Icebreakers

Icebreakers are a great way to overcome the awkward moment often present when kids and adults alike are placed into unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable situations. They are non-threatening. Non- offensive and carefully bring people out of their comfort zone.

The level of anxiety the first day of camp or attending your first club meeting can be overwhelming. Even business meetings and conventions can be stressful. Remember your first day of school when you didn't know your classmates?

I bet your teacher did an activity with you to break the ice.

They give everyone an opportunity to be involved and be heard. They include everyone and exclude no one.  They help individuals open up and are great for camps, clubs, classrooms and business settings. Most importantly they are fun.

Planning an Icebreaker

Icebreakers are effective tools used to bring people together. Sometimes people jump right in and make a go it. Other times they all stay back in the shadows and resist. The key to success is to break in the resistant crowd slowly. Planning a high energy activity with essentially a group of strangers may not go over so well. This is one of those times where slow and steady will win the race. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare.

  • Keep the group guessing. Not explaining exactly what will hapen, but rather just letting the activity unfold keeps them on their toes and interested.
  • Keep it informal. An informal atmosphere lessens stress levels greatly.  When it's time for the icebreaker just go into it without much fanfare. No need to announce "Now we will do an Icebreaker.".
  • When starting the icebreaker choose someone who will actively participate. A person who is reluctant will set the tone for the others and the activity will not go as well.
  • Keep icebreakers fun and simple. 
  • Keep competition to a minimum. Too much competition and the fun fades away.
  • Make sure everyone participates. If it is a club meeting and the parents are there encourage them to join in. Children enjoy seeing their parents participate.
  • If you are the leader of the activity be sure to be vibrant and excited. Your tone will set the tone for the others. 
  • Prizes should be simple. Something they will want, but not something worth getting upset about not winning.
  • Prepare all needed props and materials ahead of time.
  • Have all activities planned out. Remember if you fail to plan, plan to fail.

Breaking the Ice

Team Building

Many Icebreakers use team building activities to develop teamwork, cooperation and fair competition.

Brain Games

These activities require participants to strategize, problem solve and test their memory.

My Name is Aaron and I Like Aardvarks

Name Dropping

Large Group

Got a larger group? These activities work well with groups of 15 or more.

Move

My Name is Aaron and I Like Aardvarks

Name Dropping

Rainy Day

Don't let a rainy day get you down. Here are some activities that can be easily done indoors.

Move

My Name is Aaron and I Like Aardvarks

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