Meeting somebody for the first time can be awkward, especially when you are part of a big group of strangers. Ice breaking activities can help overcome the initial shyness and set you up for a fun relaxed time. Use the following list of icebreakers to unwind with your group so you can get to know them while having fun and without having to worry about small talk.
Two Facts and an Untruth
Gather everyone in a seated circle and then instruct everyone to come up with two facts and one lie. Let everybody in the circle take turns saying these three pieces of information aloud to the group. It is the group’s job to determine what appears to be a fact and what appears to be a fable. This should be a group decision, so make sure that everyone agrees on the choices. Once decisions have been collectively made, share them. This is a great way to learn new and interesting things about your companions.
To start playing Barnyard Antics, gather everybody and hand out pieces of paper. Each scrap of paper should have a name of a barnyard animal written on it. This is meant to be a secret, so players are not to share their animal name with each other. As soon as everyone has received their names, each person should begin making the noise their barnyard animal makes. For example, a person with the cow would moo and the person with the pig would oink. Next, players should try to find the other players who have the same animal as theirs. The first group of people who have found all their animal friends wins.
You’re an animal, man
To kick off this cool icebreaker, have everyone sit in a circle, with one person sitting in the middle. This person will be the announcer, so make sure they have a nice clear voice. Once everyone is settled, the announcer will call out an animal name, either cow, elephant or giraffe, and point to a person. This person will then have to pose as that animal.
For an elephant: Make an elephant trunk by stretching both arms out in front of you and then clasp the hands together.
For a cow: Form udders with your hands by clasping your hands together and then turning them downwards.
For a giraffe: Stretch your neck out long.
For a dog: Bring your hands out in front of you to make cute little paws. Stick your tongue out and pant.
These are only suggestions. Use your imagination to come up with any animal pose that you want. If the person is unable to make the animal pose within 3 seconds, they have to go into the centre.
How bad could it be?
To play this game, arrange everyone in a circle, and then choose someone to start things off. This person should say something that they judge to be “bad”. The game moves to the person to the right who should add something to the statement making it worse. This should continue going around the circle until either everyone has contributed or the game has reached the point where it really couldn’t get any worse.
For example, the game can go as follows: I went to school—I went to school late—–I went to school late and forgot my homework, and so forth.
Reverse this game and make it “How good could it be?”
To start playing, sort everyone into two separate groups. Get two people to stand up and hold a sheet separating the two groups. The groups should not be able to see each other. One player on each team should be facing inwards towards the sheet and everyone else will be facing the other way. When everybody is ready, lower the sheet and the first person to say the name of the person on the other team wins. The person whose name is said first moves to the other team’s side. The game is finished when everyone is on one side of the sheet.
Special thanks to WOL Camps in NY and FL for sponsoring this article!