Icebreakers can play an important role in helping young people integrate and connect with one another in a group environment. Icebreakers can also enhance your teaching by helping to stimulate cooperation and participation. They can provide positive momentum for small group study and discussion by:
- Helping a new group get to know one another.
- Helping new members to integrate into a group.
- Helping young people feel comfortable together.
- Encouraging cooperation.
- Encouraging listening to others.
- Encouraging working together.
- Encouraging young people to break out of their cliques.
- Developing social skills.
- Building a rapport with leaders.
- Creating a good atmosphere for learning and participation.
Icebreakers and you: A 10 SECOND CHECK LIST!
- Be enthusiastic, whatever happens, be enthusiastic!
- Choose volunteers carefully and don’t cause embarrassment.
- If something is not working move quickly on to the next activity.
- Timing is important. Don’t flog them to death. Use only 1 icebreaker for 15-20 min max. Finish each icebreaker while young people are still enjoying it.
- Choose icebreakers appropriate for your age group. No group is the same and your understanding of what will and will not work with your group is a core youth work skill.
How many books are there in the Bible?
Who shut the door of Noah’s ark? Noah or God
Who preached in the wilderness of Judea? John The Baptist or Paul The Apostle
I was Solomon’s father? Saul or David
Where was Jesus born? A stable or An Inn
Ps Ronnies first church was in? Jacobsdal or Graaf Reinette
Ps Ronnie’s started in the new building of Woord en Lewe in 2000 or 1992
1-Fact or fiction?
Ask everyone to write on a piece of paper THREE things about themselves which may not be known to the others in the group. Two are true and one is not. Taking turns they read out the three ‘facts’ about themselves and the rest of the group votes which are true and false. There are always surprises. This simple activity is always fun, and helps the group and leaders get to know more about each other.
Divide the young people into pairs. Ask them to take three minutes to interview each other. Each interviewer has to find 3 interesting facts about their partner. Bring everyone back to together and ask everyone to present the 3 facts about their partner to the rest of the group. Watch the time on this one, keep it moving along.
3-My name is?
Go around the group and ask each young person to state his/her name and attach an adjective that not only describes a dominant characteristic, but also starts with the same letter of his name e.g. generous Grahame, dynamic Dave. Write them downand refer to them by this for the rest of the evening.
Each person is given a sheet of paper with a series of instructions to follow. This is a good mixing game and conversation starter as each person must speak to everyone-else. For example;
Count the number of brown eyed boys in the room.
Find out who has made the longest journey.
Who has the most unusual hobby?
Find the weirdest thing anyone has eaten.
Who has had the most embarrassing experience?
Who knows what ‘Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia’ is a fear of?
Nearest guess wins. If that’s too easy you can try Arachibutyrophobia, Alektorophobia, Ephebiphobia or Anglophobia.