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Ice Breakers for Student Organizations

catroon of 2 figures shaking handsWhat are icebreakers? They are games designed for group activities that will ease introductions, boost energy levels, and spark off creative ideas! Here are some quick, fun icebreakers to try with your organization.

Group Juggle

Start with one ball and throw to others in a sequence, saying the name of each person. As the game progresses, keep adding in more and more balls. After the group gets the hang of the game, “Warp Speed” can be applied to see how fast the group can throw the balls through the set order.

Two Truths & A Lie

People write down two truths about themselves and a lie. Then introduce the three “facts” to the rest of the group who tries to guess which one is the lie.

Birthday Boggle

Everyone in the group remains silent. They must put themselves in order of birthday (date, month and year), without talking. After they have gotten themselves into what they believe is the correct order, go through the line and check their dates.

Open or Closed

Have everyone sit in a circle on the floor. A book is passed from person to person. As the book is passed, each person must say whether it is being passed open or closed. Example: "I received this open, but I am passing it closed." The leader then says whether this is true or not. The secret is discovering what open and closed really mean. The leader has established this criterion before the round has begun. Example: Open may mean wearing glasses or having legs crossed. Closed may mean no glasses or legs not crossed. Caution people not to tell when they have figured out the secret. There are many variations to this game - be creative.

Zoom

A group tries to create a unified story from a set of sequential pictures. The pictures are randomly ordered and handed out. Each person has a picture but cannot show it to others. This activity requires patience, communication, and trying to understand from another’s point of view in order to recreate the story’s sequence.

Beach Ball

Get a large inflatable beach ball and use a permanent marker to write numerous funny questions on it. The resulting tool is an “icebreaker ball” that you use in a group to throw around. The person who catches it has to answer the question touching their left thumb. They say their name, answer the question, and throw it to someone else.

Hum That Tune

Each person in the group is given a small piece of paper with the name of a nursery rhyme or other song written on the paper. All of the people who are given the song must hum that tune and find everyone else singing the song. Then they form a group.

Human Scavenger Hunt

The paper will have a series of questions on it (in a bingo format – in squares). Participants are required to find another participant who can answer “yes” to a question. They must have that person sign their name within the square. The object is to meet as many people as you can and fill a “BINGO!” (A complete line horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). You can only use each participant once.

Lollipop

Pass out wrapped dum-dum lollipops to the group. For every letter that appears in the flavor, the participant has to share something about him/her with the group.

Stinger

Have the group form a circle and close their eyes. Facilitator circles the group and selects a “stinger” by squeezing an individual’s shoulder. The group then opens their eyes and spends time introducing themselves to others while shaking hands (and trying to spot the stinger). The stringer tries to eliminate everyone without getting caught. The stinger strikes by injecting poison with their index finger, while shaking hands. A person stung may not die until at least five seconds after they are stung. The more dramatic the death, the better! When someone thinks they have discovered who the stinger is, they may announce that they know. If they get a “second” from someone else in the group within ten seconds, the two of them may make an accusation. If the person does not get a second, he/she must wait to challenge again, after another person dies. If another person does step forward to second the challenge, both point to who they think it is on a count to three. If they do not point to the same person, or they both point to the wrong person, they both are automatically dead. If they select the correct person, the stinger is dead and the game is over.

Who am I?

Prepare a card for each of your guests and write on it the name of a famous man or woman. On arrival, pin or tape a card on the back of each guest who must then ask questions of each other in order to find out their identity. When they succeed, the card is pinned or taped on the front of them.

Rumor

Split the group up into smaller teams, appropriate for the group size. The first person from each team is to go out and make up a message together. This message will be used by all teams. Once signaled to start, the first person on each team is to whisper the Rumor to the next person on their team. They will whisper the Rumor to the next, and so on. The last person to receive the Rumor will run to the provided white board or large piece of poster paper and write the message. The team that is the closest to the correct Rumor wins.

The Movie of Your Life

Give your participants a few minutes to imagine what kind of movie would be made about their life, and who would be cast as them. Ask each person to give their name and share the movie fantasy. Would their life be a drama with Meryl Streep as the lead? Or more like a Jim Carrey comedy? As a variation, you could modify this game by asking participants to share the kind of movie they’d like their life to be.