Ice Breakers

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Ice-breakers help in promoting group process and learning within the group. Some groups and group leaders are more comfortable with scripted activities while others are more comfortable with sharing stories or discussing issues. Some times, icebreakers can help in better communication among children and also develop their analytical skills. Some of the different games which can act as icebreakers are listed below.

  • Box Game - The players have to race to open a gift wrapped in several layers wearing oven mitts, a hat and scarf.
  • Celebrities - Let the group guess which celebrity you are acting as by answering their questions in "yes" and "no".
  • Movie Charades - One participant from a team acts the title of the movie given by the opponent team and the participant's team guesses the name of the movie.
  • Musical Chairs - Set up enough chairs for all the members of the group, start the music and remove one chair. While the music is being played, the members of the group walk around the chairs and when it is stopped, everybody sits down. The person who doesn't have a chair is out and the game is continued till only one is person is left.
  • Telephone Game - Everybody sits in a circle, and one person whispers a sentence in the ears of person sitting next to him, and that person passes it on further till it comes to the last person, who has to say it aloud. People will be amazed to see how much the sentence gets changed by the time it comes to the last person.
  • Christmas Carol Melee - A great Christmas Party Ice-breaker! Ask everyone to sing their favorite Christmas carol at the same time! Its great fun observing the confused looks on people's face.
  • Guess the Picture - A game where each person tries to recognize as many photographs as possible. Get different kinds of pictures for kids like vegetables, fruits, flowers, parts of body like eyes, nose, ears, etc. This also helps in improving their ability to identify various objects. Different shapes can also be used like a triangle, square, circle, etc.
  • Memory Game - Place variety of objects like hairpin, comb, bottle, pen, notebook, etc. and show it to the group once for about 30 seconds or long enough so that they can remember them. Then cover it, set it aside and ask the group to write on a piece of paper the items they remember. In children, this game also helps in improving their memory and concentration.
  • Passing the parcel - Pick an object like a cushion or a stuffed animal and one person passes it to the person sitting next to him for as long as the music lasts. When the music stops, the person who has the object will be out of the game and he also may be asked to do something like sing a song or dance on his favorite song. This game helps in removing stage fear of fear of performing in public from the child and he can also develop his hidden talent.
  • Scrabble - An all time favorite board game which helps in increasing the child's vocabulary. This game can be played when the size of groups is small i.e. 4.
  • Jokes and Punch lines - Funny answers to questions like "Why did the chicken cross the road?" can be great fun and a great way to start communication with other person.

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,