Introductory Icebreakers

INTRODUCTORY ICE-BREAKERS


Who am I?

Ask participants to sit in a circle. Explain that you are now going to call out some categories of people. Anyone belonging to a particular category must move quickly to sit in the middle of the circle. If they belong to the next category mentioned they should stay there. Otherwise, they must quickly rejoin the circle. Possible categories include: people with pets, people who play a musical instruments, people with bikes, people who have been to the USA, people who have been to Cork or Belfast, etc.


Introduce your Partner

Ask participants to pair up with someone that they don’t know – encourage movement. Ask participants to find out a number of pieces of information about their partner e.g.:

  • Name
  • Occupation/role
  • Where they live
  • Favourite hobby
  • Major likes/dislikes
  • Greatest fear/ambition

Ask each participant to introduce his or her partner to the group.


Rearrange

Ask participants to arrange themselves alphabetically according to their first name. This could also be done using other determinants for example, according to:

  • Height
  • Number of letters in you name
  • Birthday
  • Length of thumb, etc.

Recall

Ask participants to sit in a circle so that they can see each other. Then ask the first participant to introduce him/herself by name and to state an adjective that best describes them. The next person should do the same for him/herself and then also say the first person’s name and word. The third person has to do it for him/herself and for the second person, and the first person.

Alternatives:

  • Stipulate that the word a person chooses to describe him/herself must start with the same letter as their name
  • Ask them to name the animal that they think they are most like
  • Ask them to make a gesture (e.g., clap, wink, hop) when they introduce themselves

Find Me!

Materials: One card per participant.

Distribute one card to each participant. The card should ask for 4 pieces of information – preferably one physical characteristic. Ask participants to complete the card. Collect cards from participants and redistribute. Ensure that everyone has another person’s card and not their own. Ask participants to find the person whose card they have and sit beside that person.

Find Me!
My eye colour is………………………
My main hobby is………………………
I live in…………………………….
My favourite savoury dish is …………..


Trust games

Ask the group to divide into pairs, find a space on the floor and sit opposite each other. Ideally, the pairs should be people who don’t know each other and of different genders. For the next set of exercises people should ignore the other pairs and concentrate just on their partner.

My Kinda Music – Ask the pairs to chat about their favourite music without making eye contact. Repeat, this time staring at each other.

Tell All About It – Next say that 1s must tell 2s animatedly something they are really excited about. The 2s, meanwhile, must completely ignore what is being said to them. Swap roles and repeat.

Mirror Mirror! – Explain that 1s are mirrors and 2s have just got up in the morning. The 2s go to their mirrors and do whatever they do first thing – actions which, of course, the mirrors faithfully reflect. After a few minutes 2s become the mirrors. The 1s are going out for the evening and want to look their best; they prepare in front of the mirrors…

Trust Me – Announce that both partners can’t hear or speak, so the exercise must be done in silence. The pairs must now sit-to-back and link arms. Without breaking the link, they must stand up. Once they are standing, announce that the 2s are also blind and must close their eyes and be led around the room by their partner. Then reverse roles.

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