Get to Know You “Icebreaker” Games
When it comes to fun get to know you games for breaking the ice and enjoying each other’s company, there are 17 classic getting to know you games. In fact, there is a view that today’s electronic society has hindered such things as face-to-face human communication and the ability to relate to people in real life. Thus, there is a real need for these special-purpose “icebreaker” games to help facilitate communications and good times.
The common criteria for icebreaker games is linked to a view that all sharing should be fun, non-threatening, very interactive, simple and easy to play and results oriented. At the same time, the location for such activities should always be in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with members wearing comfortable clothing and someone chosen to lead the group. Meanwhile, the facilitator or leader should always be concise and clear when sharing details of these 17 get to know you games with easy to follow directions.
Get to know you games
At the end of the day, the view about games to help break the ice and get to know another person is they are great “facilitation exercises.” This is the view of longtime counselors and life coaches who commonly present these games to warm a group up to the idea of socialization and simply getting to know each other. It is all about “collaborative” communication, said a counselor sharing ideas on a social networking website.
The common focus for each of the following 17 icebreaker facilitation game includes sharing such things as hobbies, interests, personal data and even one’s dreams.
Game 1 – Introduction Icebreakers
This is one of the most common ways and means for people wanting to know one another. The game is often used by human resources when helping new employees get accumulated about the co-workers and supervisors. The game begins when people are gathered in a room or around a table. A moderator kicks things off by introducing themselves and then asking others in the group to do likewise. The flow can go to the right or left; while the idea is to simply go around the room and share something personal after an introduction that includes one’s name, job title, family history and personal interests.
Game 2 – Team Building
There is a longstanding point of view in the US military that an organization is only as strong as the members in its team. Thus, there is a lot of emphasis in military basic training for team building exercises that also serve as dandy icebreakers for new members of a team or group. A typical team building exercise first involves members of a group being divided up into teams. The teams are then given tasks to build trust, aid group dynamics and communication while also developing ways and means to work best together.
Game 3 – 20 Questions
There is a fun party game called “20 Questions” that literally involves asking members of a group this long list of questions as a way and means for others to get to know you. For example, a member of a group is asked a series of questions that focus on the who, what, when, where, how and why? The response to each question results in more personal data shared for greater group sharing and understanding, says counseling professionals commenting online.
Game 4 – Party Icebreaker Fun
This popular party game has often been used by counselors as a sort of “fun” icebreaker. The idea is to create questions that get people to laugh and then converse freely. The party questions are always somewhat personal but not too personal. For instance, a party member is asked about their favorite or not so favorite blind date experience. The questions should enlist a somewhat humorous response; while also being opened ended so the person can elaborate on the subject.
Game 5 – Tasks Presented as Icebreaker Games
This tasks focused icebreaker technique is often used in elementary and middle school to help new students get into the flow of the classroom or subject being studied and discussed. The student or individual is asked to perform some task so as to not only talk about something, but to “show” it as well. It is one of those “don’t tell me, show me” sort of challenges that involves questions being asked and tasks being performed to satisfy the challenge. For example, a member of a group is asked to tell a story about their recent summer vacation using images drawn on a blackboard or even a piece of paper. The idea is to get the individual involved in some act that helps communicate someone personal about themselves.
Game 6 – Interviews
This game is linked to what reporters do for a living when they interview someone for news or feature story data. The aim is to get someone to open up about themselves by simply asking them a series of questions: when did you move here? What is your favorite color and why? What are your life dreams?
Game 7 – Truth or Lie
There is always a very “human” need to keep certain details from family and friends. This is especially true, say mental health experts, when people are placed in a group of strangers. The result is something that is trending online called “Truth or Lie.” The goal is to share a “truth” and a “lie” with a group so as to inform and entertain. The participants can also make several statements and then ask the group what they think is true or untrue? In turn, the true and false answers are later revealed during a fun and casual sharing meeting.
Game 8 – My Little Known Fact
This game is popular with young people and seniors who have some “fun” or little known fact that they share in a group setting. For children it is all about some “awesome” experience or something they discovered that is just too fun to keep to oneself. At the same time, this fun fact is a great tool when it comes to opening up a group to also share other fun stuff. There are many Baby Boomer and senior groups that often use “My Little Know Fact” as a way and means of bonding about an aging or health issue, or some data about retirement that might benefit the group.
Game 9 – Bounce the Ball
This game features a facilitator who gathers people in a circle where a ball is bounced from one person to another; while the game is to share something personal when the ball bounces your way. This bounce the ball fame is also a great team building exercise because it challenges each member to be creative while discussing something that will personalize each member to the group. A ball is bounced to a member of a group who is asked to share his or her views on why such and such will win during the next bowling or basketball tournament. The fun and icebreaking perks of this game is all about group involvement because each person is tasked with either bouncing the ball or receiving the ball with some question or response. The overall goal is to simply get people to share stuff when prompted to do so.
Game 10 – The Spider Web Challenge
The game features a leader or facilitator who uses a ball of yarn as a way and means to create a physical “spider web,” while the game are to toss the ball of yarn from one group member to another. The game gets interesting when there is this massive spider web of yarn string that has “connected” each member of a group as ONE; while the sharing is the aim. As the ball of yarn is passed, each person must share some detail of their life. The result, after playing for about an hour, is a huge connected string of yarn that is now linked to lots and lots of personal tidbits that otherwise might not have been shared.
Game 11 – The Relationship Game
This game, as the name implies, is all about one’s personal relationships. It can be about one’s brother or sister, or longtime partner or best friend. The aim is to learn something about an individual based on their personal family or friendship relationships. Meanwhile, there is a longstanding point of view that relationships between two people or a group have the makings for lots and lots in very human and interesting details that can go a long way in making people happy or more open about themselves.
Game 12 – The Guessing Game
The best icebreaker games involve a question and an answer; while the classic “guessing game” has long been used by parents, educators and employers to help build group dynamics. In fact, the act of guessing something about another person is one fun way to literally “break the ice” because one is placed in a position to reveal their own values or ideas when posing a question about something. For instance, a good guess would be “are you married?” The response will be either yes or no; while it is the details of the answer that help the group when it comes to really getting to know another individual.
Game 13 – What My Eyes Can See
This is a classic technique and a very human “game” that we all play when viewing something about another person. While it may prove embarrassing to say, “I see you are wearing that old red jacket,” the plus of “what my eye can see” as a fun icebreaker game is to simply acknowledge that someone is doing or wearing something that you question for whatever reasons. Meanwhile, it is the act of asking a question during this game that results in needed community group sharing.
Game 14 – What My Ears Can Hear
This is another aspect of a classic get-to-know-you technique that addresses what an individual says or shares with a group; while the aim is to offer feedback questions about what was heard. The act of listening is in play during this game that allows members of a group to really focus on what someone is saying and why.
Game 15 – The Story Game
This is another relationship game that is designed to enlist stories about one’s personal history, life goals or just to tell a very human story. A story is how ancient people’s communicated; while children and adults always enjoy a good story as the best way and means to get to know someone or something.
Game 16 – He Said/She Said
This game is played with males and females because there are very clear differences in the sexes when sharing details about one’s life experiences. The goal is to have a male tell a story about some event happening today, and then asking a female in the group to add to that story or tell a related tale. The idea is to share how men and women, boys and girls, may have a different take on things; while the results are always fun and helpful when it comes to knowing what others think and feel.
Game 17 – The Game of Life
This is a simple group relationship game or exercise where members each share their life stories as an effort to help build group dynamics through common life experiences.
Getting to know you games
Overall, there has never been a better time to help others hooked into machine to “unplug” for a bit to enjoy sharing personal information with others in games that help people get to know each other. Make sure you check out our big list of icebreaker questions to help you with your next group facilitation.