35 Team Building Icebreakers for Meetings

Team building is a crucial part of any successful business or organization. While businesses can’t always give up entire days for retreats or trainings, there are other ways to weave team building exercises into the day-to-day happenings. If you’re tasked with coming up with some team building icebreakers for your next meeting, it doesn’t have to be hard. The best icebreakers are simple, and only require a few materials.

There are also times when you need to build group rapport quickly, such as a team reorganization, or the start of a new project where teams may find themselves in new roles with new colleagues.

CityHUNT pulled together a list of team building icebreakers for meetings that are tolerable… and dare we say FUN!

Since these games are so easy to assemble, and do not take a lot of time out of the workday to perform, they are easily integrated into any workday or meeting. With a low amount of investment, teams will see and feel high rewards!

What is team building, anyway?

Team building is the process of turning a group of individuals or employees into a cohesive and high functioning team. A team is a group of people organized to work together interdependently and cooperatively to accomplish their agreed-upon purpose and goal(s).

Keep in mind though, team building doesn’t just mean getting the team together. It is a well thought out process that is based off of psychology and a considered approach.

One of the most powerful reasons for team building is to get results. Through a series of planned team building events that are fun and motivational, teams build skills and relationships that they can transfer back into the workplace.

Benefits of Using Team Building Icebreakers for Meetings

Icebreakers  can help teams relax, prompt creativity and imagination, and allow team members to start building trust. Icebreakers can facilitate connections among team members who otherwise may not speak that often, or would not build a relationship without being prompted.

Ice breakers are also useful for teams who may already know one another but need a little energy boost. Some of these activities may not be ideal for teams who already know each other very well, so be mindful when selecting which activities to use with your groups.

Is your team remote, and works without a brick-and-mortar office? Team building icebreakers can still be useful for your team — maybe even more useful! For meetings with remote teams, having an activity that allows the team to take a few minutes to bond can help facilitate relationships and trust across the team members that do not have the opportunity to see each other face-to-face. Consider utilizing video chat platforms to help make the icebreakers as close to being in person as possible. Non-verbal communication is lost over the phone, and this will help to bridge that gap.

When To Use Team Building Icebreakers for Meetings

Examples of situations when icebreakers can work well:

  • Bringing a team together that will be working with one another for an extended period of time, and currently everyone does not know each other.  An icebreaker to kick off the first few meetings will help the new team bond and build crucial trust.
  • Bringing a team together that needs to work well with one another, very quickly. This team may not be working together for a while, but they have a project that needs to be done in the short term. In this case, an icebreaker can help them relax and get to know one another better so they can function more effectively and achieve their goal more quickly.
  • Bringing together two existing teams that worked together independently, but not necessarily together.  Icebreaker activities can facilitate merging the teams.
  • Adding new team members to an existing team with established relationships.  Icebreakers can help new team members bond with the team and feel more welcome.

When Not To Use Team Building Icebreakers for Meetings

While every team needs team building built in to make them successful, there are a few instances when utilizing these activities wouldn’t be appropriate or necessary.  Situations such as the following would not warrant an icebreaker activity:

  • Not every meeting needs icebreaker activities. It is best to sprinkle them in throughout your meetings, but not to make a habit of doing them every single time. If a team comes to expect an icebreaker at every meeting, every day, they will definitely get sick of them, and begin to loathe both the activities and the meetings. If team builders are overused and underappreciated, you will not get the benefits out of them that you are hoping to achieve. Begin moving from icebreakers over to energizers.
  • Going off of the above point, If your team already knows each other very well and works together repeatedly, you can start to decrease the amount of team building activities in your meetings. A great way to gauge this is by doing an activity and seeing how well the team interacts. If it is extremely natural, and easy for them to complete the activity, then you can deduce you may need energizers rather than icebreakers.
  • If your team is meeting to address an urgent situation or crisis. In this situation, it’s time to get down to business and focus on the problem at hand.
  • If you are meeting with high-level executives for a formal business meeting, you probably need to stay focused on the meeting topic and not spend time on icebreakers. Executives will have tight schedules and the time is better spent focusing on the business at hand.

Now  it’s time to scroll below for the EPIC LIST…

35 Team Building Icebreakers for Meetings

Best for Both Remote & In-Person Teams

Opening Chit Chat

Duration: 5 minutes

Tools Needed: A video chat platform if done remotely

Number of Participants:  3+; if in person, break a larger group into smaller groups if necessary

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description: This one kind of goes without saying, but you may not realize how valuable it is! Simply allow time at the beginning of your conference calls or virtual meetings for some natural chit-chat to give team members the chance to get to know each other better. Try to use video conferencing, if possible, for an even more personal experience. This isn’t a structured activity, and shouldn’t be the only icebreaker that you do (we promise that WILL NOT GIVE YOU GOOD RESULTS), but it does give the team some time to relax, get more comfortable with each other, and ask how everyone’s lives are going.

This little bit of time can reveal who has kids, who does what interests on the weekends, who loves to cook, and more! If you are really slick, you can even plant some questions in there to spark conversation, without anyone knowing what you are doing such as: “What did you all do this weekend?”, “I had the best pasta for lunch, anyone else have anything homemade today?” Simply chit chatting is a great way to naturally bond!

Reply All

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be written on pen and paper and in person

Number of Participants:  4+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

For remote teams: Before the start of your meeting, ask a question, or a series of questions, to the group via email, asking them to “reply all”, so that everyone can see the answers. See below for suggested questions to ask your team. As the meeting starts, either you can give attendees the opportunity to explain their choices, OR you can give the answers. Have the team guess who responded with what answer, and then have the author explain their answer(s) once they have been revealed. If you choose the latter route, do not have the team “reply all” when giving their responses to keep them anonymous.

For In-person Teams: This version is done similarly to the digital format, but with a few minor differences. At the start of the meeting, ask the staff a question, or a series of questions. Have them either tell their answers out loud to the group, or have them write their answers down on a piece of paper to keep them anonymous. If the answers are kept anonymous, team members can guess who they thought said which answer, and when the person is revealed, invite them to explain their answers.

A few suggested questions:

  • If you could visit anywhere in the world, regardless of budget or time it took to get there, where would you go?
  • Who would you have dinner with, either living or dead?
  • What is the best place you have ever travelled?
  • If you could pick one superpower, what would it be?

Name That Throwback

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: A video chatting platform, a playlist, a speaker, and if in person some sort of “buzzing in” mechanism

Number of Participants:  3+, works best with teams of at least 2 participants

Purpose: Icebreaker or team building

Rules/Description: Before the start of your meeting, make a playlist of songs that were popular ten or more years ago. There are plenty of throwback playlists online if you do not have the time to make one on your own.

For remote teams: Play the songs through your video chatting platform and have people “buzz in” through the text chat. They can simply type in an “x” and send it or something of that nature to show who buzzed in first. Points can be awarded if you want to make it competitive!

For in person teams: Split into teams and play a short clip of the song to see which team can identify the hit tune the fastest. Consider getting some sort of buzzer, or get creative by having the teams put up a bright piece of paper, simply raise their hand, or something to that effect.

This one will have your team tapping their feet to the beat, laughing, and chatting about the nostalgic songs!

Word association

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Tools Needed: if online: nothing, if in-person: a flipchart or board

Number of Participants:  3+

Purpose: Icebreaker or team building

Rules/Description: Pick a prompt that’s relevant to your meeting and ask people to either write down or verbally share one word they associate with that prompt. For example: if you are leading a meeting about your company’s culture, ask the group to share one word that they feel best describes the organizational culture.

A possible prompt could simply be: “Pick one word that best describes our company’s culture”. Some possible answers may be: “fun”, “supportive”, “wacky”, “interesting”. Another prompt could be: “Describe how you feel about this week’s project using only one word”.

Then when you feel you have enough answers for that prompt, discuss the results.

If this activity is being done in person, it is best to write the responses on a flip chart or board as a visual aid. This icebreaker helps the group explore their thoughts on a common issue or goal before diving into the meeting agenda.

Take a Picture

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Tools Needed: Email, and a smartphone or camera

Number of Participants:  3+

Purpose: Icebreaker or team building

Rules/Description:

This one works best for remote groups and not in-person teams. Ask participants to take a picture of an object, or objects, in their work area. The photos my be fidget toys, family photos, desk organizers, or even some cool art. The responses you’ll get will be all kinds of interesting items! Have the team email you the images with a little description so that you can screen share them during the meeting, or just have them hit “reply all” to your initial message so everyone can see!

This can spark interesting conversation and provide insight into what each co-worker is like. Do they have kids? Are they super organized? Do they work on their couch?  Alternatively, you could ask team members to take a picture of the view out their window, or the workspace as a whole. As a result, you’ll gain new insight into the wide variety of locations and settings of the group. The cool part about remote teams is that they are from all over the country, or globe, and work in very different settings!

Who Is It?  

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Notecards and writing utensils

Number of Participants:  5+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or team builder

Rules/Description:

This activity is great for both new and old teams! To begin, ask each player to write a fact about themselves on a note card that others do not know about them yet. When everyone is done (setting a timer may help this part go more quickly), the facilitator collects the cards. Then, either pass out the cards to be read aloud individually by each team member or reads them aloud to the group so the responses are kept anonymous.

If kept anonymous, shuffle the cards and read them aloud and the team must guess which participant wrote the fact.

To play the game remotely, have the team members email a fact about themselves before the meeting, and the facilitator will read each aloud and have the team guess who is the author.

Baby photos

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Notecards and writing utensils

Number of Participants:  5+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Remember in high school when the best part of the yearbook was guessing whose baby pictures where who? This icebreaker is inspired by that age-old tradition. While it does require a bit of preparation, it is all worth it!

Before the meeting, either online or in-person, send out a request for baby photos from each individual on your team. Depending on the medium at which you meet, they can either bring in a physical photo in or simply snap a picture of their baby photo and email it in. Make sure they do not hit “reply-all”, or else this guessing game will be spoiled! Once you’ve compiled the photos place them all up on a board, numbering each one. Or into a slideshow or a document of some sort if this is done virtually.

Once this is set up, the game is simple. Participants must guess which photo belongs to which employee by writing a name beside the corresponding number, filling out the answers on a sheet of paper, sending in their response, or however you feel it is best to submit.

The person who gets the most correct guesses wins!

Good for All Teams:

What’s on your reading list?

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm!

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or warmup

Rules/Description: No preparation needed with this one which is great for you! Ask participants to tell the group about a book they are currently reading or have read in the past. By sharing the books they are reading, participants tell something about themselves. Are they interested in history? Fiction? Romance? Crime? Mysteries? A fun way to spice this one up is to have the participants share a description of the book and have the team guesses the book.

Another way is to find other team members who have also read the same book. There are many directions to take this activity! In addition, you may learn of some great books to add to your own reading list.  

Two Truths and a Lie

Duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless voting will be done on pen and paper

Number of Participants:  5+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description: This is a classic team builder, but there is a reason it is also played at home with friends! Teams will have a blast getting to know what makes their co-workers tick: their interests, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. They will laugh together and build stronger, more cohesive relationships.

Start out by having the participants sit in a circle. Instruct them to come up with two true statements and one lie that they will be sharing with the group. Make sure that the lie is believable and the truths aren’t obvious (ex. I went to a Britney Spears concert when I was in high school, I went to Italy for my Honeymoon, I went skydiving on my 18th birthday). They can be a little wild to make it fun, but not too outlandish that the group will be able to easily spot the lie.

Once the group has decided what they will share, have everyone go around the circle sharing their two truths and a lie in the random order of their choosing. The object of the game is to have the group vote and figure out which statement was a lie. Voting can be done by a raise of hands, or jotting down votes on a piece of paper to be given to the mediator. Once the voting is done, the speaker will share which statement was false.

Sometimes it may shock the team which one is the lie!

In Company History

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be written on pen and paper and in person

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or energizer

Rules/Description: Help employees understand even more about the company and its history by holding a fun quiz competition! This team builder simultaneously to bring employees together while also teaching them about important company history.

To begin, you can break everyone into teams or ask participants to answer questions individually. If there are enough people to have teams this can help build camaraderie among the group.

Some possible questions to ask: the year the company/organization was founded, the names of the founders, the busiest month or quarter, which client is the largest, awards won, company mission or vision, company motto, number of employees, number of social media followers, the cities of the other office locations, etc.

To award points, you can base the answers on accuracy, speed, or both! Consider getting some sort of buzzer system, even if it is as simple as who raises their hand first.

This team building activity will have everyone energized, closer together, and ready to conquer the meeting!

Would you rather?

Duration: 5-15 minutes, flexible timing

Tools Needed: A list of questions (see below for some to use!)

Number of Participants:  4+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or warmup

Rules/Description:

Come prepared with a list of questions (see below for a convenient list to use!). Ask participants the “would you rather…” questions to get a look into their preferences, personality, and values. Get creative with the questions, and making some of them about your organization and the work that you do can help to discover what is causing your team stress, or what they enjoy doing, or don’t enjoy doing.

This team builder is popular among friends hanging out on a Friday night because it brings them closer together, so no reason not to bring (appropriate) questions like these into the workplace!

Some examples:

  • Would you rather be invisible or fly?
  • Would you rather give up your phone or TV forever?
  • Would you rather be a deep sea diver or an astronaut?
  • Would you rather be famous when you are alive and forgotten when you die or unknown when you are alive but famous after you die?
  • Would you rather the general public thinks you are a horrible person but your family is very proud of you, or your family thinks you are a horrible person but the general public is very proud of you?
  • Would you rather be able to alter time or be able to read minds?
  • Would you rather your shirts be always two sizes too big or one size too small?
  • Would you rather have a horrible job, but be able to retire comfortably in 10 years or have a job you absolutely love, but have to work until the day you die?
  • Would you rather go on an amusement park or a beach vacation?
  • Would you rather live in the wilderness far from civilization or live on the streets of a city without a home?
  • Would you rather live without music or without TV?
  • Would you rather own a ski lodge or a surf camp?
  • Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?
  • Would you rather be locked in a room that is constantly dark for a week or a room that is constantly bright for a week?
  • Would you rather lose your sense of smell or taste? Hearing or sight?

“What’s Your Favorite Meal?”

Duration: 5-15 minutes, flexible

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm!

Number of Participants: 4+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description: This icebreaker is very simple, and can be used in conjunction with another, or on its own! Simply, have participants tell what the group their favorite meal. Their meal can be something they order out or prepare themselves at home. The responses will lead to the group having an engaging discussion about several of the suggestions, and probably lead to some recipe requests.

This activity can sometimes give the group a glimpse into the different cultures and traditions of their co-workers as well! Responses often lead to discussions about family, holidays, and traditional meals. If you want to take this to the next level, do this recipe often and create a cookbook of staff recipes so they can think of one another while cooking one another’s meals at home!

Gifts and Hooks

Duration: 10-30 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be written on a flipchart or markerboard

Number of Participants:  3+, can split a large group into smaller groups but best to stay together if possible

Purpose: Icebreaker or team builder

Rules/Description:

Typically for strengths and weaknesses exercises teams will go through a task or take a test that reveals their attributes. This is a sped up version of those activities, and does not necessarily reveal weaknesses, but what makes a person lose engagement with an activity. It may not be as efficient as a test, but it is a good reflection and team building activity that will help both old and new teams work more efficiently with one another.

In Gifts and Hooks, explain that all team members bring “gifts” to the group (their skills, knowledge, experiences, etc.), but they also need “hooks” — things a person needs in order to remain fully engaged with a task or project.

For the activity, each team member writes down both their gifts and their hooks, then the facilitator sets up a round-robin to discuss these responses.

At the end of the sharing period, ask the following questions:

  • What does this tell us about our team?
  • What do we need to keep in mind as we move forward?

This will help the team get to know one another, and provide additional value for the own participant’s learning as well! When a group understands what the strengths and quirks are of their team members, and themselves, they are better able to communicate and understand their roles.

Time Machine

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm!

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This icebreaker is very simple, and can be used in conjunction with another, or on its own as an opening icebreaker to any meeting! Simply ask participants to share where they’d go if they could climb aboard a time machine. Which time period would they visit and why? Would they want to stay? Do they think they would fit in? Would they like the style of dress?

This simple activity can reveal a lot about a person, and get them talking which is a great first step to getting a team comfortable with one another.

Your Worst Job

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusuiasm!

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Have each person on the team tell the group what the worst job they ever had was and what made it so rough. The group will gain insight into what makes their team members tick, what their pet peeves are, and they will likely have some sympathy for them! Plus, this activity usually can spur some fun and lively conversation.

If the facilitator is the boss, try not to get offended by any parallels between the current job and their past bad jobs. Instead look at this as a learning opportunity to discover what can be improved in the office to make the team even more awesome!

Simple Lead-Ins

Duration: 10-30 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be recorded on a flip chart or markerboard

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker, energizer, or motivator

Rules/Description:

This is a simple icebreaker that can be used alone or in conjunction with another activity to help break the ice even more! It is also very useful for both new and old teams who want to set expectations and restructure the way things are run to become more efficient.

First, have each participant share one piece of information that they hope to get from the meeting or group sessions. Additionally, you can have participants talk about a successful strategy they’ve used in other meetings or roles.  As a result, the team will have a better understanding of group expectations and learn about even more successful approaches.

It is best to record the responses on a document, flipchart, or markerboard (take a picture before erasing so you don’t lose it), so that the responses can be remembered, and possibly worked into the organizational culture.

This icebreaker can be used very successfully in training sessions and workshops in addition to meetings. This also allows team members to feel more important and like their opinion is valued!

Marooned

Duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm!

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This quick icebreaker requires no set up, but is highly effective! Great news for the facilitator.

The activity is easy. Have each participant share which three people they’d choose to have with them if deserted on an island, and why they chose those people. Their choices could be either living or dead. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is but it will spark valuable conversation, and display a lot about the participant’s character, values, likes, and dislikes.

Did they pick a family member? Friend? Famous person? Someone resourceful? Someone who is talkative? A great chef?

You will just have to do this icebreaker to find out!

Life Highlights

Duration: 5 – 20 minutes (depends on group size, and time limits set by the facilitator)

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be written on pen and paper

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or motivator

Rules/Description:

This is another simple icebreaker that requires no setup at all, but is still very impactful. For a more intensive version of this icebreaker, see the next activity below called “Life Timeline”.

Have each participant reflect on the best moments in their lives. Give them a set time to think. Then when the timer goes off, have each team member share one of these best moments. Also have them discuss whether they would relive it if they could, and why they chose this memory to share above all the rest. You can also have them discuss how it impacted them as a person.  

These reflection activities help the participants learn more about their coworkers on a deeper level, and also get to know their own self even more!

Life Timeline

Duration: 20 – 45 minutes (or more if you choose!)

Tools Needed: Paper (one per participant), colored writing utensils (such as crayons, colored pencils, or markers), and pens

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups of 3- 4 if the group is large, but try to stay together for this one if time allows

Purpose: Icebreaker or team builder

Rules/Description:

Life Timeline is an activity that helps people get to know each other better, especially some of the most important experiences in a person’s life.

Before the teams get to work, distribute a sheet of paper and some writing/drawing utensils to each player. You can form groups of 3-4 people, or you can keep everyone in one very large group which will make the activity much longer, but allow everyone to get to know the entire group. Enough time needs to be given to each person to reflect upon their life and to draw a life timeline.  

Explain to the group that they will be creating a timeline of their lives — the high points, the low points, and how things have changed over time.  Key places, events, and people might be part of the timeline. Each person is free to draw pictures or write anything they like to tell a story about their lives.  There is no right or wrong way to do this activity! Participants can draw a graph of how happiness has changed over time corresponding to key events (think a line graph), or they can show any other variable on the y-axis that is pertinent to their life experience.  

Some players may choose to divide their lives into meaningful chunks (ex: early childhood, childhood, teenage years, college, young adult, adult, etc.) or according to significant events (ex: preschool, grade school, college, first relationship, death of a loved one, marriage, etc.). If you want to speed things up, create your own timeline beforehand and show them what it looks like so they can stick to that model.

After each person is given enough time to draw a life timeline, allow players to share them with each other. Each person can share with their group, or if you don’t want to make sharing mandatory, you can ask for some volunteers to come to the front of the room and share their timeline stories with the whole group. Set a time to keep participants from talking too long.

This activity is a great way to get people to share their most important experiences and memories with each other, and allows everyone to get to know each other much better. Not many casual conversations can reveal a persons entire life summary in this short of a time span, so the group will feel so much closer together! It also will remind the participants of how they got where they are today, and what motivates them to succeed.

“Meeting Icebreaker Questions.”  

Duration: 5-15 minutes; can be as long or short as you’d like

Tools Needed: A list of questions, see below for a few or check out this list of over 400 questions!

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups of 3 – 5 if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker or energizer

Rules/Description:

If you want to get to know your team better, the first thing you need to do is ask them about their past, their passions, and why they are in their current role.

While that conversation will help you understand why they are on the team and what they plan to contribute, it probably won’t give you many details about their personality or about their unique experiences and perspectives.

Icebreaker questions will not only help you understand how your team works within the office, but also offer deeper connections. These questions will give you a larger picture of the people you are working with and what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, and what excites them! They can all answer the same questions or mix it up. Also consider sprinkling these questions in as an energizer before meetings.  

Some possible questions:

  • If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
  • If you could be friends with a celebrity, who would you choose and why?
  • If you could choose to remain one age until you die, what age would you choose and why?
  • What is your favorite movie and why?
  • If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose to meet and why?
  • Is your favorite season spring, summer, fall, or winter? Why?
  • What is the favorite material object that you own? Why is it your favorite?
  • If you could buy anything and price was no object, what would you buy and why?
  • If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go and why?

Check out this blog post for a full list of over 400 icebreaker questions!

One Word

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: A flipchart or marker board to record answers as visual aid

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups of 3 – 5 if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This simple icebreaker is perfect to start out a meeting with a new team. Have everyone answer the question: “What’s the one word you’d use to describe yourself?” Everyone picks one word and then they’re referred to by that name throughout the meeting. It’s a very silly way to start the meeting, but it helps everyone get to know one another a bit better!

In the next meeting, have everyone pick a word/description to the person sitting next to them, and follow the same rules. This is a great way to spread compliments and get everyone to talk to one another!

Be Honest

Duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing, unless responses will be written down to keep note of for improvement

Number of Participants:  3 – 15 people, if the group is large, do not have everyone share aside from a few volunteers to conserve time

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Honesty is the best policy! It might seem like a dangerous door to open, but this activity will reveal a lot about the team and what goes on in the typical workday. Ask the team to be honest about their day. What are they working on? Are they happy? Stressed? Worried? In a time crunch? If nothing else, you’re sure to get engagement from the team, and you will be able to start your meeting with a fully engaged room!

This activity can help managers work on any roadblocks preventing their employees from success, know which systems to keep in place, allow coworkers to offer a helping hand on a project if they have the time, and so much more! For such a simple exercise, this one has a high return on investment.

Good for In-person Teams:

Hot & Cold

Duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Tools Needed: The random object that will be hidden prior to the start of the meeting

Number of Participants:  3 – 10, larger groups can get tight with this activity

Purpose: Icebreaker or energizer

Rules/Description:

This classic game is not just for kids! Bring back nostalgia, and have your team laughing and working together with very little setup on the facilitator’s part.

Hide something in the meeting room, maybe some money for lunch (yay bonus!), the meeting agenda, a “leave work an hour early” coupon, or something random. When the team arrives, have them try and work together to discover the hidden location.

The facilitator can only alert the group if they are getting closer by saying if they’re “hot” or “cold” when they search. Depending on how big your meeting room is, this might be a wild assignment, but that just makes it an even better icebreaker and energizer!

Teams will learn teamwork, communication, and problem solving all with this simple and fun activity that can be slid into the start of any meeting.

Name Aerobics

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm!

Number of Participants:  5+; break into smaller groups of 5+ if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This quick icebreaker is a fun and interactive way to learn everyone’s name! This one is recommended only for brand new teams who have never met before, or who have only met very briefly.

During this icebreaker activity, the group stands in a circle facing each other. The facilitator starts by choosing a person to start the game. That selected individual introduces themselves by performing an action for each syllable of their name. For example: Megan could be arms up in the shape of an “M” for “Meh” and spinning around in a little circle for “gan”. Then, the entire group must repeat the name and motions. This continues until everyone has introduced themselves.

To make it more difficult, and fun, the group can repeat these actions and say the name of the participants in sequential order each time someone new is added into the mix! They have to start from the top until everyone is introduced and finish by saying everyone’s name and performing their actions.

This fun icebreaker will take the pressure off when it comes to remembering everyone’s name, energize the group, and help them begin to form new relationships.

Movie Ball

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: A ball

Number of Participants:  5+; break into smaller groups of 5+ if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Who doesn’t love movies? This easy icebreaker requires no set up, and gets everyone laughing and building relationships based off of their interests. To begin, everyone stands in a circle facing one another. One participant bounces a ball to someone else after saying the name of a movie. Keep in mind, there is a five second limit after the ball is bounced, so think fast!

The ball continues to be bounced to different individuals in the group, in a random order. There is always a catch! Don’t repeat a movie name, or fail to say a new movie name within the five second time limit or you’re OUT!

Eventually there is a competition between two people for the winning title. This usually ends in the group cheering the players on and joining in on the fun as spectators.

After the icebreaker, everyone will be energized and ready to start the meeting, and will now have something to spark conversation later on when they discover they have a common interest in certain movies!

M&M’s

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: M&Ms or any candy with different colored pieces, the list of questions and their corresponding colors (see rules/description for an example)

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups of 3 – 6 if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Who doesn’t love candy? Not many people! So, why not get a bag of M&M’s or any multi-colored candy and pass them out to the group for a fun ice breaker.

Whatever color the participant gets means that they have to answer a specific question about themselves. You can have some fun figuring out what the questions are, or use the one below:

  • Red: What’s your favorite book?
  • Orange: What’s the best vacation spot you have ever been to?
  • Blue: What’s your favorite kind of food?
  • Green: What TV show are you addicted to?
  • Brown: If you could have any superhero quality, what would it be?
  • Yellow: What’s the best part of your work week?

Set a time limit for the groups to respond in order to keep the activity going. Keep passing out candy to allow participants to reveal different aspects of themselves. The great part about this icebreaker is it can go on for as long or as short as your team has time for at the start of your meeting!

Back to Back Drawing

Duration: 10 – 15 mins

Tools needed: A pre-done simple drawing, paper and pencil for each pair of participants

Number of Participants: 2+ people, split into teams of 2

Purpose: Icebreaker or team builder

Rules & Description: Begin by pairing each participant with someone whom they have never worked with or talked to previously. Allow the pair to choose among themselves on who will be the illustrator and director. The game organizer will then hand over a simple drawing to the directors and hide them from the illustrators. illustrators will be given a blank sheet of paper and pencil.

The directors then tell the illustrators how to replicate the drawing, but using only verbal cues. The tricky part? The illustrators can only ask questions with yes or no answers! Once the drawings are finished, gather everyone in a circle and allow each of them to compare the drawings as well as discuss and debrief how they handled the task, and the process of giving and receiving instructions.

Copycat

Duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm

Number of Participants: 5 or more people

Purpose: Warm-up activity

Rules/Description: This quick, wacky game will have your team laughing and bonding in no time! For this team building activity, choose a guesser to leave the room. They cannot know who the leader will be. The guesser’s job is to identify the leader of the group.

Next, have everyone sit or stand in a circle and let them determine which member of the group will be the leader. The leader’s role is to make movements that everyone will be able to copy cat at the same pace (think: mirror).

Once the leader has been chosen, the guesser will come back into the room and stand in the center of the circle. That’s when the fun begins!

The leader will start making any movements he or she wants (i.e. – waving their arms, rubbing their belly, patting their head, jumping, etc.). The followers will mimic these movements at a similar pace and make minimal eye contact with the leader so they won’t give away which one of them it is. It is important to stay on pace as best as they can to make it difficult for the guesser to discover the leader!

As time progresses, the leader should speed up and make the moves more challenging to keep the game going.

When the leader has been discovered, select a new guesser and leader to play another round!

Game of Possibilities

Duration: 5 – 6 minutes

Tools Needed: Enough random objects for each group (see Rules/Description for clarification)

Number of Participants: 4 or more people

Purpose: Inspire Creativity

Rules/Description: This quick 5-minute team building and icebreaker game to use before meetings will allow members to work on their public speaking, communication, creativity, and teamwork skills!

To start, give a random object to one person in each group. One at a time, someone from the group has to go up in front of their group and demonstrate a use for that object. The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating. The catch? The demonstrator cannot speak, and demonstrations must be original with no repeats. Think charades. The ideas can be as wacky and outlandish as participants like! Plus, this icebreaker game can go on for as long or as short as the facilitator decides.

The possibilities of the Game of Possibilities are endless!

Who Am I?

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Some paper or notecards, tape, writing utensils

Number of Participants:  5 – 30 people, can be broken down into smaller groups if there is a very large team

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Before the meeting, assemble a list of names that most people in the group would know off-hand. Then write those names onto notecards or pieces of paper. Pin or tape the name of a celebrity, character, or even someone in your own office to the back of each participant. Then set a timer, and each person must figure out who they are (which name is taped to their backs).

This isn’t as easy as it sounds! Participants must discover who they are by asking the other employees only yes or no questions.

If you would like to extend the game, have enough celebrity names for each participant multiplied by how many rounds of the icebreaker you would like to play. This highly flexible and real life version of Guess Who will have your team laughing, chatting, energized, and ready for your meeting!

Salt and pepper

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: Paper, writing utensils, tape or safety pins, and a list of pairs for reference

Number of Participants:  8+; an even amount of participants is preferred

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Easy icebreakers that get every single participant to talk to one another, and most likely laugh and have a great time are our favorite! This one is easy to set up and to execute. First, come up with a list of pairs of things like: salt and pepper, sun and moon, peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher, needle and thread, cheese and wine, bacon and eggs, hide and seek, lock and key, etc.  

Separate the pairs and write only one of them per piece of paper, then tape or safety pin one on the back of each person. To play,everyone must walk around asking only yes or no questions to find out what word they have. The next step is to find their pair! Once they have found their pair, they must sit down together to learn three facts about each other.

When all the pairs have found their match and shared their three fact, they must share one fact about their partner with the group.

Your team will go together like peanut butter and jelly when they are finished with this fun icebreaker!

Team Birthday Lineup

Duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Tools Needed: Nothing but enthusiasm, a list of team member birthdays if needed

Number of Participants: 5 or more

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description: Birthdays are the best days! Do you know your co-workers birthdays without looking at your calendar? The goal of this team building challenge is to have everyone line up in the order of his or her birthday (Month/Day)… all without speaking!

The group must develop a creative way to communicate with each other using non-verbal communication and body language techniques. Once everyone has lined up, go down the line and have each person share their birthday with the group and see if the line is correct! If you feel it is necessary, a master list of everyone’s birthdays can be on-hand for fact checking.

These non-verbal communication and teamwork skills, can be utilized back in the office once the game has finished! Plus, teammates may find a birthday twin!

Speed Networking

Duration: 4-60 minutes; as long or as short as time permits

Tools Needed: A list of question prompts (see Rules/Description for examples)

Number of Participants:  6+; can be done with very large groups if the space allows

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

Networking can sometimes sound intimidating, and makes some people groan, but Speed Networking is fun, fast-paced, and removes some of the awkwardness because it is structured.

A speed networking session doesn’t just have to be for networking or new people. It can also be for groups that want to get to know each other even better! You can even do this activity with a large group of people, as long as you have a big open space that can fit your group comfortably.

To begin, ask everyone in the room to find a partner. Then set a timer for two minutes and give everyone a conversation starter to answer. When they have been given the prompt, start the timer and instruct them that each person has one minute to speak.

Some example questions/prompts:

  1. What inspired you to get into the work that you’re doing?
  2. What’s the most memorable compliment you’ve ever received for your work? What made it so memorable?
  3. What do you want to be remembered for? What do you do each day to support this personal legacy in the making?
  4. What do you think you need to take your career to the next level?
  5. If you could have dinner with anyone – dead or alive, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
  6. Do you have a morning ritual?
  7. When was the last time you amazed yourself?
  8. When was the last time someone amazed you? What did they do?
  9. If you could sit down with your 15-year-old self, what advice would you offer that you could actually hear and use?
  10. What’s something you want to accomplish before this year is over?

After both people have answered the question and the two-minute timer is up, have them find a new partner and assign them a new conversation starter. You can do as many rounds as time allows. If you have a small group, you can make sure everyone in the room gets at least one turn with each other to ensure everyone has gotten to know each other.

One Common Thing

Duration: 5-15 minutes

Tools Needed: A list of everyone’s names to hand out to each participant

Number of Participants:  5+

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This is a great icebreaker if you want to get people moving around the room and chatting with every single person!

Give everyone a list with each person’s name on it. Then, set a timer and have the participants go around and find one commonality with each person in the room. What’s the catch this time?! The catch is they cannot repeat the same commonality with anyone else—all the commonalities must be unique!

If everyone in the room works at the same company or organization, that commonality wouldn’t count. Tell participants to get creative, and even a little personal! This icebreaker is a way to get people exploring beyond what they already know about each other, and building new relationships.

Turning over a new leaf

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Tools Needed: A few blankets/sheets or something similar in size and flexibility

Number of Participants:  3+; break into smaller groups if the group is large

Purpose: Icebreaker

Rules/Description:

This icebreaker is perfect for team building and energizing because involves a little teamwork and moving around. Before the activity starts, number participants off into groups of four or five and hand them their blanket; too many people in one group gets messy! Have the teams lay the blankets flat on the ground and stand on top of their blanket like it’s a tiny island!

The challenge of this exercise is to figure out how to flip the blanket over without letting anyone on the team touch the floor. The floor is lava! Or deep dark water, whichever you choose! Feel free to tell a little story prior to the start of the activity as to how they got on this island, and why they can’t touch the floor.

If one person falls off the island, the whole team must restart, and this is a race to the finish! The first team to flip their blanket over wins. This icebreaker is a great problem-solving exercise that involves a lot of laughter, rolling around on the floor, and team building.

Slide this activity at the beginning of your next meeting and your team will be energized and closer together!

Team building icebreakers are great at bringing people together and expediting the socialization process. Naturally, there will always be some pushback to icebreakers, so you might as well make yours easy and fun! These quick icebreakers to use before meetings will not only help participants see how they can apply their newly learned or honed skills to their work, but also how to use them in everyday life situations. Understanding one’s co-workers, how they think, why they think the way they do, and what makes them tick, can make communication and collaboration much easier. This leads to increased productivity and lower stress.

Fun, meaningful, purposeful, and engaging team building activities bring groups together in a casual setting, without a lot of pressure, to ensure that everyone has a great time learning a bit about themselves and their team!

Have us do the work for you!

If you are tired of the everyday mundane tasks in the office, and are looking to get everyone together for an epic day of FUN team building, you are in the right place. You have a strong team and want to make it even more awesome. Beyond a few ice breakers before meetings, a custom team building scavenger hunt of your city is just what you need, and we are here to help!

CityHUNT offers a wide array of team building activities and we pride ourselves on our flexibility to all group sizes and locations. We are here to fit your needs – we listen to our clients before we begin the process of creating an event.

If you are even a little curious about what we offer, or are ready to commit to changing your team for the better, call us at (1-877)-HUNT-FUN or fill out our risk-free contact form to simply start the conversation today! When you fill out a form, you are taking the first step in making your employees, students, or volunteers even more awesome.

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