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Description of an Icebreaker and Get to Know You Activity

James Neill
Last updated:
30 Jul 2007

Categories

  • A fun, interactive, introductory get-to-know-you activity for medium to large groups.
  • Works best with large groups (min. is ~15).
  • Useful for celebrating diversity.
  • Particularly useful as an icebreaker, e.g. can be used as a opener for a workshop/conference.
  • Ask everyone to stand up and then to walk around; explain that you will announce a category (see list or use your own) and that participants should then quickly organise themselves into smaller groups, based on the category to which they belong.
  • Once everyone is organised into their groups, ask each group to identify itself.
  • (Optional) Make a brief comment or ask each group a question.
  • Allow participants time to say hello and mingle/chat with each other when the smaller groups are formed.
  • Keep things moving by asking participants to walk around  before announcing the next category.
  • Continue until the group is "warmed up" and ready for the next activity.  This will probably be after ~5 topics, depending on the group, purpose, and time available.
  • Categories can also be used as a fun, simple way to organise people into smaller groups for other activities.
  • For the first category, use one with two options and announce one side of the room for one category and the other side of the room for the other category.  This should help participants to get the idea for how the activity works.

List of categories

Two categories

  • When you clasp your hands together and fold the thumbs across the top, is your right or left thumb on top?
  • Fold your arms across your chest. Is your right or left arm on top?
  • Which leg do you put into your pants first?
  • Which eye do you prefer to wink with?
  • Which side of the bed (left or right) do you get out of in the morning?
  • Are you a folder or scruncher (toilet paper)
  • Can you roll your tongue? (yes/no)

Three categories

  • When licking an ice cream cone...do you:
    • Twirl the cone clockwise
    • Twirl the cone counterclockwise
    • Lick up and down?

Many categories

  • What is your favourite season?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • What colour are your eyes?
  • What's your shoe size?
  • What type of shoes are your wearing?
  • What's your favourite colour
  • What's your star sign?

Links to other descriptions

References

Collard, M. (1996). Categories.  In No props: Great games with no equipment (p. 10). Project Adventure Australia: Viewbank, Victoria, Australia.

Equipment

None.

Time

~10 minutes

Brief Description

Ask a group to organise themselves into smaller groups, based on different criteria (such as number of siblings, favourite colour, etc.).