The Complete Ice Breaker Games Toolkit

The Complete Ice Breaker Games Toolkit

Ice breaker games can get somewhat of a bad rap. We all know it.

 

We’re here to reinvent the way you view ice breaker games and show you the many ways it can benefit your team. By tailoring ice breakers to your audience, being intentional with the content, and understanding the ways it can set the tone for experiences, you’ll grow to love a good ice breaker.

 

At Elevate, we believe there is a difference between events and experiences. Events are something you attend, while experiences are something you undergo. Experiences leave behind a residue, and you are able to take something away with you. We want to help you turn your events into engaging experiences that will leave a lasting impact on audiences and participants. If that doesn’t already make you feel hype, this video sure will: We Are Elevate

First of all… Let’s get this straight.

Ice breaker | ice·​break·​er | something that is done or said to get through the first difficulties in starting a conversation or discussion

Ice breakers don’t always have to be fun, simple questions like “Where are you from?” and “What’s your favorite _____?” Some might involve a lot of activity, while others might involve deep thinking and vulnerability. We want to reshape your view of ice breakers to understand that there can be as much or as little depth as you wish to have with your team. It is totally dependent on your specific situation.

Now, let’s talk about why ice breakers are important. Ice breakers give you the opportunity to:

  • Build relationships through shared experiences
  • Set the tone for an experience
  • Relax a little more
  • Meet someone new 
  • Have fun – enjoy what you are doing
  • Connect the message to a tangible experience

How do you pick the right ice breaker for your meeting/workshop/event?

Planning every great experiences starts with asking questions. 

Here are some you might want to consider:

  • What kind of energy do you want in the room?
  • What do you want your audience to experience?
  • What do you want to communicate through the ice breaker?
  • Do you want to tie your ice breaker into the message of your event?

Let’s break it down a little further…

Structured vs. Unstructured

This can be a little tricky to explain. To make it easier, let’s take a page (literally) out of Billy Boughey, our Founder & President’s, book Culture Reconstructed

Structured Fun:

What it is: A predetermined activity specifically designed to encourage friendly conversations and laughter

Why it matters: Creating a space for your team to enjoy each other outside of their typical work activities shows them they are valued beyond just what they can produce for the organization

Time needed: A specified amount of time scheduled on the calendar

Cost to execute: This varies based on an organization’s budget but you can get creative and do this at a low cost

Results you may find: A more united team now has a memory that provides comradery moving forward

Unstructured Fun:

What it is: An event with various activities for your team to choose from

Why it matters: Creating a relaxed way for your team to engage around something that isn’t work related is a great way to help them feel free to relax

Time needed: This varies based on the activities and atmosphere

Cost to execute: This tends to be a lower price-point than the structured fun but doesn’t make it less important

Results you may find: Demonstrating to your team that setting aside time to build relationships among your colleagues is extremely important

Materials vs. No Materials

Here are two of our team’s favorite ice breakers. If we were to water it down, the biggest difference between the two of them is the fact that one uses materials and the other does not. However, does that mean that one is less effective than the other? Of course not!

Both ice breakers have their own advantages, depending on the situation you are using them in. Block Your Eyes is a great ice breaker for a large crowd that is broken up into smaller groups, while Extreme Simon Says is great for a medium-large crowd. 

Each of these ice breakers also has skills that can be taken away from the activities, depending on whether you’d like to debrief them. Communication and collaboration are two of the main takeaways of Block Your Eyes, while listening and following specific instruction can be taken away from Extreme Simon Says. 

So… Which one would you choose?

Inside vs. Outside

The setting of your event also plays a large part in choosing an ice breaker. If your room setup is tight with lots of round tables, you might want to choose an ice breaker that involves technology, so that people do not have to get up and move from their seats. However, if your event setup is in a large room or is outside, you might want to choose an ice breaker that does not require techonology, and does allow a lot of movement by participants. 

Large groups vs. Small groups

When it comes to engaging large and small groups, the biggest obstacle is creating high energy within the crowd. Here’s why:

– Different sized groups create challenges for leaders as they attempt to engage everyone. When engaging large groups, it’s important to include everyone in some shape or form. Your task is to get creative in doing so- this could be through having them clap or having them participate through shouting or singing along, just as long as it ties into the ice breaker you’re leading.

– When it comes to leading small groups, it can be challenging to get everyone to begin speaking up and engaging. Small group situations present difficulty for groups to open up and be vulnerable. If this is the case, try to stick to an ice breaker that is easy for everyone involved, and that may not center the attention on one single person. Have them work together to play a game or solve a puzzle. This will get them talking and engaging with one another. A great ice breaker for this situation is Custom Trivia.

Ice Breakers Involving Technology

If you have the capacity and the equipment to utilize technology within your ice breaker, do it! This is an easy way to Elevate your crowd’s experience. By adding music, lights, and a projector, your audience will feel the intention put into your event and will be much more excited to participate in any activities. 

An easy way to incorporate technology with a screen is to display your team’s logo or the name of the game that you are playing. You can also utilize a screen to present instructions or play an instructional video. Building a keynote in advance is the way to go if you decide to do this.

Ice Breaker Opportunities

1️⃣  Monthly or quarterly company-wide meetings

 

2️⃣ Happy hours and office parties

 

3️⃣ Annual celebrations and award ceremonies

 

4️⃣ Holiday parties

 

5️⃣ Field day / outdoor events

 

6️⃣ Fundraisers and awareness events

 

7️⃣ Employee’s first day / onboarding events

 

8️⃣Employee birthdays / celebrations

 

9️⃣ Team lunches / learning sessions

 

🔟 Small holidays celebrated in-office

Elevate’s Ice Breaker Lineup:

Custom Trivia – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ✔️
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ❌
  • Technology needed ✔️
  • Materials needed ✔️

1’s and 2’s – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ✔️
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ✔️
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ❌

To Be Continued – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ❌
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ❌
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ✔️

Block Your Eyes – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ❌
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ❌
  • Technology needed ✔️
  • Materials needed ✔️

High Five Challenge – Best for:

  • Small Groups ❌
  • Large Groups ✔️
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ✔️
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ❌

That’s Me – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ✔️
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ✔️
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ❌

Greet Like a Stranger, Greet Like a Friend – Best for:

  • Small Groups ❌
  • Large Groups ✔️
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ✔️
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ❌

String of Pearls – Best for:

  • Small Groups ✔️
  • Large Groups ❌
  • Inside ✔️
  • Outside ✔️
  • Technology needed ❌
  • Materials needed ❌

 

 

Ready to make a worthwhile investment in your team?

Get in touch with us today to see how we can best serve you and your team

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Your next event starts now. Event planning is one of our sweet spots. Let’s make some magic.

Your next event starts now. Event planning is one of our sweet spots. Let’s make some magic.

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