To get to know one another is a powerful program outcome that is easily achieved with activities which invite groups to interact, share & generate lots of laughter.
Get to know you games help groups break the ice, strengthen relationships and have fun. When designed and facilitated well, they are universally appealing, success-oriented and always conducted in a non-threatening manner.
Also known as ice-breaker games, experiences which invite people to get to know one another provide an opportunity for the members of your group – especially if they don’t know each other – to begin to feel more comfortable. Even if your group knows one another quite well, these simple, fun and highly-interactive activities will always start your program with a few laughs.
Essential Characteristics of Great Get To Know One Another Games
As described in Serious Fun, the latest book by Mark Collard, all successful ice-breakers reflect most, but hopefully ALL, of the following five characteristics:
- Fun and laughter as a major component;
- Non-threatening invitations to play;
- Highly-interactive experiences;
- Simple & easy to understand instructions; and
- Success-oriented activity.
So, if an activity or experience you are considering does not tick off 3, 4 or (hopefully) all 5 of these attributes and you expect it will help people get to know one another, don’t do it!
Icebreakers and get-to-know-you games aim to break the ‘ice’ that typically limits or prevents people from participating fully. Common occurrences of ‘ice’ may include little or no talking, poor eye contact, reluctance to make physical contact, lots of standing around, absence of trust, lack of initiative, arriving late or leaving early, etc.
A good ice-breaker acknowledges these facts, and intervenes. When lead well, with full regard to the needs of a group, get to know you games will reduce, minimise (and hopefully eliminate) the impact of the ‘ice’ and invite the group to create a more productive and supportive atmosphere.
In essence, an ice-breaking, get-to-know-one-another experience prepares your group for its purpose. Without this necessary preparation – or priming – your group is less likely to be as ‘successful’ as it could.
For further discussion about this topic, take a look at this short article.
Ice-Breakers & Get To Know One Another Activity Ideas
The images below provide links to a sample of really simple, fun ice-breakers – all drawn from playmeo’s comprehensive activity database – which will help you design a program in which people get to know one another successfully.
Enjoy browsing to your heart’s content.
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