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Icebreakers for Any Occassion

Are your meetings...awkward? Do you ask questions and get no response? Having trouble getting everyone to participate?

Sometimes the best way to kick off a meeting is with a quick activity to get everyone energized and excited. Here's a list of quick icebreaker activities that can get your council moving!

  • All Aboard: All aboard is easy to run and effective team based challenge, where the group have to fit inside a defined space (using either a rope or a tarpaulin). Once the group has achieved this, the size of the area decreases, becoming smaller and smaller over time.

  • Back-to-Back Drawing: Working in pairs, one person must describe a shape without naming it, whilst their partner must try to draw the shape they are describing to try and get as close the original shape as possible. This activity focusses heavily on verbal communication and listening skills.

  • Balloon Sculptures: The team is tasked with creating balloon sculptures that reflect how they view the team. This activity works well with participants that are of different job levels and allows everyone to show creativity and make connections.

  • Birthday Line-Up: Participants line up in a straight line side-by-side. They are then asked to get in order by their birthdays (month and day, year isn’t necessary), however they are not allowed to talk. You can also get them to get in order by height, shoe size, favourite colour etc.

  • Blind Draw: In this activity, the team has to instruct their “artist” to draw an item. They have to describe their chosen item without revealing what it is and they are not able to see what the “artist” is drawing.

  • Bus Stop: Group members make choices (express their opinions) in front of other people by getting on and off an imaginary bus.

  • Fly in the Glass: This is a quick initiative exercise using lateral thinking. Before you begin, use the sticks to create the shape of a wine glass with a fly placed in it (see below). Introduce the challenge and explain that they must recreate the wine glass without the fly in it. To complete the challenge, they are only allowed to move just two sticks.

  • Group Juggle: The group stand in an inward facing circle and are asked to throw juggling balls amongst the group in a specific order. As the activity develops more juggling balls are introduced and the pressure to work well as a group increases.

  • Hole Tarp: The objective of this challenge is for the team to work together to navigate a ball around a tarpaulin  for as long as possible without the ball falling through a hole or off the tarp completely.

  • Hoop It High: In this activity, teams use hula hoops to build a structure in the shortest time possible.

  • Human Knot: Starting in a circle, participants connect hands with two others people in the group to form the human knot. As a team they must then try to unravel the “human knot” by untangling themselves without breaking the chain of hands.

  • Human Shapes: Working together as a team, the group have to use their bodies to form letters and words.

  • Human Spring: This team building activity helps to build trust and communication. Pairs are tasked with leaning forward and finding balance with their palms against each other. They then have to ‘spring’ off and ‘land’ together again.

  • Infinite Loops/Rope Handcuffs: Pairs are connected using the infinite loops, their challenge is to become disconnected from their partner, without removing their hands from the loops or untying the knots.

  • Loop-De-Loop: The team stand in a circle and hold hands. Start one hula-hoop hanging (or bungee) over one pair of joined hands. Each person in the circle must pass the hoop/loop over him/herself and on to the next person whilst staying connected at all times.

  • Magic Cane/Helium Stick: Teams are given a magic cane (also known as helium stick) which they must lower to the ground, using just their index fingers. All participants must remain in contact with it at all times – what seems like a simple task, can become incredibly frustrating and funny for all involved.

  • Move Tennis Balls: The team race against the clock to retrieve and move as many tennis balls from one bucket to another, without using their hands or arms.

  • Pair and Group Stand up: Pairs sit back-to-back, arms linked and have to stand up together. When successful make a 4 and do the same.

  • Photo Finish: The aim of the challenge is for the whole group to step across the line at exactly the same time. If one person is out of sync, then they must start over again. This activity involves planning, communication, timing and resilience

  • Shoe Tower: Using the shoes available to their team, they must construct the tallest tower. The team with the tallest tower at the end of the time wins the challenge.

  • Shout-Out: Each team member writes their name on a piece of paper and places it in a hat.  Then each team member picks a name from the hat and writes a thank you to the team member they picked from the hat for something they have done well recently.

  • Through the Loop: The objective of this simple but effective challenge is for everyone in the group to pass through the loop as quickly as possible.

  • Trust Circle and Ladder: One person is selected and stands in the centre of the circle. They allow themselves to relax, and fall backwards, safe in the knowledge that their team will catch them and then ‘bounce’ them gently round the circle.

  • Willow in the Wind: One person in the team is selected to be ‘the willow’ and stands in an upright and rigid position in the center of a circle. On your instruction, the person in the centre of the circle (the willow) is gently passed around the circle in any direction by the spotters. The willow must keep their feet absolutely still at all times and put their trust in the rest of the team.

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