One of my current favorite icebreaker activity is our Icebreaker Wheelies. Hand one card to each participant. Ask them to find a partner and share their response to the question on their card. After the two have each shared their response, have them exchange cards and find a new partner. Encourage partners to meet and greet 6-7 different partners. It's as simple as that! There are several elements to this activity that make it so simple yet effective. Here are four reasons I love it:
- First, your participants have the opportunity to meet multiple new people. Usually when you ask your participants to find a partner, they partner with their best friend or the person they know best in the room. Having them exchange partners and questions allows them to meet new people while discussing different questions.
- Second, as soon as the conversation comes to a natural end, the pair trades cards and then finds a new partner. There's no awkward silences or waiting around for the facilitator to give a different question to discuss. And in the 'icebreaker phase' of the day, this is a good thing!
- Third, warming your participants up to talking with one another will help later in your debriefing circles. If you find yourself asking questions and you only get blank stares in return, you probably haven't warmed your participants up to sharing with one another. Sharing personal tidbits early on in your program will help get your group off to a good start.
- And Fourth, if you have any latecomers to your program, this is an easy one to slip a new person in and no one even knows they were late! When participants are busy talking with one another, they are usually focused on the conversation and not who is running a little behind.
Here are a few examples of the questions included in our Icebreaker Wheelies card set:
1. What is your favorite restaurant to eat at?
2. Who was your all-time favorite teacher and why?
3. What is a current television show that you enjoy watching?
4. If you could possess one unique super power, what would it be?
5. What is your favorite old-time movie and why?
You could also make your own set with some index cards and a writing utensil. Ask your favorite 10 year old what a cool icebreaker question would be. I think kids come up with most creative questions!
Have fun out there,