list of icebreaker questions for work.

3. Charades

Charades is among the best quick virtual team building icebreakers to brighten participants’ moods.

To play this game, participants will remain silent as they act out a word or sentence. Simply put the performer on spotlight and let the rest of the team members will figure out the message from the performers’ gestures. The goal of the game is to communicate the prompt without using words.

For large teams, you can split participants into smaller groups of about five members. These smaller teams may use a charades generator for prompts, and work together to figure out the charade phrases.

Here are some tips to make your charade session fun.

  • Brief the participants on the game basics to ensure that every player understands how to play.
  • Set clear rules and expectations for the activity.
  • Allow participants to set predetermined gestures for the game.
  • Mix simple and hard charade clues. It is a good idea to include short phrases and compound sentences.
  • Make the charade look like competition by awarding points to correct guesses and possibly prizes.

Charades are appropriate for teams of all ages, thus, a handy icebreaker activity for employees and students.

Here is a link to charades prompt generator.

4. Two Truths One Lie

Two Truths and One Lie is among the best virtual team icebreakers for teams.

To play this game, each participant shares three sentences about themselves. However, one statement must be a lie. The lead player may twist or omit a detail of a true story to make that one sentence untrue or can completely fabricate a fact. The rest of the participants guess which of the statements is a lie. Once all the participants have made their guesses, the lead player will reveal the untrue statement. Finally, the lead player will pass a turn to one member who guessed correctly.

If you wish to play two truths and one lie for a new team, then it would be best to let participants interact first. For instance, you can group the participants in fours or five into breakout rooms. These participants will introduce themselves and later play the game amongst themselves.

Check out more question games.

5. Association Introduction

Association Introduction is one of the best online team icebreaker activities for small groups. In this introduction game, members associate participants with a conspicuous physical attribute, which facilitates memorizing team members’ names.

To play, the facilitator will assign each member a number as they join the meeting. The team member assigned number one will be the first to introduce themself. The next, team member number two, will introduce participant number one then themself.

For example,

Member no.1: My name is Jenny, and I live in Oslo

Member no.2: The blonde is Jenny from Oslo, and I am Rashid from Cairo.

Member no.3: The blonde is Jenny from Oslo. The man with a mustache is Rashid from Cairo, and I am Joel from Rio.

As other members introduce you, you will wave your hand. The association introduction goes on until the first member becomes the last. At that point, member number one will introduce all the rest.

This activity is a perfect icebreaker for recalling folks’ names as it involves multiple introductions of the players.

Pro tip: When describing your predecessor, only use neutral opinions like eye color and choice of cloth. Avoid describing participants with offensive adjectives like fat, ugly, and arrogant.

6. Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen is a fun virtual icebreaker that tests attentiveness.

The aim of this game is to pay attention to words that start with the same letter as your gender. For instance, you will play ladies and gentlemen in the first round. In this case, the ladies stand up, and men sit whenever the leader mentions a word that starts with the letter L. When the leader mentions a word that starts with G, gents will stand, and ladies will sit. For example, “Lisa and George got married last month and now live in Mali.”

In the subsequent rounds, the leader may choose male or female, he or she, man or woman, and similar variations to determine the choice of words to use. If the leader chooses to go by ‘male or female’, ladies will stand up to the word that starts with F, and men to those words starting with M. For example, “Fiona will make us fish and macaroni, but I miss having mangoes and figs.”

The icebreaker starts with all members standing. However, at no other time during the game should both groups do the same action.

You can also divide the group in other ways beyond gender, for instance by hair color, departments, or east coast vs west coast.

7. Would You Rather

Would You Rather is among the most intriguing icebreakers for remote teams. In this activity, the players present weird questions and take turns to answer.

To play, the facilitator will first generate several would you rather questions,  write the questions  on different cards, and finally, label each card with a number. Next, each player will choose a number, and the facilitator will read the question on the card bearing the mentioned number. The players will take turns answering the selected question.

Alternatively, participants may make up their own questions or use a generator to create prompts.

Here are good examples of Would You Rather questions.

  • Would you rather take your child to work or your pet?
  • Would you rather have four hands or four legs?
  • Would you rather spend a month without Instagram or Facebook?

Would You Rather is a creative way to discover team members’ interests and values. The game is suitable for students and teams in all professions.

For similar ideas, check our full list of Would You Rather Questions.

8. Ice Breaker Songs

Using songs as icebreakers for remote teams is one of the simplest ways to liven up a virtual meeting. Songs can warm up vocal cords and make participants feel more comfortable chatting with each other.

You can use songs in a variety of ways. Here are interesting examples:

  1. Guess the tune. The leader will play a part of the song for three to five seconds. The players listen and guess the song’s details. For instance, the artist, the name of the song and the year the song was released. Players can shout out the answer or type responses in the chat.
  2. Sing along. The leader plays an instrumental track and encourages participants to sing the words karaoke-style. The leader may share the lyrics on a split-screen so that all members participate.
  3. Continue the song. The leader will put the music on for five seconds and then mute the song. The members will pick up and continue the song. Occasionally, the leader may unmute the song to keep the participants on key and on track.

Here are handy tips for choosing an effective icebreaker song

  • Choose songs with chants and refrains
  • Select popular tunes
  • Choose songs that are simple to learn
  • Mix fast and slow tempos
  • Pick a song that teammates can dance to

Check out this list of team building songs for inspiration.

9. Me Too

Me Too is on the top list of icebreaker ideas for Zoom meetings. This exercise pairs team members with similar experiences.

Before the game starts, ask the participants to display all the ten fingers. Alternatively, they can hold ten pens, straws, toothpicks, or other similar objects. Throughout the game, the participants must make the fingers or the objects visible on the Zoom screen.

The leader will choose one player to kickstart the game. That player will mention something they have ever done. For example, swimming in a freezing pool during winter. Next, every other team member who has ever done the same thing will shout, “Me too!” as they bend a finger or reduce one pen by removing it from their hand and placing it on the table. The next player will share an experience, and the same response goes on until the team gets a winner. In this case, the winner is the first person to bend all their fingers or run out of objects.

The idea of the Me Too game is to identify common ground like hobbies and character and further facilitate friendship.

10. Marooned

Marooned is among the most effective quick virtual team building icebreakers. This exercise is also useful for enhancing communication and problem-solving skills.

Participants can compete individually or in teams.

The team leader will give participants a survival scenario. The players will brainstorm the solutions for about five minutes. Finally, each team will share their answers.

Here are two examples of Marooned prompts:

  1. You and your co-workers are going on a one-week camping trip in a forest with zero cell phone signal and no electricity. What five objects will you pack?
  2. You and your friend are stranded on a foreign island. Neither of you have phones. The island has food, but you do not understand the natives’ language. How will you get back home?

Note: When playing as a team, one of the rules is that the number of items required in a marooned prompt remains constant. Therefore, the game will need teams to agree on the best answers.

11. Zoo Line-up

Zoo Line-up is one of the most creative icebreaker ideas for Zoom meetings.

To begin this zoo line-up game, the leader will ask the participants to think of a zoo animal they like the most. The leader will then ask the participants to pretend to be the chosen animal by imitating the chosen animal’s sound. The participants must not speak during the entire exercise. If the players are unfamiliar with the animal’s sounds, then they may use gestures to describe the animals. For example, holding hands high to signify horns.

To make this activity orderly, members will mute their device and only unmute to produce the animal sound when the leader prompts. The rest of the members may jot down the animal they think members represent.

The next task is for participants to line up the animal in order, from the tiniest to the largest. Team members can do this by commenting on the chat section. Finally, the leader will ask the players to reveal the name of the chosen animal to confirm whether the guesses and the order is correct.

This Zoo Line-up icebreaker is best combined with introductions. This game enhances memorization by associating participants’ names with the zoo animal they represented.

12. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun icebreakers that promote quick thinking and build lasting memories.

The goal of the scavenger hunt is to engage team members to  locate or photograph particular objects within a specified time limit.

The leader will ask the participants to find certain items. The participant who locates the most required items within the timeframe or shows each item on screen first wins the round.

Here is a guide to doing scavenger hunts virtually.

Conclusion

Online team icebreaker activities are a crucial part of conducting virtual meetings. Virtual icebreakers include activities, questions & answers, and songs & puzzles. These activities are useful in introducing folks, warming up the meeting environment, and enabling participants to enjoy the virtual meeting. For remote team members, who interact less often than in-office workers, icebreaker exercises also help them overcome jitters and be more comfortable interacting.

Next, check out these collections of icebreaker jokes and get to know you questions.

FAQ: Virtual team building icebreakers

Here are answers to questions about virtual team building icebreakers.

What are virtual team building icebreakers?

Virtual team building icebreakers are activities virtual teams use to feel at ease and set the right mood for the virtual calls. These icebreakers include brainteasers, conversation starters, songs and introductions.

What are some good icebreaker ideas for remote teams?

Some good ice breakers for remote teams include association introductions, me too, hot seat, and word tree. These icebreaker activities spur conversation and help members remember each other’s names.

How do you do virtual icebreaker activities?

The following are useful tips for conducting a successful virtual Icebreaker activity.

  • Prepare a list with a variety of icebreaker activities
  • Brief the participants on the rules and the basics of the game
  • Choose interesting activities based on the composition of the team. For example, team members’ age, background, and familiarity level with each other.
  • Schedule icebreakers activities in the morning or at the beginning of the meeting.

Generally, virtual icebreakers should be simple to conduct so that participants can fully enjoy and benefit from the ice breakers. These ideas will enhance icebreaking for virtual teams.

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