Ice-breakers are group activities that invite people to interact, share & generate lots of laughter.


Ice breaker games help people get to know one another, strengthen relationships and have fun. When designed and facilitated appropriately, they are always conducted in a non-threatening manner, are success-oriented and require minimal verbal and decision-making skills.

Get-to-know-you games provide an opportunity for the members of your group – especially if they don’t know each other – to begin to feel more comfortable with one another.

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 Ice Breaker 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:

  1. Fun and laughter as a major component;
  2. Non-threatening invitations to play;
  3. Highly-interactive experiences;
  4. Simple & easy to understand instructions; and
  5. 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’re still calling it an ‘ice-breaker,’ don’t do it!

Ice-breakers and get-to-know-you games aim to break the ‘ice’ that typically limits or inhibits the interactions of a group of people who may or may not know each other very well. Common occurrences of ‘ice’ may include little or no talking, poor eye contact, reluctance to make physical contact, lots of standing around, lack of initiative, absence of trust, arriving late or leaving early, etc.

A good ice-breaker acknowledges these facts, and intervenes. When presented appropriately, with full regard to the needs of the group, an ice-breaker will reduce, minimise (and hopefully eliminate) the impact of the ‘ice’ and invite the group to create a more productive atmosphere, one that is conducive to working together or achieving whatever the purpose of the group is.

In essence, an ice-breaker 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-You Activity Ideas

The images below provide links to a sample of really simple, fun ice-breakers which are drawn from playmeo’s comprehensive activity database.

Enjoy browsing to your heart’s content.

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