By November 1, 2012 Read More →

Ice Breakers & Team Building Activities (Part 2)


These activities can be helpful (and fun!) at the start of the year to help your team get to know each other. They can also be used throughout the year as warm-up activities, or when your team needs a break. If your team is struggling to work together effectively, or needs a morale or energy boost, try out some of these activities!

(Image courtesy: State Library of New South Wales collection )

Silent Introductions

Time required: 15 minutes

Materials: None


  1. Have team members get into pairs. If there’s an odd number, you can have a group of three.
  2. Each team member should introduce him/herself, but speaking is not allowed! Team members must share three things about themselves by acting them out and using gestures (similar to charades).
  3. Bring the group back together to share out. Have everyone introduce their partners to the rest of the team, and share what they learned (or what they think they learned!) about them.


Similar & Unique

Time Required: 10 minutes

Materials: None


  1. Have the team identify three things that everyone on the team has in common. Tell them that the more interesting similarities they come up with, the better! (Answers such as “we’re all wearing shoes” won’t be accepted!)
  2. Have the team find one thing about each team member that is unique to him or her.


Beach Ball Blast

Time Required: 5-10 minutes

Materials: Beach ball (optional, see note below)


  1. Write at least 10-15 questions in permanent marker on a beach ball. Questions might include:

    If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
    If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
    If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

    (You could also have the team come up with the questions!)

  2. Toss the ball to a team member. The team member should answer the question closet to his or her left thumb, then toss the ball to another team member.

If you don’t have a beach ball, you could write the questions on slips of paper and have team members draw them from a hat, or you could ask a question verbally and have all team members respond.


It Could Have Been Worse

Time Required: 5-10 minutes

Materials: None


  1. The team manager starts off by stating something bad that could happen (but not too bad) such as, “I forgot my homework.”
  2. The next team member says, “It could have been worse, you could have _______.”
  3. Each team member says something even worse than what the last person said. Tell team members to be creative!
  4. The game ends after everyone has gone a couple of times, or until it can’t get any worse!


What’s On My Back?

Time Required: 10 minutes

Materials: A different image for each team member, tape


  1. Tape an image to each team member’s back. No one should know what image is taped on his or her own back.
  2. Team members should walk around the room, asking each other questions to figure out what is taped on their backs. They may only ask yes or no questions.
  3. The game ends when everyone has identified their image.

To make the game easier for younger kids, you could print images that are all within the same category (animal, food, etc.). Let them know that they are guessing, for example, what animal they are. To make it more challenging for older kids, you could make the images diverse.



Time Required: 15-20 minutes

Materials: Paper and pens/pencils for each team member


  1.  Without explanation, tell each team member they need to write down:

    a food
    the name of someone in the room
    a favorite place
    a profession
    something you’d buy in a store
    an animal

  2. Tell the team that they will be using their lists to create a story together. The Team Manager should begin the story by saying, “Once upon a time, I met an explorer who told me the strangest story…”
  3. The team member to the left of the team manager will continue the story. The goal is for each team member to include as many of the words they wrote down into the story. However, turns must be taken in order and no one can say more than two sentences each turn. The story ends after the first person has incorporated all of his/her words.


Drawing Back-to-Back

Time required: 10-15 minutes

Materials: Markers, paper


  1. Have each team member draw 2-3 pictures. Tell them these should be simple (a shape, a piece of fruit, an animal, etc.)
  2. Have each team member sit back-to-back with another team member. If there is an odd number, create a group of three.
  3. Designate one person in each pair as the instructor and one as the artist. These roles will switch, so everyone can have a chance at both roles.
  4. Each instructor should describe to the artist one of the pictures they drew without identifying what it is. The artist, using only the verbal description from the instructor, should attempt to draw what the instructor sees.
  5. Have the kids compare the original picture to the new version. They’ll likely get a good laugh!
  6. Switch roles and repeat!


For additional ideas, see last year’s article on ice breaker activities.


Posted in: Team Manager Corner