Using Play to Help People Connect & Grow
One of the most common questions I get from teachers, trainers, and other group leaders is: How do you do what you do? In other…
Since the beginning of the current health pandemic, our inbox has been filled with enquiries from people looking for some fun online icebreaker games that actually work.
There are literally hundreds of ice-breaking ideas that we have adapted (from our online database) that will suit a virtual audience, and this article shares our top ten favourites.
In a word, yes.
And, yes, if you want to engage your virtual audience more effectively.
People are hard-wired to connect or interact with others, and this is true no matter the medium – in-person or online. The trick is, though, most people will pull back from interacting with others if there is a chance that they may feel threatened or will look embarrassed. Which is why presenting one or more ice-breakers is so critical – especially for groups that are new – because it prepares your group to interact and share in a more comfortable and substantive manner.
When you choose to skip over these ‘frivolous’ icebreakers, you risk diving into an experience for which your group is unprepared. In the absence of a healthy and trusting environment, your group may struggle to succeed.
We must also admit that working or studying from home is hard. Feeling isolated and remote from your friends and colleagues is difficult, so anything you can do to help people feel a little more connected is always useful. The more people feel connected, the more productive they will be.
No matter if you’re looking for icebreakers for small groups or large groups, or just want some fun ice-breakers to energise your work meetings, try the following list of online icebreaker activities.
Ask your group to grab a pen and paper and create their own ‘identity numbers.’ By way of demonstration (watch the video tutorial,) your group will quickly understand what they have to do. Keep them together as a large group, or to foster a more intimate sharing experience, allocate your group into various breakout rooms.
You can choose to deliver this exercise to your whole group or in smaller breakout rooms for greater intimacy. A simple sharing game, it’s all about celebrating and acknowledging our differences and similarities. Start with easy ‘pairs’ such as Dog – Cat and then ramp up the challenge to more difficult choices such as Ladder – Swing.
A classic lateral-thinking game that many in your group will love. You’re having a party and you want everyone to bring something with them, but only those who bring the ‘right’ thing can come in the door. It’s simple but not easy. Read the Leadership Tips tab to be sure you frame the experience appropriately, lest you frustrate some in your group beyond a fun time.
Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, this fun, interactive exercise has become one of our favourite virtual ice-breakers. Just arm yourself with a fun story, instruct your group to perform a certain move every time you say particular words, invite your group to stand in front of their cameras and enjoy. Expect lots of laughter and energy to roll into the rest of your webinar or meeting.
You won’t believe what people will come up with this zany exercise. Watch the video and be inspired. Start by demonstrating a few of your own quirky stunts and then open it up to your group to keep the action going.
Download one or more of the Ready-to-Play dicebreaker game sheets, grab a dice and you’re good to go. If you have a large group, brief the activity first and then allocate everyone to a breakout room to play the game. There’s no limit to the ice-breaker questions you could ask in this game.
Ask everyone to pull one or more coins out of their pockets or wallets and you’re ready to go. In small groups or large, invite people to share memories or events that occurred in the year stamped on their coin(s.) You could also use the years as markers for many other topics of conversation, eg news events.
Along with Mr & Mrs Wright, this has been one of the most successful zoom games we have used in the past 6 months. In advance, prepare a set of 5 to 10 questions which will require each person to make a preference for one of two choices such as Coke or Pepsi or Video Games or Board Games. There’s no right or wrong answer, but once all of the questions have been asked, the results can be used to look for similarities or differences with others.
This very simple name game is a classic in the making. Simply say your name backwards, ie Mark – Kram and then share it with your group. Expect a lot of laughter. If you have the time and inclination, ask each person to imagine where in the world the person with this backward name could have been born.
Finally, this fun team puzzle is just one of many ice-breakers that will engage your group from the moment you start. You may know these curious little word puzzles by another name, but in all cases, you need to think cryptically to solve them. For example, INILT means Nothing In It (do you get it? The word nil is in the middle of the word it.)
Visit our online activity database and click the Filter > Virtual tab to reveal 80+ ice-breaking games and activities that are suitable for virtual audiences.
We can also present a variety of engaging & interactive presentations just for your group – contact us to discuss your needs.
Best-selling book featuring 150+ fun group games & activities. Scan QR codes to access digital content including videos.
Brand new deck of cards featuring emoji images to help you inspire conversations about emotions, feelings & experiences.
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