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Ice Breaker Games for Small Groups

Kay Xiong/Demand Media

Ice breaker games can help kids and young adults to get beyond shyness in small group situations. You might want to play an ice breaker game with a small group of kids or teens who will be collaborating in a school class or summer job. These games can make it fun and less stressful for kids to learn each other’s names and get to know each other. Look for active games that will force every member of the group to interact.

Fact or Fib

Kay Xiong/Demand Media

This ice breaker game is also commonly known as “two truths and a lie.” Have everyone in the group sit in a small circle facing each other. Players then take turns telling the rest of the group three facts about themselves, including two truths, or facts, and one lie, or fib. Begin with yourself to give an example. Try to come up with two true facts that might seem unrealistic, such as “I have swum with sharks” or “I was an extra in a movie.” Add a third fib, such as “I have three brothers.” See if the group can guess which fact is a fib. Then continue the game, with each player reciting three facts, and the group guessing which fact is the fib.


Kay Xiong/Demand Media

Divide the group into pairs. If you have an odd number of people, make one group of three, or join the odd person out yourself if you’re the teacher, boss or group leader. Each person must interview a partner and then write a dictionary entry about that person. Provide certain basic required questions for players to ask their partners, such as “what is your name,” “where are you from,” “how many siblings do you have” or “what is your favorite book.” Then ask players to come up with additional questions to ask, such as, “do you speak a second or third language,” or “what kind of animal would you like to be if given the opportunity to transform?” After players have interviewed their partners, they must write a brief dictionary entry about the person. Dictionary entries might read: “Smith, John. n. 1. From Stanford, California. 2. Has three brothers. 3. Likes “Anna Karenina. 4. Would like to transform into a rabbit.” You could also have players write encyclopedia entries instead of dictionary entries. Compile all the entries to make a packet, or post them on a bulletin board.

Name Game

Kay Xiong/Demand Media

Learn the name of every person in a small group quickly with this simple ice-breaker game. Gather the group in a circle, and choose one person to go first. That person must choose an adjective that begins with his first initial, and then say his name. For example, a boy named Oliver might say “Optimistic Oliver.” The next player must then recite “Optimistic Oliver” before saying her own adjective and name, such as “Friendly Felicity.” The last player must recite each group member’s adjective and name combination before reciting his own. After the last player finishes, give the first player a chance to recite the entire group’s names. You can also play this game with nouns of a particular category, such as animals. People might say, “Ingrid Iguana” or “Kelly Kangaroo.”

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