Sunday, January 29, 2017

Icebreakers

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By: Avery B.

            It’s unavoidable. The first meeting, the first session, the first whatever, and somehow you have to get complete strangers to get to know each other. Talk about awkward! But, luckily, we have the solution. There are some wonderful get to know you games called icebreakers which can do just that: break the ice with any group.
            However, not every icebreaker is a crowd pleaser. Some icebreakers require a lot of trust and risk in front of people you barely know. Some are so generic they don’t actually allow anyone to get to know each other. And some just make you roll your eyes, they’re that bad.
            That’s why we have created the list of guaranteed amazing icebreakers. They all require little to no supplies and are easy to learn and do. So when you get to that next awkward first meeting? You can totally rock it.

Never Have I Ever

This game can be played two ways, depending on the space and energy level.

Active version:
First, create a circle with chairs, making sure there are enough chairs for everyone except one person. The extra person should stand in the middle of the circle while everyone else sits in the chairs. The person in the middle says their name and then calls out a statement they have never done (see the examples below), starting with the words “Never have I ever...”
If anyone in the chairs has done what the person in the middle says, they stand up and must find a seat elsewhere in the circle. They are not allowed to move to the seats directly next to them. During this movement, the person in the middle also moves and takes a seat in one of the chairs. After everyone is seated, there will be one person left in the middle. The new person now says their own statement and the game continues on until you decide to stop.

Competitive version:
            You can create a circle but its is not necessary for the competitive version of this icebreaker. Have everyone hold up either one hand or both hands, depending on how long you would like the game to be. Start with one person and have them say their name and call out a statement they have never done (see examples below). If any of the other players have done what the person says, they have to put down a finger. Go around the circle until only one person is left with any fingers. This person is then the winner.

One note for both the active and cooperative versions of the icebreaker, statements should not be super specific, such as saying things about gender, appearance, name, etc.

Statement examples:
“Hi, I’m Maggie, and never have I ever been to Texas.”
“My name is Drew and never have I ever roller skated.”
*Hello everybody, I’m Hannah, and never have I ever eaten an Oreo.”

This, That, or the Other

            Give the players a question with several options (see examples below). Depending on the size of the group, it can be anywhere from two to four questions, but having many beyond that might be counterproductive. Each player will pick which option they like best (or worst) and split into those groups. In those groups, they will go around and say their name and answer a second question about the option they picked. Continue for as many questions as you have prepared or for how long you want.
           
Question examples:
First Question: Which food do you like better, hamburger, hot dog, or chicken strips? Second Question: Which toppings do you put on this food?
First Question: For vacation, the beach, the mountains, or the city? Second Question: What is your favorite activity to do there?
First Question: Least favorite chore, doing the dishes, taking care of your pet, or cleaning your room? Second Question: What’s the best excuse you’ve ever used to get out of doing this?

Blobs and Lines

            Tells the players to either line up in a certain order or gather in “blobs” according to things in common (see examples below). Continue for as many prompts as you have or for how long you like.

Prompt examples:
Line up in alphabetical order by first name or last name.
Gather with people of the same eye color.
Line up in birthday order.
Gather with people who have the same favorite season as you.

Four on the Couch

            Create a circle of chairs. If you have a couch available, put that in the circle. If not, designate four chairs to be the “couch”.  Divide the group in two or if you are in a mix group, divide the group by gender. Instruct the players to sit boy, girl, boy, girl, but leave one empty seat. The groups need to be the same in number. Have all the players write down their names on a slip of paper and then collect them back up again. Pass out the name slips of paper, this time giving each player a random slip with someone else’s name.
Before you begin, you may want everyone to say their name really quick before you start, especially if the players are total strangers to each other. The person who has the empty chair to their right calls out someone’s name. The person who has that name on their slip of paper walks over and sits in the empty seat. The seat they left is now the empty seat and the person who has it to their right calls out a name. While people have new names in this game, their gender does not change. The goal of this game is to get all of one gender or team on the coach by figuring out their names and then calling people on and off the coach. Each name can only be called once.

Sit Down If…

            You can have everyone sit in a circle if you would like, but a circle shape is not required for this game. Have everyone stand up. Give them a statement that starts with “Sit down if…” (see examples below). If they have done what you’ve said, they sit down. The last one standing is the winner. Continue for as many statements as you have or until you choose to stop.

Statement examples:
Sit down if you have eaten chocolate today.
Sit down if you were born in September.
Sit down if have ever had a broken a leg.

We hope you have fun trying all these icebreakers, and please tell us how it goes! We are on Instagram and Twitter @GiGiLGG and on Facebook at Lime Green Giraffe.

Enjoy!

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