If you’ve been to any sort of event that has them (and you probably have), you may have realized that most people don’t love icebreakers and group games.
Icebreakers are meant to do just that: break the ice. They’re supposed to create an environment where people are more prepared to bond, get to know each other and unlock the power to achieve more productivity.
But what event planners often think of as fun icebreaker games often devolve into something much worse.
We’ve all experienced the classic: “Ok, everyone stand up from your chair and stretch! Loosen out that tension!” or, “Turn to the person to your left and tell them something about you that will surprise them.”
Enough of that nonsense! Icebreakers should be unique and fun!
Because of this, we were inspired to offer up a list of 12 of our favorite icebreakers for adults.
So put down those cheesy HR manuals (well, pay attention to them for the important stuff) and join us in learning about these fun group activities and icebreaker games!
You can break a lot more than ice with axes, but don’t worry, if done properly, in the presence of trained axeperts, it’s a safe activity.
Not only is it safe, but it’s also incredibly fun!
When your group gets to learn something together and then do it, it’s the ultimate icebreaker.
It’s proven that drawing based on verbal prompts stimulates creativity. Even more so, describing something without saying its name is very challenging, and it’s a great activity for groups that are just getting to know each other.
Pictionary is simple. Create teams of two within a table and have one person be the describer and the other be the drawer. Provide an allotted amount of time, like one to two minutes, and switch off until everyone at the table has had a chance to draw and describe.
There are also variations for larger groups, where there can be an entire table of drawers and an entire table of describers, and this creates a fun large group icebreaker environment.
Most people love movies, so why not test your group on something they love?
As the party host, prepare fifteen second sound clips from popular movies and play them for your audience. You can use YouTube to find clips, just make sure you don’t show the video part. This is a sound only challenge!
Keep tally of which individual or table answers the most correctly, and give out a prize at the very end.
This is a perfect icebreaker idea for groups of adults at a large event that are divided into smaller tables of say four to eight, which is pretty common.
Each person at the table gets five minutes to write down their own personal mission statement. As the host, explain this as a set of values they have and how they want to use those values to achieve something valuable in the world.
After everyone has produced a statement, all the mission statements are placed at the center of the table. Take ten minutes to craft a master mission statement from the group’s individual statements that applies to everyone at the table.
It’s a bit challenging, but your groups will figure it out, and it is an extremely rewarding activity. It allows the people at your event to truly get to know each other on a deeper letter, figuring out what makes each person tick, then identifying similarities in values among the people sitting at the table. Powerful stuff!
You may think each table’s mission statement will be similar, but think again. You’ll be shocked by how different they are.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. It also happens to be one of the best icebreakers and group activities because it stimulates curiosity, friendly competition, and gets people out of their chairs and moving!
Don’t worry too much about what people will be looking for. It could be twenty toy soldiers strewn about a room, or a series of photographs, or even one more valuable, very well hidden object.
Try dividing your group into small teams, and have them compete against one another to see who can find the hidden objects the fastest.
It’s fun and it gets the blood pumping. No brainer.
Everyone knows how to play regular bingo, so they will learn how to play people bingo in a snap.
As the group host, put together a list of the more specific traits you know about the members of your group, and then put together a list of more general traits that could apply to multiple people. This gives you enough variety that each person will likely be able to slowly fill their board.
It’s easy to create a bingo board using a table in a simple word document. You can also use a site like Print Bingo to create your own board and shuffle it about before printing different variations.
Once you’ve got your cards, it’s time to play!
Well, everyone takes them, so why not make an icebreaker around it?
The game is simple: Have your group sit in a circle and turn on selfie mode on your phone camera, along with a self timer for 20 seconds.
Start the timer, and have each person in the circle hold the timer in front of them for no more than a second, then quickly pass it to the person to their right.
Someone will be the victim of a silly selfie. Pass the phone around to show everyone, or upload it to a secret Pinterest board so everyone can pull it up at the same time.
Repeat the game until most if not all the people in your group have been pictured in a surprise selfie.
Wipeout trampolines is an 8 player action game, which challenges your stamina, agility and reactions. The longer you last the harder it gets, as a giant spinning sweeper arm attempts to knock players head over heels.
There’s no better way for a group or team to get to know each other than a fun, exhilarating activity outdoors.
Wipeout Trampolines are a seasonal staple outdoors at Big Thrill Factory’s Minnetonka and Oakdale locations.
Get your group’s blood pumping with the perfect icebreaker!
There’s no better way to get people talking and break the ice than a nice meal and some great drinks.
Sometimes having a great event is as simple as moving the food and drinks from being a background item in your event to making them the star.
By the way, a delicious meal does not need to be fancy. Some of the best, most conversation-starting food comes in the form of pizza and unique bar snacks.
Make the food and drinks good, and the conversation will flow naturally. You will notice that the conversations are deeper and everyone is energized going into the rest of the event.
This is one of our favorites, because it often results in extreme goofiness.
Start recording a video or sound on your phone and have one person start a story from scratch. They get three sentences, then the next person needs to pick up where they left off. Repeat this until everyone has had a chance to provide their three sentences to the story.
Once the story has been finished, replay it for the whole group and listen together. This is a great idea for group bonding because the room will erupt into laughter.
Problem solving is one of the best ways to get brains working and kick-start teamwork.
As a party host, create five or six scenarios that present issues. If you’re hosting a company event, you can make the scenarios related to work, but they don’t have to be.
Give each table or group five minutes to think through each scenario and decide on a step-by-step solution that they will then provide to the larger group.
Similar to the mission statement creation icebreaker, you will be surprised by how different the solutions offered by the different groups are.
Looking to plan a fun large group activity?
Sometimes the best way to break the ice is to jump straight into fun.
Big Thrill Factory is the best spot for fun group activities in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with award winning attractions at both our Minnetonka and Oakdale locations, your group won’t just break the ice, it will blast through it.
If you’re not in Minnesota, just do a quick Google search for “family entertainment center near me,” and you will find a ton of great ideas on fun places to go with your group.
From laser tag, to mini golf, to axe throwing , you’ll be able to break the ice with pure fun.
Fun icebreaker games aren’t just the ones in the HR manual, or the ones you’ve been taught to play over and over at the events you’ve attended in the past.
Truly fun group activities can be planned around budgets and groups both large and small. . The one key element of any fun team game is, you guessed it: Fun.
If you can create a portion of your event that’s fun for the whole group, but also provides opportunities for teamwork and rapport building, then you have a recipe for a successful icebreaker.