4 Virtual Meeting Icebreakers

Virtual meetings are becoming more common in business environments.  For some staff members, the only time they see their colleagues is on a screen!  Even when participants are in different geographic locations, you can organize icebreakers that help them learn more about one another and become better collaborators.  Here are some of the best virtual meeting icebreakers!

How’s Your Social Life?

Ask participants a simple question about their social life so everyone can learn more about each other.  Participants can share funny stories and get to know one another.

Ask questions like:
  • What was the most enjoyable thing you did last week?

  • What is your favorite place to go on holiday or your dream holiday destination?

  • What do you love or hate about social media?

  • What is your favorite meal?

  • What music or television show do you love that most people hate?

Take a Picture Why Don’t You!

One of the difficulties with collaborating online is that the other participants don’t feel as “real” as a person in the same room.  One way to overcome this is by learning more about the person’s workspace and the objects that they have around them.  You can ask participants to take a photo of a specific object that is nearby and share it with the group. 

Some ideas for photos include:
  • Their favorite coffee cup

  • Their favorite gadget

  • Their desk

  • Their favorite t-shirt

  • The nerdiest thing in their office or home

  • Any pets that they may have

This helps participants learn more about each other and helps to “humanize” one another!  You can also ask participants to share some photos of the town where they live.  This helps the group understand the part of the world where other participants live.

Eat Lunch Together!

Traditionally, people working in the same workspace often get the chance to share lunch with one another.  During lunch they can have a chat and get to learn more about each other.  Why not have a weekly lunch day where everyone eats lunch at their computer and talks about what they have been up to.

Participants can show others what they are having for lunch that day!   Some subjects to talk about include any movies people in the group want to see, what books everyone is reading and what plans everyone has for the weekend.

The Best of the Web!

Because you are all in an online environment, it’s a great opportunity for the group to share the websites and online resources they absolutely love!  The facilitator can ask the participants to share some of their favorite websites and explain why they love them so much.  In many cases, the group shares some really useful online resources which are very beneficial for collaboration.

5 Romantic Picnic Ideas

The picnic is one of the most romantic ways to spend your time, without any additional ingredients needed.  Two people, sat together, by a trickling stream, alone but for the butterflies that flutter around like tissue paper in the breeze and the odd cow chewing cud in the corner.  But, how can you make sure your partner is alive with love over your picnic blanket.

Location is Key

The location of your picnic can make or break your romantic picnic, so choose well. Look out for ant hills and wasp nests. There is nothing more likely to ruin a romantic picnic that an insect bite in a compromising place. You need to create the perfect scene.  You need to be somewhere isolated but somewhere where there is the sound of water and the chance of sunshine with a cooling breeze.  You need the backdrop of beautiful wild flowers and the privacy that tall grass can offer. Remember to let nature be your soundtrack – with a river or the sea to serenade you.

Just Like in the Movies

Photo by Tim Collins on Unsplash

Find an old oak tree, that has lived through many ages before yours, and carve your initials into the bark and surround it with a love heart.  Take it in turns to carve each other’s initials.  Make this your place, the place where you had that picnic that was so romantic.  Then, in years to come you can come back to this tree and remember this moment and the romance will return.

Don’t be Shy

Sit on the same side of the picnic blanket.  Come on, you say, surely this is obvious.  Well, for those who are romantically awkward it is sure to be news to them that they sit the same side as the one they love.  Normal human rules suggest we sit facing each other to eat… but not at a romantic picnic… surely you chose the picnic over the restaurant so you can sit side by side…You will begin with a small gap and then hands will touch and then you will lean into each other.  The picnic is the most amazing way to get close and to relax in each other’s company without the formality of a restaurant and the darkness of the cinema.

Watch What You Eat

Photo by Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash

Avoid onions and garlic in any of the food in the basket… unless you have some handy mints in your pocket, the smelly breath could kill off any romance!  You never know what message you are sending by snacking on food that repels – avoid thoughtless food errors!

Romantic Picnic Foods

Photo via Pixabay

Include strawberries and champagne in your basket.  Strawberries bring out the taste of champagne… surely you saw Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and her carpet picnic in Richard Gere’s penthouse suite.  Clinking two champagne flutes together and holding out a strawberry for your partner to bite… Also, the champagne will add that moment of luxury and a feeling of warmth rising from within…

The perfect picnic with a loved one needs planning.  You need to cover each detail to make sure it is as romantic as possible.  Except, there are those relationships were an impromptu picnic is possible – you bundle each other into the car with some hastily bought food – sit in your favorite spot and just sit together, outside, enjoying some warm weather.  These too can become the moments of legend without any thought whatsoever – just because you are both there.

8 Family Picnic Ideas

You want your family to go on a picnic together.  The weather is lovely, there is nothing on the TV and you have managed to drag the kids off the computer games.  How can you make sure your picnic is memorable?

Here are some ideas:

Have a picnic in your back garden.  

There is no need to travel.  Just throw down a blanket and decorate with balloons and throw around some cushions.  This is quick and a clever way to grab an hour or two with your kids.

Ban all devices and just sit and talk as a family for a short amount of time.

Have your picnic on a boat.  

Take a boat to the middle of a river or lake and eat as a family as you bob about on the current. There is nothing more calming than being in the middle of a body of water.  Also, Dad will become an expert in currents and how to get the most out of the boat – which can be funny to watch.

Encourage the Kids to Organize the Food!

Give them the freedom of the kitchen and the picnic basket.  Leave when they tell you they are happy with what they have made for you all to eat… potentially a disaster… always interesting.  I would suggest this might not be the option if you are trying to control the calories.  There is likely to be a strong emphasis on cake, chocolate and crisps… but you know you have taken this option because you want to have a day of eating this stuff too.

Colorful Jars of Food.

Cut up different fruit and vegetables as brightly colored as you can and fill up jars with a good variety.  These jars look awesome and are excellent to dip into as you are eating the picnic.  It really is an interesting way of getting kids to eat healthier and it keeps the food fresh and easily protected from the wildlife.

Make a Campfire.

Make yourself a camp fire… even though you are not camping you still want to roast marshmallows and bake potatoes at the base of the fire.  It also lovely to sit and watch as the light dims.  It will keep people out talking late into the night.  Make sure you dig a pit to build the fire it and ensure that it is completely doused with water before you leave.

The Snack that Smiles Back!

Give all your picnic foods faces… when you are making your sandwiches and cakes use salad and fruit to give all the food eyes, a nose and a mouth.  You could make it a competition to see who can make the funniest of faces and maybe give food names… it gets a bit brutal when you start chomping down.

Hide Mini Treasures

Hide mini treasure in amongst the food so that people find surprises as they eat.  I wouldn’t put these things in the food, otherwise the dentist will be busy, but in the packets.  People will have moments of excitement or feel special, even if it is just a little love note.

Sit and Talk

Just sit and talk and eat slowly.  This shouldn’t be unique… but in today’s world eating slowly and gently chatting is as rare as it comes.  Sit quietly and enjoy each other’s company.

5 Fun Cooperative Games for Kids

Through cooperative games kids learn to think and work with one another as they apply skills learned to accomplish the goals of their group or team. These games are always fun to develop and play and have the effect of bringing children together. While competitive games focus a lot on losing or winning, cooperative games are all about the success of the whole team.  They give all children involved a chance to be winners.

What’s in a Name?

(for kids in grades 1-3)

While kids at any age or grade can play the game, there’ll be variations. For kids in grade one through three this game is effective to help them bond together at the start of a new school year or term.  In this cooperative game the pupils are grouped in pairs or with partners where one has to talk about the surname or first name of their partner. It starts with one of the two in a pair telling the other what their name is and its meaning. After sharing names and meaning, the kids should be allowed to share a little more about their names. Kids should be encouraged to talk about their unique names, how they are spelled, whether they hold any special symbolism, why they were given the name, the meaning of the name in other cultures/languages and whom they were named after.

One individual should tell all this information in two minutes before allowing the other to do the same. They should be encouraged to pay as much attention as possible throughout the game. After the two have shared names, two pairs should be joined together to form a team of four kids; each partner in a pair has to introduce their partner to the other pair until everyone knows each other.  Kids should be encouraged to tell as much as possible about the name of their partner.

“MAX” – A CO-OPERATIVE GAME


Family Pastimes Max (Cooperative Board Game)

  • Players work together to get the creatures safely home before Max the cat gets them
  • Children learn to use logic, consultation and cooperative decision making in an exciting way
  • For 1 to 8 players ages 4 through 7 years

A cooperative game available for sale, it’s great for kids 4-7 years of age and accommodates 1-8 players. The kids have to learn to work as a team to ensure the creatures have arrived home safely before they are attacked by Max the ferocious cat. The game calls upon the mind of the kids to make cooperative decisions, consult and use logic in the most exciting ways. It’s made using child safe paints, water-based glues, soy-based inks, recycled papers and boards.

Capture the Flag

Among elementary kids Capture the Flag is one of the most popular games. In this game the idea is to have players from one side making way into the territory of the opposing team to take their flag and make way back to their own space without being tagged in the process. Pylons and a flag are required materials and best played outdoors. It can be played for 10 to 15 minutes every time or until a given team/group has accomplished a specific score. In the game the playground is divided into two with each team on either side. The kids need to create two teams, each team on their zone. Every team should have a flag, made from a light material such as fabric and easy to carry around by one kid. Each flag has to be placed at the back of the zone of every team where it’s visible to the opposing side. On a part of their zone each team should create a ‘jail’.  The game starts by having all kids lining up at the periphery of their area.

Once a whistle is blown they should go to the zone of their opposing side and try to take their flag while avoiding being tagged. Those tagged while in the opposing side’s zone are put in the jail and only get out if tagged by a teammate. If the flag is taken and ferried to the other zone next to the other team’s flag the team has either scored some points or won. However, the rule of the game is that while defending their flag a team cannot remain standing around to guard it. The defending team has to be a minimum of five meters from the flag at any time.

Race to the Treasure!


Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Award Winning Beat the Ogre…

  • WE WIN TOGETHER: Build a path with your team and collect 3 keys on a race to beat ogre to the treasure! It’s a game…
  • FUN CHALLENGE: Kids love working together to beat the ogre. Players strategize, cooperate & build the path together….
  • BENEFITS:Cooperative games cultivate emotional development, shared decision making, positive self esteem, creative…

This award winner is a cooperative game for 2-4 children from five years old and above. It offers a chance for kids to lean the art of strategy, grid mathematical concepts and critical social development tenets and skills with zero reading needed.  The game involves players working as a team to reach the treasure before the ogre by developing a path from the beginning right to the end.   If the kids are successful the victory is celebrated as a team.  The game has a Play Advances Learning approval seal and won the Oppenheim Portfolio Toy Platinum award.

15 Seconds

One of the most entertaining and fun way of letting kids know about one another, this cooperative game helps everyone to learn how to think fast on their feet. You only need a list with specific questions and a timer. Essentially, every kid should sit down, forming a circle. A question is picked and every person has to answer it within 15 seconds. Everyone has to be silent and if a kid answers early the person manning the timer should read out the remaining seconds.

The questions can be favorite food, favorite movies, favorite pet animal, what you do every Sunday or Saturday morning, and favorite color among others. In case you’re handling a huge group, break the kids into groups of six. You can also have a long list of questions and have one person answering their own unique question. Make the game fun by asking the kid who has just spoken to choose the next person and the question they’re to answer.