Ice Breakers are a great way to get people to learn each others names, find out interesting things about one another, and help people begin new relationships.

Aside from name games, ice breakers provide a way to establish common ground between participants, get everyone moving, and create a inviting environment.

These type of activities are especially important on the first day of camp - in fact, leading fun ice breakers helps counselors set ground rules, ease camper anxiety, and start the day off on the right foot.
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Fifty Yard Scream - Everyone lines up on one side of a large playing area. When the...
Finding Twins - To prepare for the activity, decide ahead of time on a category such as...
First Names - Have everyone count the number of letters in their first name. Now ask...
Food, Friends and Fireworks - A quick and simple ice breaker with three motions. Begin by...
Four On The Couch - Have everyone write their name down on a piece of paper. Put the pieces...
Fruit Basket - Each person chooses a fruit or vegetable (with no repeats!). One person...
Group Knot - Have the campers stand in a tight circle, with their hands in the...
Hand Tricks - Here are a few quick games to play with your kids when you have a few...
Have You Ever? or Postman - Everyone stands or sits in a circle in front of a place marker, such as...
High-Five Name Toss - Follow the traditional name toss rules, but instead of tossing a ball,...
Huh Game - This game works best with more people. You get in a circle and declare a...
Human Treasure Hunt - Create a list of 15-30 statements to distribute to your group. Give...
I Have Never - Everyone is sitting in a circle of chairs except for the person in the...
I Love My Neighbor - Arrange the group in a a circle with one person in the middle. Everyone...
In My Grandmother's Attic - The first player says, "In my grandmother's attic, I found (name...
It Could be Worse - Set up the group in a circle or in pairs. The starting player says...
Jedi Numbers - Ice Breaker - This is more challenging than it sounds... Ask the group to stand in...
Joke & Punchline - Set-up: Write a joke on one card and a punchline on another. Be sure to...
King Lizard or King Frog - Everyone sits in the circle and picks an animal, a motion and a noise...
Mixed up Name Toss - Start the activity with the traditional name toss. Once the group has...
Moon Trip - One camper anounces that he is going on a moon trip and is bringing two...
Mr. and Mrs. Right - Have everyone stand. Read the story. When you say "right" everyone takes...
My Name is and I like to... - Everyone in the group stands in a circle. The first person says, "My...
Name Bop - This is a test for once everyone thinks they know everyone else’s name....
Name Line - Get everyone to stand in a line or sit in a circle. The first person...
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Using Ice breakers Successfully:


Using ice breakers successfully is similar to being able to tell a good story: you need to know your audience, delivery is everything, and good stories build up intensity as they go along. And props never hurt if you have them…

  1. Know your audience. Before deciding which activities to use, assess the group for the following: age, familiarity with one another, purpose of the group gathering, and potential considerations for physical abilities.

  2. Build in intensity. A general rule of thumb is a start with activities with limited movement, minimal physical contact, and most simple of rules, and progressively increase each of those factors. For example, start with a simple name game, then a common ground activity, and then a more active game that has some physical contact (ie, “high fives” or holding hands), and possibly an activity that has lots of motion. Generally, with youth you can move pretty quickly into highly active, or silly games that get everyone laughing. For “too-cool” teens or “very serious” adults, you need to proceed very slowly. You can always tell how things are going by the level of conversation and laughter.

  3. Be very flexible. As with most games, you can change the rules to suit the group. For a group of young campers, you may want to roll a large beach ball instead of throwing an object during a name game, for teens, you may want to throw many objects simultaneously, etc.

  4. Participate enthusiastically. The whole point of name games and ice breakers is to help participants break down barriers, learn something about the others in the group, and most of all… have fun. Be sure to play an active role in the game, as it is important that the campers learn something about you as well. This goes equally as well for corporate or youth groups, too!

  5. Use fun props. Buy rubber chickens, silly rubber faces, fun stuffed animals, or other objects that create laughter or interest by themselves. Whenever possible, use these props in place of tennis balls, or whatever standard objects you might use. If you don’t have any, don’t worry, the activities are fun enough, fun props are just a bonus!

  6. Use activities that use the same prop (or maybe none at all). For example, you may not always have a tennis ball hand for a name toss. So, instead of a tossing an object, use high fives, or winks, etc. You might only have a tennis ball rattling around in your trunk, so learn five or so games that you can use with just a ball.

  7. Change your routine. When you learn a new game, you present it with contagious enthusiasm. When an activity seems stale while you are presenting it, it’s time to change your routine and learn a new game to become enthusiastic about. We know a great web site...


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