Icebreakers For Teens

Icebreakers are facilitation techniques that can help people get to know each other in a short period of time.  When used correctly, icebreakers help participants relax and learn more about each other while having some fun!

Icebreakers can also help create an environment conducive to learning or cooperation. This article will share a few fantastic icebreakers for groups of teens.

Time Bomb (Introductory icebreaker)

A very simple game that can help people learn each other’s names while having fun.  Ask the group to stand in a circle and have each person to say their name.  Now, throw a tennis ball to someone in the group.  They have 2-seconds to call the name of someone and throw the ball to them.  If they cannot remember a name, the tennis ball “bomb” explodes and that person is out of the game.

The round ends when the only people left know everyone in the group.  You can make the game more fun by having a prize for people who don’t get “blown up” by the tennis ball after a few rounds. For example, you could get some candy to entice people with a sweet tooth to remember more names. Or, depending on the type of meeting, you can bring some items that would likely be useful to all of the participating members.

Pass the Candy (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

This is a fun icebreaker for people with a sweet tooth! It involves giving participants a small amount of colored candy (usually skittles or M&Ms). Questions or challenges are assigned to each candy color. The questions can be silly, funny, or more serious, depending on the type of group event.  For example:

  • Red candy might be “Sing the chorus of your favorite song”
  • Green candy could be “Tell the group a story or joke”
  • Blue can be “What is your favorite TV show and why?”
  • Orange is “What is your ideal career path?”
  • Pink can be “Imitate your favorite actor.”
  • Brown could be “Pretend that you’re an undercover policeman at a rave party.”
  • Purple can be “Name as many football players as you can.”
  • White can be “How did you start out in the field that you’re currently working in?”

Participants can eat all of the candy they like except for one piece. They get to choose the question or challenge that they perform. It’s a simple icebreaker and sharing food brings people together. You get the picture. You’ll find out a lot about your colleagues, friends, and new acquaintances quite easily with the help of this fun and creative game.

Making Appointments (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Appointment cards are handed out within the group. Each card has space for 3 or 4 names on one side and some introductory questions on the other. The group mingles and people set up appointments with each other.

Once everyone has filled in their cards, you need to announce that it is time for the first appointment. Give them 5 minutes to ask each other their questions and have a chat. Then, move onto the next appointment. It might be a little harder to organize and understand at first, but this game can be quite phenomenal once you get a hang of all the rules and minute details.

Pictionary People  (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

Participants are divided into two groups. Everyone gets a card upon which they write their name and the names of three things they like to do.  For example, activities like “eating ice cream”, “playing computer games” or “swimming”.

The two groups swap cards. A drawer takes a card from the pile, memorizes the objects listed on the card, puts the card back into the deck, and shuffles it. He or she begins to draw one of the objects while the rest of the team looks at the cards to see if they can link the activity with a person. The first team to successfully match activities to names wins!

Three Things in Common (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

The participants are divided into groups of 3 or 4. Each group must find three things that they have in common with each other.  The weirder those things are — the better. After 10 minutes each group announces the three things they have in common. Everyone votes to decide which group has the “weirdest” three things in common. Sure, the game is very, very, extremely subjective. But here’s the thing: that’s the fun part. For most teens, discovering “weird” or dubious stuff is not only interesting but also a lot of fun. Try it out for yourself and you might be surprised about the results, especially if you’re going to play it with the usually quiet teens.

Destination Charades (Fun icebreaker)

Everyone thinks of a city or country that they have been to or want to visit. They then choose three clues to describe the place and act those clues out using charades. The person to guess the city or country gets a prize!

Little known fact… (Fun icebreaker)

Participants stand in a circle and simply share an unusual or funny fact about themselves. It is a very simple activity that helps the group share a few laughs and learn more about each other. A twist on this game is to have people tell the group three fun facts about themselves, but one of the facts is a lie. The group has to vote on which fun fact is the lie. Additionally, you can add your own rules and rewards to this game. For example, the people in the group that correctly guess which fact is a lie might get a reward. Or the person who manages to fool everyone gets a reward. You get the point, use your imagination and make this game as fun as possible!

Sit down if…  (Fun icebreaker)

The group stands in a circle. The group facilitator then asks a range of silly questions and people sit down if they have answered yes to the question. Questions can be as strange or random as you like, for example: “did you eat cheese today?”.  The last person standing wins a prize.

People Bingo (Getting-to-know-you icebreaker)

You can create bingo cards where each square has a question like “Have you been to Disneyland?”.  Participants need to find someone in the group who answers “yes” to that question before they can mark the box off.  It encourages people to mingle with each other and learn more about each other.  The first person to tick off 5 squares wins!

Team engineers (Team-building icebreaker)

Participants are split into teams of 4.  Each team is given a collection of objects and asked to build something.  The objects should include items like sticky tape, glue, and some paddle pop sticks.  You could also include a challenge, where teams need to accomplish a specific task with their creation!

Defuse the bomb! (Team-building icebreaker)

This activity is best performed in a large room or outdoors.  Put a container holding some candy in the middle of the space.  Create a taped off “quarantine” area surrounding it.  The team must find a way to retrieve the container without touching the ground inside the taped-off area.  Provide a variety of materials including timber, bricks, sticks, ropes, and wheels to help them achieve their task.  When they get the container back without touching the ground they get the candy!  It is a great team-building exercise.

Fireman’s relay (Team-building icebreaker)

The participants are split into groups of 5.  Then, each group has to transfer as much water as possible from a barrel into another barrel, 50 yards away. The teams have access to buckets, ropes, and hoses. They must devise a plan and put it into action. The team who transfers the most water in 10 minutes wins. What people love about this game is that it challenges one’s creativity and problem-solving skills versus the short period of time that they’re running up against. For this reason, we have put this particular icebreaker in the teen category, as it encourages healthy intellectual development.