Anyone who has been a team leader or in charge of creating a community among a group of different people knows the value of fun icebreaker games. Enjoying some of the best icebreaker games gets people talking and laughing and helps them create connections much faster.
Have everyone bring their favourite board or card game.
Basic Icebreaker Games
You might remember playing some of these gems when you were a kid.
1. Line Up
Have participants line up according to various quantifiable categories, such as the number of letters in their name or street address. Make it more challenging by forbidding talking.
2. Frogger (a.k.a. Assassin)
Find out whodunnit in this classic game. It will make your group members feel a bit silly, which helps break the ice.
3. Human Pretzel or Human Knot
The Human Pretzel works exceptionally well with a group of young people who are more comfortable with close contact.
This is a great one for getting to know fun facts about people. You can make a custom board specific to your workplace or your group’s interests.
5. Scavenger Hunt
You and your party can enjoy a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt, just like when you were a kid. Split into groups and throw in a prize to make it more interesting.
6. NOT Rock, Paper, Scissors
Split your group into teams and have them make up their own gestures for rock, paper, and scissors. Half the fun is trying to remember them.
7. Build a Tower
Give groups an assortment of items, such as marshmallows, spaghetti, and paper clips. Ask them to build the tallest free-standing tower.
8. Build a Boat
Same idea, but you’ll need a bucket of water.
9. Play Board Games
Have everyone bring their favorite board or card game.
10. Find Your Twin
Give everyone a piece from a matching game, and have them find their match among the rest of the group.
This might be a children’s game, but if you want to encourage silliness, give it a try.
Give everyone a handful of Legos or lumps of clay and some time to make something funny, meaningful, or memorable. Ask each person to explain their creation.
13. Secret Handshakes
If you’re working in teams, have each make up their own handshake.
14. Weird Talent
Ask for volunteers to share a weird talent. Incentivize participation with a prize.
15. Lead the Blind
Blindfold a teammate and use spoken directions to help them complete a task. The first team to finish wins.
Revise this childhood favorite with work or group-related slogans.
This game is great for getting everyone’s blood pumping.
Icebreaker Games for Zoom
You can also play these in person, but they work perfectly in a digital environment. Send participants to breakout rooms for groups.
Participants say three things about themselves, but only two are true. Other members try to guess the lie and get to know each other.
19. One Word
Ask groups to choose one word to describe various things, like chocolate cake or company culture. They’ll have to debate to reach a consensus.
20. The Hot Seat
Put one person in the hot seat and let everyone ask them one question
One participant selects an item from Target and the rest of the group asks yes or no questions to figure out what it is.
22. Group Map
Play this game if you have a diverse group.
23. Would You Rather
Be creative for this game. You can create an online survey over Zoom.
24. Show and Tell
Since everyone is home, have them show something special to them, like pets.
25. Name That Tune
Another good one for an intergenerational group.
The rules are a little tricky, but it’s fun once you get the hang of it.
27. One Word
Everyone gets to share just one word to describe themselves.
This is especially interesting in an inter-generational group.
29. Things In Common
Split participants into groups and see how many things they can name in common for all of them.
30. Meme Share
Have everyone share their favorite meme they’ve seen recently.
31. Story Chain
Also called One Word Story or One Word at a Time.
32. Use an Icebreaker or Conversation Deck
Get conversation decks online or in stores and use them to ask participants questions to get to know them better.
There are many variations to this game that don’t require any equipment to play.
34. Alphabet Categories
Same as above, the first person has to say something in a category starting with A, the second person gets B, and so on.
35. Bucket List Share
Everyone shares the top item on their bucket list.
36. Bad Joke Contest
Everyone can share their worst and vote on their favorite.
37. Celebrate a Win
Go around and allow each participant to share a win from their day so far. It could be simple or small, like packing healthy snacks for the kids or having a good breakfast.
38. 18 and Under
Same as above, share something great from before the team reached adulthood.
39. Personality Quiz
There are lots of professional and silly personality quizzes everyone can take online.
40. Twenty Questions
Another old-fashioned guessing game, this works well in a virtual setting.
Icebreaker Games for Adults
Don’t worry; these icebreaker games for adults are still PG! They involve more attention or intelligence and kids wouldn’t like them as much.
41. Inter-Generation Charades
To get a mixed-age group mingling, include things that only people raised in a specific decade would understand.
You may have played this as a drinking game in college, but you can tone it down and still play it.
43. “Speed Dating”
No, this isn’t speed dating but uses the same idea. Rotate partners every couple of minutes and take turns interviewing each other.
44. Escape Rooms
If going to an actual Escape Room isn’t an option, buy a board game.
45. Jenga Questions
Write questions on Jenga blocks.
Several mindfulness exercises are great for getting a meeting kicked off.
47. Baby Pictures
Have everyone send in baby pictures ahead of time and see if you can figure out who’s who.
48. Stretch Break
This isn’t strictly an icebreaker, but it’s good if things hit a lull.
49. Who Am I?
Write the names of famous people on index cards and tape them to each other’s heads. Ask questions of others to try to figure out who you are.
If you have time, get a full game of trivia going with teams from different departments.
51. Rose, Thorn, Bud
Finish up with everyone sharing their rose, thorn, and bud from the day.